Daily Archives: January 6, 2014

More questions for Moyes after Swansea shocker

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“The worst aspect for Manchester United was that — yet again — nobody could say it had not been coming. Three times in the last 10 minutes, Swansea attempted the same move, which saw Wayne Routledge run at stand-in right-back, Darren Fletcher, before crossing, specifically trying to pick out Wilfried Bony. Despite the warnings, United were powerless to do anything about the forward’s 90th-minute goal, which secured a 2-1 win for the Swans. United manager David Moyes, meanwhile, seems powerless to solve so many of the issues at Old Trafford that are increasingly evident. Were it not for the manner in which impressive upsets like Swansea’s restore some energy to the competition, it could be argued that the current United reflect the FA Cup itself: a fading institution that has lost its magic and is seemingly being overtaken by circumstance.” ESPN

Man Utd 1 – 2 Swansea
“Swansea won for the first time in their history at Old Trafford as Wilfried Bony’s 90th minute winner knocked 10-man Manchester United out of the FA Cup. The Ivory Coast striker, who had caused anxiety in the United defence for most of the game, headed in Wayne Routledge’s cross to book a fourth-round spot against Birmingham, Bristol Rovers or Crawley Town. The game looked like it was heading for a replay as the hosts held on following Fabio Da Silva’s red card 10 minutes from the end after he had scythed down Jose Canas.” BBC

Tactical Analysis: What explains the rise, fall and rise again of the 4-4-2 in the Premier League?

“Since the arrival of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea in 2004, the 4-4-2 has been out of favor in England’s top flight. It hung on for a few more years, most notably in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2009/10 campaign when Spurs finished fourth while playing an extremely conventional 4-4-2 with two orthodox wingers, a target man up top, and a poacher playing alongside the target man. But there hasn’t been a title contender that played a strict 4-4-2 since Mourinho’s arrival–until this year. One of the most interesting developments in 2013 has been the return of 4-4-2, as Jonathan Wilson noted in his year in review piece for The Guardian. As it stands right now, the league leaders in Italy, France, and England all use a two striker system and Atletico Madrid, level with Barcelona on points at the summit of La Liga, has also favored such a system–so that’s the league leader or joint league leader in four of Europe’s five biggest leagues. It’s safe to say the two striker system is back. (It will be interesting to see how the four Bundesliga sides in the Champions League last 16 handle these teams that favor two strikers up top.) But in this piece we’re going to focus primarily on the Premier League and the three different types of 4-4-2 on display in 2013.” Think Football

Liverpool 2 Hull 0: In-Depth Tactical Analysis

“Liverpool’s previously threadbare squad took another hit for this game as Sakho and Allen were injured and couldn’t feature. Cissokho and Aspas made the starting XI, with Gerrard only deemed fit enough for the bench. Since we played them at the KC stadium, Hull have played their subsequent games exclusively with a 3-1-4-2 formation. The only exception was the Fulham game where they used a 4-4-1-1. As such, it was logical to see Bruce’s main dilemma being whether to continue with the 3-1-4-2 shape, or revert back to the 3-5-1-1 that worked so well the last time against Liverpool. Presumably Hull’s success in stifling Liverpool that day had more weight as the team started with the 3-5-1-1 variant.” Tomkins Times