Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool and the importance of ‘gegenpressing’

October 17, 2015

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“Who is the best playmaker in the world? While others squabble over individual players, Jürgen Klopp has no doubt. Nothing, he believes, creates more chances than gegenpressing. It is his faith in that style and his ability to instil its principles in his players that allowed Borussia Dortmund to compete with far wealthier clubs. The system was able to negate the fact Bayern Munich were able to afford better individuals. The hope at Liverpool is he can have a similar impact in the Premier League.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Analysis: Jürgen Klopp’s tactical options in the attacking third at Liverpool
“Transitional phase and long-term future are terms that have become synonymous with Liverpool Football Club. Those can easily be replaced with false dawn and exaggerated hope, with the same actual results on an off the field. But Liverpool’s appointment of Jürgen Klopp as manager has been met with widespread acceptance from all corners of the sport. Klopp may well be the most high profile manager Liverpool have appointed in the Premier League, surpassing La Liga & UEFA Cup winner Rafael Benitez in 2004 and even the returning Kenny Dalglish in 2011.” Outside of the Boot


Martino must be rethinking Argentina’s approach

October 17, 2015

“‘No battle plan,’ said a famous 19th century Prussian military man. ‘survives contact with the enemy.’
Argentina coach Gerardo Martino must surely be wondering about the validity of his plan of action after a historic 2-0 defeat at home to Ecuador in the first round of World Cup qualification. Martino had spent his first year in charge building up to this moment. During friendlies and the recent Copa America he was always anxious to stress that he was looking to consolidate an idea of play.” World Game – Tim Vickery


Neymar says he played ‘one of my best games for Barca’ after four-goal haul

October 17, 2015

“Neymar said he played one of his best games in a Barcelona shirt after scoring four times in Saturday’s 5-2 La Liga win over Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou. Neymar grabbing his first four-goal haul — a poker in Spanish — by winning and converting two first-half penalties, then twice finishing clinically after good work from strike partner Luis Suarez — before finally laying on his team’s final goal for Suarez.” ESPN


The sad state of Croatian football

October 17, 2015

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“For many years, the small nation of Croatia has been a breeding ground for some of the premium talents in European football. From Davor Suker , Zvonomir Boban and Robert Prosinecki, to Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic, Croatia and its domestic league has blossomed into a top-15 side nationally and a top-20 league worldwide. However, despite a bevy of elite footballers and several impressive academies, the domestic league and national team are among the two most corrupt and troubled institutions in world football with a seemingly endless laundry list of infractions and crimes on its record.” Outside of the Boot


Man City 5 Bournemouth 1

October 17, 2015

“Raheem Sterling scored a hat-trick as Manchester City thrashed Bournemouth to remain top of the Premier League. City were missing the injured Sergio Aguero but went ahead when Sterling poked in despite looking offside. Adam Federici then spilled a cross for Wilfried Bony to tap in before Glenn Murray scored from 20 yards. Sterling waltzed around the Cherries defence for his second and made up for Jesus Navas’ hesitation to grab a third before Bony turned and struck late on.” BBC


The Heinz Höher Device: Reviewing Ronald Reng’s Matchdays

October 17, 2015

“On the phone with writer Ronald Reng, Heinz Höher is insistent: ‘Please, just give me a couple hours of your time. I want to tell you something. I have to tell you something.’  What Höher insists on telling takes the form of Reng’s latest book, Matchdays: the Hidden Story of the Bundesliga (translated by James Hawes, Simon and Schuster, 434 pages). But perhaps it’s Höher’s insistence and his eccentric personality, more than his actual story that comprises the heart of Reng’s narrative.” Bundesliga Fanatic


A bumpy ride: Gordon Strachan and Scotland

October 17, 2015

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“Gordon Strachan has confirmed he will remain in charge of Scotland , signing a two-year extension to his contract as national manager. Here, BBC Sport reviews his near three-year spell in charge of the national team. Following the sacking of Craig Levein after just three wins from his 12 competitive matches in charge, the Scottish FA turned to Strachan to lift the national team and the country out of its latest despair.” BBC


Five players to keep an eye out for in the Swiss Super League this season

October 17, 2015

“The Swiss Super League is starting to develop into a little gem for European clubs. Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka and Roman Bürki have all respectively made the move across to Europe’s most competitive leagues in recent years. With big potential and little fees involved, more clubs from Europe’s ‘top five’ leagues are starting to scout the once relatively unknown league. Out of all the major European leagues the Bundesliga has the biggest grasp of the Swiss Super League. With ten players in the current Swiss national team playing in Germany, expect German clubs to return to the Swiss Super League to have a look at the following players.” backpagefootball


Book review: Liverpool’s Blueprint by Paul Grech

October 17, 2015

“Anyone who follows Paul Grech on Twitter will know that he is a passionate fan of Liverpool (his recent purchase of a Jurgen Klopp LFC mug is testament enough) and so his book Liverpool’s Blueprint is an analysis of the clubs academy which gives a thoughtful insight into an area of the club which has its own folklore. The book is broken down into seven chapters which delve into how the academy fell into disrepair and was rebuilt by Rafa Benitez and, finally, how it runs in the present day. The recent appointment of the aforementioned Klopp and his philosophy on developing young talent would make a fantastic sequel.” Football Pink