ESPN FC 100: Messi, Lewandowski, Oblak among No. 1s; Premier League has most representatives

December 4, 2021


“For the sixth consecutive year, ESPN presents its annual ranking of the best men’s players and coaches in world soccer! Welcome to FC 100. As always, rankings are broken down into Top 10 lists for positions, plus a countdown of managers, in order to present the most meaningful look at talent on the pitch and the sideline. Whereas last year was dominated by Liverpool and Bayern Munich — the clubs combined for eight of the 10 No. 1 spots — the leaders in this year’s edition are spread across six teams, with none having more than two men on top of their respective category. …”
ESPN (Video)
Go to: Goalkeeper | Right-back | Centre-back | Left-back | Central midfield | Attacking midfield | Winger | Forward | Striker | Manager


The rise of Ralf Rangnick, godfather of German coaching, manager of Manchester United

December 4, 2021


“This week wasn’t the first time Ralf Rangnick had been interviewed for a job at Manchester United. Or that’s how it felt to him, at least. In the autumn of 2019, United’s football director John Murtough travelled to Leipzig to study the Red Bull football group’s facilities and corporate strategy. A proud Rangnick, eager to show off a Champions League club he had essentially built himself, hosted Murtough for eight hours, at the end of which the German sensed that the real reason for the visit might have been him. His suspicion that he had been sounded out was strengthened when he got word that an unnamed club was conducting background research into his working methods, tapping into his mentor Helmut Gross, a trained structural engineer turned tactical maverick, and Lars Kornetka, a long-time Rangnick collaborator, for insight into his footballing beliefs and his character. …”
The Athletic
W – Ralf Rangnick
YouTube: Brief History Of: Ralf Rangnick


Scipio Africanus and the Carthaginians: The Flank Dilemma in the Premier League

December 2, 2021


“… As funny as this may sound, the famous general was actually right. But the question is, how do you make the other bastard look dumb? Well… you deploy the best tricks up your sleeve to fool them. Let’s rewind back to the Third Punic War when Scipio Africanus ran a ‘clever trick’ on the Carthaginians at the Battle of Ilipa. Both the Romans and the Carthaginians had armies composed of their well-trained, homegrown soldiers and not-so reliable Iberian allies, almost half/half for each. For a few days, the two armies were camped close to each other and would come out during the day and form up. Scipio always put his legionnaires in the center and positioned his Iberians on the wings, whilst the Carthaginians followed their lead and did the same with their army and engaged in a staring contest. …”
Breaking The Lines


Marcelo Bielsa Is Right To Raise Doubts About The Future Of Football

November 30, 2021


“The hectic festive football schedule is a fundamental part of British society around Christmas. So much so that football fans always look ahead to who their teams are facing around the holidays and to them it is very much one of the best things around the Christmas period. But with the growing physical demands of the game and congested schedule, it may be time to sacrifice in the entertaining cluster of fixtures in quick succession to have matches filled with more energy and quality. …”
The Sportsman


2021 Copa Libertadores Final: Palmeiras 2 – Flamengo 1

November 29, 2021


“The 2021 Copa Libertadores Final was the final match which decided the winner of the 2021 Copa Libertadores. This was the 62nd edition of the Copa Libertadores, the top-tier South American continental club football tournament organized by CONMEBOL. The match was played on 27 November 2021 at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, Uruguay, between Brazilian sides Palmeiras and Flamengo. Palmeiras defeated Flamengo by a 2–1 score after extra time in the final to win their third title in the tournament, and second in a row. As winners of the 2021 Copa Libertadores, they qualified for the 2021 FIFA Club World Cup and earned the right to play against the winners of the 2021 Copa Sudamericana in the 2022 Recopa Sudamericana. …”
Wikipedia
Libertadores 2021: The Final Chapter (Nov 25, 2021)
YouTube: Palmeiras (BRA) vs Flamengo (BRA) | LIBERTADORES FINAL HIGHLIGHTS | 11/27/21


A Guide to 4-4-2

November 27, 2021


“One of the most traditional formations in football, the classic 4-4-2, has fallen out of favor with many of the top sides around the world. Why has it fallen out of favour? How can it be used effectively? Written by Eric Laurie, illustrated by Philippe Fenner. …”
YouTube


What’s so special about the half-spaces? (With help from Rene Maric)

November 25, 2021


“Back in 2014, Rene Maric was a football tactics blogger training a team of amateurs when he got curious about a geometry he’d come across in coaching circles. Managers like Jurgen Klopp and Ralf Rangnick didn’t just divide the pitch into vertical halves or thirds. They talked about five horizontal zones running the length of the field, like the ones Pep Guardiola chalked on his training pitch at Bayern Munich to help guide players’ spacing and movement. The outside zones were easy to name; those were the wings. The middle was the middle. Germans had a specific term for the two bands in between: halbraum, or ‘half-spaces’. Maric admitted it was ‘not a good word’ in English, but for lack of any better ideas, the name stuck. He wrote a long post for Spielverlagerung on what made these two extra zones worth paying attention to. …”
The Athletic
Guardian – From chatroom to the bootroom: Rene Maric’s very modern coaching journey (Sep. 2018)
W – René Marić


Analyzing Xavi’s First Game as Barcelona Manager

November 25, 2021


“Xavi finally made his debut as a coach in the Barcelona dugout. Since the departure of Lionel Messi at the beginning of the season, it has been evident that this season is going to be very difficult for Barcelona. As Antoine Griezmann was released on the transfer window deadline day, Barcelona’s star-studded forward line suddenly began to cross the line into agony. It appeared that Ronald’s Koeman’s dismissal was only a matter of time. Xavi finally made his debut in the Barcelona dugout after a short spell of 3 matches by Sergi Barjuan. However, the path in front of Xavi is not smooth at all. Barcelona has been out of the top four in the league table for a long time, and the threat of being eliminated from the Champions League group stage is quite real. In this team, Xavi does not have a specific target man except Luke de Jong, but his performance should not persuade Xavi to include him in the lineup. …”
Breaking The Lines


Cox: City can beat elite teams without a prolific forward – it’s against the cautious sides it becomes a problem 

November 23, 2021


“Sometimes it feels like every Manchester City game is a test of whether playing without a prolific forward is viable, and the consensus can swing wildly from one match to the next. But City’s upcoming week might demonstrate why. On Wednesday, they face Paris Saint-Germain — a side averaging 62 per cent possession in Ligue 1, and naturally attack-minded by virtue of having multiple superstar forwards. Either side of PSG’s visit, City host Everton and West Ham United, two of the more cautious sides in the Premier League. Everton are averaging just 41 per cent of possession, the fourth-least in the league, and while West Ham are more positive in that respect, only Newcastle United pressure the opposition less frequently in the final third than David Moyes’ side. City’s next three opponents are typical of their managers. …”
The Athletic – Michael Cox


What has gone wrong at Southampton?

