Two seasons ago, Denis Zakaria was heavily linked to Manchester City, and hailed by pundits and fans alike as the next coming of Fernandinho. The Swiss midfielder still possesses all of the same qualities he did back when the speculation first surfaced, yet no one seems to talk about Zakaria in that same light anymore. Still only 24-years-old, Zakaria still has the world at his feet and should develop into one of the very best defensive midfielders in the world. If Manchester City had him on their radar, every other club should too.
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.
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 central midfielders 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.
One of the more impressive Premier League players this season and just about the only Arsenal player who's made an impression, Matteo Guendouzi is enjoying some of his best football at the moment with Arsenal. The 20-year old French midfielder certainly has his best days still ahead of him, but already looks to be a … Continue reading Matteo Guendouzi – Tactical Analysis
La Pausa - Spanish for 'The Pause' is a fantastically useful skill for players looking to fool their opponents. La Pausa is a skill whereby players in possession pause on the ball, drawing in defenders and enticing them to make a movement toward the ball. After the defender makes a movement toward them, the player in possession will often quickly speed up play or then make their pass or movement in a direction that exploits the fact that the defender has approached them.
For the first time in the Guardiola era, Manchester City have been handed their third loss in the span of four matches. The Citizens have looked lackluster since falling 2-0 to Chelsea at the beginning of December and their troubles have only gotten worse with two defeats to mid-table teams in Crystal Palace and Leicester … Continue reading Why Fernandinho Is Manchester City’s Most Important Player
In the post 4-4-2 era, the 4-3-3 is one of the world's most popular formations. Not only is it attack-minded but it is inherently possession-based by providing an extra man in central midfield. That is one of the prime reasons why a midfield three has become the first choice of many managers around the world. … Continue reading Playing in a Midfield Three
Jorginho is one of the most unique midfielders in the modern game. The Brazilian-born midfielder is not your traditional N'Golo Kante-esque ball-winner nor is he anywhere near as mobile as the Frenchman. But his tactical/spatial awareness, footballing intelligence and superb on-the-ball presence help to make him one of the very best defensive midfielders around. He's incredibly vocal on the field, guiding his teammates through every pass and when he receives the ball for himself, he always seems to know exactly the right pass to make in a split-second decision. Jorginho is arguably the closest thing the footballing world has seen to a Sergio Busquets in years and Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea is the perfect place for the 26-year-old to showcase his talent. Here is how Jorginho has been integral to Chelsea's unbeaten start to the 2018-19 Premier League season.