With the efforts and emotions of the enormously entertaining Euro 2020 still enduring, it’s hard to believe that preseason for many European clubs is already underway. To further set the stage for the impending season, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on last season’s tactical trends. Tallied below are the most popular formations in Europe’s top five leagues as per UEFA association club coefficient (Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1). Enjoy!
When establishing a style of play, all top-level managers face the same pragmatic questions: How will positional defenders become functional attackers (and vice versa) as changes in possession occur? Where is the balance between earnest advancement and cautious reserve? And how is that equilibrium expressed, implicitly and explicitly, on the team sheet?
North Macedonia entered their first ever major tournament as clear underdogs. Before this, the only player of North Macedonian origin who had played in the European Championships was Blagoje Vidinic, a goalkeeper for the Former Yugoslavia in 1960. Unfortunately for North Macedonia, they failed to progress past the group stage, and floundered to the bottom of Group C. Despite that, they never looked as though they did not belong. Here is our tactical analysis of how they performed at the European Championships.
After a fantastic midweek win in the CONCACAF Champions League against Club Leon, Toronto FC looked beaten and battered before the whistle even blew on Major League Soccer's opening day. The Reds looked lackluster throughout the match, struggling to put up a fight against a Montreal defense full of mistakes. This is our tactical analysis of Montreal's 4-2 win over Toronto FC on the opening round of the 2021 Major League Soccer season.
Guts, gusto and gifted talents galore: Eintracht Frankfurt's clash with VFL Wolfsburg was a seismic occasion in the race for third place, and did not disappoint - not even for a second. Not only was it a seven goal thriller, but you'd do well to find a match with more energy, heart and determination than this electric fixture. Both teams were full of spirit right from the very first whistle, and never slowed down. This is a Tactical Analysis of Eintracht Frankfurt's important win over VFL Wolfsburg on Matchday 28 of the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.
One of the main problems facing big teams nowadays is the deep-block, because of the lack of capabilities of most other teams by comparison. Smaller clubs often resort to the deep-block as a solution in their matches against the big teams, and therefore, coaches need to find a solution to this dilemma that they face in many matches.
Since Antonio Conte's arrival at Inter Milan, the Italian giants have transformed into the most effective side in all of Serie A. Other than disappointments in the UEFA Champions League and losing last season's Europa League final, Conte's start to life at San Siro has gotten off without a hitch. I Nerazzurri narrowly missed out on the title to Conte's old side Juventus last season by one single point, and this season they look favourites to finally dethrone the Old Lady from securing another crown. But the results and the performances are not the only impressive components about Antonio Conte's functional Inter Milan. The Italian manager's tactics have been remarkable as they have been throughout his career, and so many players have taken their games to new heights under the influence of the former Premier League winner. Here is a tactical analysis all about Antonio Conte's Inter Milan in 2020-21.
After a rough couple of months, Edin Terzic finally has Borussia Dortmund back on track, with the Black & Yellows now keeping three clean sheets in their last four Bundesliga matches. It was another routine performance for Dortmund on Saturday, with the club in cruise control for the entire match. Here is TheMastermindSite's tactical analysis of Borussia Dortmund's 2-0 win over Hertha Berlin on March 13, 2021.
Since losing Raul Jimenez to a horrific head injury in November 2020, Wolves have picked up just 8 points in 11 matches. They've stumbled down the table to 14th, and they look a far cry from the side that finished 7th in previous back to back seasons. Without Raul Jimenez and a sudden abandonment of their back-three mantra, Nuno Espirito Santo's side look like a team that lack a clear identity to win football matches. This comes as a surprise, given that Wolverhampton had one of the clearest identities in the league two seasons in a row before this one. After their toothless performance in the second half against West Bromwich Albion, leading to a 3-2 defeat, we take a look at what's gone wrong for the Raul Jimenez-less Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020-21.
Sheffield United were one of the most impressive sides in the Premier League last season, in their first season back in the top flight for over a decade. With overlapping centre-backs and a highly rigid 3-5-2 formation, Chris Wilder's side were one of the most exciting and tactically intriguing sides to watch in 2019-20. With the fantastic performances of the squad as a whole, Sheffield United finish in 9th place last season, winning or drawing 26 of their 38 games. Perhaps most impressively of all, they conceded just 39 goals, the fourth lowest total in the league. After their fantastic performances, nobody would have expected them to struggle this badly in 2020-21. It could have been predicted that without Dean Henderson and Jack O'Connell they might compete in a relegation battle this time around, but nobody predicted them to be one of the worst sides in Premier League history. As things stand, Sheffield United are heading towards the lowest points total in the history of the league, and currently hold a Premier League record for longest winless run. Chris Wilder's side have been bad to say the least, and this Tactical Analysis will attempt to uncover exactly what has gone wrong for the Blades this season. Here is our Tactical Analysis all about Chris Wilder's Sheffield United in 2020-21.