November 21, 2021


“Southampton were once known for their savvy in the transfer market and their dedication to promoting from their youth teams. But Southampton – ‘savvy in the transfer market’ became Southampton – ‘a selling club’, and in recent years they have been unable to reproduce the talent they have lost. How did they form a team of such talent? Why haven’t they done it since? What is their plan going forward? Alex Stewart explains, Philippe Fenner illustrates.”
YouTube


‘I have ambition to manage an elite team, but I am in no hurry’ – Xabi Alonso happy to learn at Real Sociedad

November 21, 2021


“‘My role here is fundamental,’ Xabi Alonso tells The Athletic as he shelters from the rain by a pitch at Real Sociedad’s Zubieta training ground. The former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder is now back home in the Basque Country, at the club where he developed as a player and where his current job is to coach the youth team, Real Sociedad B (which they all call Sanse). … The evidence suggests that Alonso and everyone else working at Zubieta have indeed been getting this right. Very right. Real Sociedad’s first team are top of La Liga, Alonso’s Sanse are the only youth team playing in the adult Segunda Division. …”
The Athletic


The Tactics behind Union Saint-Gilloise’s Belgian Title Challenge

November 16, 2021


“The Jupiler Pro League (Belgian first division A) has largely been dominated in recent years by just a handful of teams. You would have to go back to 1997 to find a champion whose name isn’t Club Brugge, Gent, Genk, Anderlecht, or Standard Liege. If you travel all the way back to 1935, you enter an era dominated by Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. USG won three titles between 1932 and 1935, and after hibernating for over 70 years, they are back at the top of the table. Only promoted last season, they currently lead perennial champions Club Brugge by 4 points. … Many interesting dives into the rise, fall, and resurrection of the club under Brighton chairman Tony Bloom have been written. Few though have studied the tactical setup of USG though, and how manager Felice Mazzu has swept aside the heavyweights of the Benelux. There’s a wholesome uniqueness about the attack, and a riskier edge to their defence. …”
Breaking The Lines


What it’s like to play for Steven Gerrard: Intense, obsessive winner and creates a ‘no excuses’ culture

November 14, 2021


Steven Gerrard has swapped the marble staircase of Ibrox for the concrete one that leads into Villa Park. They are two stadiums whose brick facades possess an enduring character and whose designs were concocted by the same architect, Scotsman Archibald Leitch. When it comes to talk of building things that last, though, they now have another common denominator in Gerrard, who arrives at Villa looking to make them into a force again, just as he did over his three and a half seasons in charge at Rangers. He is a manager seeking one final destination in Liverpool but who is plotting a path by restoring similarly grand clubs — particularly, those giants who are sleeping. ..”
The Athletic (Video)
The Athletic – Gerrard’s Aston Villa in-tray: Solve defensive issues, get more out of Buendia and Bailey, invest in youth (Video)
W – Steven Gerrard


How Football Actually Works

November 14, 2021


“The game of football can be divided, split, and broken down into many elements. But as a team, there are certain passages of play you will always encounter. In this video, we will explain the 10 categories of phases of play; In-possession, out of possession, transitions, and set-pieces. Explained by Eric Laurie. Illustrated by Philippe Fenner.”
YouTube


Patrick Vieira – Crystal Palace – Tactical Analysis

November 12, 2021


“After Roy Hodgson’s retirement from the game, many thought Crystal Palace were doomed for relegation. However, with a couple of new signings and a more energetic, attack-minded style of play, Patrick Vieira has taken Palace to new heights. While they sit just tenth place in the table, Vieira’s Eagles have now gone unbeaten in their last six matches, including a massive 2-0 win to set title-contenders Manchester City back a peg. Even in matches they’ve lost the season, the signs of what’s to come from Palace in the future are promising. So with that, here is a tactical analysis of Patrick Vieira’s new-look Crystal Palace. …”
The Mastermindsite
How Patrick Vieira’s Impressive Tactical Revolution Is Taking Shape at Crystal Palace (Sep 23, 2021)
W – Patrick Vieira


Why you should be watching… Napoli

November 12, 2021


“Luciano Spalletti is crafting a Napoli side with the characteristics of his recent predecessors. Possession-based and quick in attack, like the side of Sarri. Ruthless in defensive with a cohesive press, like the sides of Ancelotti and Gattuso. And as Alex Stewart explains, the first title since 1990 isn’t out of the question. Illustrated by Henry Cooke. …”
YouTube


‘You either improve or you die’ – What it’s like to play for Antonio Conte

November 9, 2021


“After the Tottenham squad had spoken to their colleagues at Chelsea about what to expect from Antonio Conte as head coach, some felt a degree of trepidation. This is perhaps understandable. After all, they would have been told about the ferocious work ethic, the instructions during training that are so relentless he has to constantly suck throat lozenges and the volcanic temper that can erupt when things are not going his way. Most who have worked with Conte have a story or two to tell. … But they will also be working with a head coach who likes to foster a team spirit and camaraderie, and demands that his squad become a tight-knit group. This is what it’s like to play for Antonio Conte…”
The Athletic (Video)
W – Antonio Conte


Rennes hammer Lyon and take aim at Champions League places

November 9, 2021


“On a weekend when the other teams in the mix for the European places stumbled – draws for Monaco and Marseille, a defeat for Nice – Sunday night fixture looked like an appealing one, with Lyon traveling to Rennes. It was no shock that the match would feature so much attacking play but it was a surprise that nearly 90% of it came from Rennes. They ran out convincing 4-1 winners to move up to fifth in the table, just a point behind Nice and Marseille. The result was something approaching a shock given Lyon’s impressive recent form and the fact that Rennes were missing a handful of important players. …”
Guardian


