About

The Mastermind Site is a football tactics and analysis website, dedicated to helping all football fanatics develop a greater understanding of the technical, tactical and mental aspects of the beautiful game. The website’s creator – Rhys Desmond – has been involved in the sport for the best part of two decades, as a coach, former player, club director and analyst. For more information, follow us on social media.

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brief history

TheMastermindSite.com was created in May, 2016 as a football website designated primarily toward reporting of matches, and rating of players in Team of the Week‘s and the site’s Top 100 Footballers feature. Creator of the website – Rhys Desmond – originally intended on it being a standard football blog with little to no interest in competing with some of the other best football websites around. However the site has since evolved and grown, to the extent that it is now in a respectable place within the football and tactics community and surpassed 1 million views in 2021.

In 2018, the content shifted toward more coaching and player educational pieces, with tactics entering the scene primarily in 2019 as Rhys obtained greater coaching licenses and qualifications. In 2019, the site also began earning ad revenue, selling Ebooks, and launched the podcast – The Mastermind Site Podcast. In 2021, TheMastermindSite partnered with Football Manager YouTube creator RDF Tactics, with Desmond as the lead writer behind several videos. In 2021, the website also added a team of podcasters to its roster, developing two regular shows – Futbol Masterminds and The Longball Preview Show, the latter of which was spearheaded by Declan Da Barp and John Townsend. Meanwhile, the increasingly popular tactical analyses from Rhys caught the eye of the likes of Alex Stewart (Tifo Football), Michael Cox (The Athletic) and former Canadian Men’s National Team, David Edgar. Rhys hopes to use the website to continue to grow his brand and reputation, on the way toward a professional career back in the game as an analyst or professional writer.

rhys desmond

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To find out more about the website’s CEO, visit our People page, or connect with us via social media.


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what we have to offer

manager & player analyses

Diego Simeone – Atletico Madrid – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

Some things never change, and one of those things is Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone. The Argentine’s team have been one of the most consistent sides over the past decade, not only on form, but on system and style of play. This season, Atletico have been playing some fantastic football, with all of their top stars in full flow. Los Rojiblancos currently sit top of the table, albeit on goal differential, with 8 wins from 11 matches so far. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in 2020-21. Keep Reading.

How To Boss The Midfield Like Kovacic and Jorginho – Tactical Analysis

Thomas Tuchel currently remains unbeaten in his first three matches in charge of Chelsea. During that time his team have kept over 70% of the possession and haven’t conceded a single goal. One of Tuchel’s most impressive tactical implementations has been his reliance on Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic as a double-pivot in a highly functional 3-4-2-1/3-4-3 system that transforms into a 3-2-5 in attack. Jorginho and Kovacic are playing just about as well as any midfield duo in the world at the moment, and might just be the pair of players that can bring Chelsea to greater times. This article will explore how players of any age can boss the midfield like Kovacic and Jorginho. Keep Reading.

match analyses

Liverpool 0-2 Everton – Tactical Analysis

The last time Everton won at Anfield, Trent Alexander-Arnold had just had his first birthday. September 1999 was the date, a match that lives long in Don Hutchinson’s memory and almost no one else’s. But even though it had been more than twenty-one years since Everton last won at Anfield, you just got the feeling that it might happen again this season. In the end, Carlo Ancelotti put on a tactical masterclass and his team put on a defensive clinic, but Liverpool were also woeful in attack and looked on different wavelengths at times. It all culminated in a historic win for the Toffees and an embarrassing defeat for Jurgen Klopp as things continue to go from bad to worse for the Reds. Here is a tactical analysis of Everton’s historic 2-0 win over Liverpool. Keep Reading.

Chelsea 0-0 Wolves – Tactical Analysis – Tuchel’s 3-2-5

In terms of goal-scoring, Thomas Tuchel’s first game in charge of Chelsea might not have gone as planned. But his team still put up a magnificent, tactically intriguing performance, and much promise for the future certainly remains. Given that he had only one day in charge of the Blues before this match, Tuchel certainly managed to get his point across regarding the tactical innovations that he wanted to implement in this match and the players seemed to follow his instructions incredibly well. The German manager changed Lampard’s team more than expected, and even implemented a highly intriguing 3-2-5 attacking shape. Let’s get right into this tactical analysis of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea in their 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers. Keep Reading.

formation analyses

3 Ways To Play 3-5-2

After years and years of back-four systems being the dominating dogma in world football, back-three systems are now starting to take over. The growing popularity of formations like 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 has been matched by the variety of tactical nuisances that managers around the world have used to innovate these system of plays. 3-5-2, for example, has many distinct variations and teams operating within this formation can feel comfortable knowing that they can easily adapt their midfield structure to match what they want to achieve out of any game.  Here are 3 Ways To Play 3-5-2.  Keep Reading.

best formations for 9v9

9v9 is one of the most exciting stages in the development of young players as it’s the first time they are truly able to understand positioning, formations and how to play to the strengths of their teammates. In The Mastermind‘s hometown province of Ontario, 9v9 starts at the U11 stage and ends at U13, when players move up to the 11v11 game for the rest of their lives. With so much analysis on the best formations for 11v11, it’s amazing how the 9v9 game often gets overlooked. So with that, The Mastermind Site has compiled a list of the best formations and the tactics and requirements associated with each.. Keep Reading.

player & coach education

player education – learning lab

Learn the secrets of the game and understand the fundamentals of every facet of the sport. Set goals, learn confidence-building techniques and understand the psychological skills necessary to take your game to the next level. Stay active outside of your team training with home training videos, activities, challenges and more.  Keep Reading.

coach education – learning lab

Join thousands of coaches around the world who are using The Mastermind Site’s Learning Lab to learn new skills and develop their craft. From session plans to tactics, formations, sport psychology and more, the Coach Education Centre for Learning should have something for every coach to enjoy. Keep Reading.

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Main Account – @mastermindsite
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