Races tighten in La Liga, Serie A; Manchester City stumbles again

January 19, 2017

“While the Bundesliga continues to remain on break, the title races came alive in two of Europe’s other preeminent leagues as Real Madrid and Juventus both slumped to surprise defeats to reignite the drama atop La Liga and Serie A. In England, Pep Guardiola has more problems to deal with at Manchester City, which is now out of the Champions League spots and 10 points behind Chelsea in the Premier League. Meanwhile, there is a new owner in Ligue 1 at one of France’s clubs hoping to rebound and rediscover greatness. This is what caught our eye around Europe this weekend. SI

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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


Juventus 1-0 Roma | Leaders extend their lead at the top

December 27, 2016

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“After successfully seeing out Milan in Rome, Luciano Spalletti took his men to the home of defending champions. The two sides met in the top of the table clash which was expected to be the biggest game of the season so far. As Juventus looked to extend their lead at the top of the table, Roma wanted to close in on the deficit. Along with the three points, Juventus wanted the win badly since it would mark their 25th consecutive league win at home, a record which is already being held by them.” Outside of the Boot


Manchester City bounce back to leave Wenger fuming – Football Weekly

December 19, 2016

“It must be (nearly) Christmas, because on today’s Football Weekly, my true love sent to me AC Jimbo, Barry Glendenning, Paolo Bandini, and Barney Bloody Ronay! … We then brush aside the Premier League and turn our attention to Italy, where Juventus saw off Roma in a top o’ the table Serie A clash. Finally, we hear from our long lost pal Sid Lowe about Real Madrid’s victory in the World Club Cup final and the state of play in La Liga, which has downed tools until the new year. Rafa Honigstein will be with us for Thursday’s show, so if you have a question for the World’s Greatest Bavarian, post it on the blog below.” Guardian (Video)


AC Milan: The Rise of the Fallen Idols

December 15, 2016

“With 18 officially recognized UEFA & FIFA titles, AC Milan are the third most successful club in the world and the second most decorated club in Europe after Real Madrid, at least in terms of trophies won. Gradually all the cherishment of their accolades started to fade as things didn’t work out for the seven time Champions league winners in the past five years. When they won their seventh European Cup in 2007, Milan were five ahead of Barcelona and only two behind Real Madrid, but in the past nine years Real have extended their lead by two more and Barca have closed to within two of Europe’s second most successful club.” Outside of the Boot


Tactical Analysis: AS Roma 1-0 AC Milan | Chess match settled by Nainggolan

December 15, 2016

“You’d be forgiven for thinking that Monday night’s matchup between Serie A giants Roma and AC Milan was going to be the game of the season so far. The Stadio Olimpico played host to what promised to be a tantalizing affair between 2nd and 3rd place, both tied on points and both desperate to keep up with Juventus at the top of the table. Despite Milan’s impressive form heading into the game; one loss in their last twelve games in all competitions; their inexperience on the field without veteran Montolivo showed as they struggled to hold onto the ball and maintain pressure for any extended period of time.” Outside of the Boot


Champions League last 16: Tie-by-tie analysis

December 12, 2016

“1) Manchester City v Monaco. Pep Guardiola will be content with this draw, but Monaco are among the most exciting sides in Europe and perhaps the most underrated team in the competition. Leonardo Jardim has created an exciting side who have scored an incredible 53 goals in 17 Ligue 1 matches. Although Monaco share the goals around impressively, it is notable that Radamel Falcao has found his shooting boots again, scoring five goals in Monaco’s past two games. They are also tactically flexible, able to play both 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 effectively, as they demonstrated with 2-1 victories home and away against Tottenham Hotspur in the group stage.” Guardian – Michael Cox