History of FC Barcelona

November 9, 2021


Barcelona’s Copa del Rey-winning squad of 1928.
“The history of Futbol Club Barcelona begins from the football club‘s founding in 1899 up until the present day. FC Barcelona, also known simply as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The team was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, English, German and Spanish footballers led by Joan Gamper. The club played amateur football until 1910 in various regional competitions. In 1910, the club participated in their first of many European competitions, and has since amassed fourteen UEFA trophies and a sextuple. In 1928, Barcelona co-founded La Liga, the top-tier in Spanish football, along with a string of other clubs. As of 2020, Barcelona has never been relegated from La Liga, a record they share with Athletic Bilbao and arch-rival Real Madrid. The history of Barcelona has often been political. Though it was a club created and run by foreigners, Barcelona gradually became a club associated with Catalan values. In Spain’s transition to autocracy in 1925, Catalonia became increasingly hostile towards the central government in Madrid. The hostility enhanced Barcelona’s image as a focal point for Catalonism, and when Francisco Franco banned the use of the Catalan language, the stadium of Barcelona became one of the few places the people could express their dissatisfaction. The Spanish transition to democracy in 1978 has not dampened the club’s image of Catalan pride. In the 2000s – a period of sporting success in the club and an increased focus on Catalan players – club officials have openly called for Catalonia to become an independent state. …”
W – History of FC Barcelona
W – Joan Gamper
How society and politics gave us Catenaccio and Total Football
A Brief History Of FC Barcelona
Paulino Alcántara: Barcelona’s Filipino icon who blazed a trail for Messi
The importance of Catalonia – past and present – to Spanish football
In the pantheon of modern-day greats, where do Sergio Busquets’ unique talents rank?
YouTube: Barcelona, Johan Cruyff & Catalan Independence, La Masia: The History of Barcelona’s Academy

Barcelona face PSV in the 1977–78 UEFA Cup semi-finals. They also finished the season as Copa del Rey winners.


West Ham display the virtues of manager Moyes to shock Liverpool

November 8, 2021


“As Pablo Fornals ran on to Jarrod Bowen’s through-ball midway through the second half, the London Stadium fell into one of those pregnant silences that were probably the greatest loss of the time without fans. Over the course of what can only have been two or three seconds but felt far longer, you could almost hear the thought processes. First, was he going to get his shot in? Yes. Then, was he set to measure his finish? He was. Then, was his shot going to beat Alisson? It did, just about, carrying on into the net despite a hefty touch by the keeper. Is the London Stadium still disliked by West Ham fans? Perhaps it is. …”
Guardian: Jonathan Wilson
Guardian: Kurt Zouma earns West Ham victory as Liverpool run ends with Alisson errors
West Ham United 3-2 Liverpool – Tactical Analysis – How Moyes’ Men Claimed Victory


Examining Gasperini’s Tactics & Their Influence on Serie A, Part I: The Seeds of the High Press

November 7, 2021


Roma’s 2016/17 side played a classic Italian style that was Gasperini’s own introduction to senior football as a player in the seventies.
: “A Dutchman praising an Italy side beating his home nation is still a rare sight in football, but you heard the sound of that very pin drop after Louis Van Gaal’s praise this week. ‘For the first time,’ Van Gaal enthused at a Firenze press event, ‘I really loved watching an Italian team play.’ Roberto Mancini’s Italy walked away 1-0 winners against the Netherlands but, for those of us who’ve stuck with Serie A through its 21st century makeover, the manner of Mancini’s foot-ball—one featuring a team effort to win the back high and early—was nothing new. You could say current Serie A coaches Paulo Fonseca and—for a far longer spell of paying his dues over the last fifteen years—Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini have a hand in it. …”
Part I: The Seeds of the High Press
Part II: Moving From Year Zero to Club Legend
Part III: Building a Club Institution

A mid-season midfield partnership between Javier Pastore and Gianluca Mancini helped draw opponents into pressing Roma’s makeshift 4-3-3 phase while building up inside the Giallorossi half.


1.FC St. Pauli: Taking the 2nd Bundesliga by Storm

November 5, 2021


“Bayern Munich’s 5-1 battering of Leverkusen, RB Leipzig’s stuttering start to the season, and Dortmund’s unruly Erling Haaland reliance have all combined to make the 59th Bundesliga season one of the driest title races in recent memory. With the Bavarian giants set to retain their 10th consecutive Meisterschale, it is time to visit the Zweite Bundesliga for hopes of a title challenge. There, Germany’s second division is living up to its billing as The Greatest Zweite Bundesliga of All Time. The numerous fallen giants aren’t just providing a spectacle of unrivaled terrace culture, but the football on the pitch is as competitive as ever, with just 4 points separating 1st and 4th. …”
Breaking the Lines
Breaking the Lines: St Pauli – Culture, Politics, and Pirates


Daniel Levy: Raising Tottenham’s ambitions or thwarting them?

November 5, 2021


“If his words at the time are to be believed, Daniel Levy never planned for it to be this way. His stated intention, when ENIC took over Tottenham Hotspur in 2001, was to hold the fort as non-executive chairman and then find someone more experienced to do the job. Like so many others who find themselves in powerful positions in football, though, he loved the thrill of it. What’s more, he felt he was good at it. Whether it was rival chairmen, managers or agents, Levy relished every negotiation. Oh, how he relished a negotiation. Two decades on, he is arguably the most high-profile executive in the Premier League. Some would say famous. Others, both among Tottenham’s fanbase and among that strange community of Premier League owners and directors, would say infamous. …”
The Athletic (Audio)
The Athletic – Antonio Conte to Tottenham: Why talks broke down in the summer, why it’s happening now and what to expect (Audio)


Youri Tielemans: Why Leicester City Star Is One of the Premier League’s Best Midfielders

