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.
One of the most tactically complex teams in world football, no other team could change formation and personnel to the extent that Graham Potter's Brighton do without suffering any consequences. Through all the constant change, it's miraculous to think his team have boasted some of the best possession in the league, and one of the soundest defensive structures. The calls continue to come for Potter to move up a level and take on a new challenge, but for now, the British manager has kept Brighton in the top half of the table for the vast majority of the 2021-22 season. Here is our tactical analysis of Graham Potter's incredible Brighton & Hove Albion.
Jesse Marsch is one of the most buzzworthy managers in the world of football at the moment. Since taking over at Red Bull Salzburg for Marco Rose, the American has developed a reputation as a tactical innovator and one of the most exciting young managers in the game. However, it's not as though Salzburg's record is anything out of the ordinary from previous managers. The buzz and attention surrounding the former MLS superstar is instead much more about how Marsch's tactics and coaching styles have been out of the ordinary. His open communication regarding his coaching philosophies and principles of play has also been welcome, and only increased the manager's growing reputation. Here is a tactical analysis of Jesse Marsch's Red Bull Salzburg.
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.
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.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been beaten and battered as Manchester United manager for the past two and a half seasons. But although Manchester United are nowhere near the level they were under Sir Alex Ferguson, Solskjaer has managed to get the Red Devils to play some fantastic football and achieve several impressive results over the past few years. The Red Devils currently sit second in the table, even after a horrendous start to the season that saw them all the way down in 15th just a few months ago. After fifteen Premier League matches, Manchester United have accumulated 30 points, only 2 less than Liverpool, and remain unbeaten in their last ten in the league. Although he looks destined for the sack in time, Solskjaer might be one of the most underrated managers in world football at the moment. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United.
Much has been made about Liverpool's start to the season, and a lot of the discussions have centered around Jurgen Klopp's team not being what they used to be, regardless of the injuries they've suffered. The fact of the matter is that the Reds have been better than any other side in the league this season. Liverpool have lost just a single game so far this season, although it was an absolute thrashing against Aston Villa. They've scored 36 goals in 14 games, and currently hold the best goal differential of all teams in the league. Perhaps most crucially, the performances have been good, even despite their injury woes, and they've been able to give young players a chance to perform in the side. For a side that some would say haven't been brilliant this season, Liverpool very well might be on their way to becoming champions again this season. With that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in 2020-21.
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.
Marcelo Bielsa is one of the most fascinating managers in the world of football and is currently tearing it up in the Premier League with Leeds United. After earning promotion from the Championship to the top flight last season, Bielsa's side sit only 14th in the table. But the performances have been far better than the results and his side have achieved impressive performances and results against the likes of Arsenal, Man City and Aston Villa so far this season. Either way, the football that Leeds play can be described as genius, and simultaneously as one of our readers described it - madness. With that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds United and the impressive exploits his team have pulled off in the 2020-21 Premier League season.
Before Jose Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur were 14th in the table, with 14 points from 12 matches. After his appointment, the club soared to sixth place in the table, clawing their way to Europa League football in the process. Now with some impressive new signings in Sergio Reguilon, Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg and Gareth Bale, Tottenham look well on their way to better times in 2020-21. After their thumping 6-1 win over Manchester United this past weekend, we take an updated look at Mourinho's tactics with Spurs this season. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Jose Mourinho's revamped and revitalized Tottenham Hotspur after the first four Premier League matches.
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.