The advantages of having a player who doesn’t defend

We often look at a player who doesn't defend as a detractor. Players are told from a young age that they must defend, regardless of their position on the field. In many respects, this is true. But when you get to the professional level, roles can evolve in novel ways, and even incorporate a player who has limited defensive responsibility. It was refreshing to see two teams so clearly implementing a tactic around their attack-minded superstars at the 2022 World Cup, simply by having them prioritize the attacking side of the game. With that, I wanted to provide a potential argument into why having this type of tactic can actually be a valuable feature to a team going forward, without ruining their chances in defense.

Didier Deschamps – France – Tactical Analysis – World Cup 2022

After a legendary career as a player in the nineties, Didier Deschamps has made a name for himself across the last decade as one of the most dominant national team managers of all time. France have a plethora of talent continuously circulating the squad, but Deschamps has managed all the moving pieces incredibly - leading the French team to three major tournament finals in the span of eight years (World Cup 2018; World Cup 2022; Euros 2016). France could now become the first side to win succssive World Cups since Brazil managed the feat in 1962. Here is our analysis of Didier Deschamps' magnificence with the French national team this year, ahead of the 2022 World Cup Final against Argentina.

Game of Numbers #10 – Thuram’s Tormenting Transitions

Daniel Farke's men completely outclassed Dortmund on the break, particularly via the use of quick play through the vertical channels. The man that led that entire process was none other than Marcus Thuram - who recently featured in our 'Direct Goal-Scorer' breakdown. Thuram's a quintessential model of the role, as someone who constantly endeavours to run behind an opposition defense. He's the first outlet in transition, and this makes him absolutely integral to the team given that much of Monchengladbach's brilliance this season has come on the counter. Combine that with Dortmund's own problems at the back and the strange omission of their best transitional warrior, and Edin Terzic set his team up for a disaster.

Dortmund 3-0 Copenhagen – Match Analysis

Edin Terzic has enjoyed a positive start to the season, even despite some of the kinks in the system clearly still being worked out. Dortmund have lost just one game since the start of the campaign, achieving six wins and one draw in the process. No clearer have their principles of play come to life under Terzic this season than against FC Copenhagen, where the Black & Yellows picked up three points in their first UEFA Champions League match of the season. Here is our analysis of Dortmund's big win.

Game of Numbers #4 – Counter Attacking to Score Goals

In the quest to establish beautiful football, possession-based play often reigns supreme, with the bitter ugliness of grit and determination seen as a lower standard way of approaching the game. But when done right and done effectively, counter attacking football can be the deadliest approach to winning football matches. That notion came to prominence over the weekend, as both of last season's Premier League title contenders dropped points, and Bundesliga giants RB Leipzig crashed down the stairs at Union Berlin.

David Moyes – West Ham United – Tactical Analysis (2021-22)

Within the last two years at the London Stadium, Moyes has overseen the rise and development of Declan Rice into one of the best midfielders on the planet; not to mention an excellent recruitment scheme that has brought in the likes of Tomas Soucek, Vladimir Coufal and last season's loan signing of Jesse Lingard. Throughout that time, he's also inspired improvements in versatility, style of play and attacking output in the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Pablo Fornals, and Michail Antonio, within an intense style of football that works to combat even the toughest teams in the league. So ahead of a charge towards this season's UEFA Europa League final, we take a look at David Moyes' tactics this season. Here is our latest in all things West Ham and David Moyes.

How Crystal Palace shocked Arsenal – Match Analysis

Under the influence of Patrick Vieira, Crystal Palace have put on a show this season, beating several of the league's most formidable sides. Shock wins against Manchester City and Nuno's Spurs will live long in the memory of Palace fans, but few of their performances can top this past weekend, when they creamed Mikel Arteta's … Continue reading How Crystal Palace shocked Arsenal – Match Analysis

How Canada used the 4-4-2 to success in World Cup Qualifying

After thirteen long, hard-fought games, Canada's Men's National Team has officially qualified for the World Cup for the first time since 1986. With 8 wins, 4 draws and just 1 loss in the final stage of qualifying, John Herdman's men sealed their spot with a game to spare, after thumping Jamaica by a smashing score-line of 4-0. In the final stages of the competition, Canada smartly stuck by a 4-4-2 formation, maintaining consistency and chemistry en route to an impressive run to the finish line. Here is our analysis of how Canada used the 4-4-2 to success, and stood strong to stand on guard for thee.

What Jesse Marsch will bring to Leeds United

On a surface level, you may look at Marsch - a man who loves a high pressing system - and think to yourself that Leeds is a match made in heaven for 48-year-old (yes, we know he looks much younger). In reality, the jump from Bielsa to Marsch is a big one, going from an intense man-marking press, to a press that centers around the ball. So with that, today, we analyze what Jesse Marsch will bring to Leeds United, and whether or not the Lillywhites are prepared for the leap.

How Southampton’s attacking transitions vary between phases of the game

After a slow start to the season, Southampton are one of the in-form Premier League teams at the moment. Fielding a 4-2-2-2 on paper, the Saints recently picked up unexpected points against some of the league's biggest hitters - Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United. Results in tow, Southampton’s implementation of quick and progressive attacking transitions have them climbing the league table, playing with a distinct style and groove.

Gerardo Seoane – Bayer Leverkusen – Tactical Analysis

In the midst of the massive managerial merry go round of last spring, Gerardo Seoane's move to Bayer Leverkusen was one of the quieter Bundesliga appointments. But Seoane's Leverkusen have been louder than most in Germany this season, starting off the 2021-22 campaign in fine form with a UEFA Champions League spot within reach. Along the way, Leverkusen have been playing some exceptional football, with a happy mix of counter-attacking and possession with a purpose. Here is our tactical analysis of Gerardo Seoane's Bayer Leverkusen in 2021-22.

VfB Stuttgart 2-3 SC Freiburg – Match Analysis

In one of the games of the Bundesliga season so far, SC Freiburg held onto their narrow lead over Vfb Stuttgart, grinding out an important result that sees them enter the top four - ahead of Borussia Dortmund. Here is our analysis of the match!

Mauricio Pochettino – PSG – Tactical Analysis

Although Mauricio Pochettino hasn't had the best start to life with PSG, much hope and promise for the future remains, given his early time in charge so far and the team's form in the UEFA Champions League. The Parisians are yet to lose a game in the Champions League under Pochettino, and despite a disappointing loss to Lille in Ligue 1, remain in the hunt for a treble. The league title that the Argentinean desperately craved at Tottenham is still within reach, and will certainly come even if not this season. So with that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Mauricio Pochettino's PSG so far in 2020-21.