Luciano Spalletti has worked wonders since arriving to the scene of Naples in 2021. The Italian manager helped Napoli to a third-place finish last season, and now prepares to lead the closing stages of their title charge in 2023. With some supremely smart acquisitions in the summer working their magic, Gli Azzurri currently sit ten points clear atop the table, and have more than double the points of Serie A's historical dominator - Juventus. If Spalletti can continue to get his tactics right and maintain the remarkably positive culture he's built since arriving, Napoli will walk away with the title this year. So with that, here is our analysis of the club from Naples so far in 2022-23.
Without Jude Bellingham, where would Borussia Dortmund be right now? They've been missing Marco Reus, Mats Hummels hasn't been up to pace (literally), and all the newboys haven't quite hit the ground running as expected (perhaps Salih Özcan aside). This has meant that Jude Bellingham has needed to carry the weight of the team on his shoulders, getting on the ball at every turn to work his magic.
Unai Emery has been one of the most esteemed managers of the modern era, to little fanfare given that much of his managerial success has come in competitions like the Europa League and Ligue 1. But Emery is yet to truly fail in a managerial role, and looks prepared to only continue his incredible reputation at Aston Villa. When he took over from Steven Gerrard, Villa were hovering around the relegation zone, desperately trying to stay afloat. Now they've attained four wins from their last six matches, in a robust 4-4-2 system that has dragged them all the way toward the top ten. Here is our analysis of how Emery has achieved so much success in his early days at Villa Park.
Across the 2021-22 campaign, Julian Ryerson struggled for minutes in a competitive Union Berlin side loaded with wing-backs. But this season, he's become the starlet of the side from the wings, fulfilling his wing-back role to great effect from either side. His form in 2022-23 caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund, who snapped him up for a meek €5 million fee. Here is our analysis as to why the Black & Yellows made a move for Julian Ryerson, and what he will bring to Signal Iduna Park.
Since suffering defeat to his old club at the end of October, Graham Potter's Chelsea have lost seven of their last eleven matches. Injuries have evidently played a part, but Potter's problems persist even despite a wealthy eleven still at his disposal. The balance of the team remains up in shambles, even despite a recent redemption victory against Crystal Palace. With that, we examine what's wrong with Potter's Chelsea from a tactical perspective, and how the former Brighton man can turn his fortunes around.
Historically known as the 'Target Man', we've rebranded this term to be all encompassing. More than just about any role, the word 'Target' immediately paints a picture of the type of player we're looking for. That is, someone strong, typically tall, aerially savvy, robust, and frequently used by their team as a target for advancing up the pitch. In the hockey sense, they would typically be the one responsible for 'roughing up the opposition'
Creative Links are quite similar to our attacking midfielder persona - the 'Creative Ten'. The main difference is that they play up front, and typically conduct more of their play with their back to goal in linking up with their teammates. You could call them a 'False 9', a playmaking centre-forward, or something between a '9' and a '10.'
2022-23 has gone better than anyone at Arsenal could have ever imagined, with the Gunners topping the table for the vast majority of the campaign. After sixteen matches, only two sides have taken points off Arteta's men, with the Spaniard's side becoming completely solidified at all ends of the pitch. Here is our analysis of Arteta's Arsenal in 2022-23.
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.
Over the past decade, few managers in the world of football have achieved more than Emma Hayes at Chelsea. Having now won the FA Cup and WSL title in back to back seasons with the Blues, the Chelsea legend will now have her eyes on the greatest prize of all in club football - the UEFA Champions League. Fortunately for her, Chelsea are in the form of their lives at the moment, and currently boast what is possibly the greatest squad they've ever had. The likes of Lyon and Barcelona will be difficult to beat, but Chelsea are in good shape to go this season with a near unbeaten record, and challenge for that elusive trophy once and for all. Here is our analysis of Emma Hayes' Chelsea in 2022-23.
Since taking charge of Brighton in late September, Roberto De Zerbi has picked up right where Graham Potter left off, continuing the team's excellence in and out of possession. The results haven't always followed despite all the positives in their performance, but De Zerbi seems to have found solidity now, with the Seagulls currently sitting in seventh place. Here is our tactical analysis of De Zerbi's Brighton so far in 2022-23, and whether or not the Italian can lead them toward European football this season.
After a rocky start to life at Manchester, Erik Ten Hag has quickly become one of the only managers since Sir Alex Ferguson to restore faith in the fans, and restore equilibrium back into the eleven. United might only be fifth in the table, but continue to grow in confidence under the influence of the Dutchman, and look destined for a top four finish on current form. With that, here is our tactical analysis of Erik Ten Hag's Manchester United since the Dutch manager took over.
Many would have expected Newcastle United to improve under their new ownership, but their rise to remarkability has been quicker than anyone would have imagined. Eddie Howe has achieved complete equilibrium within his eleven in under a twelve-month period, turning the Magpies into a top five side with many of the same faces from the days of Steve Bruce. With Newcastle's remarkable rise only likely to continue, we break down the tactics that have brought his team success in 2022-23.