Tactical Analysis | Bayern Munich 2-1 Borussia Dortmund: Effective pressing but not sustainable

November 3, 2014

hughes-master675
“Though the two sides have had completely contrasting seasons so far, one is arguably the best passing team in Europe, while the other still remains a benchmark for those looking to employ a pressing system. And when it comes to the Klassiker, both these sides are often more well matched than points, form and the table suggests. This one at the Allianz Arena, was no different. The game was another reminder as to why the German domestic set-up remains arguably at the top in all aspects; the football on show was breath-taking, and the stands packed with clubs putting supporters first with staggeringly low ticket prices as displayed by www.1st4footballtickets.com, compared to some of Europe’s other leagues.” Outside of the Boot

Bayern Bares Its Fangs, on the Field and Off
“In a game fit to show to the world, Bayern Munich came from a goal down to roll over Borussia Dortmund, 2-1, on Saturday. This was Germany’s Der Klassiker being broadcast to 208 of FIFA’s 209 nations one week after Real Madrid and Barcelona had engaged a similar audience. The one country not tuned in? North Korea. A pity, because Koreans on both sides of their divide follow every nuance of the sport. It would not be lost on them that while the combined powers of Bayern and Borussia brought home the World Cup this year, there is intense rivalry and an internecine bitterness at the core of these annual encounters between Munich and the Ruhr.” NY Times


Sergio Agüero: the kid who grew to greatness from slum to Manchester City

November 3, 2014

“As Manchester City celebrated winning the league title in 2012, a number of their players festooned themselves in flags. Edin Dzeko wore the blue and yellow of Bosnia, Mario Balotelli the red, white and green of Italy and Aleksandar Kolarov the red, white and blue of Serbia. Sergio Agüero, the player whose goal deep into injury time had sealed the title, also draped a flag across his shoulders, but it wasn’t the blue and white of Argentina: his cape was red, the colours of his first club, Independiente.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Five things we learned this week in Serie A

November 3, 2014

“Our Italian roundup comes a little later in the week due to an action packed seven days on the Peninsula that consisted of two full rounds of Serie A fixtures which saw plenty of passion, goals and drama. Going into the midweek round of fixtures Serie A boasted two unbeaten teams in Juventus and the rather surprising Sampdoria. After game week nine I am happy to say that there are no longer any fans of Serie A who can brag that their team holds an unbeaten record this season as both fell to defeat in their respective games against Genoa and Inter.” backpagefootball


Hey, Soccer Players: Don’t Get Sent Off

November 3, 2014

davidsred416
“Don’t get sent off. Getting sent off is bad. You’d think it’d be obvious. You’d think players would understand just how important staying on the field is. You’d think that in the unlikely event it did happen, it would be the result of some extreme circumstance — like a defender caught suddenly in a no-win situation, or a dubious call by a referee. Sometimes stuff happens that’s out of a player’s control. But, when stuff is reasonably in a player’s control, there should be one golden rule: Don’t. Get. Sent. Off.” Grantland


Ronald Koeman’s showing up England again, this time by engineering Southampton’s success

November 3, 2014

“There’s a plinth with a Ronald Koeman statue on it in the 1990s wing of English football’s hall of shame, as for the Three Lions, the former Dutch defender was one of the decade’s most notorious villains. In 1993, England traveled to Rotterdam with its qualification hopes for the Diana Ross Soccer Shootout, um, USA `94, on the line. With the game goalless, Koeman hauled down David Platt as he raced clear on goal – a clear professional foul, yet he escaped with only a yellow card. Four minutes later, Koeman scored from a free kick.” Soccer Gods


Remember the name: Celtic’s cult-hero & Sweden’s golden boy, Henrik Larsson

November 3, 2014

“For fifteen years Swedish lower-league side Högaborgs was the home of one Henrik Larsson. The prolific striker joined the club when he was just six years old and worked his way up to the senior side where he made his debut at age 17. He scored 23 goals during his three years in the first team before a trial at Benfica (then coached by Swedish manager Sven-Göran Eriksson) led to his departure in 1992.” Outside of the Boot


Chivas-Club América joins other “Super Clasicos” that don’t live up to the hype

November 3, 2014

MG_7440
“This past weekend, a relegation-threatened Chivas de Guadalajara played league-leading Club América, a game that has become commonly referred to as the ‘Súper Clásico.’ The term has become a complete misnomer. Rather than being a ‘classic,’ the two teams played 90 lifeless minutes to the tune of a 0-0 draw. Still, what does the need to mislabel games say about Liga MX, let alone other leagues around the world? A lot. And none of it’s good.” Soccer Gods


Newcastle 1 Liverpool 0: In-Depth Tactical Analysis

November 3, 2014

“… This was a massive underperformance and an all-round very poor display. Pardew kept his usual 4-2-3-1 formation but gave the young holding midfielder Abeid his first Premier League start alongside Colback. In attack, Ameobi and Obertan started down the flanks while Cisse was passed fit enough to start the game. On the other side, Rodgers made some surprising selection and tactical decisions. For the first time this season, Liverpool lined-up with a back three shape in what was more of a 3-4-2-1 formation.” Tomkins Times


Barcelona’s Abundance of Riches

November 3, 2014

“Time will tell whether Barcelona has assembled the greatest front three ever seen in the club game. But for now, there is little question that this forward line is the most hyped in soccer. That’s what you get when you take Lionel Messi and Neymar and add Luis Suarez to the mix, as the Catalan club did over the summer. Messi, 27, is in the conversation as the greatest player ever and is a four-time Ballon d’Or winner. Suarez, also 27, was the joint-top goalscorer in Europe last season and won both the writers’ and players’ awards as the English Premier League Footballer of the Year. Neymar, still just 22, is the man on who carried Brazil’s World Cup hopes and arguably the most credible candidate to take the “Best Player in the World” crown once Messi and his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo are ready to hand it over.” WSJ