Everton – Pressure Drop

January 19, 2017

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“Although Everton reached two domestic cup semi-finals in 2015/16 (something the club had not done since 1984), their performances were disappointing in the Premier League, as they finished 11th for the second successive season. As chairman Bill Kenwright observed, ‘Ultimately, our final league positions over the last two seasons were not good enough.’ This culminated in the decision to sack manager Roberto Martinez, replacing him with former Dutch international Ronald Koeman, who was tempted to leave Southampton for the project at Everton.” The Swiss Ramble


Tactical Analysis: Villarreal 1-1 Barcelona | Los Cules held yet again by another masterful defensive display

January 19, 2017

“Two of La Liga’s top sides clashed in this encounter as the Yellow Submarine looked to continue their promising start to the season and cement their place in next season’s Champions League. In contrast, Barcelona came into this game in what could only be described as disappointing form in comparison to their usually high standards. 6 points off leaders Real Madrid who had a game in hand, a win was essential if they wanted to maintain any chance of winning their third straight league title.” Outside of the Boot


Tactical Analysis: Sevilla 3-3 Real Madrid | Record breaking Real pushed to the limit

January 19, 2017

“Real Madrid had turned in one of their most comprehensive performances of the season in thumping Sevilla 3-0 last mid-week in the reverse fixture of this Copa del Rey Round of 16 match. The two were set to meet again on Sunday in the league, and with Sevilla able to pull within three points of Los Blancos, manager Jorge Sampaoli opted for a decidedly rotated squad, leaving out the likes of Franco Vazquez, Steven N’Zonzi, Nico Pareja and Mariano. Zinedine Zidane did likewise, with Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo not making the squad and Karim Benzema being restricted to a twenty minute cameo.” Outside of the Boot


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