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


Balkan League – Do not believe the media hype

December 27, 2016

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“Rough translation of the Serbian colloquial proverb offers a descriptive insight into efforts that have seen the football regulatory bodies of the former Yugoslav countries come together to form a unified regional Balkan League. Such a league would be built around a similar model, which had been successfully adopted in basketball and is expected to follow in other sports such as boxing.” futbolgrad (Video)

Could A Balkan Football League Ever Work?
“The idea of a united Balkan league is not a new one. At a conference in July 2007 delegates from Slovenia, Romania, Russia and Serbia discussed the practicalities of a Central and Eastern European league and the lower league structure by which it would be underpinned by. The now disgraced Michel Platini has also been open to the idea, as he feels that such a structure could reduce the gap between the Western European elite and their eastern counterparts…” In Bed With Maradona

Balkans Cup
“The Balkans Cup was an international football competition for clubs from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. It was introduced in 1961 and was very popular in the 1960s (the 1967 final attracted 42,000 spectators), being the second most important international club competition for clubs from the region (after the European Champions’ Cup in which the champions could play; the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup originally attracted few teams from the region as many did not organise domestic cups regularly and only Yugoslavia had significant representation in the Fairs Cup). …” Wikipedia


Tactical Analysis: Bayern Munich 3-0 RB Leipzig | Famed Leipzig press disappears

December 27, 2016

“Bayern and Leipzig met at the Allianz Arena in a first versus second contest as both sides looked to open up a lead at the top of the table before heading into the winter break. The result of the game would depend on how each team battled the other’s contrasting style of play. Bayern put in a formidable performance to run out comfortable winners as three first half goals gave them the three points. It was a top notch performance from the home side, while the promoted team were totally off colour on the night.” 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


Is this season truly different for Arsenal? It’s developing a familiar feel

December 23, 2016

“Lock a man in a concrete box for a decade and the chances are he’ll become fascinated by minute changes within his environment–the shifting patterns of the damp on the walls perhaps, or a new crack in the ceiling–and argue vehemently that everything is different now. To everybody else, though, he’s just a man in a concrete box. This is Arsenal.” SI – Jonathan Wilson


Pressing is the Premier League’s big trend, but it’s not without its problems

December 22, 2016

“If Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool win the Premier League title this season, we might look back upon Monday’s 1-0 victory over Everton as among their most significant triumphs. It was a classic ‘the mark of champions’ win: an away trip to local rivals, a poor game, a below-par performance and a late winner. Liverpool supporters haven’t celebrated so hard for years. For neutrals who anticipated a good game at Goodison Park, however, Monday was a damp squib.” ESPN – Michael Cox


Leicester’s Drastically Changing Passing Patterns

December 19, 2016

“Last years champions are struggling this season, a 1-0 loss to Bournemouth saw them fall to 14th in the table and more worryingly it’s not just bad luck. Some regression was expected, but they have played well below bookies expectations. The obvious problem is shot volume: this year they have the 16th most shots and shots on target after being 7th and 6th last year. They allowed the 6th fewest SOT last year, this year they are 16th. The problem isn’t possession or a lower completion%, both of those metrics have slight rises, so it must have something to do with the quality of those passes. That’s what we will do today, take a dive into what has changed so drastically when Leicester has the ball.” Stats Bomb