The basic 4-4-2 is becoming trendy again

October 4, 2013

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After bringing in star names, PSG tried a 4-4-2 but it didn’t work too well.
“Some elements of football strategy evolve consistently in one direction over a long period, becoming increasingly extreme. Other elements appear more cyclical — moving routinely between two opposing concepts, which come in and out of fashion. Therefore, whereas there has been a steady shift toward technical possession football over the past 20 years, for example, a concept like the ‘box-to-box midfielder’ appears to come and go in roughly five-year intervals.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Analysis – Borussia Dortmund dominate Olympique Marseille

October 4, 2013

“While Jürgen Klopp watched from a Westfalenstadion skybox – bundled up like a holiday shopper – Borussia Dortmund (BVB) sought out Champions League (UCL) revenge against the traditional French power, Olympic Marseille (OM), to avenge a UCL sweep at the Frenchmen’s hands two year ago (2-6 aggregate). It succeeded. And looked its hipster best while winning. Dortmund won 3-0 against the seven-time French champions in convincing fashion. The result never really seemed in doubt, as BVB always created more dangerous chances and created a stranglehold on the match when it opened the scoring at 19′. The vaunted play-making abilities of OM’s supreme central midfielder, Matthieu Valbuena, never materialized as BVB organized an efficient defensive effort as well as a dangerous attack to dominate this match. A win like this quickly buries the disappointment of the 2-1 loss at Napoli, as Klopp’s squad travels to Arsenal next. On the other hand, OM is winless in Group F.” Bundesliga Fanatic


Champs League offers reason for hope for Man United, none for City

October 4, 2013

“It was very close to being a very good night indeed for David Moyes, but even though Taison struck with 14 minutes remaining to prevent Moyes’ Manchester United side from becoming the first English team ever to win in Donetsk, there was satisfaction and encouragement both in a valuable away point and in the level of performance. There were rather fewer positives to draw for the other Manchester cub, as City was outpassed and outplayed by Bayern Munich — and, perhaps even more frustratingly, again ended up the victim of defensive and goalkeeping errors.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Mesut Özil’s mastery of space makes Arsenal play

October 4, 2013

“In the end, it was the only thing Mesut Özil had to break sweat to do. Not the finish – which was a master class in watching the ball all the way and not hurrying the technique – but actually getting there, as he was still a long way away from play – the only time in the match – and as he reached Aaron Ramsey’s cut-back, he expertly guided on the half-volley into the top corner.” The Arsenal Column


Manchester City 1-3 Bayern Munich: Tactical Analysis

October 4, 2013

“Yet another big game came our way in the UEFA Champions League in what has been a great season of European football so far. Guardiola and his Bayern Munich side went to the Etihad, expecting to win. Manchester City also set up to get 3 points in their home game. The home team started with the first choice centre back pairing of Kompany and Nastasic. Clichy and Richards were the two wing backs. In midfield, Toure and Fernandinho started behind Nasri, Aguero and Jesus Navas. The lone man up front was Edin Dzeko.” Outside of the BooT