Recent Posts

Blast from the Past

The Football match which started a war

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Plenty of football stadiums have statues standing outside of them. There’s strange one here and there (Michael Jackson formerly outside Craven Cottage springs to mind, looking like a cheap toy from a Happy Meal) but most are what you would expect: legendary managers, team captains, record goalscorers. One statue that may strike you as unexpected can be found outside the …

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FC Start and The Death Match

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“Without belittling the courage with which men have died, we must not forget those acts of courage with which men have lived.” – John F. Kennedy. This story is not the same as other stories about the world’s greatest teams. This team was only in existence for a few years. They did not play for, or win, any trophies. Their …

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Five Best Football Pundits

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  Five Best Football Pundits With more televised football than ever before, the role of pundits is increasingly under the spotlight. Just as people like to see football change, punditry has now become something of an art – with an emphasis on more personable and interactive analysis.   These five best football pundits demonstrate this new world of the art …

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The Rise of the forward destroyer

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Over the last decade we have seen the disappearance of the classic number 10, especially in European football. The most famous example of course being Juan Roman Riquelme, who is one of the most talented footballers to have emerged out of Argentina. Today, all the best players in the world either are players who are forwards or are players who have moved …

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Recent Posts

Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #8 -Tosin Kehinde

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This is the third post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and /u/rdzzl have rated the ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams.  The previous posts include #10, Joe Riley,and #9, Demetri Mitchell.   Tosin Kehinde was a player that I have been eagerly waiting to put on this list. He would have made it last year …

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Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #9 -Demetri Mitchell

Demetri Mitchell

This is the second post in a series of 10, where reddit users /u/monsieurryan and /u/rdzzl have rated the, ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams. The previous post includes #10, Joe Riley. At this time last year myself and /u/rdzzl decided to place Mitchell as the number 2 prospect in our youth setup. So why is he at …

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Manchester United Youth Rankings 2016 #10 -Joe Riley

Joe Riley

This is the first post in a series of 10, where Reddit users /u/monsieurryan and /u/rdzzl have rated the, ten best players playing for Manchester United’s youth teams. For all the talented players that Manchester United took to the Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup last season, it was Joe Riley who came out of it named player of the tournament. At 19 years old, …

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Spalletti’s video on Mohamed Salah’s tracking back

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Luciano Spalletti was asked the following question in a press conference Do you believe you’ve managed to change Roma’s habits and playing style in the month and a half you’ve been in charge? Spalletti said, “We want to achieve important targets in terms of culture, method and style. In order to do this, I have to be the first to …

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Tactics Sketches- Liverpool, Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea & more

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  Sketch Pad: 037. Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United (EPL)   Wahbi Khazri (3rd min) and Lamine Koné (82nd min) score to beat Manchester United 2-1 and give Sunderland a much needed boost to engineer a great escape from the relegation drop zone.   Sketch Pad: 038. Arsenal 2-0 Leicester City (EPL) Danny Welbeck wins it for Arsenal with a 95th …

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Football Tactics For Beginners- The 4-4-2 Diamond Formation

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The 4-4-2 Diamond formation. Introduction. Whilst the traditional 4-4-2 formation has become less common in recent years, the diamond variation is alive and well. The differences between the two formations may appear to be small, but actually have a number of wide-ranging consequences which mean the two styles of playing are much further apart than would first seem. The diamond …

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Why Manchester United should stick with Van Gaal

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Over the past few months, many Manchester United fans wanted Van Gaal out and their reasons were simple. The team was out of the Champions League and struggled in the League failing to record a single victory in the whole of December. Yet I don’t think that changing the manager will help much and here’s why: Nonetheless, when a club …

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What Louis van Gaal’s United do right and wrong

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Louis van Gaal is regarded by many as a great coach who laid the groundwork for Pep’s Barcelona and Heynckes’ Bayern, two teams that dominated the world. Now, at Manchester United, he is criticized for using ineffective tactics that have taken down Old Trafford’s reputation as a United fortress. Van Gaal is known to be a coach who believes in …

