Claude Puel

“The sight of Thierry Henry gliding in from the left before opening up his body to side-foot a precise finish inside the far post remains among the most alluring of all Premier League history. Rather less well known is how the seeds for what became such a trademark goal were painstakingly sown by Henry and Claude Puel on the spectacular Monaco training ground that nestles in the mountain village of La Turbie.” Telegraph, Wikipedia


Inverted Full Backs and their benefits: A look at what we might see at Guardiola’s Manchester City

“Following the announcement in February that Pep Guardiola would take over from Manuel Pellegrini at Manchester City ahead of the new season, football enthusiasts have been fantasising about what the Spaniard might bring to English football. A student of Johann Cruyff, Guardiola’s methods during his previous stints in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich gained plaudits from across Europe. In spite of this, many of the Pep’s ideas and innovations have remained foreign to the Premier League. Guardiola’s approach is an interpretation of the tactical system ‘Positional play’ or ‘Jeugo de Posicion’. The primary aims of which are to create quantitative, qualitative and positional superiority over the opposition.” Outside of the Boot

Do South American World Cup qualifiers put the Champions League to shame?

“Now that Copa América and the Euros are behind us, the focus turns to World Cup qualification. For South American teams – who kicked off their campaigns last October – the road to the biggest football tournament in the world has always been tough and since 1996, when the current round-robin format was originally introduced, competition has improved tremendously. Historical powerhouses such as Brazil and Argentina are no longer shoe-ins to qualify as teams such as Chile, Uruguay, Colombia, Paraguay and Ecuador, with star players of their own, are more than just also-rans.” Guardian

The sad story of Omar Orestes Corbatta, scorer of Argentina’s second greatest goal

“Before Diego Maradona’s second goal against England in 1986, the greatest goal in Argentinian history had been scored by Omar Orestes Corbatta in a 4-0 win over Chile in qualifying for the 1958 World Cup. Argentina already led 2-0 when Corbatta beat his marker, took the ball round the goalkeeper, waited for another Chilean to approach, dribbled past him and then, as the crowd urged him to finish the move off, with the goalkeeper and two other defenders charging back, dummied to shoot, leaving all three on the ground before finally stroking the ball over the line.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

Can Wales create more history with World Cup qualification?

“Later today, Wales will start their World Cup qualification campaign. For the Welsh faithful, it’ll be a strange feeling. No longer is history holding them back, no longer are they nearly men. Can the most successful Wales team in over half a century qualify for a World Cup? By the time the 2018 World Cup rolls along, it will be 60 years since Wales competed in their last one.” backpagefootball

Werder Bremen: Impressive Business yet sinking feeling?

“Junusovic with the free-kick, in to Pizarro, on to Ujah and Djilodobji, it’s in, it’s in! Never had the Weserstadion erupted to the sound of the Proclaimers’ 500 Miles quite like that last day victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. They had done it; Viktor Skrypnyk’s side had dragged themselves out of the relegation abyss in the most dramatic of fashions. After the jubilance of survival in that manner passes, the realisation that changes need to be made normally follows: Werder were no exception.” Outside of the Boot

Klopp’s less is more gamble could leave Liverpool struggling for goals

“The first three fixtures of this season’s Premier League exist almost in a form of purgatory. Interrupted by the international break they fail to build any momentum, whilst at the same time are subjected to the pressure cooker atmosphere that comes with the transfer window and fans’ heightened – and often – unrealistic preseason expectations.” backpagefootball