After a slow start to the season, Southampton are one of the in-form Premier League teams at the moment. Fielding a 4-2-2-2 on paper, the Saints recently picked up unexpected points against some of the league's biggest hitters - Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester United. Results in tow, Southampton’s implementation of quick and progressive attacking transitions have them climbing the league table, playing with a distinct style and groove.
The footballing universe is littered with terminology that only exists to us in our realm, and our game, and our sport. It can therefore be difficult for inexperienced onlookers or even just the average fan, to understand what we mean we discuss different footballing concepts and terms. So today, I take a look at the differences between positional play, positional rotation and positional interchange.
Having been placed in a group with Denmark, Russia and Finland, Belgium were certainly expected to top Group B. Roberto Martinez's side did not disappoint in the group stages, winning all three of their matches and conceding just 1 goal. Here is our tactical analysis of Belgium at Euro 2020 so far.
Against all the odds, LOSC Lille defied expectations to win the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season. Normally considered a "one-team league", Lille ensured the 2020-21 season would go right down to the final day, where PSG's three season title streak would officially come to an end. Under the influence of Christophe Galtier, Les Dogues conceded just 23 goals and kept an astonishing 21 clean sheets in 38 matches. Their defensive prowess set them on the path to win the league title right from the very opening day of the season, and tactically, they've been one of Europe's most intriguing sides. So with that, here is a tactical analysis of Christophe Galtier's Ligue 1 winning LOSC Lille in 2020-21.
After successive back to back third place finishes in Serie A, Gian Piero Gasperini has firmly established Atalanta as one of Europe's most lethal and tactically fluid teams. Despite losing their star player Alejandro 'Papu' Gomez halfway through the season due to disagreements between player and coach, Atalanta look set to finish inside Serie A's top three once again, with the highest tally of goals for the third season running. Here is a tactical analysis of Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta in 2020-21.
Since Antonio Conte's arrival at Inter Milan, the Italian giants have transformed into the most effective side in all of Serie A. Other than disappointments in the UEFA Champions League and losing last season's Europa League final, Conte's start to life at San Siro has gotten off without a hitch. I Nerazzurri narrowly missed out on the title to Conte's old side Juventus last season by one single point, and this season they look favourites to finally dethrone the Old Lady from securing another crown. But the results and the performances are not the only impressive components about Antonio Conte's functional Inter Milan. The Italian manager's tactics have been remarkable as they have been throughout his career, and so many players have taken their games to new heights under the influence of the former Premier League winner. Here is a tactical analysis all about Antonio Conte's Inter Milan in 2020-21.
Despite losing by a horrific 5-1 scoreline to VFB Stuttgart, Lucien Favre's sacking from the helm of Borussia Dortmund came at a strange time, with the club topping their UEFA Champions League group and no new manager in sight. Assistant coach Edin Terzic was given the interim role and unfortunately for the Black & Yellows, things could not have gotten off to a rockier start under the German coach. Terzic won just six of his opening thirteen matches in charge, forcing Dortmund into a difficult situation heading into the final third of the season with so much work to do in the quest to reclaim a place in the UEFA Champions League for next season. But after switching formations against Sevilla, Dortmund have found form again and have now won three on the spin, against big-hitters Sevilla, arch-nemeses Schalke 04, and relatively small-hitters Arminia Bielefield, who troubled Bayern Munich just weeks before. This recent run of form has culminated at the same time as two key decisions - Terzic's formational change away from the 4-2-3-1, and the announcement of Marco Rose as the club's future manager. The announcement gave Dortmund a massive lift and allowed them to regain confidence and focus. But Terzic and co also deserve some credit for the team's recent performances, posing some smart tactical tweaks along the way. Here is a tactical analysis of Edin Terzic's Borussia Dortmund, and whether or not they can make the top four this season.
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.
Be sure to check out the updated 2020-21 Atalanta Tactical Analysis. If you had told Gian Piero Gasperini at the start of his reign in charge of Atalanta that he'd make the Black and Blues into one of the most lethal attacking sides in European football within three years, he probably wouldn't have believed you. … Continue reading Gian Piero Gasperini – Atalanta – Tactical Analysis (2019-20)
All of the best professional teams in the world have attack-minded fullbacks deeply rooted into their system and style of play. The likes of Liverpool have achieved much success with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson bombing down their respective sides from their positions as fullbacks. Between the two of them, they've assisted 42 goals in the last two Premier League seasons, breaking records left and right as Liverpool have completely dominated the league. But it's not just Liverpool. The growing importance of fullbacks further up the field has been one of the most popular revolutions of the modern game and it is no longer just the very best of the best that deploy these types of players. Defenders at the youth level often see themselves as only defenders. They tend to believe that there is an imaginary line that they simply cannot cross. But this is not the case! Fullbacks can make a massive difference to the attacking prowess of a team and if our youth teams are to achieve greater attacking success, the fullbacks need to be more heavily involved. This session plan provides coaches with an opportunity to start to develop that attacking-mindset in fullbacks.
All of the best professional clubs in the world have some clearly defined method of combination play in the final-third of the pitch. Although our youth teams might never be able to achieve the attacking flair of Borussia Dortmund or Liverpool, working hard on the training ground on Combination Play can still be tremendously helpful in the quest for greater attacking prowess.