Even at the cut-price of £15 million, many unaware football fans were skeptical of Manchester City's move for Manuel Akanji. The thought was that he was an unreliable defender, who frequently made critical defensive errors leading to goals. This happened a few times in Akanji's early days at BVB, and painfully for us as fans, most crucially in the lead-up to Dortmund losing the title in Favre's first year. But what many failed to recognize despite my constant banging of the drum last year - Akanji had grown into one of the best defenders on the planet in his final two seasons at the club. Here is our analysis of Manuel Akanji's start to life at Manchester City.
Tag: Aymeric Laporte
Explaining the Ball-Playing-Centre-Half – Player Role Analysis
As the name suggests, a 'Ball-Playing-Centre-Half' is a centre-back that excels in possession of the ball, from passing to long passing to carrying to dribbling. They can simultaneously exist as 'Sweepers' or 'Stoppers', providing another interesting asterisk to the role not found in many other positions. Unlike say a fullback or goalkeeper where we have created clearly defined separations and almost polarizations on a style scale, 'Ball-Playing-Centre-Halves' can also be 'Stoppers' or 'Sweepers'.
Picking the 2021-22 PFA Team of the Year
It's that time of year! In this week's Tactical Thinker, we asked you to name your PFA Team of the Year, as though you were one of the pros making the difficult selection. After a countless number of responses, we compile the top eleven players as voted by our own stack of pros - you, the readers. Here is our PFA Team of the Year, from the TMS community.
Tactical Thinker: Picking the PFA Team of the Year
This past weekend, Mohamed Salah claimed the Football Writers' Association Player of the Year, with more individual awards soon to follow. Individual awards are fraught with controversy within a team sport that relies on all eleven players working in tandem, and sometimes fail to acknowledge those that didn't do the flashy bits on a football pitch, but performed like their lives depended on it week in and week out. On both accounts, that's what often makes the Team of the Year an intriguing award to follow. When it comes to the PFA Team of the Year, it becomes all the more fascinating to see who the pros themselves had the most difficult time playing against this season, and who they felt deserved to be remembered for their role in making the 2021-22 season special. So with that, we ask you to pick your PFA Team of the Year, if you were one of the pros.
Pep Guardiola – Manchester City – Tactical Analysis (2021-22 Edition)
The start of the 2021-22 Premier League season hasn't been perfect for Manchester City, but they are still playing fantastic football, en route to putting up a mighty title challenge for another season. Throughout the start of the 2021-22 season, Pep Guardiola has continued to innovate his Manchester City team, deploying new tactics never seen before during his five year spell at the club. Here is a brand new Pep Guardiola - Manchester City - Tactical Analysis, for the 2021-22 season.
Man City 5-0 Norwich – Tactical Analysis – How Jack Grealish Fits
Manchester City demolished Norwich City this past weekend in the Premier League's second round of fixtures, with Jack Grealish grabbing his first goal for the club. Here is our analysis of the match, including a special look into how the former Villa captain fits into the squad.
Top 100 Male Footballers of 2020 (80-61)
2020 was a strange year for everyone in the world, not just footballers. But the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that we haven’t gotten as much football as we might have done otherwise. That said, there were still plenty of matches played across the year, and some surprise performers and performances along the way. As always, TheMastermindSite.com will now count down the top 100 male footballers in the world for the year. This list takes into account a player’s form in 2020 as its primary mechanism, with reputation, difficulty of league, club and national team success each playing a secondary role. So with that in mind, here is TheMastermindSite’s Top 100 Male Footballers in the World for 2020 (80-61).
Top 100 Male Footballers 2019 (50-41)
It’s almost the end of the year, so it’s only fitting that we count down the top 100 footballers of 2019. Check out the next section of the list (50-41) below. 50. Marcelo Marcelo's career is certainly winding down. He's had an injury-ridden 2019 and was even excluded from Brazil's 2019 Copa America squad. Meanwhile … Continue reading Top 100 Male Footballers 2019 (50-41)
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.