Pep Guardiola – Manchester City – Tactical Analysis

Other than a rocky performance against Norwich City, things have been business as usual for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City so far this season. The 2019-20 season has gotten off to a great start for the man and team who seem to never settle for anything shy of perfection. All the key players are firing on all cylinders and City look well on their way to breaking more records. Here is The Mastermind's Tactical Analysis for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City so far in 2019-20.

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Antonio Conte – Inter Milan – Tactical Analysis

Since Antonio Conte's arrival at Inter Milan, the Italian giants have completely transformed into the most effective side in all of Serie A. Conte's start to life at San Siro has gotten off without a hitch and I Nerazzurri have won all six of their matches to the start off the league campaign. In that … Continue reading Antonio Conte – Inter Milan – Tactical Analysis

La Pausa – 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.

Counter Attacking and the Death of Tiki-Taka Football

For a while, tiki taka, highlighted by the intricate triangles created in Spain's Xavi-Iniesta years, prevailed as the dominating tactic of the beautiful game. However, with Spain's struggles in recent tournaments and the much talked about "possession without purpose" that has haunted many teams in recent modern day matches, I pronounce the death of tiki taka.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – Tactical Analysis

In a team full of superstars, 22-year old Oleksandr Zinchenko often does not get the credit he deserves in Manchester City's back-line. This is in part due to simply not being a big name player, having come from the academy at Shakhtar Donestk rather than one of Europe's more illustrious outfits. But the Ukrainian left-back … Continue reading Oleksandr Zinchenko – Tactical Analysis

How the Best Managers in the World Used Formations to Gain an Advantage

At the end of the day, a team can win playing any formation and there isn't necessarily any formation that is superior to another. However, some of the best teams in the modern era have perfected certain systems and styles of play, guided by the formation they use. Here is an examination of some of the best teams in the world and how their formation has led to their success.

PSG Fruitless Without Cavani & Mbappe

Paris Saint Germain have developed a well-oiled system under Thomas Tuchel. The tactical flexibility of players like Dani Alves and Julian Draxler have allowed the French giants to flourish in a number of different systems, seemingly chopping and changing their formation every week without ever missing a beat. However, without star men up top like … Continue reading PSG Fruitless Without Cavani & Mbappe

5 Players Manchester United Should Sign In The Off-Season

Although the past few weeks has seen a slight dip in form, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit the ground running with Manchester United in 2019. After taking over for Jose Mourinho at the end of December, Solskjaer has won 15 of his 22 matches, which equates to a win percentage of nearly 70%. But in nearly every position on the pitch, it is very evident that upgrades are needed. It is unquestionable that Manchester United need to freshen up their squad in the summer and they should look no further than these five players in order to do that. 

How To Coach Pressing

Pressing has become an increasingly important aspect to the modern game. Some of the most successful teams in the world play a high pressing game, including Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. As a result, it has received great attention worldwide and is beginning to be implemented everywhere as a strategy, including with young players. … Continue reading How To Coach Pressing

4-3-3 vs. 4-1-4-1: Tactical Flexibility

In the post 4-4-2 era, teams all over the world play a variety of different formations. These formations change game by game or even within games, so it is becomingly increasingly difficult to nail professional teams down to just one single formation. That being said, two of the most popular formations in the world right now are the tactically flexible 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1, both of which have been used heavily by Pep Guardiola throughout his career. Ultimately the formation has to suit the players that you have and their developmental, psychological and physiological characteristics. But the 4-3-3 and 4-1-4-1 are two very similar formations. The 4-1-4-1 is perhaps a little more physically demanding and tactically complex, while the 4-3-3 is perhaps more rooted in wing-play and the collaboration of the midfield triangle. Although these formations are very similar, they can offer a team a completely different dynamic, depending on how a manger or coach wants to implement them. 

The Rise of the 3-1-4-2

In terms of formations and tactics, one of the major surprises of the 2018-19 season in Europe has been the rise of the 3-1-4-2. Although the formation is only a very minor spin on the popular 3-5-2, seemingly a host of teams around Europe have implemented this formation, and not just in Italy where back-three … Continue reading The Rise of the 3-1-4-2

The Winners and Losers as Zinedine Zidane Returns to Real Madrid

It was a season of trouble and turmoil for Real Madrid and following a disappointing Champions League exit to Ajax, Santiago Solari was sacked from his position as Real Madrid manager. Although Solari had a reasonably successful time with Los Blancos and a win percentage of 68% to match, there was just something missing all … Continue reading The Winners and Losers as Zinedine Zidane Returns to Real Madrid