November 1, 2021


“A run of two wins in nine games in all competitions had led to all sorts of head-scratching, not to mention a few worried mumblings about Brendan Rodgers and whether he might think fifth place, an FA Cup and a Community Shield was as much as he could realistically achieve at the King Power Stadium. Things have looked a little less scary in the Halloween season, though. That emphatic 4-2 win over Manchester United kick-started a run of four consecutive victories (well, three, plus a shoot-out win against Brighton and Hove Albion in the EFL Cup). OK, they conceded eight goals in those four games, but one thing at a time. Ironically, perhaps the biggest concern for Leicester right now is the major positive of their season: the form of Youri Tielemans. …”
The Analyst
W – Youri Tielemans
YouTube: Youri Tielemans’ wonder goal puts Leicester City in front of Brentford


How Julian Nagelsmann made his mark at Bayern Munich

October 31, 2021


“The tactician has started his stint brightly for the Bavarian club. Julian Nagelsmann arrived at Bayern Munich this summer with a reputation as someone who is not afraid to make changes to ensure success. The 34-year-old hasn’t tinkered as much as expected, however, and a star-studded squad have responded to his promptings with a dominant start to the season. If this is what Bayern are like now, just think about how good they will be when their players are fully used to every little aspect of Nagelsmann’s coaching manual. The former Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig supremo moved to Munich in the summer having proven his ability to bring the best out of players, and now he looks to have earned the respect of some of the biggest names in the game. …”
How Julian Nagelsmann made his mark at Bayern Munich (Video)
W – Julian Nagelsmann
YouTube: Julian Nagelsmann’s Bayern Munich Tactics Explained | Bayern Munich 2021/22 Tactical Analysis


How Barcelona lost their soul

October 31, 2021


“‘This won’t last forever,’ Pep Guardiola said during his final season as coach of Barcelona’s first team in 2012. ‘Sooner or later, we will stop winning. Then is when we will have to see if we have faith in the way we are and the way we play.’ Barcelona had grown used to winning at that point — during Guardiola’s four years as coach they lifted 14 of the 18 trophies available, including two Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles. Everyone around the club was also proud of achieving such success with a team based around homegrown youth products, while playing an attractive style of football they believed was rooted firmly in their club’s unique ‘Barca DNA’.  Almost a decade later, it is fair to say that Barcelona have stopped winning. …”
The Athletic (Video)


Tactics and Thunder: Analysing Antonio Conte’s suitability for Manchester United

October 31, 2021


When deeper, Conte’s teams prioritise compactness over pressure and work to block spaces centrally and force the opponent wide. When the ball is moved, all players move across in unison.
“No one can have missed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to be on the brink at Manchester United and clinging onto his job as the club’s manager. It’s being reported that the Norwegian needs positive results in the coming matches to remain in charge of United, highlighting United’s indecisiveness regarding their managerial situation. Surely, if the club officials were 100% behind Solskjaer, they would keep him regardless of the result at Tottenham on Saturday, or Manchester City next week? Equally, if they doubt him, why is he still in charge? …”
Running the Show (Video)


Zonal Marking: From Ajax to Zidane, the Making of Modern Soccer – Michael Cox

October 29, 2021


August 24, 2019: “In life, it takes time to create successful ideas and concepts. Scientists and researchers spend years, even decades, analyzing and studying data to create trials or a study before publishing the results to the world. … I mention this because it may seem odd at first to take a 17-year period and be able to identify seven overarching and different tactical revolutions in soccer in Europe. However, Michael Cox has long established himself as a tactical observer par excellence and his new book argues that the dominant soccer cultures in Europe in the recent past have existed for merely 2-4 years. Zonal Marking: From Ajax to Zidane, the Making of Modern Soccer makes the claim that we have seen six dominant styles of soccer in Europe since 1992 with each based around a national soccer culture. …”
World Soccer Talk
Intelligent football: Michael Cox and the rise of tactical analysis (Oct 2020)
Zonal Marking
Vox in the Box: Michael Cox
amazon
YouTube: Football Tactics with Michael Cox (Zonal Marking)(Aug 13, 2019)


Why outswinging corners lead to more chances but inswingers lead to more goals

October 28, 2021


“A corner. A roar goes up from the crowd. It puzzled Jose Mourinho when he first came to England how fans reacted to their team winning a corner kick ‘with the same applause as a goal’. Yet corners are a valuable weapon in an attacking team’s armoury. But should they be inswinging or outswinging? In the past 10 Premier League seasons, 3.4 per cent of corners resulted in a goal. So far this season, we are slightly above average at 4 per cent. In fact, last weekend, six teams in separate matches scored goals from a corner. Arsenal, Southampton, Newcastle, Watford, Brentford and West Ham all profited while Chelsea also won a penalty from a corner, which they converted. …”
The Athletic


Visions of the Dutch Big Three

October 27, 2021


“Over the previous international break, we all laughed as Louis van Gaal shot back at a journalist deriding the Netherlands manager for supposedly defensive football. ‘You have a vision for newspapers and that’s fantastic,’ he said. Once the Dutch coasted past Turkey 6-1 the next day, that unspoken next sentence became obvious. It was Van Gaal himself, the man in control of his selection and team tactics, who was the one in the room with the best vision for a football team. Fiery encounters with Dutch journalists are far from confined to the international scene. …”
Football Paradise
W – Big Three (Netherlands)


Manchester United 0 Liverpool 5: Salah hits hat-trick, United’s midfield goes missing and pressure mounts on Solskjaer

October 26, 2021


Manchester United were booed off the pitch at Old Trafford after suffering a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of their fierce rivals Liverpool. The pressure mounts on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose side were outclassed in every area of the pitch during Sunday’s match. Mohamed Salah was the star for Jurgen Klopp’s team, scoring a 12-minute hat-trick (either side of the break). Liverpool remain unbeaten in 13 matches this season across all competitions, and are one point behind Premier League leaders Chelsea. Here, Oliver Kay and Dominic Fifield analyse the key talking points from Old Trafford… ”
The Athletic
Guardian: Salah’s crowning glory for Egypt in sight after feats for club and continent
NY Times: Goals Rain on Manchester United, Covering the Boss With Blame
Guardian: Manchester United rout had been coming: nobody has a clue what they are doing (Jonathan Wilson)
SI – Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool: Mohamed Salah Reaction To Sensational Performance On Instagram (Video)
BBC: Manchester United 0 – 5 Liverpool
The Athletic: Liverpool humiliation should be the death knell for Solskjaer’s reign
The Athletic: Rest, right-side connection, mentality: Lijnders on how Salah has become ‘unstoppable’ for Liverpool (Video)(Oct. 2021)


Cox: Italians are defending free kicks differently to the rest of Europe – is it a good idea?

