Since losing Raul Jimenez to a horrific head injury in November 2020, Wolves have picked up just 8 points in 11 matches. They've stumbled down the table to 14th, and they look a far cry from the side that finished 7th in previous back to back seasons. Without Raul Jimenez and a sudden abandonment of their back-three mantra, Nuno Espirito Santo's side look like a team that lack a clear identity to win football matches. This comes as a surprise, given that Wolverhampton had one of the clearest identities in the league two seasons in a row before this one. After their toothless performance in the second half against West Bromwich Albion, leading to a 3-2 defeat, we take a look at what's gone wrong for the Raul Jimenez-less Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020-21.
Juventus have won the Serie A title for the past nine seasons in a row. But this season, for the first time in over a decade, that appears to be under serious threat. The man leading that threat is the current AC Milan manager, Stefano Pioli. Although he performed well for Lazio and Inter Milan in his previous managerial stints, Pioli more recently struggled to manage expectations as Fiorentina manager. He was lucky to even get the AC Milan job in the first place and when he first arrived it was seen as a short-term solution. Now, Pioli has his team playing some fantastic football, en route to a potential title charge. The Red and Blacks remain undefeated in Serie A after 15 matches, ahead of a crucial match later today against Juventus. For all of their fantastic performances in 2020-21 so far, here is our Tactical Analysis of Stefano Pioli's AC Milan.
Sheffield United were one of the most impressive sides in the Premier League last season, in their first season back in the top flight for over a decade. With overlapping centre-backs and a highly rigid 3-5-2 formation, Chris Wilder's side were one of the most exciting and tactically intriguing sides to watch in 2019-20. With the fantastic performances of the squad as a whole, Sheffield United finish in 9th place last season, winning or drawing 26 of their 38 games. Perhaps most impressively of all, they conceded just 39 goals, the fourth lowest total in the league. After their fantastic performances, nobody would have expected them to struggle this badly in 2020-21. It could have been predicted that without Dean Henderson and Jack O'Connell they might compete in a relegation battle this time around, but nobody predicted them to be one of the worst sides in Premier League history. As things stand, Sheffield United are heading towards the lowest points total in the history of the league, and currently hold a Premier League record for longest winless run. Chris Wilder's side have been bad to say the least, and this Tactical Analysis will attempt to uncover exactly what has gone wrong for the Blades this season. Here is our Tactical Analysis all about Chris Wilder's Sheffield United in 2020-21.
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.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been beaten and battered as Manchester United manager for the past two and a half seasons. But although Manchester United are nowhere near the level they were under Sir Alex Ferguson, Solskjaer has managed to get the Red Devils to play some fantastic football and achieve several impressive results over the past few years. The Red Devils currently sit second in the table, even after a horrendous start to the season that saw them all the way down in 15th just a few months ago. After fifteen Premier League matches, Manchester United have accumulated 30 points, only 2 less than Liverpool, and remain unbeaten in their last ten in the league. Although he looks destined for the sack in time, Solskjaer might be one of the most underrated managers in world football at the moment. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United.
Much has been made about Liverpool's start to the season, and a lot of the discussions have centered around Jurgen Klopp's team not being what they used to be, regardless of the injuries they've suffered. The fact of the matter is that the Reds have been better than any other side in the league this season. Liverpool have lost just a single game so far this season, although it was an absolute thrashing against Aston Villa. They've scored 36 goals in 14 games, and currently hold the best goal differential of all teams in the league. Perhaps most crucially, the performances have been good, even despite their injury woes, and they've been able to give young players a chance to perform in the side. For a side that some would say haven't been brilliant this season, Liverpool very well might be on their way to becoming champions again this season. With that, here is a Tactical Analysis of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in 2020-21.
Some things never change, and one of those things is Atletico Madrid under Diego Simeone. The Argentine's team have been one of the most consistent sides over the past decade, not only on form, but on system and style of play. This season, Atletico have been playing some fantastic football, with all of their top stars in full flow. Los Rojiblancos currently sit top of the table, albeit on goal differential, with 8 wins from 11 matches so far. Here is a Tactical Analysis of Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid in 2020-21.
Jose Mourinho has long been a proponent of counter attacking football. We featured Mourinho prominently in our 2019 article all about how Jose Mourinho killed tiki taka football with his counter attacking approach to big games, such as the UEFA Champions League final with Inter Milan in 2010. But now with his counter attacking approach … Continue reading How to Counter Attack Like Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham
Lucien Favre was the best Borussia Dortmund manager since Jurgen Klopp. His sacking from the helm of Signal Iduna Park comes at a bizarre time, with the club topping their UEFA Champions League group. Although results haven't gone their way in the league recently, Favre was an outstanding coach for Dortmund and did not deserve the sack. This article will explore the legacy of Lucien Favre at BVB, and why Dortmund might regret sacking him in a few months time.
9v9 is one of the most exciting stages in the development of young players as it’s the first time they are truly able to understand tactics, positioning, formations and how to play to the strengths of their teammates. With so many different formations to choose from, 9v9 offers just as much flexibility and creativity for coaches as 11v11. But all 9v9 formations have limitations, gaps and disadvantages that can be exploited when played against correctly. In the next few weeks, TheMastermindSite will be taking a look at how to stop every single major 9v9 formation. First, we discuss how to beat the 3-2-3.
When Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton lost 9-0 to Leicester City in October 2019, many thought the Austrian's time at St. Mary's was going to be short lived. Since then however, Hasenhuttl has proven himself more than capable of leading his team to better times, and currently has his team sitting 5th place in the Premier League table. Southampton under Hasenhuttl play in a clearly defined, structured, high pressing 4-2-2-2 system. Every single player fits into the style of play and the manager has clear expectations for how he wants his team to play and the values he wants to impose on his players. As we head into Matchday 12, here is our Tactical Analysis of Ralph Hasenhuttl's Southampton in 2020-21.
Frank Lampard enjoyed a successful first season with Chelsea F.C., despite no new summer signings coming through the door. The Blues hovered around 4th for the majority of the season in behind Leicester City, and eventually secured 4th behind Manchester United. Lampard relied heavily on young talent in 2019-20 and the club were rewarded with fantastic performances from the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James. However, this past summer, Chelsea spent millions to secure the signatures of some of the best players around the world. It has taken a bit of time for some of their new signings to gel together, but nine games in, Chelsea are showing great signs of promise as they currently sit 2nd in the table. Along the way, Frank Lampard has made some low-key, subtle changes that have helped to propel Chelsea back toward the top of the table. Here is our Tactical Analysis of Frank Lampard's Chelsea after nine games in the 2020-21 Premier League season.