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.
Juventus have won the Serie A title for the past nine seasons in a row. But this season, for the first time in over a decade, that appears to be under serious threat. The man leading that threat is the current AC Milan manager, Stefano Pioli. Although he performed well for Lazio and Inter Milan in his previous managerial stints, Pioli more recently struggled to manage expectations as Fiorentina manager. He was lucky to even get the AC Milan job in the first place and when he first arrived it was seen as a short-term solution. Now, Pioli has his team playing some fantastic football, en route to a potential title charge. The Red and Blacks remain undefeated in Serie A after 15 matches, ahead of a crucial match later today against Juventus. For all of their fantastic performances in 2020-21 so far, here is our Tactical Analysis of Stefano Pioli's AC Milan.
Lucien Favre was the best Borussia Dortmund manager since Jurgen Klopp. His sacking from the helm of Signal Iduna Park comes at a bizarre time, with the club topping their UEFA Champions League group. Although results haven't gone their way in the league recently, Favre was an outstanding coach for Dortmund and did not deserve the sack. This article will explore the legacy of Lucien Favre at BVB, and why Dortmund might regret sacking him in a few months time.
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. However, this past summer, Chelsea spent millions to secure the signatures of some of the best players around the world. It has taken a bit of time for some of their new signings to gel together, but nine games in, Chelsea are showing great signs of promise as they currently sit 2nd in the table. Along the way, Frank Lampard has made some low-key, subtle changes that have helped to propel Chelsea back toward the top of the table. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea after nine games in the 2020-21 Premier League season.
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.
Before Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur were 14th in the table, with 14 points from 12 matches. After his appointment, the club soared to sixth place in the table, clawing their way to Europa League football in the process. Now with some impressive new signings in Sergio Reguilon, Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg and Gareth Bale, Tottenham look well on their way to better times in 2020-21. After their thumping 6-1 win over Manchester United this past weekend, we take an updated look at Mourinho's tactics with Spurs this season. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Jose Mourinho's revamped and revitalized Tottenham Hotspur after the first four Premier League matches.
After surviving relegation by a single point in 2019-20, many would have tipped Aston Villa to go down in 2020-21. So even though it is still early days in this season's Premier League, Dean Smith could not have dreamt for a better start to the season. After beating Sheffield United by a narrow margin, thumping Fulham and then most recently, breaking records in a 7-2 thriller against Liverpool, Aston Villa look a much improved side from even just a few months ago. With their recent performances, many think that Aston Villa could be in for their best season in the top flight in over a decade. Here is a Tactical Analysis all about Dean Smith's Aston Villa.
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. However, although all of those players have potential, they might not be at the level of Premier League champions just yet. Lampard and those above his authority recognized that and responded with several new signings of the highest quality. In fact, very few other clubs have (on paper) done better summer transfer window business...ever. Despite the promise all their new signings have, it remains to be seen how they will all come together and whether or not it's worth it to bench some of the young players that secured their Champions League finish last year, for a heap of new players that have never played together before. So with that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea heading into the 2020-21 season.
In his first season at the club, Hans-Dieter Flick has seamlessly achieved success with Bayern Munich in stunning fashion, reaching the Champions League final for the club's first time since Jupp Heynckes was at the helm in 2012-13. The former Bayern player achieved widescale success as Germany's assistant coach, even winning the World Cup as Joachim Low's assistant in 2014. With all his experience at international management, Flick has now taken his former side to new heights, creating the most exciting Bayern Munich team since the days of Ribery and Robben. In the 2019-20 Bundesliga season, Bayern won 26 of their 34 games, scored 100 goals in the process and won the league by 13 points over arch-rivals Borussia Dortmund. In the Champions League, they've fared arguably even better, winning all 10 of their games and scoring 42 goals in the process. That's right, they've averaged over 4 goals per game in the toughest competition in club football this season. So, as we prepare for Sunday's 2019-20 UEFA Champions League Final, here is a Tactical Analysis of Hans-Dieter 'Hansi' Flick's Bayern Munich.
After two successful years with Red Bull Salzburg, German coach Marco Rose made a return to his home country to take on the role as Borussia Monchgengladbach manager for the start of the 2019-20 season. Rose has continued his success with Gladbach so far since taking charge and has only enhanced his reputation as a manager, with 54% of his matches won and his team well within the title race for the first time in years. Under Dieter Hecking, Gladbach had a win percentage of 43%, and played primarily in a 4-4-2 Diamond or 4-3-1-2 shape. Rose has since changed Gladbach's formation to primarily a 4-2-3-1, although has remained tactically flexible to at times deploy back-three formations and the 4-4-2 Diamond / 4-3-1-2 that he deployed at Salzburg. Here is a tactical analysis of Borussia Monchengladbach under Marco Rose.
The suspension of all football activity has been a unfortunate for Borussia Dortmund as they were on a stunning run of form in the Bundesliga before the break. Favre's newly introduced 3-4-2-1 has changed the way Dortmund play for the better, while simultaneously providing more defensive support, the area of the field in which they needed reassurances the most. The formation has given the likes of Achraf Hakimi and Raphael Guerreiro the freedom to go on and create more magic and has also given Jadon Sancho and Thorgan Hazard a necessary boost at a crucial time in the season. This formation suits the players and personnel that Lucien Favre has at his disposal tremendously well and it will be very interesting to see if they can continue to play to such great heights when the season comes to a conclusion. Check out or Tactical Analysis of Lucien Favre's stellar 3-4-2-1 formation with BVB.
For the first time in over a decade, Tottenham Hotspur appeared to be absolutely doomed this season. For the first 12 games of the season, Spurs looked nowhere near their usual high-flying, Champions League finalist selves and Mauricio Pochettino had the team slipping further and further down the table. Pochettino was quite possibly the best manager Tottenham have ever had, but with the team sitting in 14th place, it was inevitable that the Argentinean's role at the club was going to be cut short, just shy of 300 games for the club. Looking for instant stability, the boardroom went with the experienced Jose Mourinho to steer the ship back out of safety and the move has proven to be a massive success for Spurs. Since his arrival, Tottenham have won four games from five and now look to be well within touching distance of the top four again. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Jose Mourinho's revamped and revitalized Tottenham Hotspur after his first five games in charge.