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.
Argentina *3-3 France – World Cup Final – Match Analysis
Wow. What a final. The 2022 World Cup showed quite a bit of promise for having a tournament halfway through the season, and the final lived up to expectation as one of the best in years. Argentina came out flying on all cylinders, with France looking shell-shocked for the entire first half. But through the efforts of Mbappé and a few others, they eventually clawed their way back to force the game into extra time, and then penalty kicks. Here is our analysis of the 2022 World Cup Final between Argentina and France.
Antoine Griezmann – Player Analysis – 2022 World Cup
Antoine Griezmann has been a pivotal figurehead in each of Didier Deschamps' major tournament successes, but the 2022 World Cup might just be his best of all. The French playmaker has created more chances than any other player at the tournament (4 per 90), bagging 3 assists in his 6 appearances as he works to support the wondrous efforts of Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappé. Griezmann's been perfect as a '10' for France - a role that few dare to play him in despite his incredible tactical nous and uncanny awareness of space. Here is our analysis of Antoine Griezmann ahead of the 2022 World Cup Final.
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.
England’s midfield balance – 2022 World Cup Analysis
In light of Mason Mount's lack of form at the start of the 2022 World Cup and in the recent months for Chelsea, Gareth Southgate has since opted for an experienced pairing of Declan Rice and Jordan Henderson at the base of the midfield, pushing the fresh legs of 19-year-old Jude Bellingham further forward. This has worked like a charm, bringing out the best in each of Southgate's midfield men, and allowing Bellingham to play some of his best football of his career thus far under the freedom of an advanced role. Here is why the balance of England's midfield has been so successful in recent matches, and why the trio could be the key to success in unlocking France.
France 3-1 Poland – Match Analysis – 2022 World Cup
Even despite six of their potential pre-tournament starters now missing, France continue to be one of the most electric sides at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Supercharged by the vibrancy in attack of Kylian Mbappé and masterfully supported by Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud - France's front four quartet work together wonderfully to bring out the best in one another. The French put on a dominant display on Sunday, rolling to a rollicking 3-0 win over the Poles in the Round of 16. Here is our match analysis.
UEFA Euro U19 Stars: Martin Adeline – Player Analysis
Many of England's starlets have been achieving much deserved acclaim after their impressive tournament win, but an underappreciated star of the competition comes in the form of Martin Adeline, France's exceptional midfield destroyer. The 18-year-old left PSG just two years ago to grow his career elsewhere, and after playing 8 games this season in Ligue 1, he looks to have boosted his reputation a step further at the Euros this summer in Slovakia. The dynamic midfielder showed much promise for France at the competition, helping lead his team toward the semi-final stage of the tournament. Here is our analysis of Martin Adeline, and his performances at the Euros.
Futbol Masterminds – Southgate’s Selection Headache and Paul Pogba’s Roller Coaster Ride
Kausty and Rhys dissect all eight Round of 16 ties, including in-depth analyses of Gareth Southgate's winning tactics for England against Germany, and Didier Deschamps' losing tactics for France against Switzerland. Kausty has some choice words to say about Paul Pogba, but Rhys comes to the Manchester United man's defense, calling it one of the standout performances from a player at the tournament so far. Rhys and Kausty also disagree on how Southgate should progress his team moving forward, and make their picks for the final of this summer's championships. Follow @futbolmasterminds on Instagram to see more of the show and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify!
Portugal vs. France – Euro 2020 – Match Preview
The stage is set, and the Puskas Arena will be the venue for another round of rivalry between the defending champions of the European Championships Portugal and the current world champions France. The French will be hoping to cause the Portuguese a heartbreak of the same gravitas which they themselves suffered from the finals defeat in 2016, making this all the more an intriguing encounter.
Futbol Masterminds – Italy, Netherlands and Belgium finish top
After the conclusion of Groups A, B, and C, Rhys and Russell go through the alphabet to discuss all the events from the week that was at the Euros. Russell has some bold predictions as always - this time switching allegiances as to who he thinks is ready to win the tournament, and breaking down why Spain and England have been so poor. Rhys meanwhile breaks down the tactics of why Italy and Netherlands have been so successful so far, and what Belgium needs to figure out moving forward.
Futbol Masterminds – Euro 2020 – Italy and France the Favourites?
Rhys is joined by a brand new set of panelists to discuss the events from the Euros between June 14th and 16th, including Italy's dominance at the tournament so far, France's commanding victory over Germany, Ronaldo's record breaking goal haul and much, much more. Follow @futbolmasterminds on Instagram to see more of the show and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify!
France 1-0 Germany – Tactical Analysis
In a match full of energy and fire, one that felt almost like a semi-final, France came out on top with relative ease over a fruitless Germany team. Didier Deschamps men secured a 1-0 victory at the unfortunate hands (or feet) of Mats Hummels banging the ball into the back of his own net, allowing the world champions to jump up into second in the group. Here is our tactical analysis of the match!
Kylian Mbappe – Player Analysis
After his incredible performance against FC Barcelona, many now regard Kylian Mbappe as the next coming of Lionel Messi, with some even suggesting he's already taken over as the world's greatest player. It was clear as day that Mbappe was going to be a world beater when he first stepped onto the scene with AS Monaco as a seventeen-year-old. But the Frenchman has progressed just as many hoped he might, which cannot be said about most of the seventeen-year old's who have burst onto the scene like Mbappe. Now a well established front-man for PSG, Mbappe is once again leading his team's charge toward the UEFA Champions League final just as he did last season. This is a tactical analysis all about PSG's Kylian Mbappe.