Barcelona’s Evolution: The beauty of the build-up phase

“Nowadays, arguably the most important phase in football is the build-up. Whether a team uses long balls to reach the final third or plays swift ground passes to breach the opponent’s stronghold, the build up plays a pivotal role in determining the outcome of a football match regardless. Like a movie, there needs to be a build-up towards the climax or the final product. In football, it is a continuous and seamless process, interchanging between both building, finishing and defending phases at all times.” Outside of the Boot


Burnley – Seasons In The Sun

“Life looks pretty good for Burnley at the moment, as they are top of the Championship table with a very good chance of an immediate return to the top flight. Even though they were relegated from the Premier League after a single season, chairman Mike Garlick rightly observed, ‘as a club we gained a great deal of respect and admiration throughout the football world.’” The Swiss Ramble

Tactical Analysis: Liverpool 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur | Effective pressing denies Spurs vic

“Harry Kane’s 22nd league goal of the season earned Tottenham a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday, but their failure to secure a victory allowed Leicester to stretch their lead at the top of the table to seven points the following day with a narrow 1-0 triumph over Southampton. Spurs will be disappointed to have lost ground on the league leaders, but their performance on a difficult day at Anfield against a resolute Liverpool side didn’t really warrant anything more than a point.” Outside of the Boot

Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool remind English football what it is good at

“Two games in five days, both 1-1 draws, both of the highest quality and played out with a ferocious intensity. There are plenty of reasons to believe Liverpool are moving forward under Jürgen Klopp. What he has also done is make Liverpool fun and, more than that, has demonstrated just how enjoyable, how good, English football – and an English style of football – can be. When Klopp arrived at Anfield, amid a cloud of excited chatter about gegenpressing, there were cynics who sniffed and asked just how new this great theory really was.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson (Video)

The Elephant in the Room … is a Bayern Munich regression inevitable?

“Let’s be honest, the lion’s share of Bundesliga’s European glory and UEFA coefficient points during the last half decade have been won by one club: FC Bayern München. Die Roten reached five (!) CL semifinals in the last six seasons and after getting past Juventus in dramatic fashion they look like a sure shot to make the semis again this year. Bayern will play Benfica Lisbon and let’s be real, they will go through if nothing crazy happens. Nobody can expect Bayern’s run of excellence to continue forever, so what can the Bundesliga do in Europe when Bayern slows down?” Bundesliga Fanatic

North East rivals spur each other on in thrilling title race

“If you think the Premier League and Championship title races are exciting, then it’s nothing compared to the battle to top this season’s Evostik Northern Premier League. North East rivals Blyth Spartans and Darlington 1883 enter the final stretch locked in a fight that’s almost certainly going to go down to a final day decider on April 23rd. Blyth, managed by local lad Tom Wade, are more renowned for their FA Cup giantkilling acts down the years while former Sunderland defender Martin Gray’s Darlington are a phoenix club formed in 2012 from the ashes of the former league club whose fortunes took a terminal nosedive after the folly of ex-chairman George Reynolds and their white elephant of a stadium.” Football Pink