October 25, 2021


“When an attacking side have a wide free kick, around 40 yards from goal, there is a very established way to defend that situation. The defending team positions themselves in a line, holding an offside trap to keep the opposition away from goal, and then run back and attempt to head the ball clear. Here’s Liverpool doing that away at Atletico Madrid in midweek. This is how almost all big clubs defend this type of situation. Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Paris Saint-Germain all do pretty much the same thing. Chelsea and Manchester City are more aggressive with their positioning, defending higher up, but it’s the same idea. But now, there are outliers — and they’re almost all in Serie A. …”
The Athletic – Michael Cox


How Brentford’s Moneyball Approach Works

October 24, 2021


“Brentford have already shown the Premier League that they will be tough opponents. The fact that they run their club differently to most others has been widely reported. But what do they do differently? How have they adapted the ‘Moneyball’ theory? What other staff departments have they introduced? Written by Alex Stewart, illustrated by Alice Devine. …”
YouTube: How Brentford’s Moneyball Approach Works, The Rise Of Brentford, Barnsley & Moneyball In The Championship! | Explained (May 2021)
W – Brentford F.C.


Football Performance Analysis How Mauricio Pochettino Readapted PSG’s Structure to Reflect His Football Philosophy

October 24, 2021


“Since replacing Thomas Tuchel in early January, Mauricio Pochettino has been able to stamp his mark on Paris Saint-Germain. This is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted. The former Spurs boss hasn’t changed the team radically and it was hard to see a replica of his Tottenham too, as he barely had time to coach the team into his playing style, as PSG played a game every four days since his appointment. The team is made by the players and Pochettino has the exact same ones that Tuchel had, as PSG haven’t signed a single player during the winter transfer window. It’s no surprise then that Pochettino relied heavily on the legacy of Tuchel’s work at the club, only changing small details. Marginal details maybe, but still important enough to shape PSG playing style in a different way, making the new manager’s touch visible on the pitch. …”
Hudl (March 2021)
Five ways PSG could line up with Lionel Messi
YouTube: Pochettino PSG 4-2-3-1 MASTERPIECE | Mauricio Pochettino PSG Tactical Analysis


Why Ronaldo is giving Solskjaer a huge tactical problem

October 19, 2021


“In one sense, Manchester United’s 4-2 defeat by Leicester could be considered something of a freak result. The scoreline was 1-1 for the majority of the game, both sides significantly overperformed their xG, and four of the game’s six goals came in the frenetic final 12 minutes — three of them scored by Leicester. It was one of those brilliant periods where strategy and tactics go out of the window, giving way to chaos and luck. … The poster boy for their current malaise, of course, is Cristiano Ronaldo. …”
The Athletic


Portugal in the 21st Century – The Cost of Gold

October 17, 2021


Atlas Van der Hage
“The European Championships this summer were a lesson in team play, for both the robust attacking outfits and the overly conservative. Disregarding his country’s catenaccio history, Roberto Mancini looked to dominate play even against the brilliant Spanish, the summer’s premier ball-hoggers, and Italy were crowned eventual tournament winners on the back of brilliant team goals. Roberto Martinez’s Belgium set up with three defenders and focused heavily on attacking play, as did a somewhat lackluster Germany. On the flipside, France were unable to repeat their 2018 triumph with Didier Deschamps sticking to a pragmatic tactical setup. Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions similarly played deep and found few moments of true attacking promise, but their cohesiveness worked wonders. And then there was Portugal. They, like France and England, typically played deep, negative football, but their only respite came from one man, not their teamwork or cohesion. …”
Football Paradise


Which player at your club should be getting more minutes?

October 17, 2021


“As the Premier League returns, there is a player at every club (well, apart from Crystal Palace apparently) that you feel should be getting more minutes on the pitch. He might have battled back from injury, struggled to make an impact since joining last summer, or be a teenager who is still developing but he might just be the difference — if only your manager takes a chance on him. The Athletic’s data analyst Tom Worville has produced squad profiles for each club to show the number and percentage of minutes played when set against the age of the player in question. You can expect to see most of the footballers our writers have chosen in the bottom left-hand corner — i.e. they’re young and have not had many minutes so far this season — but there are exceptions. Let us know whether you agree with the selection for your club in the comments section below… ”
The Athletic


Luciano Spalletti – Napoli – Tactical Analysis

October 16, 2021


“Since taking over from Gennarro Gattuso in May 2021, Luciano Spalletti has turned Napoli into one of Serie A’s most formidable units. While a fifth place finish in the 2020-21 season was a fine result for Gli Azzurri, it wasn’t what they had hoped for, nor what they could have achieved. In came Spalletti and POOF(!) the team are now on an unbeaten run at the start of the 2021-22 season, winning seven from seven. After Inter Milan broke Juventus’ long-standing record last season, the Napoli faithful will now be hoping Serie A might be theirs for the taking this year. Here is a tactical analysis of Luciano Spalletti’s new-look Napoli. …”
The Mastermindsite
Forbes: Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli Top Early Serie A Table, But Can They Challenge For The Scudetto? (Video)
Napoli appoint Luciano Spalletti as new head coach
W – Luciano Spalletti
The Moments that Cost Roma the 2010 Scudetto (Video) (April 2020), Where Did It All Go Wrong for Luciano Spalletti? Part II: 2008-2017 (Video)


False 9 / El Clásico

October 13, 2021


“… The false 9, in some ways similar to a more advanced attacking midfielder/playmaker role, is an unconventional lone striker or centre-forward, who drops deep into midfield. The purpose of this is that it creates a problem for opposing centre-backs who can either follow the false 9, leaving space behind them for onrushing midfielders, forwards or wingers to exploit, or leaving the false 9 to have time and space to dribble or pick out a pass. The term comes from the traditional number for centre-forwards (nine), and the fact that normally a centre-forward traditionally stayed near the line of defenders until they got an opportunity to move past them toward goal. Key attributes for a false 9 are similar to those of a deep-lying striker: dribbling ability to take advantage of space between the lines, good short passing ability to link up with the midfield and vision to play through teammates making runs from deep to goal. The first false 9 in a World Cup was Juan Peregrino Anselmo in the Uruguay national team, although he could not play the match against Argentina in the 1930 World Cup due to injury. Matthias Sindelar was the false 9 of the Wunderteam, the Austria national team, in 1934. … By the end of 2012, the False 9 had gone “mainstream” with many clubs employing a version of the system. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has been an exponent of the false 9 position to much success in recent years, first under coach Pep Guardiola and later under his successor Tito Vilanova. …”
W – False 9
The Evolution of the False 9 Role
YouTube: What is a False Nine?, Why Is Every Team Using the False 9? | False 9 Tactics Explained
W – El Clásico
How Barcelona lost their soul
Barcelona’s eight greatest Clasicos


