Throughout the past five to ten years of watching Manchester United, I had thought of myself as one of Scott McTominay's biggest fans. The Scotsman is often over-criticized when he doesn't play well, and under-praised in the big matches where he's always a central figurehead. But then out of nowhere, at the height of Scott McTominay's resurgence, a fairly well established Twitter account tweeted about the glory of Scott McTominay, causing quite the stir among the tactics and analytics community. . So with that, I analyze just how good Scott McTominay actually is, and whether or not we should be thinking of the Scottsman along the lines of @EBL2017, in line with the outrage sparked from the tweet, or somewhere in the middle. Here is my analysis of how good Scott McTominay might just be.
Fabinho has been instrumental to Liverpool's success for almost four years now, as the Reds have won four major trophies - including the Champions League and Premier League, with the Brazilian at the heart of their midfield. It may not be time for the Reds to move on from a man who has made the position his own, but there is certainly an opportunity to recruit fresh, young talent that can learn the role and grow into the side, just like Liverpool have done with Luis Diaz.
Atletico Ottawa have caught the eye at the start of this season, as the most tactically intriguing team in the league. Carlos Gonzalez's team achieved two back to back wins to start the campaign, playing different formations in and out of possession. Valour have a mammoth task as a result, and need to hit top gear in finding Moses Dyer early on in moves. Here is our tactical analysis.
No team in the Canadian Premier League has enjoyed a stronger start to the season than Pacific FC. James Merriman's team have been a well-oiled machine through and through, with a front four firing on all cylinders, and a cast and crew working behind the scenes to best support their fluidity up front. Not only have Pacific had a successful start from a team perspective, but as individuals working to serve one another within Merriman's 4-1-4-1. Here is our tactical preview of Pacific's match against HFX Wanderers FC.
Let's face it. You're tired of hearing about Harry Maguire. So are we! So with that, we debunk the Harry Maguire myth, and pose an alternative perspective as to why he's having a "difficult season" for Manchester United.
Knowing Pep Guardiola's level of footballing intelligence, we thoroughly trust his judgement. However, within the commentary surrounding what Atletico did on the day to achieve a result, as an undoubtedly all-out defensive approach, the 5-5-0 has become overstated - almost as a metric for evaluating Atletico's solidity. In actuality, the 5-5-0 rarely ever took centre stage.
After the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo at the end of last season, Wolverhampton Wanderers hoped their next manager would have the gusto to turn the club back into a Europa League challenging team. While Bruno Lage wasn't the flashiest of appointments, the Portuguese manager has surpassed fan expectations, turning Wolves into one of the best defensive units in the league. Despite scoring just 14 goals in 19 league games, Wolves sit 8th place in the table, on 28 points. That in large part is due to the excellent tactical balance of Bruno Lage's team, their sound defensive structure, and the fact that every single player has completely bought into his ideologies. Here is a tactical analysis all about Bruno Lage's Wolves.
A little over a year ago, Thomas Tuchel made his managerial debut for Chelsea, dominating 80% of the possession in a stale 0-0 draw. Sunday's encounter between the two teams saw many parallels, especially in Wolves' defensive appetite and Chelsea's failure to convert. However, it was a vastly different affair, with Wolves putting on a defensive masterclass, completely stunting Chelsea's progress and limiting them to just 1 shot on target. So with that, here is our tactical analysis of how Bruno Lage's team stopped Chelsea in their tracks, and secured another important 0-0 draw.
Having progressed to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup, many picked England as favourites to steal the crown at this summer's Euros. Now heading into the Quarter Finals of the tournament, Gareth Southgate's team remain unbeaten, without having conceded a single goal. Here is our tactical analysis of England at the Euros so far, and their chances of winning it all.
In the managerial merry go round of the modern day world, Marcelo Gallardo is a rare example of a manager who has achieved success whilst staying at one club for almost the entirety of his career. The Argentinean has been with River Plate since 2014, winning 12 trophies during that time. He's constantly evolved his tactics throughout his time in charge, with the side looking very different today from when he first took charge back in 2014. Ahead of the 2021 season, here is a tactical analysis of Marcelo Gallardo's River Plate, from 2019-20.
Although Chelsea can't quite seem to find the back of the net, very few managers in Premier League history have had a better start to life than Thomas Tuchel. The Blues have won nine of their thirteen matches under Tuchel's management in all competitions, keeping eleven clean sheets during that time. Some underlying issues are still evidently exposed as Tuchel works around his squad and attempts to find his best possible eleven, but the improvement from Frank Lampard is also evident for all to see. Tuchel's defensive tactics in particular have been outstanding, and much promise for the future remains if Chelsea can find their shooting boots and score more goals on a regular basis. Here is our latest Thomas Tuchel analysis, covering his first thirteen matches in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Over the past decade, the emphasis on attacking play in the beautiful game has grown and grown. Coaches and fans are increasingly more excited about the attacking moments of the game, rather than defensive moments. Defending has become an afterthought, and teams that set up to defend are often deemed "boring" and "dinosaurs" by fans around the world. But defending remains an integral component to the modern game, and often it can be seen that teams with the better defense structures (Atletico, Manchester City, etc.) often win more football matches.
Despite Manchester City's incredible form in recent weeks, the feeling going into the weekend's Manchester derby was that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could get a result yet again, as he had done in four out of his five previous meetings against Guardiola's team. Led by their robust defensive structure and impeccable counter attacking play, that's exactly what happened. Manchester United played with heart and fervidity and eventually succumbed Manchester City to their first loss since November 2020. Here is a tactical analysis of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Manchester City in the derby on March 7th, 2021.