Potter’s first match at Chelsea – Tactical Analysis

In my entire existence on this website, I have never received so many questions about the same topic in a span of less than twenty-four hours. What, on earth, were Chelsea doing on Wednesday? What formation were they playing? What was Sterling? What was Cucurella? How did it all come together in such strange fashion? I'm paraphrasing, of course. But the point stands; and it's a question that arises once again from Potter's incessant desire to be very fun.

Where Thomas Tuchel failed as Chelsea boss

Thomas Tuchel will be remembered as one of the greatest innovators of Chelsea Football Club, and someone that many managers will try and replicate the success of in the future. He brought them their second ever Champions League title in his first half of a season in charge, and fashioned one of the most resolute defensive structures in the league throughout his time in charge. We will miss Thomas Tuchel in the Premier League, and hope that he makes a swift return to management in the near future.

Leeds United 3-0 Chelsea – Match Analysis

Jesse Marsch's Leeds United have started the 2022-23 season in stuttering form, but few would have expected the Whites to come up with such an impressive victory against Thomas Tuchel's high-flying Chelsea. Leeds battered and bruised the Blues into oblivion on Sunday, pressing relentlessly with heart and intensity at every turn. Jesse Marsch has inspired this mindset since he entered the door, and their off-season recruitment has allowed for a seamless transition into the American's ideals to take center-stage in 2022-23. Here is our analysis of Leeds' miraculous victory over Chelsea.

Premier League Transfer Tax (Part 1)

It's easy to use the eye test and conclude that players like Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner haven't lived up to the hype. In a recent video, Tifo Football suggested that this phenomenon doesn't just apply to Bundesliga clubs, but a range of leagues around the world. So with that, we aim to use data from the 2021-22 season to determine whether or not 'Bundesliga Tax' is a real phenomenon, and what leagues Premier League clubs should prioritize in sending their scouts to this summer. Here is our analysis of what we're dubbing 'EPL Transfer Tax'. In Part 1, we examine the top seven sides in the league based on points during the 2021-22 campaign, drawing conclusions around the business that 'Top 7' clubs conducted prior to the start of last season. In turn, this could inform decision making ahead of the 2022-23 season, and potentially the wider future at hand.

Chelsea 3-2 Manchester City – Women’s FA Cup Final Analysis

What a game. If you missed this one, seriously, go back and watch the explosion of emotions and hard-felt performances across the pitch in Chelsea's narrow 3-2 win over Manchester City. The Citizens were dominant on the day going forward, yet Chelsea kept pushing and probing to take the lead not once, not twice, but three times. Their relentless goal-scoring when the odds seemed stacked against them ensured City always had an uphill battle to climb, and eventually became too big of a task for Gareth Taylor's team. Here is our match analysis of the 2022 Women's FA Cup Final between Chelsea and City.

Finding Obite Evan Ndicka’s next club

For two seasons in a row now at Eintracht Frankfurt, Obite Evan Ndicka has been one of the best centre-backs in the Bundesliga. A massive factor behind Frankfurt's fifth place finish in 2020-21 under Adi Hütter, followed by a stunning UEFA Europa League final charge in 2021-22, Obite Evan Ndicka is starting to now receive deserved attention as one of the most promising defenders in world football. With an eye for a goal, fantastic timing of decisions at the back, phenomenal dueling ability, and pace to sweep in behind defensive mistakes, all top European clubs should be tracking Ndicka's progress at Frankfurt this season. But mysteriously, very few seem to be circling around the 22-year-old, and most clubs in need of a centre-back appear to have their eyes set on other targets. So with that, we attempt to find Obite Evan Ndicka's next club, if a move were to be made ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

Longball – Roman Abramovich and the future of Chelsea

On this week’s show, Declan and John cover a ton of ground. In the beginning half of the show, Oliver Carpenter joins Declan to discuss the evolving situation with Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, and everything you need to know about the current Chelsea climate in this political context. In the second half, Jamie Smith joins us again to discuss Newcastle’s resurgence, Bielsa’s departure, and this week’s marquis match-ups.

How to play with a False 9 like Guardiola and Klopp

Following its popular use for Vicente del Bosque's Spain at Euro 2012, the role of the false nine has continued to evolve in the modern era of the Premier League, accompanied by a shift in mannerisms, behaviors, and positional patterns of strikers on a football pitch. Pep Guardiola's Manchester City and Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have been two of the dominating forces in world football since the mid-2010s, and both have operated throughout that time without a recognized out-and-out goal-scoring striker. For any possession-based team attempting to emulate Klopp and Guardiola, deploying a false nine presents a unique and innovative way of breaking the opposition down, and reaching new levels of performance. Some tactical experts have suggested that in the future we may see a formation without a striker at all, but truthfully, we may already be there.

Conceptualizing positional play, positional rotation and positional interchange

The footballing universe is littered with terminology that only exists to us in our realm, and our game, and our sport. It can therefore be difficult for inexperienced onlookers or even just the average fan, to understand what we mean we discuss different footballing concepts and terms. So today, I take a look at the differences between positional play, positional rotation and positional interchange.

Longball Premier League Preview – Everton say adios to Rafa, & Tuchel in Trouble

John and Declan take a deep dive into the world of Everton, exploring the club's continued struggle to find their identity and get a grip on reality. The boys then take a look ahead to this weekend's match-ups, including a testy affair between Tottenham and Chelsea, and the John vs. Declan derby as Manchester United host West Ham United. Follow the show @mastermindsite on social media to never miss an update. 

The Longball Premier League Preview Show – New Year’s Blues

John and Declan look ahead to an exciting match week, dissecting the intense title clash between Chelsea and Manchester City, and the all-important North London Derby! The boys also take a trip to the bottom of the table where Watford take on Newcastle in this weekend's relegation six-pointer. All of that and a whole lot more in this episode! Follow the show @mastermindsite on social media.

Our Ten Most Popular Analyses of 2021

2021 was the most successful year in the six year history of TheMastermindSite.com. Over the course of the year, we doubled our number of views, visitors, social media followers and email subscribers from where we left off in 2020. Our most popular feature and the aspect of our website that has gained the attention from pro club managers, former and current professional players, and writers from The Athletic, has been our tactical analyses all year long. So with that, here are the ten most popular analyses of the year, all written by Rhys Desmond in 2021.

Chelsea 0-1 Man City – How Pep Beat Tuchel – Tactical Analysis

Chelsea vs. Manchester City was tipped to be an early title decider, and it did not disappoint as a highly contested affair between two teams right in the thick of the race this season. In the end it was the Citizens who came out on top, after an utterly dominant performance over a team that beat them in the UEFA Champions League final last season. Here is our analysis of the match.