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The decline of Yaya Toure

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Yaya Toure has always played like he’s participating in a charity match. This is his best and most frustrating quality. He stalks the pitch in a warm-up jog. He holds off straining opponents like a father holds off a pesky six-year old. He scores thirty-yard goals with the nonchalance of clearing a pesky dog from beneath his feet. The frustrating …

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Tactical analysis of Pep’s Barcelona in comparison with Van Gaal’s United

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Thierry Henry on Monday Night Football explained how Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona went about scoring goals. Pep’s side also had a rigid structure where players are supposed to stick to their positions rather than move around freely. But Pep also had a designated area in the final third where the players are free to move,pass,dribble and score goals. This freedom in …

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Champions League Stories #1- Chelsea 2011/12

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European club football has a rich history. With each season played, a new story is written. Even if each story is unique in its own way, there are a select few that stand out more than the others. I mean, when Barcelona or Real Madrid win the Champions League, it’s just another trophy. Yeah it’s big, but it’s not as …

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Neymar’s passing/playmaking- 2014/15 [Video]

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Lionel Messi’s prolonged absence due to injury just maybe the best thing ever which happened to Barcelona and Neymar this season. The Brazilian has pushed his game to new levels in the absence of Lionel Messi and along with Luis Suarez set the pitch on fire. With talks of Nike replacing Ronaldo with Neymar as its prime brand ambassador,it is …

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Football Tactics For Beginners- The False 10

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In recent times the traditional No 10 position has been losing its importance with managers opting for either multi-functional players playing in that role or defensive players being used to mark the opposition’s deep lying playmaker. One recent example is Van Gaal’s use of Marouane Fellaini as the number 10(Read Forward destroyer) rather than a player with more technical prowess.  What …

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Best moments from El Clasico- Real Madrid 0-4 Barcelona

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Barcelona completely outplayed Real Madrid in a 4-0 defeat which will have repercussions for Real’s players,coaches and maybe even its president. Cristiano Ronaldo finally after years of unbelievable consistency looks to have hit a prolonged rough patch and there are fears that he might not be able to reach his peak again. Andres Iniesta on the other hand refreshed everyone’s …

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Social Media As A New Football Scouting Paradigm

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As the leading sports industry, every dimension of soccer demands that talent be found for premier club opportunities. Globalisation of the sport leads to the globalisation of the market and the only way to act in this context is through a network of players, clubs and market opportunities. When we look at the fact that every move is a calculated …

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher analyse Klopp’s tactics at Liverpool

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher were at their usual best as they discussed the changes Klopp has brought about at Anfield. The way Liverpool are playing under Klopp is radically different from how Rodgers’ Liverpool had started the season. Although this weekend saw a massive boost to Klopp as the victory over Chelsea saw the German collect his first Premier …

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3 of the Best UK Stadium Tours

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  Take a tour of the home of English football Wembley has been the scene of some iconic football moments. From the Matthews Cup Final through Geoff Hurst’s World Cup winning hat trick to the joy of Euro 96, the national stadium is one of the world’s most famous football venues. The new Wembley Stadium tour takes you behind the …

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Adopting the Right Mindset: How Mental Tactics Can Create Champions

FA Cup Final: Manchester United v Chelsea

Football is a funny old game and, like all sports, the margins between victory and defeat are often razor thin. In fact, as the old saying goes, the biggest games are often won and lost even before the players step onto the pitch. When skills are evenly matched, the difference between victory and defeat can be on the mental side …

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Rough Diamonds #19- Ryan Ledson (Everton)

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Born and bred on Merseyside, Ryan Ledson is arguably the next ‘Steven Gerrard of Everton’. Over the last 25 years, the only one-club type player Everton have had has been Leon Osman and even Ossie, hasn’t really been a Goodison hero, he’s just sort of always been around. Despite the success of Everton’s youth academy the Blues haven’t found their …

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An Extensive Analysis of Van Gaal’s tactics against Arsenal

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Pre-Game/0-0 • The front four are fairly well established at this point and the tactics up front were pretty much what we’ve seen since Martial’s arrival. Memphis playing as a mostly traditional winger with the exception of an emphasis on ball control over crossing. Rooney playing mostly as an Attacking Midfielder but quite frequently pushes up into a traditional Centre …

