Team Comparisons: Good (and Bad) in the Premier League

November 26, 2016

“Twelve games have passed in the Premier League and there’s value in looking at comparative historical numbers at various points. It’s a good time to take stock because a) it’s starting to become a vaguely decent sample and b) I have a load of numbers stored at twelve games because i’ve written this before. This is the eighth season of Opta data that has been published publicly around the place and with every season that passes, the more interesting the outliers become.” Stats Bomb

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Brendan Rodgers, the beauty of 3-4-2-1 and its potency as a tactical weapon

November 18, 2016

“In a modern world in which style so often matters more than substance – and at times neither seems to matter much at all – moments of significance can be lost amid the swirl. It’s easy to dismiss Brendan Rodgers’ last full season at Liverpool: the ineffectiveness of Mario Balotelli, the falling out with Raheem Sterling, the final-day humiliation at Stoke … and yet it also included a nugget of genuine tactical innovation. It’s not to say that Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola or Serbia’s Slavoljub Muslin have copied Rodgers or have in any way learned directly from him to point out that all have, this season, employed some of his model with success – and Rodgers, it might also be pointed out, was inspired by Paulo Sousa.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


The Question: what is a centre-forward?

November 6, 2016

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“hat is a centre-forward? It is a question that is far harder to answer now than it used to be. The suggestion that Pep Guardiola may not be entirely happy with Sergio Agüero seemed at first bizarre. How, realistically, could a player of his ability, his goalscoring capacity – 109 league goals in five seasons at City, despite injuries – be doubted? For a modern striker, though, goals are only part of it.” Guardian – Jonathan Wilson


Flashbacks To Vietnam and Bad LSD, Via Selhurst Park

November 6, 2016

“The first half of Liverpool’s latest stirring victory was like a bad acid trip I took after returning from Vietnam in 1969, two years before I was even born. Everything went fuzzy and there was some Doors music playing, possibly at half-speed. Every time Palace went forward it was like someone else’s life – indeed, the lives of lots of people – flashed before my eyes, all amidst vague shouts of ‘Tomkins, you fucked up there! You lost your man…’.” Tomkins Times


Jürgen Klopp teaches Liverpool the art of filling space dynamically

November 2, 2016

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“Liverpool remain a work in progress but it’s coming together promisingly. During Jürgen Klopp’s first campaign at Anfield the players adapted quickly to his high-energy, heavy-pressing system and regularly disrupted the opposition’s passing but they only sporadically formulated quick, incisive attacking moves themselves.” Guardian – Michael Cox, Michael Cox


Change Is Coming at Arsenal, but Is It Enough to Make the Difference?

October 27, 2016

“Five teams at the top of the Premier League, divided by a single point. Even their goal difference varies by only two. Yet it’s impossible not to view all five teams differently, in part because of the fixture list and in part because past performance inevitably affects how we view the present.” bleacher report


Tactical Analysis: Liverpool 0-0 Manchester United | Mourinho successfully stifles Klopp

October 23, 2016

“In one of the most anticipated Monday Night Football games in years, José Mourinho reminded his critics of his managerial capabilities with an outstanding, if ugly, defensive performance at Anfield. Limiting a Liverpool side that had scored 28 goals in their last 11 home league matches to just three shots on target was no easy task, even if there was arguably justifiable criticism over Mourinho’s unwillingness to play a more expansive, attacking game.” Outside of the Boot