Tactical Philosophy: Vincenzo Montella

January 4, 2017

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“Born in Castello di CisternaItaly, Montella has represented his country in 20 international games. He is nicknamed L’Aeroplanino, in reference to his small stature and trademark goal celebration, in which he spread his arms like wings. Montella began his managerial career as Roma’s caretaker manager in 2011, later coaching Catania the following season. In 2012, he moved to Fiorentina, where he spent three seasons, leading the club to three consecutive fourth-place league finishes, the 2014 Coppa Italia Final, and the UEFA Europa League semi-finals in 2015. Despite a successful stint at La Viola, he was sacked as he failed to reach the Champions League spots and he was accused of lack of respect shown to the Fiorentina powers. The following season he joined Sampdoria before going on to join Milan in 2016.” Outside of the Boot


Germany’s ‘second wave’ is giving more opportunities to young coaches

January 4, 2017

“The revolving door of Premier League management turned again with Bob Bradley’s sacking from Swansea City. For the second December running, first-team coach Alan Curtis has been appointed as interim boss as the Swans search for the right man to keep them up. Were this situation played out in Germany, then Curtis would stand a better chance of getting the job full-time – as shown by recent events at Augsburg. It probably slipped under your footballing radar that the Bundesliga club promoted youth team coach Manuel Baum to be in charge of first-team matters on a permanent basis.” the set pieces


Tactical Analysis: Watford 1 – 1 Crystal Palace – Mazzarri’s tactical change stopped Sam Allardyce from winning his first game as the new manager of Crystal Palace

January 4, 2017

“Mazzari’s Watford welcomed Crystal Palace and their new manager Sam Allardyce or ‘Big Sam’ as many choose to call him, to Vicarage Road. This was a game with lots of differences between the two teams. The continuously imposing multinational Watford with Mazzari and his Italian-inspired football, against Crystal Palace and their more British-inspired squad and football philosophy with the nowadays coach Sam Allardyce at the forefront.” Outside of the Boot


Book review: Preston North End – The Rise of the Invincibles by Michael Barrett and David Sque

January 4, 2017

“Ostensibly, this is the story of the 1888-89 unbeaten double-winning Preston North End team in comic book form. As it is, there’s enough reason right there to dive straight in. After all, there’s not a lot to dislike, especially given that the artist responsible for the illustrations is David Sque, who worked on Roy of the Rovers. But let’s take it up a notch. This graphic novel by Michael Barrett – born minutes away from Deepdale – tells not only the tale of the immortal 1888-89 season but also the rise of the professional game as we know it, and the growth of the cotton industry against the socio-economic backdrop of the rise of the working classes in northern England in the late Victorian era.” Football Pink


All Guns Blazing: The Sutton United Story

January 4, 2017

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“Matt Tubbs has been here before. The journeyman striker made his name with goals in FA Cup giant-killings for both Salisbury and Crawley Town before going on to enjoy a league career with the likes of Bournemouth and Portsmouth. Now he is back in that familiar role as the spearhead of an overachieving non-league side as his new club Sutton United prepare to take on one of his former teams, AFC Wimbledon, in the FA Cup third round. There may be an element of familiarity about it all for Tubbs, but there is no disguising his excitement as he sizes up the task facing Sutton in front of a sell-out 5,000-strong crowd at the Borough Sports Ground this Saturday.” the set pieces


Celtic’s rivals face mission impossible; Rob Maclean picks his team of the (half) year

January 4, 2017

“The big problem for Rangers and Aberdeen in trying to play Scottish Premiership catch-up is that runaway leaders Celtic are no sitting target. Manager Brendan Rodgers had some chilling words for the chasing pack after Celtic ended 2016 with their third Old Firm win of the season so far. If they beat St Johnstone in their first game after the winter break, they’ll be 22 points clear at the top after 21 matches. Rodgers says his team, already far too good for any domestic challenge, will be even better on the back of the January shutdown. Celtic will aim to get the title won at what could be a ridiculously early stage, take their first steps towards completing a treble and further strengthen the squad for another crack at the Champions League next season.” BBC


Tactical Analysis: Southampton 1-4 Tottenham | Tottenham bypass the press

January 4, 2017

“Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur travelled to a buoyant St.Mary’s on Wednesday night, with a view of winning their first away game since their 2-1 win at Riverside over Middlesbrough. Spurs, who have lost only two games this season – the least in the league, alongside Liverpool and Chelsea, were also on the lookout for their third consecutive win following their disappointing loss to Manchester United at Old Trafford.” Outside of the Boot