Marcelo Bielsa – Leeds United – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

Marcelo Bielsa is one of the most fascinating managers in the world of football and is currently tearing it up in the Premier League with Leeds United. After earning promotion from the Championship to the top flight last season, Bielsa's side sit only 14th in the table. But the performances have been far better than the results and his side have achieved impressive performances and results against the likes of Arsenal, Man City and Aston Villa so far this season. Either way, the football that Leeds play can be described as genius, and simultaneously as one of our readers described it - madness. With that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United and the impressive exploits his team have pulled off in the 2020-21 Premier League season.

Unai Emery – Villarreal – Tactical Analysis

After a brief, relatively unsuccessful spell at Arsenal, Unai Emery is back in Spain and back in the big time, leading Villarreal's charge toward the top of La Liga. The Spanish giants currently sit second in the table, while playing some fantastic football along the way. Under Unai Emery, The Yellow Submarine also have a coach who won the Europa League three times with Sevilla, and made it to the final once with Arsenal. Given what he's achieved in the game and the very decent record his team actually had at Arsenal, the Spaniard has become something of an underrated manager since his Sevilla days and is now building his reputation back up as one of the best managers in world football. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Unai Emery's Villarreal.

Brendan Rodgers – Leicester City – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)

After missing out on Champions League football on the final day of the 2019-20 season, many might have thought Leicester City's early season form of last year might just have been a stroke of good fortune and nothing more. But their stellar play has continued at the start of 2020-21 and other than a few disappointing losses to West Ham and Aston Villa, the Foxes have been flying high to start this campaign. After eight matches, Brendan Rodgers' side sit top of the table, with six wins so far. Significantly, they've experimented with different formations and a host of different, less luxurious players in the absence of talents like Ricardo Pereira, Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison and of course Ben Chilwell, who left for Chelsea. Their impressive form after missing out on Champions League football last year definitely deserves further examination, so here is our early season tactical analysis of Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City in 2020-21.

Marcelo Bielsa – Leeds United – Tactical Analysis (2019-20 Edition)

Leeds United have waited 16 years to be back in the Premier League, and under Marcelo Bielsa that dream has now finally turned into reality for the 2020/2021 season. The Argentinean manager has long been hailed as one of the best in the world, not just by fans and players, but by other managers like Pep Guardiola, Diego Simeone and Mauricio Pochettino. It's easy to see why, as in just two years he has turned Leeds United into one of the very best teams in the Championship and has had the club hovering inside the top two for almost the entirety of both seasons. After a poor run of form at the end of the 2018-19 campaign resulting in Leeds missing out on automatic promotion to Sheffield United, Marcelo Bielsa has just continued to work his magic to the point where they secured automatic promotion this season with two games to spare. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United and the extraordinary exploits his team have pulled off in the 2019-20 EFL Championship season.

Best Article of 2019 Nominees

With over 100 articles written this year across The Mastermind Site and its affiliated enterprises, it's time we look back at some of the very best of the year. Here are the nominees for Best Article of 2019 on The Mastermind Site.

Pep Guardiola – Manchester City – Tactical Analysis (2019-20 Edition)

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.

Brendan Rodgers – Leicester City – Tactical Analysis (2019-20 Edition)

Leicester City have had an exceptional start to the 2019-20 Premier League season, losing just 1 of their opening 7 matches. If it weren't for the all-star cast and crew of England's top two teams, the Foxes could very well have found themselves in a similar position to where they were at this time back in 2015-16 when Claudio Ranieri led Leicester to a league title. Brendan Rodgers has done an incredible job since taking over as Leicester manager for Claude Puel back in late February and has turned the Foxes back into one of England's top sides after a couple of years of nothing more than mid-table success. Here is The Mastermind's Tactical Analysis of Leicester City so far in 2019-20 under Brendan Rogers.

Best Formations for 9v9 (Part 2)

Along with the growing popularity of the 9v9 game in youth soccer, is a growing popularity of the examination of different 9v9 formations. We pretty much covered it in Best Formations for 9v9 (part 1), but there are so many formations out there, so might as well explore some of the other best options in this part 2 of Best Formations for 9v9. Enjoy! 

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.

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

Best Formations for 11v11

In the ever-changing world of football, dozens of formations are being used on a day to day basis around the globe. Choosing the right formation can affect the balance of the game, while the decision of which formation to play can also be instrumental in getting the best out of the players a manager has … Continue reading Best Formations for 11v11