Since taking charge of Brighton in late September, Roberto De Zerbi has picked up right where Graham Potter left off, continuing the team's excellence in and out of possession. The results haven't always followed despite all the positives in their performance, but De Zerbi seems to have found solidity now, with the Seagulls currently sitting in seventh place. Here is our tactical analysis of De Zerbi's Brighton so far in 2022-23, and whether or not the Italian can lead them toward European football this season.
Canada's much anticipated first World Cup match in 36 years lived up to the billing, with the Canadians dominating one of the best sides in the world in Belgium. The 1-0 loss will be a slight disappointment for Herdman and his men, but the Maple Leafs will take away the positives from the performance heading into their final two group games. Here is our analysis of Canada's 1-0 defeat to Belgium.
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.
One of the truest tests of any tactically adept coach is to identify mechanisms for changing around their team’s fortunes mid-game. This is never an easy task, but one that managers must be reflecting on not only with their substitutions, but with the potential for changing the master-plan on a grander scale, whether that be a tactical tweak in style or system. In what was one of the games of the weekend, both Freiburg and Leverkusen made pivotal formational changes as the match wore on. Crucially, both teams changed back to the shapes that they've prioritized since the start of the season, calling into question why they ever abandoned their favoured choice in the first place.
As often happens in a tightly contested affair, Washington Spirit's encounter with the Chicago Red Stars saw one team outperform the other in the attacking third, and the other come out in wonderfully matching that intensity in the defensive third. Washington should have claimed victory, having hit the bar twice and dominating much of the play, but Chicago held their own, accumulating chances to put the game to bed themselves.
Due to time restrictions, I've been unable to get my usual tactical review of the weekend that was in the Canadian Premier League up and running. But the league still delivered in its sixth round of fixtures, with plenty of intriguing tactical adaptations taking form. So with that, here is what you need to know about the sixth round of fixtures, ahead of Matchday 7.
After a couple of disappointing results to start the season, Forge found their flow in Week 3, achieving a comfortable 3-0 win over FC Edmonton's stern defense. Not only did Forge live up to expectation from a performance perspective, but also from a tactical one. Bobby Smyrniotis changed shape away from the 3-4-1-2 / 3-4-3 formation utilized against Cavalry back to his favoured 4-3-3, only to reconstruct their ideologies in the second half to better take advantage of the wide areas. Here is our analysis of Forge's commanding 3-0 victory over FC Edmonton.
After a bit of a new year slump, Brighton are back on track, beating the fiercest of North London rivals in successive weeks. Graham Potter's ability to tweak his shape and personnel has been a hallmark of his time at Brighton, seemingly always finding a way to get the balance right in his team. But the former Swansea manager made several big calls in the past two weeks, handing a debut to Moises Caicedo against Arsenal, and operating without a recognized number nine against Spurs. Despite those big calls, Potter's men came out on top in back to back weeks against two sides battling it out for a place in this season's top four, whilst using an intriguing 3-5-1-1 shape.
With a persistence in playing prospects not quite ready to make their mark on the MLS, the start to the season was abysmal for Bradley's team, succumbing to defeats at the hands of both Columbus and New York Red Bulls. But with a crucial first win against DC United last weekend, things could now be on the up for TFC, as they develop chemistry and rhythm amidst all the chaos of a new squad. Here is our early season analysis of Toronto FC, and why Bradley's persistence in youth will ultimately come good, so long as a balance is achieved.
The main task of any manager in the modern tactical era is to implement a tactical system and style of play that simultaneously suits their own taste, while getting the best out of their best players, if not the entire squad. Marco Rose has rarely accomplished that feat this season, and would be wise to stick with the back-three in the future. Here is why Dortmund should persist with the 3-4-2-1 in the future, following their 6-0 win over Gladbach on Matchday 23.
Domenico Tedesco has achieved wonders in his first few months in charge of Leipzig, with the team accumulating an impressive 62.5% win rate after eight matches. Tedesco's inauguration has been marked by a return to a back-three, where Die Roten Bullen have fluctuated between a 3-4-1-2 and 3-4-2-1 formation.
Manchester City are running away with the 2021-22 Premier League title. Thomas Tuchel looked resigned to the same belief in his post-match interview, with the Blues having one of their worst games since the German took over. Manchester City were utterly dominant from start to finish, allowing the Blues just 7 touches in the Sky Blue penalty area - Chelsea's lowest in seven years. So with that, here is our tactical analysis of how Guardiola's City claimed such a dominant victory over Thomas Tuchel's team.
One of the most tactically complex teams in world football, no other team could change formation and personnel to the extent that Graham Potter's Brighton do without suffering any consequences. Through all the constant change, it's miraculous to think his team have boasted some of the best possession in the league, and one of the soundest defensive structures. The calls continue to come for Potter to move up a level and take on a new challenge, but for now, the British manager has kept Brighton in the top half of the table for the vast majority of the 2021-22 season. Here is our tactical analysis of Graham Potter's incredible Brighton & Hove Albion.