Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham: Cazorla provides the overloads in midfield, and the through-balls for Giroud and Walcott

September 3, 2013

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“… Arsenal recorded a narrow victory in the north London derby. Arsene Wenger was still without Mikel Arteta, Lukas Podolski is a new injury blow, while Bacary Sagna was unwell so Carl Jenkinson played at right-back. Andre Villas-Boas was without Gareth Bale ahead of his departure to Real Madrid, while Erik Lamela was only just signed in time and was on the bench, while Christian Eriksen wasn’t yet under consideration. In terms of tactical analysis, this was a remarkably simple game based entire around two concepts (and how those two concepts worked together).” Zonal Marking

Arsenal 1-0 Tottenham: Tactical Analysis
“The second installment of Super Sunday was the North London Derby, to be played at the Emirates. This fixture is always exciting, and carries an edge, but today was a little extra special, as it was a clash of two teams that will surely be gunning for 4th place, and two teams that have had slightly different transfer windows. Arsenal came into the game with a lot of familiar faces in the side. Koscielny was back from suspension and injury, but Sagna was missing and Jenkinson started. Gibbs was on the left hand side of the defence, and ahead of him was Cazorla, who was given a free role. In midfield, Arsenal started Wilshere, Ramsey and Rosicky, who was furthest forward in the triangle. Giroud was the lone man up front, with Walcott looking to use his pace to penetrate from wide areas.” Outside of the Boot

What conclusions can we draw from Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Spurs?
“1) Arsenal are not as bad as some will have you believe. After a poor display against (a strong) Aston Villa side on the opening day of the season, despite having ten men, many people began to write Arsenal off. Arsenal are a team that polarize opinion- many fans feel they can win the title, whilst neutrals often feel they’ll finish in sixth or seventh place. The truth of what Arsenal can achieve is somewhere in the middle. A title bid sounds very premature considering how their rivals have strengthened and the fact that Arsenal have been so far off the pace for many years now, but writing the side off as having no chance of finishing in the top four is ridiculous. …” Think Football


Premier League newcomers: 10 things you didn’t know

September 3, 2013

“You know the transfer fees and stats, have listened to the media-trained platitudes from the new signings and debated the winners and losers in the transfer window. However, amid the frenzied transfer activity, you may have missed some of the more quirky and curious snippets that have been reported about those players new to the Premier League this season. Here, BBC Sport picks 10 stories that have caught the eye…” BBC


Liverpool 1-0 Manchester United: Tactical Analysis

September 3, 2013

“The age old rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United is one that needs no introduction. Despite their overall success in recent years, Manchester United have largely struggled in their annual visit to Anfield barring last year of course. Liverpool came into the game on the back of 2 wins and were hoping to make it 3 wins out of 3. United and Moyes on the other hand, were off the back of a 0-0 stalemate against Chelsea, and were hoping to register their 2nd league win of the new era. Eventually it was Daniel Sturridge’s early improvised header which was the difference in what was a tightly contested affair. The match had few clear cut goalscoring chances for either side and as is the case with most games between the 2, the event failed to match the build up.” Outside of the Boot


Africa comes to the boil with seven play-off places still up for grabs

September 3, 2013

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Michael Essien – Ghana
“You can tell a World Cup is approaching because Kevin Prince-Boateng has suddenly decided he feels like playing international football again. The attacking midfielder retired from international football in 2011, but has ended his exile to come into the Ghana squad for Friday’s final World Cup qualifier in which Ghana need only to avoid defeat against Zambia to secure a place in the play-off round for World Cup qualifying. The structure of the African preliminaries may be nonsensical, but they do guarantee drama: 10 groups of four, with the top sides going forward to two-leg play-offs, with the winners going on to Brazil.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


An Idiot’s Guide to Transfer Deadline Day

September 3, 2013

“You know the cheap thrills that come with looking at box office returns on a Monday to see if a movie was a blockbuster or a flop? You don’t feel particularly proud of it, of course — after all, what does art have to do with money … wait, why are you laughing? — but you do it just the same. Now imagine those box office reports reflected movies that had been shot, edited, and marketed the day before they were to hit theaters. That would be funny. And that’s European football’s transfer deadline days. Incredibly rich football clubs making enormous decisions at the very last minute, buying and selling football players.” Grantland


Savo Milosevic: a hero and a Villain

September 3, 2013

“There aren’t many bandanas around Birmingham these days but in the summer of 1995 they were all the rage. Aston Villa, their supporters dizzied by the rollercoaster journey already shaping their existence in the new Premier League, had broken their transfer record to bring in one of their most exotic, most mysterious signings yet.” World Soccer