Daily Archives: November 17, 2014

Counter Attacks – A point for Pep Guardiola and Bayern Munich to ponder on?

“Under Pep Guardiola, Bayern have always pressed high up the field, sometimes so high up the field that the only person behind the half way line is Manuel Neuer, who is very happy to deal with any problems that the defence may encounter while playing such a high line. The flip side of this is some times counter attacks are so fast that playing a high line means you will leak a goal or two on the counter.” Outside of the Boot


Analysis: Danny Welbeck’s Excellent Movement Hugely Beneficial for England

“Danny Welbeck continued his superb form for England by bagging another brace, this time against Slovenia. Incredibly, this now means he’s recorded five goals in his last four matches for the Three Lions. The subtle variations in movement by the Arsenal man proved to be the catalyst that allowed him, and his teammates, to achieve so much positive work. These movements included swift switches with Wayne Rooney (England’s left-sided centre forward) from his right-sided centre forward position, which worked well to ensure the Slovenian defence were kept busy.” Licence to Roam

Tales of Spain’s Fall May Be a Bit Too Early

“Condolences to Spanish soccer, for the losses it has suffered in 2014 might be premature. The manner in which it surrendered the World Cup, followed by a loss in Slovakia in European Championship qualifying last month, brought all manner of condemnation to the national team. La Roja, it was said, was falling apart. The team was old, with its central pillars of Xavi Hernández and Xabi Alonso retiring from the national cause. And though he had a winning percentage of more than .800 since he took over in 2008, Coach Vicente del Bosque was considered past tense.” NY Times

Italy v Croatia: Boss Niko Kovac expects Uefa punishment

“Croatia coach Niko Kovac expects European governing body Uefa to punish his country following trouble during a Euro 2016 qualifier in Italy. The match ended 1-1 but was marred by crowd unrest as fans threw fireworks and smoke bombs on to the pitch. Referee Bjorn Kuipers was forced to twice stop the game and 16 Croatia supporters were arrested. ‘Of course Croatia will face sanctions, but there is no reason for any point deductions,’ said Kovac.” BBC

Clyne, Callejon and Talisca get their chance at international level

England v Slovenia - EURO 2016 Qualifier
“In the aftermath of the World Cup, with national teams beginning a new, four-year cycle, there have been plenty of debutants for major nations recently. Here are three players who were hoping to earn their first caps this week and how they might influence the play of their respective national teams, should they become regulars.” ESPN – Michael Cox

Donovan and Henry About to Bid Their MLS Farewells

“As the MLS semifinals begin on November 23rd, two of MLS’ greatest stars look set to move on. Well, one is for sure heading to retirement, while the other has been more opaque about it. Landon Donovan announced months ago that this would be his final season. His farewell tour kicked off with a semi-manufactured ‘Landon Donovan Send-Off’ friendly vs. Ecuador. Then he said good-bye to the LA Galaxy fans in his final regular season match. Now he needs a win against the frightening Seattle Sounders to reach yet another MLS Cup final.” Soccer Pro

Uganda targeting history against Guinea

“In 1978 Uganda enjoyed their most momentous AFCON accomplishment, finishing runners-up to Ghana – back then nobody envisaged the cranes failing to grace Africa’s most prestigious tournament in the years subsequent. Those years of suffering could however be brought to an end on Wednesday night when Uganda visit Casablanca to take on Guinea, with a point from that fixture liable to secure the conclusion of their AFCON absence. Across recent history few sides have been closer to qualification without actually accomplishing it, with the Ugandans only missing the 2012 AFCON by a single point – Angola ultimately clinched the sought after qualification birth. That setback though was merely minor in the gut wrenching stakes given a year later only an epic penalty shootout defeat – 20 kicks in total – denied Uganda progression at the expense of 2012 champions Zambia.” backpagefootball