FC Barcelona Femení had a slow start to their first match of the season, initially struggling to find avenues forward in Tenerife's 5-4-1 defensive block. UD Granadilla Tenerife compacted the lines both vertically and horizontally to stunt Barcelona's progress forward, but in an abnormally high-line that spurred Giráldez's team to hit long passes over the top. They were caught offside from these attempts time and time again, particularly in their quest to spray in behind for Geyse's speed. But then, everything changed.
In my entire existence on this website, I have never received so many questions about the same topic in a span of less than twenty-four hours. What, on earth, were Chelsea doing on Wednesday? What formation were they playing? What was Sterling? What was Cucurella? How did it all come together in such strange fashion? I'm paraphrasing, of course. But the point stands; and it's a question that arises once again from Potter's incessant desire to be very fun.
Ahead of the 2022-23 season, fans and pundits from across the globe questioned Brentford's ability to survive. Even despite a positive start, many remain convinced that the Bees will be struck with 'second season syndrome', where supposedly, the Premier League becomes much more difficult to survive. But following a formidable 4-0 win over Manchester United, Thomas Frank clearly has the keys to unlock any opposition defense, and should be set for another season of success. Here is our analysis of Brentford so far this season, and their potential to challenge for a top-half finish this campaign.
Let's get one thing straight: Brighton have been outstanding to start the campaign, currently sitting in fourth place on four wins from six, whilst putting their concerns in front of goal to rest. Potter has been instrumental to the process, even establishing a sense of consistency in tactics, system of play, and personnel for the first time. So with that, we bring you our final analysis of Graham Potter's Brighton, covering the 2022-23 season.
Thomas Tuchel will be remembered as one of the greatest innovators of Chelsea Football Club, and someone that many managers will try and replicate the success of in the future. He brought them their second ever Champions League title in his first half of a season in charge, and fashioned one of the most resolute defensive structures in the league throughout his time in charge. We will miss Thomas Tuchel in the Premier League, and hope that he makes a swift return to management in the near future.
The Brazilian winger played a formidable role in United's 3-1 win over Arsenal, and showcased promise that he could be the man to propel the club to that next level this season. Here is our analysis of United's 3-1 win over Arsenal, through the lens of new-signing Antony.
Pressing has been one of the most commonly discussed topics in the past decade or so of the detailed scrutinization of football. Ideas around gegenpressing, and the high-control philosophies of managers like Guardiola and Klopp allowed pressing to come to prominence for all to see, and induced a belief that pressing must be the only proper way to defend.
Preceding one of the most dominant Championship seasons ever, Marco Silva's Fulham have shown plenty of promise on their yo-yo return to the Premier League. 106 goals in 46 matches was superior of any second-tier side since Manchester City in the 2001/02 season, but their offensive strengths had been heightened by their ex-Portuguese star, Fabio Carvalho. As he begins a new chapter at Anfield, the rest of Silva's side have reset, and look well-prepared for a high-tempo season in the top flight. Peculiarly, they've shown more defensive promise so far even with the explosive start to the season from their Serbian record-breaker, Aleksandar Mitrović.
Jesse Marsch's Leeds United have started the 2022-23 season in stuttering form, but few would have expected the Whites to come up with such an impressive victory against Thomas Tuchel's high-flying Chelsea. Leeds battered and bruised the Blues into oblivion on Sunday, pressing relentlessly with heart and intensity at every turn. Jesse Marsch has inspired this mindset since he entered the door, and their off-season recruitment has allowed for a seamless transition into the American's ideals to take center-stage in 2022-23. Here is our analysis of Leeds' miraculous victory over Chelsea.
Target Men are often seen as the bottom of the barrel centre-forward in terms of footballing ability. But increasingly, it's becoming more difficult to quantify 'Target Men', recognizing the vast skillsets they employ. The likes of Aleksandar Mitrović and Sasa Kalajdzic are easier to distinctly categorize as 'Target Men' for their physical, imposing frame that allows them to score headed goals for fun. But it becomes more difficult to keep the likes of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez in that same specification, recognizing the vast array of traits they possess, particularly speed on the break. Target Men have historically been seen as slow, technically inept individuals who use their physicality, whether that be height or strength, to get one up over the opponent. But more and more, we are seeing an evolution of the 'Target Man' in 2022, to include a vast array of traits.
In our latest analysis series: Game of Numbers, we break down the various tactical undertones of the modern game, most notably the roles that individual players hold on the pitch to help their teams explore avenues for greatness. Positions are often broken down into 'numbers' to describe the areas of the field that a player may operate. This series aims to illustrate the ever-changing, fluid nature of those roles, and the ways in which various footballing teams may use the same players in the same roles to completely different effect. This is Issue No. 1, featuring the following: Lucas Paquetá & The 'Bernardo Silva Role', Joachim Andersen's 'Quarterback' Role vs. Arsenal, and Musiala's Masterclass vs. Eintracht Frankfurt.
Ralph Hasenhüttl's Southampton have been drooling for some fresh faces the past few seasons, and this summer looks set to be the one where they finally get their wish and make their much anticipated moves. With six signings already confirmed and two 16 year-olds also on the way from North London, you'd think Southampton were about done for this window. However, with the arrival of a new sporting director and head of recruitment in the form of Rasmus Ankersen and Joe Shields respectively, the Saints could be in for an exhilarating ride before the clock strikes 11pm on September 1st. Here is our analysis of Southampton's summer window so far, ahead of the 2022-23 Premier League season.
The 'Deep-Lying Playmaker' is one of the already attributed player types that we have adopted within our system. Also known by its Italian name 'Regista', the 'DLP' is tasked with setting the tempo of the match from build up to progression, all the way to creation. They sit in front of the defensive line as an 'Anchor', but hold a more offensive, progressive and possession-oriented role than the other two 'number 6' types within our 'Anchor' persona. Their role is in both helping create space between the lines, and then breaking lines, recycling play, or even changing the point of attack upon receiving the ball, so that their team can advance up the pitch, beat an opposition's press and seek spaces closer to goal.