Monday, October 22, 2018

Casemiro and the Problem With Real Madrid’s Balance

“Lider Con Apuros,” that was the headline boldly plastered across the back page of Madrid-based Sports daily, MARCA. Loosely translated as “Leader with Troubles,” it as an apt description of Real Madrid’s current plight. This is not quite the usual crisis talk few bad Los Merengues result bring. Madrid is atop La Liga Santander and unbeaten in 23 games dating...

The Conté Method: Analysing the 3-6-1

The international break is known for a lot of things. Star players returning with tears & breaks, players physically strained from the choking schedule and the jet-lag. It’s difficult to unplug from real football for two long weeks, that’s why we all curse it. Yet for all its atrocities, the international break is here to stay and we must learn to...

Football’s Continued Positional Evolution: The Mediapunta

In our concluding piece on positional evolutions occurring within the game, Charles Ajuyah (@tuale_CA) highlights the often ignored mediapunta role. This role is a favourite of mine. Why? It is selfless. It seeks to help the team and is almost missed in most games. The player in this role is not often praised but keen watchers of the game recognise...

Football’s Continued Positional Evolution: The False Fullback

In the 3rd part of our tactical evolution series, Charles Ajuyah (@tuale_CA) casts his gaze on the changing role of the fullback. This is a new role of some sorts. Naturally, the fullback does most of the things a central defender should. The difference is how they sometimes bomb into the opponents half to deliver crosses. Furthermore, they provide an...

Football’s Continued Positional Evolution: The Libero

In Part 2 of our continued series on tactical shifts in the modern game, we examine the role of the defender. The role of a central defender is obvious on paper. First, defend. Press, mark, tackle, intercept, foul if need be, cover your team mate. Possess positional awareness, play an opponent offside, cover spaces and half spaces, make clearances. Straightforward...

Football’s Continued Positional Evolution : The Goalkeeper

Football remains an ever changing sport. It is a science to some and those who see it as such try to find ways to improve the sport. As a result, things morph from their previous states to new and improved forms. In our new series we’ll examine how the roles in certain positions have changed in recent times. This does...

Long Live The Winger: An Ode To Old School Touchline Huggers

The beautiful round leather game has undergone a raft of tactical and positional changes down the years. From the introduction of the false 9 to the two CDM set and all that. In this article, we isolate, analyze and discuss the endangered nature of touchline wingers amidst the rise of inverted winger schemes. Being a winger was always pretty easy;...

The Defensive Midfielder: Don’t Forget Your Shields!

"In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the enemy" (Ephesians 6:16) Football is constantly evolving. The use of statistics and data analysis in player recruitment, tactical switches, nuanced interpretation of player roles, inverted wingers and John Stones shows as much. The change in tactics and player...

Global Crisis: Where Are The World Class Strikers?

Global Striking Crisis? In modern football, there seems to be an undoubted shortage of world class strikers available. I'll base this on asking why Manchester United with all the cash available to throw around "settle" for a 34-year old? I'm perfectly aware he is no regular old footballer. Many claim he isn’t past his prime but age has always been...

Conte’s 3-5-2: To Be or Not To Be?

Clearly Antonio Conte favours the 3-5-2. He successfully employed it at both Juventus and with the Italian national team. However, he's now in the Premier League with Chelsea and the riddle is will he continue to deploy the same tactics that have brought him this far? If we are to go by pre-season showings, it seems unlikely. This period is...
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