Palace are taking risks, but their business is promising

Following the departure of manager Roy Hodgson after four years, Crystal Palace appointed Patrick Vieira. This is merely one facet of what is a massive rebuild from the squad to the club’s identity, with much of the in-between lying on Vieira’s shoulders.

Continue reading “Palace are taking risks, but their business is promising”

Euro 2020: Luke Shaw replicating United form for England

Is Luke Shaw the world’s best left-back?

It would not be an argument to totally shy away from, given his development and form over the course of the past season with Manchester United, which has now extended to this year’s European Championships. Both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and now Gareth Southgate are honing Shaw’s range at both ends of the pitch.

Continue reading “Euro 2020: Luke Shaw replicating United form for England”

Euro 2020: Damsgaard’s a lively wide attacker who’s great on the turn

The European Championships are always a fruitful opportunity for players to make a name for themselves, especially to sides outside of the league in which they play. And Denmark winger Mikkel Damsgaard will likely have a lot of potential suitors come the end of the tournament.

Continue reading “Euro 2020: Damsgaard’s a lively wide attacker who’s great on the turn”

Euro 2020: Pogba shone with passing versus Portugal, but was Griezmann’s role too conservative?

Group F certainly lived up to the name of ‘Group of death’. The last set of matches summoned a barrage of drama that resulted in Portugal once topping the group, then looking set to finish second, then last, before confirming third place.

France proved group winners, and in their absurd 2-2 draw with Portugal, midfielder Paul Pogba provided the most quality in a game otherwise, albeit intriguing, lacking in quality.

Continue reading “Euro 2020: Pogba shone with passing versus Portugal, but was Griezmann’s role too conservative?”

Euro 2020: Wing-backs are having their say

Wing-backs providing width in attacks and even scoring goals (and by extension five-man attacks) have been a key feature of Euro 2020 so far. Teams that have been setting up with wing-backs have endured mixed results, but some matches have overseen wing-backs turn the match in their sides favour.

Continue reading “Euro 2020: Wing-backs are having their say”

Euro 2020: Italy’s build-up, functionality, and goals impress after two games

Unbeaten in twenty-nine matches. Ten clean sheets on the bounce. Italy headed into the European Championships in excellent form, and have only continued that run, doing so in pristine fashion, with qualification for the second round secured with a game to spare.

Italy have won both of their first two group games 3-0, with both Turkey and Switzerland finding difficulty stopping The Azzurri’s recently found possession-oriented game under Roberto Mancini. Build-up; retaining possession against pressure, releases from deeper positions, combinations in and around the box, has been eye-catching.

But on top of Italy’s creating of chances, it’s simply how functional they appear to be when doing so. Their system seems well-oiled for an international side.

Continue reading “Euro 2020: Italy’s build-up, functionality, and goals impress after two games”

Euro 2020: England’s approach and other tactical tidbits

The first round of group games for Euro 2020 provided one goal fest in The Netherlands close 3-2 victory against the Ukraine, and tipped favourites getting off to admirable starts, with Belgium, England, Portugal and France all picking up three points.

In the midst of this, there were some interesting tactical tidbits worth taking a second look at.

England kicked off their Euro 2020 campaign by beating Croatia via a Raheem Sterling goal. England set up in a 4-3-3 shape that oversaw key features in midfield, where it was argued the game could be won or lost.

Continue reading “Euro 2020: England’s approach and other tactical tidbits”

Grealish, runners in behind, and what system England should opt for at Euro 2020

Also contributing: Matthew Cornish

An experimental and injury hit England side scraped past Austria 1-0 and then against Romania in their two warm up games ahead of Euro 2020. With the players away on recent club European duty resting up, Bukayo Saka scored the second half goal to seal things at the Riverside Stadium. Marcus Rashford’s second half penalty secured England victory over Romania, thus ensuring The Three Lions lead into Euro 2020 on the back of six wins in a row. However, here we saw two disjointed display by England.

And here we have offered some of our tactical takeaways from those games and how England should/could approach things tactically going into Euro 2020.

Continue reading “Grealish, runners in behind, and what system England should opt for at Euro 2020”

Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea: Tuchel prevails the second time round as Havertz strikes

What a difference nearly a year makes for Thomas Tuchel. Nine months after his Paris Saint-Germain outfit were edged out 1-0 by Bayern Munich in the 2020 Champions League Final, Chelsea’s German coach masterminded a victory by the same score-line over Manchester City in this year’s showpiece event, and again against City following an impressive win in their FA Cup semi-final tie. Kai Havertz – Chelsea’s costliest ever player at £75.8 m – ultimately proved to be the match winner, coolly converting a one on one in the 42nd minute.

Continue reading “Manchester City 0-1 Chelsea: Tuchel prevails the second time round as Havertz strikes”

Werner’s movement deserves credit in Chelsea’s Champions League final success

Chelsea outwitted Manchester City in a deserved 0-1 win to secure their second Champions League final win.

This win oversaw an impressive tactical display from Thomas Tuchel’s Blues, and one from Pep Guardiola’s City that arguably over complicated matters.

Continue reading “Werner’s movement deserves credit in Chelsea’s Champions League final success”