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Gary Neville on Anthony Martial

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Anthony Martial was a surprise and unexpected last day transfer to Manchester United. Before he even kicked the ball for the red devils,the media wrote the teenager off. But what a signing he has turned out to be. The lone bright spot against Arsenal, Martial looks like he has everything to become a world beater. Pace,trickery,energy and most of all …

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Barcelona’s build-ups vs Leverkusen-Part 1

Luis Enrique

Barcelona are switching sides. Tempo is low . Leverkusen are so compact, it takes time for their midfield to shift. Iniesta, Neymar, Mathieu combine to get the ball into the wings. Once the ball gets to Neymar however the defensive & offensive movements are very different fom bayern.For one look at the speed at which the ball is fizzing across …

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Liverpool 1:1 Sion- Tactical Analysis

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There were a few tactically interesting selections and changes about this game. Liverpool’s initial lineup featured a double pivot which is a modification of their league formation  3-4-3 into more of a 3-2-3-2. Liverpool were set up to defend in the below manner. Transition like : And attacked like so: This led to quite a few problems in attack, transition and defense. In …

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Gary Neville analyses Chelsea’s problems this season

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  Although Chelsea managed win against Arsenal,their performance showed no signs of improvement. A combination of Diego Costa and Arsenal’s poor first half saw Chelsea win comfortably in a controversial match where Mike Dean’s refereeing was the central talking point.

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Chelsea’s struggles are much deeper than a “third season” symptom

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The lack of success in Jose Mourinho’s third season at every club he has managed has always been a source of criticism. In his fifteen years of management he has never stayed at the same team after the third season. His return to Chelsea was to create a dynasty and become Chelsea’s equivalent of Manchester United’s Alex Ferguson or a …

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Best Football Autobiographies

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I Am Zlatan: My Story On and Off the Field Born to Balkan immigrants who divorced when he was a toddler, Zlatan learned self-reliance from his rough-and-tumble neighborhood. While his father, a Bosnian Muslim, drank to forget the war back home, his mother’s household was engulfed in chaos. Soccer was Zlatan’s release. Mixing in street moves and trick plays, Zlatan …

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Gary Neville & Jamie Carragher analyse Man Utd 3-1 Liverpool

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Manchester United defeated Liverpool in what was an underwhelming match lit up by two fantastic goal by Christian Benteke and Anthony Martial. Mainly concentrating on Liverpool, both the pundits criticised Rodgers’ selection and the gameplan. Liverpool this year seem to be struggling to score goals as Christian Benteke’s arrival has created more confusion than confidence among the Liverpool players. They …

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Introduction to the 3-5-2 Formation

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The Back-3 defense was created as a way to counter teams built around an orthodox 4-4-2. Using three Center Backs created four distinct advantages vs. an orthodox 4-4-2. First, with an extra Center Back, teams who played with a Back-3 now had extra defender to provide cover against the opposition’s strike partnership.  Second, with the extra Center Back, teams could …

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Liverpool v Man Utd Rivalry-The History

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The Liverpool v Man Utd rivalry is considered to be one of the biggest and most fiercely fought rivalries in world football. The roots of this rivalry go back to the industrial revolution when both Liverpool and Manchester were bustling economies with great hope for the future. The rivalry started after the Manchester canal was built and the Liverpool port …

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Best Football Tactics Books

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We have compiled a list of the best football tactics books for the casual football fan. Football tactics has become an essential part of every pre/post football match discussion. To ensure that you are not left out of the discussion,start reading up!

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10 Moments from Messi that Defined Barcelona’s 2014/2015 Season

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Lionel Messi’s 2014/15 season ended so well that it’s probably easy to forget the doubts that were lingering around him at the beginning; doubts that he was or could be the player he was in the 2012 season, there were thoughts that he was in decline. Over the season, he did show that he has changed as a player, but …

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Gary Neville analyzes Man United’s defeat to Swansea

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Manchester United lost to Swansea 2-1 as Louis Van Gaal faced his first defeat of the season. Garry Monk’s brilliant tactical change after United scored the opening goal led to the Welsh team scoring two goal immediately after that.  United couldn’t muster a determined response as the hosts sat back and defended brilliantly.

