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.

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.

Lionel Scaloni – Argentina – Tactical Analysis – World Cup 2022

Without a big job in management under his belt, many might have been skeptical of Lionel Scaloni's ability to manage big-game players like Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Angel di Maria. But Scaloni has demonstrated an incredible ability to manage all the moving parts of this Argentina team throughout the 2022 World Cup - arguably as the most flexible and adaptable coach at the tournament. Here is our analysis of Lionel Scaloni's team ahead of the 2022 World Cup Final.

Explaining the Creative Ten – Player Role Analysis

When we say 'Creative Ten', I'm sure you immediately conjure up an image of a classical painter of a player, who wonderfully creates art with their passing and incisiveness in the final third. But as has been well documented over the past few years, that type of player does not tend to exist in the modern game. The Mesut Ozil's, David Silva's and Cesc Fabregas's of this world no longer tend to exist as they once did, or play in the same positions that they once held. Nowadays, 'number ten's' must not only be capable contributors in the final third, but highly active in pressing from the front, and contributing to rotations that spread the width of the pitch.

Creating balance in your analysis

When conducting analysis in any setting, it's important to ensure a balance is met, in every sense of the word. That includes considering and dissecting more than just the in-possession moments, and what the camera wants you to see on first glance. That includes considering both the positives and the areas of improvement, whilst keeping feedback constructive and actionable. It's difficult for an analyst to achieve all of the necessary components of an outstanding analysis in one big bundle, but balance must be met regardless of time or place as part of that package.

Top 100 Male Footballers 2021 Edition (20-1)

It's time for the finale! Two weeks ago today, we launched our voting polls for the best player in each position across the calendar year. It’s all part of our annual Top 100 Footballers list, where this year, you get to have your say. In just one week, we had hundreds of votes in each category, helping us develop a comprehensive list of the very best footballers on planet earth this year. Here is our Top 100 Footballers of 2021, as voted by you, ending our countdown with numbers 20-1.

Player of the Year – Interactive Vote (Top 100 Footballers 2021)

The end of year is almost here, and that means it's time for our annual Top 100 Footballers list. This year, you, the readers of our website, will get to have your say. Just simply see the list of nominees below, and rearrange the list to suit your preference of first to last in each position. When we rank the Top 100 Footballers of the Year, we take into consideration a player's form throughout 2021, their club and national team success, difficulty of league, and their reputation + performances in the year prior. You can rank based on any criteria you desire! Below is our poll ranking the best strikers in 2021.

Striker of the Year – Interactive Vote (Top 100 Footballers 2021)

The end of year is almost here, and that means it's time for our annual Top 100 Footballers list. This year, you, the readers of our website, will get to have your say. Just simply see the list of nominees below, and rearrange the list to suit your preference of first to last in each position. When we rank the Top 100 Footballers of the Year, we take into consideration a player's form throughout 2021, their club and national team success, difficulty of league, and their reputation + performances in the year prior. You can rank based on any criteria you desire! Below is our poll ranking the best strikers in 2021.

Can Barcelona cope with life after Messi?

The moment every Barcelona fan had been dreading for years has finally arrived. Lionel Messi has left the club as a free agent, unable to pen a new contract, which had apparently been agreed months ago. While there could be more than meets the eye regarding the current situation, the Catalan giants must now prepare for a new era without their most successful player ever.

Futbol Masterminds – Messi, Grealish, Kane, & a Whole Premier League Preview!

Lionel Messi wants OUT of Barcelona again. But we're not convinced he's actually leaving again. Meanwhile, Manchester City have splashed the cash on Jack Grealish and might do so again to sign Harry Kane. If they do, is the title race done and dusted before it even begins? Rhys doesn't think so, and thinks another Premier League challenger could be set to go neck and neck with the Citizens this season. Then the lads break down the top four race, relegation battle and why Tottenham, Arsenal, and Everton are still stuck in no-mans-land. Follow the show @futbolmasterminds and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify! 

Ronald Koeman’s New Look FC Barcelona – Tactical Analysis

After a disappointing couple of years, FC Barcelona are making active strides in the transfer market to turn their fortunes around. The signings of Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Sergio Aguero signal their intent to be the best team in Spain again, and end their two season run without a La Liga title. Here is a tactical analysis of how FC Barcelona may set up under the influence of Ronald Koeman next season.

Futbol Masterminds – FA Cup Final, Alisson Saves the Day, Barca Crash out of Title Race

It was a weekend of football like none other, with two domestic league cups to discuss, new developments in the title races in Spain and France, and a goalkeeper scoring a header in the Premier League. Kausty, Russell, Rhys and new guest Shomik get together to discuss Leicester's stunning FA Cup final win, Dortmund's resurgence in the DFB Pokal and Bundesliga top four race, and Alisson's incredible headed goal. The panel then end off with a discussion about Barcelona crashing out of the La Liga title race, and whether or not Ronald Koeman is to blame. Follow @futbolmasterminds on Instagram to see more of the show and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify!

Futbol Masterminds – Chelsea v. Man City, Juve’s Top Four Hopes, Ligue 1 and La Liga Title Races

Russell is back(!!), and back in style to discuss all the top European leagues in episode #11 of the Futbol Masterminds show. The panel first delve into Chelsea vs. Man City, Timo Werner and panenkas, before moving to Serie A, discussing Juventus' top four hopes being dashed before their eyes. The panel then give their picks in the respective races for the La Liga and Ligue 1 title, before discussing the potential Ballon d'Or race between Lewandowski and Messi. Follow @futbolmasterminds on Instagram to see more of the show and subscribe via Itunes and Spotify!