It’s Not You, It’s My Tactics: Francis Coquelin and the Impossibility of the Defensive Midfielder

August 26, 2015

Francis Coquelin
“With the final week of the transfer window upon us, Arsenal still haven’t bought a defensive midfielder. (Drink.) And if that doesn’t change for the first time in what feels like a century running, it’ll be because Arsene Wenger has decided to ride with Francis Coquelin. Let’s just get this out of the way: Coquelin is not a great midfielder, and he never will be.” Grantland


The rise of Carpi: Serie A’s newcomers

August 26, 2015

“It has been a truly remarkable ride for Carpi over the last few years. Based in the northern province of Modena, the modest-sized club from the small industrial town from which it gets its name have enjoyed a meteoric rise over the past several seasons, one that has seen them return from the dead and climb up the ranks at a rate of knots, culminating in them gaining a place in Serie A for the first time in their history. Founded as AC Carpi in 1909, the club spent the majority of their life battling in the lower tiers of Italian football, finding it difficult to carve out any success in the provincial leagues.” Outside of the Boot


Is Lablatinière buying Ligue 1 happiness?

August 26, 2015

“Until recently, the picturesque town of Angers was known mostly because of its Plantagenet-era history and because of its tradition of being one of Europe’s intellectual centres. However, after achieving promotion to Ligue 1 in the 2014-2015 season, the city’s football club, SCO Angers, has once again emerged into the limelight, taking centre stage.” backpagefootball


Blackburn Rovers – Burning Down The House

August 26, 2015

“This year marks the 20th anniversary of Blackburn Rovers winning the Premier League, a magnificent feat that only five clubs have achieved. Things are very different these days, compared to that golden period when Alan Shearer and Chris Sutton were tearing defences apart, as Rovers now languish in the Championship following a disastrous takeover. In November 2010 Rovers were acquired by Indian poultry giants Venky’s, who paid £23 million to end the club’s long association with the Jack Walker Trust. The new owners also took on around £20 million of debt, subsequently converting £10 million into share capital.” The Swiss Ramble


Champions League: Celtic weakness cruelly exposed in defeat

August 26, 2015

celtic
“In the minutes after Celtic’s lame exit from the Champions League, the mixed zone at the Swedbank Stadium was like a hospital ward for damaged footballers. The visiting team trooped in with their pride hurting not just because of what their driven opponents from Malmo had just done to them but by what their own manager had said about them. When Ronny Deila accused his team of being ‘scared’ and ‘frightened’ on the night, it was as firm a kick to their collective solar plexus as anything the Swedes visited upon them.” BBC


Saturdays on the Couch, Week 2: Sluggish Wolfsburg

August 26, 2015

“…I wrote about how he was one of the coaches to watch in my Family Tree pieces but with quotes like the above and his quote in the same presser where he said: ‘Fundamentally, it is better to lose while playing well in the second half rather than win with the first half performance, as we really did not do enough.’ He is quickly becoming one of my favorite coaches.” StatsBomb


Tactical Analysis: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0

August 26, 2015

“… Both teams missed important first-team players, with Arsenal’s loss arguably the greater. Liverpool were without their captain Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana but their replacements – Lucas and Firmino respectively – played important roles in creating a different outlook which arguably suited the game more. After using a lopsided 4-2-1-3 for the previous two games, here – arguably due to the change from Henderson to Lucas – Rodgers opted for a 4-1-2-3 formation instead.” Tomkins Times