Tactical Thinker: How to stop the long-ball specialist…

In all the discussion about tiki taka, possession-based, beautiful football, long passes often get a bad reputation. However, long passes can be extremely effective, and the best teams in the world know how to intermix both short and long passes into their build-up, in order to effectively break down the opposition. The likes of Ederson at Man City, Joshua Kimmich at Bayern Munich and Mats Hummels at Borussia Dortmund frequently utilize long passes to unlock the opposition's defense, giving their team a different edge from all the possession-based football. While these players may not be your traditional 'number 10' playmakers, they play a vital role in creating chances for their team and kickstarting attacks. So with that, today we ask the next question in our Tactical Thinker series. How do you stop the long-ball specialist?

Identifying players to fit your team’s style of play

In the process of recruitment & scouting, an essential piece to the puzzle is in finding players to fit the team's style of play, rather than just the very best players. Without a game model that specifies how a team wants to function in each phase of the game, this is difficult to achieve. But beyond studying a game model, a recruitment & scouting analyst could use a few other methods for finding the right players, that would allow them to transform their team and achieve new heights.

Julian Nagelsmann – Bayern Munich – Tactical Analysis

Since taking charge of Bayern Munich, Julian Nagelsmann has only carried on his fantastic managerial reputation, with the Bavarians winning six of their opening eight matches. In that time they've scored a whopping 29 goals, playing an incredibly effective and attractive brand of football. Here is a tactical analysis of Julian Nagelsmann's Bayern Munich in 2021-22.

Coaching Automatisms – Rehearsed Patterns of Play

In the past few years, I have adopted an almost entirely games-based approach to coaching. Everything is based within scenarios and situations players encounter in the game, and related to rehearsed actions on where to be in different situations players encounter on a football pitch. These are what the footballing world call "patterns of play", and what some top managers in the game have dubbed "automatizations".

How To Watch Football Like a Tactical Analyst

If you're a frequent visitor to this website, or a visitor at all, chances are you probably love to watch football. For years and years I watched football mainly for entertainment. But increasingly, as I've coached the game more and more, I've developed a love for watching football, not just for entertainment, but for intellectual reasons as well. Football is more similar to chess than most other sports, and like chess, there are so many different ways to get to a single correct outcome. Football is a game that involves a countless number of complex decisions within each and every second for the twenty-two players involved both on and off the ball. This is why I love watching football. If you've read any of our Tactical Analyses, you may be wondering how to watch football with that same tactical lens. So, this article will cover how to watch the beautiful game like a tactical analyst.

Coaching Lessons From a Video Game – FIFA 19

One of the biggest dangers in the world of coaching in youth sports today is the concept of "joy-sticking" - whereby coaches control every act their players do and do not give their athletes freedom to be autonomous in their decisions. What is described in this article may be controversial as it is a literal form of "joy-sticking". However, this article presents the various ways that playing EA Sports' FIFA video game can be useful in analyzing your players, tactics and playing style, especially if coaches are mindful that what they do on the game may not translate into the real world. Although it is only a video game and a literal form of joy-sticking, every coach can benefit in a lot of ways from creating and playing with their team on FIFA 19.