Even at the cut-price of £15 million, many unaware football fans were skeptical of Manchester City's move for Manuel Akanji. The thought was that he was an unreliable defender, who frequently made critical defensive errors leading to goals. This happened a few times in Akanji's early days at BVB, and painfully for us as fans, most crucially in the lead-up to Dortmund losing the title in Favre's first year. But what many failed to recognize despite my constant banging of the drum last year - Akanji had grown into one of the best defenders on the planet in his final two seasons at the club. Here is our analysis of Manuel Akanji's start to life at Manchester City.
Tag: Playing Under Pressure
Explaining the Tempo Setter – Player Role Analysis
The 'Tempo Setter' is a unique player type to our system, taking into account the possession-based players that operate in a 'number 8' position, and thrive when given the ball in the half-spaces. Youri Tielemans, Christian Eriksen and Jordan Henderson feature as some of the best within the role from an emblematic perspective, perfectly exuding the cucumber coolness required. But the likes of Thiago and Tchouaméni also stake a claim despite their extreme exceptionalities on the ball, due to the high influence they present in keeping the game moving along from a withdrawn position. Beyond the streamlined skill of Thiago, they tend not to be the flashiest of players in their teams. But 'Tempo Setters' are key to setting the tone of a football match, and conducting the orchestra from start to finish. Quite simply, without their class and composure in possession, the whole entire musical production could crumble.
Explaining the Deep-Lying Playmaker – Player Role Analysis
The 'Deep-Lying Playmaker' is one of the already attributed player types that we have adopted within our system. Also known by its Italian name 'Regista', the 'DLP' is tasked with setting the tempo of the match from build up to progression, all the way to creation. They sit in front of the defensive line as an 'Anchor', but hold a more offensive, progressive and possession-oriented role than the other two 'number 6' types within our 'Anchor' persona. Their role is in both helping create space between the lines, and then breaking lines, recycling play, or even changing the point of attack upon receiving the ball, so that their team can advance up the pitch, beat an opposition's press and seek spaces closer to goal.
Adi Hütter – Eintracht Frankfurt – Tactical Analysis
In the merry go round that is the Bundesliga managerial landscape at the moment, Adi Hütter has officially been announced as the next Borussia Monchengladbach boss. The announcement came just days after leading his team to a massive win over third place VFL Wolfsburg, with Die Adler in poll position to qualify for the UEFA Champions League next season. Monchengladbach on the other hand, sit just eighth in the table, after a stop and start second half of the season. Part of Gladbach's lack of form could be down to the other big managerial announcement of 2021 in the Bundesliga - Marco Rose's imminent arrival at Borussia Dortmund. However, Hütter's achievements with Frankfurt are monumental in comparison to Gladbach's disappointing season. That makes it all the more confusing why he would leave a side about to participate in the UEFA Champions League for one that is not guaranteed European football next season. Nonetheless, the surprise announcement gives us the perfect opportunity to eulogize everything Adi Hütter has accomplished at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Jurgen Klopp – Liverpool – Tactical Analysis (2020-21 Edition)
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.
13 Shooting & Finishing Activity Ideas
I've never been a big fan of shooting & finishing session plans, as they often involve activities with loads of wait time, and take up too much time for something that happens actually relatively infrequently in games. Instead, I've preferred to work on shooting & finishing with players in 1on1 or small-group training sessions, where the repetition can still be high and the waiting time low. That said, players love shooting & finishing sessions. Who doesn't like to shoot the ball and score goals? All players enjoy these sessions, even goalkeepers and defenders as it means they get opportunities to do what they love too. So with that, here is a variety of shooting & finishing activities to help you design your own shooting & finishing session with individuals or groups. The activities are separated between the amount of repetition and wait time, helping you make a distinction between which might be useful for smaller numbers and which can be done in team training.
Coaching the 3-2-3 (9v9)
Over the past year of coaching 9v9 soccer, the 3-2-3 has become my favourite formation to use. I am a firm believer that the formation of any team should not be based around a club identity or a coach's personal style of play, but rather based around the team's style of play and the personnel of the team. However, I have found that the 3-2-3 is fantastic in suiting nearly every type of player and the simple and easy variations that can be created using the formation such as shifting into a 3-1-3-1, allow coaches to tweak and change their style of play to fit the needs of the vast majority of youth soccer players.