Pep Guardiola wins tactical battle with José Mourinho in Manchester derby

September 12, 2016

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“José Mourinho was quick to criticise his players after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Manchester City. ‘A few players were below the level,’ he complained. ‘Sometimes players disappoint managers.’ But Mourinho’s tactical blunder was equally to blame for Manchester United’s poor first-half performance and their improvement after the break owed much to his change of formation. City’s most dangerous players in Pep Guardiola’s 4-3-3 system are the two advanced central midfielders, David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.” Guardian – Michael Cox

José Mourinho’s faith in Wayne Rooney faces biggest test in Manchester derby
“It’s probably just as well the Manchester derby is happening so early in the season. There’s only so much fevered anticipation, so much guarded politeness, so many unconvincing insistences that they get along fine that a league can take. Certainly, there’s only so often it can be pointed out that beating Bournemouth, Southampton and Hull or Sunderland, Stoke and West Ham is all very well but the real test will come in the derby.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson

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Klopp and Liverpool – Sowing the Seeds of Something Special?

September 12, 2016

“During the summer I noted on this site that, excluding the first couple of months of following his arrival, almost every time Jürgen Klopp fielded a strong team in his partial debut season he got a performance (and usually a win). The immediate form after he took over was very mixed – in part due to fitness issues, and tactical misunderstandings – but the later form was almost always excellent, except when he had to resort to weaker line-ups to balance the insane number of games.” Tomkins Times


We Could Crush the World – Yugolavia’s Shattered Dreams

September 12, 2016

“Football so often is a tale of journeys, of teams, individuals and clubs. For some, those journeys end in glorious triumph; the Germans’ victory in the World Cup last year was the culmination of 14 years extraordinary work following their awful performances in Euro 2000. For most though, the journey ends in failure and the empty feeling of what might have been. One team that had so much promise to be cruelly wrenched away from them by politics and civil war was the Yugoslav team of the early 1990’s, and in particular, its team at the 1990 World Cup in Italy.” Football Pink


The enduring bond between Torino and River Plate

September 12, 2016

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“When Lucas Boyé struck a looping wonder goal from the edge of the box on his Torino debut last month, he did much more than announce himself on the Italian football scene. The Argentine’s dipping effort – spectacular as it was – also carried the weight of history behind it. Boyé, after all, arrived in Italy from River Plate, the Buenos Aires club whose links to Torino go back more than half a century to the most tragic day in Italian football history, 4 May 1949. That was the day the Grande Torino died, an entire squad wiped out when the plane carrying them home from a friendly game at Benfica crashed into the Superga hillside overlooking Turin amidst the thick fog that hangs so often above the Po Valley.” the set pieces (Video)


StatsBomb: Premier League Round Up, Week 4

September 12, 2016

“We’re four games in and have a little more to chew on. Statistical categories are a fair way off providing strong answers and schedules are masking plenty of truths but the hints are getting stronger and even at this early juncture the new order is starting to look a hell of a lot like the old order, or at least the order we used to know before all the cards got thrown up in the air last season. Let’s have a quick spin around the league and see what we can pick up.” Stats Bomb


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

September 12, 2016

“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. Starting with playing out from the back, it is essential that Guardiola’s teams always have a spare man over the opponents in order to make possession retention more seamless.” Outside of the Boot


‘Celtic have disappeared off into the distance and left Rangers behind’

September 12, 2016

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“All that was missing from the home fans was the collective, and mocking, cry of ‘Ole!’ as each pass found its target. It was late in the game at Celtic Park. Rangers were one down in numbers on the field after Philippe Senderos’ red card, one down on the touchline after Davie Weir, the Rangers assistant manager, was sent to the stand, and 4-1 down on the scoreboard after Moussa Dembele scored a hat-trick and Scott Sinclair scored in his fifth successive domestic match for his new club.” BBC