While it's abundantly important to focus on the growth of our own nation in the beautiful game, it's also abundantly clear that one of the primary aims of the CPL is to develop talent that can be sold to other leagues in the world. In some ways, this is a sad reality as some of our very best players leave early on in the season for pastures new, in some cases only to sit on the bench! But in other ways, it allows our league to gain recognition in the world market, and has the potential to allow Canadian soccer players to take their development to the next level for higher profile teams. Today we break into the first of this long-haul series, studying the very best right-backs in the Canadian Premier League. Here is our analysis.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is one of the best right-backs in the world of football, and possibly one of the greatest the Premier League has ever witnessed. So for all the extremities that he accomplishes in attack, it becomes very normal for fan-bases across the globe to try and poke holes in his game and conjure up reasons that go against his greatness.
Rezart Rama has quickly become a fan-favourite at Forge FC, with his endless energy sources rampaging around the pitch at every turn. An absolute warrior, beast at the back, and more or less a complete defender, Rama is a pivotal marker for success that the Hammers want to have on the ball at every turn. It shows up in the stats, with the 21-year-old completing the most progressive passes and passes into the final third per 90 of any player to make more than 2 appearances in the league this season.
The 21-year-old's remarkable mobility, fast-paced aggression, and incisiveness in the final third makes him a jack of all trades from a defensive perspective, punching well above the weight of a Canadian Premier League defender. So with that, we analyze Rama's remarkable rise this season, and assess just how far he could take his career.
Ben White has been one of the understated members of Arsenal's revolution into one of the Premier League's supreme outfits in 2022-23. The Gunners currently sit top of the table after their formidable win against a dissolute Spurs side, with Ben White performing a pivotal role in the big win.
Arsenal's transfer business this summer has been shrewd and accomplished, and now after signing both Zinchenko and Jesus from the Sky Blues, Arsenal could very well be on their way toward building back toward Premier League title acclaim. Here is our analysis of why Zinchenko is perfect for Arsenal, and why the signing may be the start of something special for the Gunners in 2022-23.
Out of all the names to be linked with Manchester City, Marc Cucurella would have been an obscure choice beyond belief this time last year. But after a successful first season in the Premier League with Brighton & Hove Albion, the versatile Spaniard may now be a few weeks away from securing a dream move to the Champions. Cucurella is one of the most versatile players on the planet, making him an ideal candidate to be City's next rising star. Here is our analysis of the 23-year-old, and his potential fit for Manchester City.
A wing-back, as the name suggests, is a full-back that operates up and down the wing, holding particular importance in attacking phases. They may contribute to the defensive side of the game, and they may even invert into central areas. But wing-backs do their best work down the by-line, where they can deliver crosses into the box, utilize their trickery and skill to go 1v1, and surge up the field through their dynamic pace and timing of movement into dangerous areas. Here is our latest Player Role Analysis.
After an electric start to the 2022 Canadian Premier League season, Diyaeddine Abzi has officially been transferred from York United all the way to Ligue 2's Pau FC in France. After finishing 10th in Ligue 2 last season, Pau FC were in the market for reinforcements to their team, and Diyaeddine Abzi provides an excellent overall package to excel at his new club. We examine why Pau FC took a chance on the Canadian youngster, and the potential for Abzi to excel at his new club.
Fullbacks are not always the flashiest of players, nor do they garner the greatest attention, even despite their importance to creating and generating chances in the modern game. That is precisely why a system like our Role Continuity Evaluation System works on so many levels, as we are able to adequately assess the important characteristics to a player's performance, while minimizing the scrutinization over less important facets of the player's game. Within the system, we break down full-backs into three broad categories: 'Wide Warriors', 'Wing-Backs', and the topic of today's article - the 'Inverted Fullback'. So with that, we explain the tasks, functions and role of an 'Inverted Fullback' and outline some of the very best in the position in 2022.
A 'Wide Warrior' is a full-back who hasn't quite kept up with the modern trends associated with their position. Rather than relying on attacking threat and potency to make their name, the 'Wide Warrior' continues to be an ever-present at the back, doing their best work closer to goal. They excel at the defensive side of the game above all else, even if they may offer certain advantages going forward (like a wing-back), or in half-spaces (like an inverted fullback). Further, not only do they excel at the defensive side of the game, their manager has made clear intentions for that to be the most important facet of their role within the team, restricting their attacking height.
After a fantastic end to the 2020-21 season in which the Black & Yellows won the DFB-Pokal and climbed into third, Lukasz Piszczek officially retired from football. The Polish defender was a stalwart at Dortmund for over a decade, and the task to replace him was always going to be impossible. To make matters more difficult, Mateu Morey tore his ACL in the team's run to the cup final, and Achraf Hakimi left the team for Inter Milan the season before, reducing Rose's options all the more come the 2021-22 season. While Thomas Meunier has improved under Marco Rose's influence, a replacement in the position is still evidently needed. So with that, we take a look at the very best options to replace Piszczek, as Dortmund attempt to put their right-back concerns to rest.
Over the past decade, the emphasis on attacking play in the beautiful game has grown and grown. Coaches and fans are increasingly more excited about the attacking moments of the game, rather than defensive moments. Defending has become an afterthought, and teams that set up to defend are often deemed "boring" and "dinosaurs" by fans around the world. But defending remains an integral component to the modern game, and often it can be seen that teams with the better defense structures (Atletico, Manchester City, etc.) often win more football matches.