After successive back to back third place finishes in Serie A, Gian Piero Gasperini has firmly established Atalanta as one of Europe's most lethal and tactically fluid teams. Despite losing their star player Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez halfway through the season due to disagreements between player and coach, Atalanta look set to finish inside Serie A's top three once again, with the highest tally of goals for the third season running. Here is a tactical analysis of Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta in 2020-21.
AS Roma are still far from the side they were many years ago, but they have enjoyed two of their better seasons over the last decade since Paulo Fonseca arrived at the club. The Portuguese manager came to Roma with a respectable reputation, having led Shakhar Donetsk to three league titles and a 74% win rate in his three seasons at the club. During his first season in charge at I Giallorossi, Fonseca led AS Roma to a fifth place finish in Serie A - securing Europa League football for the team. Roma have since performed well in the competition this season, with a semi-final against tournament favourites Manchester United to play for in the next few weeks. Their performances in the Europa League have outshone their relatively sub-par season in Serie A, with the side currently in seventh place. Nonetheless, if Fonseca's team were to pull out a miracle and make the Europa League final, this season would be seen as a complete success. With that, here is a tactical analysis of Paulo Fonseca's AS Roma this season.
In the merry go round that is the Bundesliga managerial landscape at the moment, Adi Hütter has officially been announced as the next Borussia Monchengladbach boss. The announcement came just days after leading his team to a massive win over third place VFL Wolfsburg, with Die Adler in poll position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. Monchengladbach on the other hand, sit just eighth in the table, after a stop and start second half of the season. Part of Gladbach's lack of form could be down to the other big managerial announcement of 2021 in the Bundesliga - Marco Rose's imminent arrival at Borussia Dortmund. However, Hütter's achievements with Frankfurt are monumental in comparison to Gladbach's disappointing season. That makes it all the more confusing why he would leave a side about to participate in the UEFA Champions League for one that is not guaranteed European football next season. Nonetheless, the surprise announcement gives us the perfect opportunity to eulogize everything Adi Hütter has accomplished at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Although Chelsea can't quite seem to find the back of the net, very few managers in Premier League history have had a better start to life than Thomas Tuchel. The Blues have won nine of their thirteen matches under Tuchel's management in all competitions, keeping eleven clean sheets during that time. Some underlying issues are still evidently exposed as Tuchel works around his squad and attempts to find his best possible eleven, but the improvement from Frank Lampard is also evident for all to see. Tuchel's defensive tactics in particular have been outstanding, and much promise for the future remains if Chelsea can find their shooting boots and score more goals on a regular basis. Here is our latest Thomas Tuchel analysis, covering his first thirteen matches in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Despite losing by a horrific 5-1 scoreline to VFB Stuttgart, Lucien Favre's sacking from the helm of Borussia Dortmund came at a strange time, with the club topping their UEFA Champions League group and no new manager in sight. Assistant coach Edin Terzic was given the interim role and unfortunately for the Black & Yellows, things could not have gotten off to a rockier start under the German coach. Terzic won just six of his opening thirteen matches in charge, forcing Dortmund into a difficult situation heading into the final third of the season with so much work to do in the quest to reclaim a place in the UEFA Champions League for next season. But after switching formations against Sevilla, Dortmund have found form again and have now won three on the spin, against big-hitters Sevilla, arch-nemeses Schalke 04, and relatively small-hitters Arminia Bielefield, who troubled Bayern Munich just weeks before. This recent run of form has culminated at the same time as two key decisions - Terzic's formational change away from the 4-2-3-1, and the announcement of Marco Rose as the club's future manager. The announcement gave Dortmund a massive lift and allowed them to regain confidence and focus. But Terzic and co also deserve some credit for the team's recent performances, posing some smart tactical tweaks along the way. Here is a tactical analysis of Edin Terzic's Borussia Dortmund, and whether or not they can make the top four this season.
Although Fulham currently sit in the relegation zone, it could be argued that Scott Parker's start to his managerial career could hardly have gone better. After retiring from the game in 2017, Parker took over toward the tail-end of their horrendous 2018-19 season. He then secured the full-time managerial role for the start of the 2019-20 EFL Championship season, earning promotion via the playoffs in his first season at the club. Although 2020-21 might end in relegation, Scott Parker has immensely improved Fulham from the last time they were in the league and has kept them within a fighting chance of survival throughout the season. This is a tactical analysis of Scott Parker's Fulham.
Julian Nagelsmann never made it as a player, thanks in large part to knee injuries that forced him to retire before his career even got started. However, that change of path allowed the German manager to take up coaching at a young age and after briefly working under Thomas Tuchel at Augsburg, Nagelsmann worked his way through the ranks at 1899 Hoffenheim, leading them into the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history. After three incredibly successful years with Hoffenheim, Nagelsmann departed the club in 2019 for RasenBallsport Leipzig. Due to his fantastic success with a club that is now firmly one of Germany's elite clubs, Nagelsmann is now one of the most sought after and respected coaches in the world, at 32 years of age. This is a Tactical Analysis of Julian Nagelsmann's revelations with RB Leipzig, as he looks destined to become the next big thing in football management.
Although Brighton & Hove Albion have hovered around the relegation zone throughout the year, they've never looked in any real danger. Graham Potter's side haven't been the best Premier League this season, but they play some very exciting, tactically complex football that cannot be ignored. Twenty-one points after twenty-one matches has the Seagulls on track to survive for another year, as they currently sit seven points above the drop. After their important 1-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur as part of a four match unbeaten run in all competitions, we analyze Graham Potter's Brighton and Hove Albion. Here is our tactical analysis.
Thomas Tuchel's second match in charge went more to plan than his first, and after a fantastic team performance against Burnley we take an in-depth look at the tactics he used to blow the Clarets away. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Chelsea's 2-0 win over Burnley.
Frank Lampard enjoyed a successful first season with Chelsea F.C., despite no new summer signings coming through the door. The Blues hovered around 4th for the majority of the season in behind Leicester City, and eventually secured 4th behind Manchester United. Lampard relied heavily on young talent in 2019-20 and the club were rewarded with fantastic performances from the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James. In preparation for the 2020-21 season, Chelsea then went on to spend millions, securing the signatures of players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Ben Chilwell and Edouard Mendy, plus Thiago Silva on a free. For a short period of time, it worked. With nine games in, Chelsea were showing great signs of promise, sat second in the table, and were well in the hunt for a Premier League title chase. Frank Lampard himself was making some astute tactical changes, and appeared to be coping well with the dilemma of how to show faith in his youth, while integrating all the new signings. But as the season wore on, Chelsea failed to make an impact. At the time of his sacking, the Blues sit in ninth, with many nearby teams holding games in hand. Losses to Leicester, Manchester City and Arsenal likely handed Lampard a premature managerial sacking; along with the fact that Thomas Tuchel was out of a job, waiting at the door-step for a call. So a day after a 3-1 FA Cup win against Luton Town, Frank Lampard was sacked as manager. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea in both of his seasons in charge, and an accompanying analysis of where he might land next.