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Where are they now? #2 Bojan Djordjic(Manchester United)

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Here’s one for the youth team hipsters and Championship Manager enthusiasts. This is called The Forgotten Lot after all, and it might not get more obscure than this guy. Bojan Djordjic was the next big thing back in 1999 when he was playing for United’s reserves, 18 years old with pace and technical ability lead to comparisons with Giggsy. Unfortunately, …

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Gary Neville on Arsenal and Cesc Fabregas

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Gary Neville,Jamie Carragher and Thiery Henry discuss Arsenal’s performance in the Premier League in the last decade and whether Arsenal could challenge for the title this year. Gary bemoans Arsene Wenger’s insistence in not buying a replacement for Patrick Viera. Arsenal have struggled to make an impact in the Premier League after their last title more than a decade ago. …

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The erratic locomotive prediction machine agitates once more into action

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English football descended into pandemonium this week as fans and pundits alike have been unashamedly changing their Premier League predictions after just two games. Not since the Kaiser Chiefs predicted a riot but instead brought five albums of toilsome, handjive-cum-bodypop shuffle-pop has there been such collective nationwide indifference. Last season, Paddy Power settled all bets on Chelsea to win the league in November, but whispers that …

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Chelsea starting lineup,tactics against West Brom

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After suffering humiliation at the hands of title rivals Manchester City, Chelsea seem to be in disarray and were given a timely reality check. In the post-match press conference, Mourinho claimed that the game was “a fake result” but deep down, he knows better than everyone else that his side needs to improve considerably. The Portuguese tactician hinted at a …

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What role will new signing Benjamin Stambouli fulfil at PSG?

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It came as a shock to many when PSG sold Yohan Cabaye, that too for a paltry sum of £13 million. But the Parisians had a trick up their sleeve. Enter Benjamin Stambouli. The strong, robust French midfielder, who was an integral part of the title-winning squad of Montpellier in 2011-12, is highly versatile: being able to operate as a …

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Football Tactics For Beginners-The Modern Fullback

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The modern day full back is a key player in modern football, having to supplement his more traditional defensive duties whilst supporting the attack with over-lapping runs and helping the attack overload the final third. Although primarily a defensive player the modern day full back must be willing to get forward and add extra width to his teams attack. As …

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Gary Neville analyses the Manchester United defence

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Gary Neville easily the best pundit at the moment,analysed how Manchester United’s defence has picked up two clean sheets this season. From November 2014 till date,Manchester United boast the best defensive record in the Premier League even better than the champions Chelsea. Currently this season, United have started with a new look back four with Blind playing as CB and …

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First look at Thomas Tuchel’s tactics at Dortmund

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Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund career got off to a perfect start as his side thrashed Borussia Monchengladbach 4-0 in the opening fixture of this year’s Bundesliga. Dortmund’s famed free-flowing attacking football which we saw in 2011 and 2012 under Klopp was back to its thrilling best. Dortmund lined up exactly as expected with new signing Julian Weigl lining up beside Gundogan in …

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What Should Be in a Football Coach’s Inventory This Season?

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Another football season lies ahead, and local teams up and down the country are preparing themselves for a tough, energy-sapping year. But teams that hope to lift some silverware will need to leave no stone unturned when it comes to match preparations, fitness and technical development. And all of these facets of the beautiful game require equipment. Giving players a …

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1000 years in Football Manager!

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That’s right. You’re not seeing wrong. 1000 years of holidaying in FM15, in just England. I started this on March 4th and it took 58 days of simming to get to 1000 years. And now that it’s all over and the data is all compiled, I thought I’d share it with this sub, because why not? So, let us begin. …

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Pep Guardiola – Third time’s the charm

Xabi Alonso Bayern Munich

Stepping into his third season in charge of FC Barcelona, the wundercoach Guardiola was seemingly faced with a huge task of rebuilding the squad under his command. High profile departures like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry, Yaya Toure all cast into doubt the immediate future of Barcelona’s sporting success. In hindsight we now know just how inconsequential those departures were as …

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