What a player does on a football pitch from a pure on-the-ball event perspective, quantifies only a small percentage of their actual role or influence on a match. What a player does off the ball can often be the key to a good performance, allowing a player to enhance their on-the-ball metrics in the process. So this begs the question - how can you evaluate a player's performance if they weren't really all that involved in the action, but stuck to their specific role perfectly?
In my early days of coaching, I picked up very quickly on the fact that players developed an affinity for positions that they played more often. Therefore sometimes when a positional change became necessary, simply playing the player in that position more regularly allowed the player to develop greater confidence and affinity for playing in that position. These effects occurred even when the player started out by dreading the role and thinking themselves to be ill-equipped to perform there. In psychology, this is called the "mere exposure effect". Quite simply, by having more exposure to something, one's motivation, desire and enjoyment of that thing can often be elevated to higher heights. This is relevant for both players and coaches. But how? Here is why this phenomenon is relevant for both coaches and players and how they can use an understanding of the effect to further their craft.
It's practically undeniable that a striker's number one role in a team is to score goals. But the actual art of scoring goals is so much more complex than many think. It comes down to far more than just finishing ability and instinct. Movement, particularly movement done off the ball, is so important to a striker's ability to score goals. The very best are masters of the art. Some are incredibly adept when it comes to movement in deep and linking up play with others lower on the field. But this article will explore those that are particularly adept at timing their runs into the box to perfection and scoring goals from their stellar movement off the ball. Here are 7 different movement patterns the world's best strikers often use in games to score goal after goal, game after game.
Italian striker Ciro Immobile has been one of the most lethal goal scorers in world football over the last five years, yet still does not get the full recognition that he deserves as one of Europe's top strikers. So far in 2019-20, only Polish striker Robert Lewandowski has scored more goals than Immobile in Europe's top five leagues, and many consider Lewandowski to be the best centre-forward in the world. 14 goals in 12 Serie A matches is more than just an impressive feat, it's something absolutely outstanding, particularly as part of a team where he doesn't have the same level of service or team possession that someone like a Lewandowski or Lionel Messi would have. After failed spells at Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla, Immobile completely revitalized his career with Lazio back in 2016-17 and now at the age of 29, is on pace to set his most impressive goal return of his career. But how does the Italian striker play and what makes him so unique as a centre forward? This is The Mastermind's Tactical Analysis of Ciro Immobile.
Once upon a time 6v6 was a popular game format in the United States at the youth level, but in recent years has been phased out in favour of 7v7. However, many leagues and tournaments, particularly indoors, still use 6v6 as their game format. We've examined the best formations to play for 5v5, 7v7, 8v8, … Continue reading Best Formations for 6v6
One of the more impressive Premier League players this season and just about the only Arsenal player who's made an impression, Matteo Guendouzi is enjoying some of his best football at the moment with Arsenal. The 20-year old French midfielder certainly has his best days still ahead of him, but already looks to be a … Continue reading Matteo Guendouzi – Tactical Analysis
In an era where formations are ever-changing, the 3-4-3 has become one of the most popular to use around the world. Serie A teams have long been fans of the back three, but formations like the 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 are growing in popularity virtually everywhere - from Spain to France to Germany to even England … Continue reading How Antonio Conte’s Chelsea Won The 2016-17 Premier League Title Playing 3-4-2-1
In the past two years, Bernardo Silva has gone from a very talented footballer that occasionally would come on and make a difference for Manchester City, to one of the best players on the planet. Silva does the simple things very well while simultaneously making the complex look very, very easy. The decisions he makes on a football pitch are absolutely brilliant and he's even grown into a player capable of playing not only on the wing but in central midfield as well. This is a tactical analysis of Manchester City's supreme star, Bernardo Silva.
In a team full of superstars, 22-year old Oleksandr Zinchenko often does not get the credit he deserves in Manchester City's back-line. This is in part due to simply not being a big name player, having come from the academy at Shakhtar Donestk rather than one of Europe's more illustrious outfits. But the Ukrainian left-back has been a key component to Manchester City's success with little recognition.
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.
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.
When Long-Term-Player-Development (LTPD) was introduced to soccer in Canada in 2008, one of its many goals was to shorten field sizes, game times and players on the field in accordance with what would be most beneficial for the development of children. Now, eleven years on from all the changes which have widely been accepted and … Continue reading Is U13 Too Early For 11v11?
Before the USSF switched to 9-a-side for U11 & U12, 8-a-side was the common standard. Today, 8v8 is not a common playing format. However, it is useful to discuss from a 9v9 standpoint, to elucidate what formations might be useful when a team has to play short. Here are the best formations for 8v8, a … Continue reading Best Formations for 8v8