Leeds and Fulham both press high up and Hernandez’s second-half brilliance

Leeds United went top of the Championship table after beating promotion rivals Fulham 3-0 in what was an encounter perhaps more even than the score line suggests. Fulham had more chances in the first-half, as well as having more of the ball. But in the midst of that, Leeds took the lead, and played their part in what was a contest of two presses.

However, the home side would take full control in the second-half following a smart set of changes from Marcelo Bielsa, one of those being to introduce midfielder Pablo Hernandez.

Here’s some tactical reporting on the pressing from both sides, and the impact of Bielsa’s changes in the second-half.

Embed from Getty Images

Continue reading

Brentford’s left flank combinations help settle big Championship tie

In this season’s heated race for promotion to the Premier League, whether that be automatically or via the playoffs, Brentford came up against West Bromwich Albion, who prior to the match topped the table.

Brentford would win the match 1-0, and though it was a close tie, Brentford formed some good attacks down the left flank with full-back, no.8 and winger combining.

brentford wbs lineups

Continue reading

Cardiff City 2-0 Leeds United: Leeds dominant, but Cardiff capitalise on sloppy passes

Football in England is growing accustom to post-lockdown proceedings, and this weekend oversaw the restart of the EFL Championship. It was decided games would be played rather than have the season determined by a points per game metric. And Leeds United faced Cardiff in a game crucial to races for both promotion and the play-offs. Both sides certainly needed to win. There was a running theme of Leeds creating a lot of but not taking many chances, and Cardiff soaking up pressure and forcing mistakes

Leeds set up in a 4-1-4-1 as expected, and this shape was arguably more rigid than a nominal 4-1-4-1 which has previously resembled a 3-3-3-1/3-3-1-3. Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas started at full-back, and Tyler Roberts was the right-sided no.8.

Cardiff City played a flat 4-3-3, with the two wingers tasked with tracking back against Leeds’ wingers and breaking quickly in transitions. Callum Paterson, who can play at full-back and midfield as well, started the match up front.

lineups leeds cardiff

Continue reading

Cantwell keen to connect midfield and attack, but halted by Southampton’s set-up

Norwich City’s hopes of survival took another blow in a 0-3 defeat to Southampton in the first set of games following lockdown. In the process of outwitting Norwich, Todd Cantwell posed a threat but Southampton’s set-up caused some problems for the midfielder.

Embed from Getty Images

Continue reading

Analysis of Bruno Fernandes’ vision and awareness

Signed from Sporting CP in January after having been heavily linked with a move during the summer window, Bruno Fernandes has made a stellar impact for Manchester United. Things might not be perfect as things stand, but Fernandes has added a needed source of creativity and vision in midfield.

Embed from Getty Images

Continue reading

Flexibility crucial to Leipzig’s tactics, and attacks plentiful in huge 0-5 win v Mainz

Mainz were absolutely no match for RB Leipzig as the away side provided a 0-5 demolition in the second week since Bundesliga’s return following lockdown. Julian Nagelsmann’s side was organised within their rotational mayhem, and Leipzig were not only a threat with their flexibility in build-up, but also in transitions.

Embed from Getty Images

Continue reading

England dominate for short spell against Scotland following tactical change

England met their eternal rivals in Scotland in a highly anticipated match in Group A. The hosts of Euro 1996 had only earned a draw in their opening game against Switzerland, and a win was much needed. It was hard to come by, but 10 minutes of actual dominance following a half-time tactical change from manager Terry Venables sent the game England’s way.

Embed from Getty Images

Continue reading

Switzerland 0-2 Netherlands: Dutch upped their game in the second-half with good counter-attacks

Villa Park hosted one of two of the second set of matches in Group A of Euro 1996, where minnows Switzerland came up against one of the tournament favourites in The Netherlands. Both sides drew their previous games with England and Scotland respectively.

The Netherlands, coached by Guus Hiddink set-up in their expected variation of a 3-4-3, with a sweeper connecting defence to midfield. The highly regarded Edgar Davids was, however, replaced by Aron Winter, which if you include midfielder Richard Witschge having recently been signed from Bordeaux, meant that the Dutch had 7 Ajax players in their starting XI.

Artur Jorge’s Switzerland side began the match with a back four and with the promising Johann Vogel in midfield. The system adopted suggested the Swiss were looking to take the game to the Dutch.

Continue reading

Dortmund’s inside-forwards’ vision and movement outwit Schalke in Revierderby thrashing

The Bundesliga became the first European league to restart following the postponement of football due to lockdown, and Borussia Dortmund kicked things off nicely with an emphatic 4-0 victory in the Revierderby against Schalke.

Both sides are still returning to full fitness in the process of bringing football back to the masses, but it seemed as if Dortmund hadn’t ever went away, as they tore away at Schalke’s 3-4-3 set-up with great ease. And much of this was due to the roles of both Julian Brandt and Thorgen Hazard.

Continue reading

Premier League 2019-20 Awards

First of all, hopefully you are doing well in these incredibly uncertain times.

The Premier League is grappling with whether it should finish things off or abandon things as they stand. There are complications either way, but the greater issue the entire world is currently facing should perhaps point decisions in favour of abandonment, or at least extend on the lengthy postponement until a time where it would be far more sensible to continue.

Nevertheless, a large chunk of the 2019-20 season was carried out, and certainly enough to start handing out awards left, right and centre. 

This is the first series of awards on the website and these awards are being given with tactics in mind, and to players who have taken up interesting roles for their sides, and to players who have improved from last season. This is not so much a list of who or what was objectively best.

Embed from Getty Images

Continue reading