Euro 2020: Wide players key as England beat Ukraine to book final semi-final spot – tactical analysis

October 13, 2021


“The Euro 2020 knockouts have featured some brilliant clashes that have been both entertaining from a visual as well as a tactical point of view. With three teams already having booked their semi-final berths, the final spot will be battled by Ukraine and world-cup semi-finalists England. This tactical analysis will discuss the tactics deployed by both teams and will look into how Gareth Southgate’s men triumphed over their opponents. Let’s begin the analysis. …”
Total Football Analysis


How many touches should a forward have in a game of football?

October 10, 2021


“It has become an increasingly common sight in football broadcasting. In the 50th minute of Manchester City’s trip to Liverpool, an in-game graphic popped up on the screen to reveal which player had made the fewest touches in the game so far. At that point, Diogo Jota’s 17 were the fewest, with Liverpool’s front three all among the bottom five. The question to ask when seeing such statistics is — is that good or bad? When using data in football, one of the key duties of care is to ensure it is surrounded in context, to better understand why these statistics are useful in the game. So with this in mind, how many touches should a forward have in a game of football? And importantly, do such numbers matter when assessing a forward’s performance? …”
The Athletic


Louis van Gaal may be rude and stubborn but his vision should be celebrated

October 10, 2021


“… The 70-year-old glares from behind the desk. ‘You have no idea at all,’ he says to the 58-year-old Valentijn Driessen, who writes for De Telegraaf, wants the Netherlands to play 4-3-3 and has implied a back three is inherently defensive. ‘I’m sorry to say it, but you’re just a journalist. You want to implement your vision, but you have no vision in football. You have a vision for the newspaper, fantastic.’ Louis van Gaal’s third stint in charge of the Netherlands national team has only just entered its third month, but already there have been a series of moments of memorable directness. Could it be that Van Gaal is even more blunt than before, that age has made him even less tolerant of the failings of the rest of the world, that he cares even less for diplomacy? …”
Guardian – Jonathan Wilson
W – Louis van Gaal


Tiki-taka

October 10, 2021


Tiki-taka or Tiqui-taca ([ˈtikiˈtaka]) is a Spanish style of play in football characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession. The style is primarily associated with Spain national team since 2006 by the managers Luis Aragonés and Vicente del Bosque. Tiki-taka methods were eventually embraced by the La Liga club Barcelona from 2009, especially during the era of manager Pep Guardiola; however, Guardiola distanced himself and the club from the style: ‘I loathe all that passing for the sake of it’, stating, ‘Barça didn’t do tiki-taka!’, adding, ‘You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal’. Its development and influence goes back to Johan Cruyff‘s tenure as manager in the early 1990s all the way to the present. The first goal using this game system is considered to be the one scored in the qualifying match for UEFA Euro 2008, played in Aarhus (Denmark) at October 13, 2007, by Sergio Ramos. …”
Wikipedia
SI: Positioning, possession, pressure define Barcelona’s famous philosophy (Video) (Feb 23, 2015)
W – Vicente del Bosque, W – Luis Aragonés
4-3-3 vs. 4-1-4-1: Tactical Flexibility (April 2019)
YouTube: What is Tiki-Taka?, Barcelona Tiki Taka That Shocked The World


2004–05 Chelsea F.C. season

October 6, 2021


“The 2004–05 season was Chelsea F.C.‘s 91st competitive season, 13th consecutive season in the Premier League and 99th year as a club. Managed by José Mourinho during his first season at the club, Chelsea won the Premier League title (their first league title in 50 years) and the League Cup. … In the Champions League, Chelsea aimed to improve upon their semi-final placing the previous year, but in the end only matched their achievement. They also exited the FA Cup in the fifth round to eventual semi-finalists Newcastle United. …”
Wikipedia
W – José Mourinho
YouTube: How Did Chelsea Win Their First Premier League Title? [And How Good Were Chelsea Before 2005?]


Barcelona’s Suffering Shows No Signs of Abating

October 5, 2021


“It’s been a while since the Wanda Metropolitano was near full capacity. More than 60,000 fans, the largest crowd since before the pandemic began, watched Atlético Madrid welcome Barcelona on Saturday night, though welcome might be the wrong word, as the hosts were anything but hospitable to a Barcelona side arriving in the Spanish capital like a wounded animal following their humbling loss to Benfica on Wedneesday. The home fans could smell blood: The atmosphere in the Wanda was as feverish as it’s ever been, and the occasion marked a reunion between Atlético forward Luis Suárez and his former team. …”
The Ringer


Analyzing Leeds’ Tactics Under Marcelo Bielsa

October 3, 2021


“Since returning to the Premier League after a 16-year absence, Leeds United have become one of the most entertaining teams to watch in Europe, and whilst they have struggled early on with three points from their first six games, they were able to get their first win of the season as an early Diego Llorente goal saw them pick up three points against Watford. Leeds’ devotion to Marcelo Bielsa’s buccaneering style of attacking football has been a great spectacle to watch — a great respite from the dark ages of the past two decades at Elland Road. In this article, I will analyse the tactics which have built Leeds’ free-flowing footballing style, and also the problems which come with it. I will do this by looking at Leeds both in possession and out of possession, beginning with an analysis of their ideas off the ball. …”
Breaking The Lines
W – Marcelo_Bielsa


One of the great Guardiola pressing masterclasses – a tactical breakdown of how Man City beat Chelsea

