I will change your mind about automatisms

Off-the-ball movement is, of course, the most important facet to the game. But saying that all passing patterns or attempts to make decision making automatic are "stupid" fails to account for the fact that these things don't have to be trained in isolation. After all, if they were stupid, why would coaches like Jurgen Klopp or Ralph Hasenhuttl deploy them as training methods?

The simple task anyone can do to improve their tactical knowledge

As coaches, analysts, players, fans, and football obsessed individuals, we all want to grow our tactical understanding of the game. In fact, it's one of the top five questions I get thrown my way on social media or email (links at the end of the article), where people either want to know how I developed my degree of tactical knowledge, or want to know how they too can take their tactical and analytical understanding to the next level. Here is a structured process that you can follow to develop your own tactical knowledge, and continuously learn about the game on repeat.

Atletico Ottawa vs. Valour FC – Tactical Preview

Atletico Ottawa have caught the eye at the start of this season, as the most tactically intriguing team in the league. Carlos Gonzalez's team achieved two back to back wins to start the campaign, playing different formations in and out of possession. Valour have a mammoth task as a result, and need to hit top gear in finding Moses Dyer early on in moves. Here is our tactical analysis.

Pacific FC vs. Halifax Wanderers FC – Tactical Preview

No team in the Canadian Premier League has enjoyed a stronger start to the season than Pacific FC. James Merriman's team have been a well-oiled machine through and through, with a front four firing on all cylinders, and a cast and crew working behind the scenes to best support their fluidity up front. Not only have Pacific had a successful start from a team perspective, but as individuals working to serve one another within Merriman's 4-1-4-1. Here is our tactical preview of Pacific's match against HFX Wanderers FC.

Forge FC vs. FC Edmonton – Tactical Preview

Saturday's match promises to be an exhilarating encounter, with the team accumulating the most possession in the league so far (62%), going up against the team with the least amount of possession so far (38%). Is it fate that those numbers balance each other out perfectly? Perhaps.

York United vs. Cavalry FC – Tactical Preview

York United's start to the season has failed to be as fruitful as the Nine Stripes would have liked, but Martin Nash's team showed marked improvements against FC Edmonton in providing more attacking thrust than the opening day against HFX. Developing a sense of identity with fullbacks pushing high up the pitch and attacking rotations between their striker and attacking midfielder, York's identity should contain two crucial elements required for breaking Cavalry down.

Solving Manchester United’s defensive concerns

It's no secret. Manchester United are struggling defensively right now, despite having very capable players all over the pitch. In David De Gea, they have one of the best goalkeepers in the world. In Lindelof and Maguire, the Red Devils have a defensive pairing that spearheaded one of the league's sturdiest defensive structures last season, and led a Europa League charge. Ahead of them, they have two defensive warriors in Fred and McTominay, who will never be world beaters, but are very competent in what they offer. Despite that, Ralf Rangnick's team have conceded 10 goals in their last 5 games, floundering under the German's style of play. So what's amiss?

The tactical tweaks every CPL team must make ahead of Matchday 2

Last week, the Canadian Premier League kicked off for its fourth season, with the opening set of matches featuring a repeat of last season's Playoff Final. From a personal standpoint, I opened the season with the launch of our Role Continuity Player Evaluation System - our first ever database scoring player habits and on-the-field actions. But anyone who knows this site knows that we're here for the tactics, and the in-depth scrutinization of each and every team. So after our analysis of every single opening match, here is what each team needs to change ahead of the second round of fixtures.

How coaches can develop their tactical and analytical understanding of the game

One of the most common questions thrown my way is the typical - "How do you know what you know?" or "How did you develop your tactical craft?". Well, I finally have an answer for you.