When to press, and when not to press in football

Pressing has been one of the most commonly discussed topics in the past decade or so of the detailed scrutinization of football. Ideas around gegenpressing, and the high-control philosophies of managers like Guardiola and Klopp allowed pressing to come to prominence for all to see, and induced a belief that pressing must be the only proper way to defend.

How to stop the long-ball specialist

A little over a week ago, we asked you to give us your top of the line ideas on how to stop the long-ball specialist. Every single professional team has at least one of these players in their side, yet it remains a relatively undiscussed discourse. When you take into account the inherently unattractive dogma surrounding the notion of a long-ball ravaging through the beautiful game, there's even greater negative connotations toward something that in reality, is incredibly elegant. So with that, here is our analysis as to how to stop the long-ball specialist, with your answers intermixed along the way.

Thomas Tuchel’s Principles of Play – Tactical Analysis

Thomas Tuchel's PSG weren't brilliant in Ligue 1 this season, but his sacking still came as a relative surprise for many footballing fans. Given his reputation as a tactical innovator at FSV Mainz 05, Borussia Dortmund and even to an extent the Parisians, all clubs (and potentially even national teams) in need of a new manager should be thinking long and hard about the potential to bring the German into their set-up. Alongside analyzing his principles of play, common trends across his managerial career, and potential suitors, we establish where might be the best place for Thomas Tuchel to land next in this two-part tactical analysis. This is our latest analysis into the mind of last season's UEFA Champions League finalist, Thomas Tuchel.

Pressing from the Front – Tactical Trends in 2020

One of the most consistent tactics of the past decade has been the reliance on pressing from the front from some of the biggest clubs in the world. It would be foolish to say that pressing did not exist until the 2010s. What is perhaps more true is just how systematic pressing has become in recent years. In 2020, pressing evolved in unique ways, with many teams bringing their own unique approach to the tactical trend. Here are some of the trends seen in 2020 with regards to pressing from the front.

Ralph Hasenhuttl – Southampton – Tactical Analysis

When Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton lost 9-0 to Leicester City in October 2019, many thought the Austrian's time at St. Mary's was going to be short lived. Since then however, Hasenhuttl has proven himself more than capable of leading his team to better times, and currently has his team sitting 5th place in the Premier League table. Southampton under Hasenhuttl play in a clearly defined, structured, high pressing 4-2-2-2 system. Every single player fits into the style of play and the manager has clear expectations for how he wants his team to play and the values he wants to impose on his players. As we head into Matchday 12, here is our Tactical Analysis of Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton in 2020-21.

Pressing From The Front – The Basics

Pressing from the front is one of the most important elements of the modern game. As opposed to a low-block and allowing the opposition time and space to play out from the back, almost every professional team in existence presses high up the pitch, vigorously and rigorously in an attempt to win the ball back and go on the attack right away, closer to the opposition's goal. As a result, coaches of any age group should be looking to teach players young and old the necessary steps of pressing from the front. In order to help guide these coaches, we examine some of the most basic elements of pressing from the front, with example diagrams for a 7v7 team playing 2-3-1.