September 28, 2021


“For the neutral, Saturday’s clash between Chelsea and Manchester City was something of a disappointment. Whereas we might have expected the two title favourites to take the game to one another and create an enthralling high-tempo contest, this was a slow-burning game with few clear-cut goalscoring chances. The culprits, in terms of making the game less exciting than anticipated, were clearly Chelsea. Thomas Tuchel used a 3-5-2 formation — the system he successfully turned to midway through last weekend’s victory over Tottenham Hotspur — and Chelsea desperately lacked creativity or connections between midfield and attack. Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner remained in centre-forward positions but received little service. …”
The Athletic


Lens win in Marseille and set their sights on European football

September 27, 2021


Olympique de Marseille’s Bamba Dieng in action with RC Lens’ Christopher Wooh
It’s no wonder Marseille feature so often in the Sunday evening slot in Ligue 1. Big derbies – such as the clash between Lyon and Saint-Étienne next week – are also chosen for the glamour match of the weekend, but the atmosphere at the Vélodrome has been electric this season and their match against Lens this weekend was no exception. Lens are hardly box office but, after a strong start to the season, they went into the game knowing that a victory would take them above the hosts and into second place in the table. They succeeded, winning a scintillating game 3-2 to show that they might have enough about them to finish in the top six this season. …”
Guardian


Defender (association football)

September 27, 2021


“In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary roles are to stop attacks during the game and prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. Centre backs are usually in pairs, with two full-backs to their left and right, but can come in threes with no full backs. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, sweeper, full-back, and wing-back. The centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialized for certain formations depending on the managers choice of play and adaptation. … The sweeper (or libero) is a more versatile centre-back who ‘sweeps up’ the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero, which is Italian for ‘free’. …”
Wikipedia
Guardian – The Question: Could the sweeper be on his way back? (Jonathan Wilson – Sep. 2009)
Football Tactics for Beginners- The Sweeper Keeper: From Lev Yashin to Manuel Neuer (Dec. 2017)
YouTube: What Happened to Sweepers in Football?, What is a Libero?, What is a Sweeper Keeper?


1998 FIFA World Cup Final

September 26, 2021


Aimé Jacquet – Zinedine Zidane
“The 1998 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match that was played on 12 July 1998 at the Stade de France in the Parisian commune of Saint-Denis to determine the winner of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. The final was contested by defending champions Brazil and the host nation France, marking the first time that a World Cup final was disputed between the host nation and the defending champion. France won the match 3–0 to claim their maiden World Cup, with the timing of the match two days before Bastille Day adding to the significance of the victory. Zinedine Zidane, who was named man of the match, scored twice before half-time and Emmanuel Petit added a third goal in the last minute. The match had an attendance in the region of 75,000. … The match also saw speculation on the condition of the Brazilian striker Ronaldo, who suffered a convulsive fit on the eve of the match. After initially being left out of the team sheet, in spite of his physical state, it was announced just 72 minutes before kick-off that he was going to play. In the match, he sustained an injury in a clash with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez. Although it was believed that the decision to play Ronaldo had backfired, it was understandable as the player had been a crucial member of the side throughout the tournament, having scored four goals and created three more. …”
Wikipedia
Tactical Analysis: France vs. Brazil
W – Aimé Jacquet, W – Roger Lemerre
W – Zinedine Zidane, W – Didier Deschamps
NY Times: Sun Shines on France’s National Heroes
YouTube: Tactics Explained | 1994-1998: A History Of The World Cup, How France’s 4-3-3 won the 1998 World Cup | Tactical Analysis: France 3-0 Brazil | Zidane vs Ronaldo


Analysed: Are Barcelona the new Stoke or are Stoke the new Barcelona?

September 25, 2021


“It’s fair to say that the atmosphere at Barcelona is not exactly rosy at the moment. The off-field chaos is impossible to ignore, with debts of over €1.2 billion meaning one of the world game’s most famous clubs faces the very real prospect of bankruptcy. Of course, such huge financial difficulties have spilt onto the pitch, with Barcelona forced to offload some of their most prized assets — including Lionel Messi, the best player in their history (which is saying something when Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff have also worn their colours). This was always going to lead to a drop-off in quality in Barcelona’s performances on the pitch, but the fans still expect more than they’re getting. …”
The Athletic (Video)
Barcelona’s 54 crosses in one dreadful game – how Koeman’s side are ‘playing like Stoke City’


Jorge Sampaoli is building something special at Marseille

September 24, 2021


“‘Nietzsche thought while walking too,’ said Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli to explain why he constantly paces up and down the touchline. ‘I analyse things better while on the move.’ Following Sampaoli’s arrival in March, Marseille lacked the ferocity and intensity of their coach. Now, however, they are playing with intensity and dynamism, embodying their manager’s snarling, prowling touchline presence. Club and coach are a perfect match and, after years of underachieving, Marseille may have finally found the right formula. Known as a Marcelo Biesla ‘disciple’, even if he quietly rejects the comparison, Sampaoli has based his success this season on a gung-ho outlook. It is working, with four wins and two draws from Marseille’s first six games. …”
Guardian
Jorge Sampaoli: Coach Watch (Video)
W – Jorge Sampaoli
Jorge Sampaoli: 5 things on the inbound Marseille coach


“Ninth time lucky!” – Five things learned as West Ham stun Manchester United in EFL Cup upset at Old Trafford

September 23, 2021


“West Ham rolled up to Old Trafford in the EFL Cup without either of their best centre-backs in Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna, and given the Hammers were in siege defence mode for basically 80 minutes, you would have thought that would come back to haunt him, but it didn’t. United piled on the pressure, sending crosses and passes into the box but in the end it was Dean Henderson who made the bigger saves. That’s down to Craig Dawson and Issa Diop. The centre-back pair were colossal, getting their heads and feet to everything United put in. …”
Squawka
Guardian: West Ham’s Lanzini strikes to knock Manchester United out of Carabao Cup
BBC: Manchester United 0 – 1 West Ham United


Tactical Analysis: Manchester City’s Underlaps

September 22, 2021


“Adherents to the rather loaded term of positional play perceive football to be a game of dynamic spatial occupation. Subsequently, players will move in relation to the ball carrier and their supporting teammates. These reference points mean movements carry implications when working under a 5/7 zone structure which provides the framework for optimal creation of passing angles and maintenance of connections. Movement and subsequent vacation of space sends a signal to rotate, typically on the horizontal axis. …”
Running the Show


