Crucially for his role as a 'Wing-Back', Pervis Estupiñán is one of the best crossers of the ball in the division. That has translated in over 3 crosses and 1.6 key passes per 90 in league play. It's the awareness of when to keep the ball on the grass or when to raise the ball in the air that comes as such an underrated skill, and one that often allows the Ecuadorian to set his teammates up for a real chance of scoring.
Tag: Tactical Theory
How athletes can improve their scanning and perceptions of BOTS
The number one aspect that separates elite players from amateur is the ability to make quick decisions under pressure. Elite athletes are better able to process information, and frequently take in more information when scanning their surroundings, even if scanning for shorter periods of time. But scanning, information processing and attention to detail are all skills that can be worked upon by athletes at any level, in any sport.
Understanding BOTS & how to scan for quicker, correct decisions
Scanning goes far beyond what must coaches will shout out: "check your shoulder!". It needs to encompass a constant process of neck and eye movement, assessing ball, opposition, teammates and space.
Understanding the five corner model for player development & performance
As coaches, we must recognize that players have an array of qualities that make them unique on the pitch. We must also recognize that each of these unique pillars need to be paid attention to with dedicated attention and care.
How to move off the ball like a world class winger
In the modern era, wingers can be as vital to scoring goals and creating chances as any other position on the pitch. Elite superstars like Mohamed Salah and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have illustrated this to a tee this year, for both their goal scoring prowess and chance creation supremacy. But most young players aspiring to be the world's best struggle to see the finer details of exactly how the likes of Salah and Kvara find themselves in those scoring positions. With that, we break down how to move off the ball like a world class winger, with real examples from the likes mentioned above, in addition to Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Alex Morgan.
The simple vs. complex language debate in football tactics writing & analysis
On the one hand, it's nice that those in the community are continuously challenging each other to improve. On the other hand, I wish there was more of a recognition toward the simple fact that there is no right or wrong way to conducting analysis in football. This week the debates stemmed around the notion that simple language is obviously, unequivocally, the best approach when it comes to writing and analyzing football. I'm not sure which one of us wrote the article that tipped the scale and confused everyone, but I'm here to say that complex language can be incredibly useful if used correctly.
Game of Numbers #12 – Erik Ten Hag’s Positional Play Masterclass
Erik Ten Hag has deployed brilliant implementations of positional play all season long, putting on an absolute masterclass of how to confuddle the opposition into oblivion against Leicester City.
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.
How to organize the defensive line as a goalkeeper
With a wonderful view of the action, goalkeepers must be more than just shot stoppers, and participate actively and vocally in communicating with their mates. They should not be solely responsible for organizing the entire team, but have the ability to do so through the vantage point they have on the field, and often the fearless nature they behold. I've often found that some of the best communicators that I coach are in fact goalkeepers. But before answering the question, let's first discuss whether or not it is actually necessary for the goalkeeper to organize the defensive line.
My top ten articles of 2022
2022 was another record-breaking year for TMS, and a great year of firsts for my work and the site. In 2022, we launched our Role Continuity Evaluation System, a batch of brand new Game Model Ebooks, and our Introduction to Football Analysis Course. This year was also the year that I had multiple clients from inside the professional game as part of my Mentorship Masterclass, which will be transitioning into the Consultation Masterclass in 2023. Along the way, I wrote some of my best work yet, that I can't wait to celebrate with you to close off the year. Here are my ten favourite articles on TMS in 2022.
The half-spaces as a key chance creation channel
It has long been hypothesized that 'Zone 14' is the holy grail of chance creation. The ideas around this concept were built around a study from the late 1990s that specified that successful teams had a higher frequency of getting into this zone when compared against their peers. Since opposition clubs often compact central channels out of possession, it's logical to reason that teams who are more successful in advancing into one of the most congested areas of the pitch are more successful overall. But while everyone conducting public analysis is busy studying 'Zone 14' (not all that well), the best chance creators are consistently conjuring up magic from a different area of the pitch, due to the desirable outcomes that follow