Eredivisie Overture: Part One

September 20, 2021


PEC Zwolle vs. Feyenoord in happier, safer times. 16 February 2020
“The Dutch are a society littered with contradictions. Rising waters threaten a country largely below sea level, but it was Amsterdam that served as a breeding ground for the very capitalism which constructed our climate crisis. Nationalism inherent in the Dutch psyche sees Germany as an ‘other’ when in reality the relationship between the two countries is as close as any. The Netherlands became famous in the football world for a revolutionary change in the perception of the game. Today, however, their current state of football is defined in many ways by conservatism. It’s not unlike a nation-state to find itself drowning in its own conflict. …”
Football Paradise


Arrigo Sacchi’s cultural revolution

September 18, 2021


Arrigo Sacchi
“In the early 1990s, the Italian national team were in a distinct crisis. To solve the tactical issues, the Federazione drew on the secret weapon of domestic Italian football: Arrigo Sacchi. The former Milan coach replaced Azeglio Vicini, who had not been able to win the World Cup at home, in 1991. Making its début against Norway, a draw meant that the qualification for the 1992 EURO was definitively over. However, Sacchi’s real goal was to rebuild the Squadra Azzurra – and in the long term to succeed at the 1994 World Cup. In that context, Sacchi relied on the well-known Milan axis composed of Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Costacurta and Franco Baresi. Meanwhile, the 1993 FIFA World Player of the Year, Roberto Baggio, was considered the pivotal point in attack. Certainly missing the qualities of his Dutch players from Sacchi’s Milan days, he was able to work on a coherent system, involving Baggio and the two Rossoneri Roberto Donadoni and Daniele Massaro. A system that, unsurprisingly, was very similar to the one Milan played in the late 1980s. …”
Arrigo Sacchi’s cultural revolution
Arrigo Sacchi: The Tactical Masters (Video)
How Marcello Lippi masterminded the resurgence of Juventus in the 1990s
The footballing fairy tale of Juventus cult hero Moreno Torricelli
How Giovanni Trapattoni adapted his way into legend
Total Football Journeyman: Arrigo Sacchi & The Cult of Universal Player (Video)
W – Marcello Lippi, W – Arrigo Sacchi, W – Giovanni Trapattoni
YouTube: A Brief History of Arrigo Sacchi, The coaching genius who made Juve invincible | Marcello Lippi Interview | Serie A, Legendary: Press Conference with Giovanni Trapattoni

Marcello Lippi


The Blueprint: Five Tactical Trends to Look out for in Juventus vs. Milan

September 16, 2021


“It’s official. The Blueprint’s gone continental. This week, we’re headed to Turin for a Serie A clash that pits the league frontrunners against an old superpower that has since faded. But maybe not in the way you think. Milan travel to Juventus with the sides in two very different frames of mind.  Juventus’ start has been troublesome to put it kindly, and downright dreadful if we are being less kind.  Defeat to Napoli last Saturday left Massimiliano Allegri’s side with just one point from their opening three fixtures, and they sit in 16th place. It’s the first time they’ve failed to win at least one of their first three Serie A matches in 52 years. …”
The Analyst


Traps, Overloads and Vertical Transitions – Benitez’s Everton’s Use of Wide Pressing Traps and How It Can Facilitate the Toffees in Possession Approach

September 14, 2021


“As Everton meandered to another mid-table finish in Carlo Ancelotti’s first full season, something which has become more common than not in recent years, it suffices to say Everton fans looked ahead to the summer transfer window wondering what direction Ancelotti and Marcel Brands would take Everton’s squad, some with trepidation considering the scattergun recruitment of the club in recent years. However, the Merseyside team saw their plans thrown into disarray when Ancelotti was chosen by Florentino Perez to return to Real Madrid at the start of June, leaving Everton searching for another permanent manager, another common feeling for Everton and its fans in recent years. Following a three-week managerial search, Farhad Moshiri and Everton turned to Rafael Benitez on a three-year contract to lead the team into the upcoming season and beyond. …”
Breaking The Lines
Rafa Benítez: Coach Watch (Video)
The Athletic: What it’s like to play for Rafa Benitez (Video)
W – Rafael Benítez
YouTube: Everton’s new system under Rafael Benitez | Premier League Tactics Session


Cox: Mane spinning both ways makes him a dangerous option through the middle

September 14, 2021


“Not for the first time, Sadio Mane’s fine performance in Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Leeds was overshadowed by the contribution of Mohamed Salah. It was the Egyptian who scored Liverpool’s opener, which brought up his 100th Premier League goal and inevitably dominated the headlines. Mane had to wait until the 92nd minute — and his 10th shot of the match — before getting onto the scoresheet. But this was a contest made for Mane, against a Leeds side using their typically aggressive man-to-man press across the pitch. Whereas Salah was a threat primarily with his speed in behind, Mane was capable of coming short to receive the ball to feet, spinning past opponents and turning in either direction. He was Liverpool’s key attacker. …”
The Athletic
BBC – Leeds 0-3 Liverpool: Fabinho & Salah star as Liverpool look back at their best – Stephen Warnock (Video)


Catenaccio

September 13, 2021


Catenaccio (Italian pronunciation: [kateˈnattʃo]) or The Chain is a tactical system in football with a strong emphasis on defence. In Italian, catenaccio means ‘door-bolt’, which implies a highly organised and effective backline defence focused on nullifying opponents’ attacks and preventing goal-scoring opportunities. … The key innovation of Catenaccio was the introduction of the role of a libero (‘free’) defender, also called ‘sweeper’, who was positioned behind a line of three defenders. The sweeper’s role was to recover loose balls, nullify the opponent’s striker and double-mark when necessary. Another important innovation was the counter-attack, mainly based on long passes from the defence. In Helenio Herrera’s version of catenaccio in the 1960s, he used a 5–3–2 formation, in which four man-marking defenders were tightly assigned to the opposing attackers while an extra player, the sweeper, would pick up any loose ball that escaped the coverage of the defenders. The emphasis of this system in Italian football spawned the rise of many top Italian defenders who became known for their hard-tackling and ruthless defending. …”
Wikipedia
Football Tactics For Beginners: Catenaccio
YouTube: Catenaccio explained