Carlo Ancelotti has long been a legend of the game. But despite managing for over 20 years, now at the age of 62, Ancelotti has continued to update his tactics and methodologies to serve the modern era. That has now transferred into a fourth UEFA Champions League title for the manager himself, his second at Real Madrid. Los Blancos have been exceptional this season under the influence of Ancelotti, winning La Liga by thirteen points, and beating both of England's top two clubs en route to a Champions League triumph. With that, we take a tactical glance at how Carlo Ancelotti achieved miracles in 2021-22.
The atmosphere inside Tim Hortons Field was electric on Sunday, culminated by a string of impressive performances leading toward another top class win over first-placed Pacific FC. The Hammers dominated the tempo of the match from start to finish, with the entire squad in full flow and complete harmony over a tired Pacific team. Impressively, Forge's recent run of form has been accompanied by the introduction of two new faces to the team - Malik Owolabi-Belewu and Rezart Rama. Both have fit like a glove in Bobby Smyrniotis' side, pushing others into roles that allow the entire team to achieve equilibrium and stability. Here is our match analysis of Forge's 3-0 win over Pacific, and the impressive accomplishments of Owolabi-Belewu and Rama since entering the frame.
Even despite missing important players and shifting key figureheads out of position, Cavalry fought their way to a 1-0 victory on Saturday against HFX Wanderers. The only goal came from a set-piece (as we're becoming accustomed to when these teams play), courtesy of a wonderfully coordinated routine to steal the victory away. So with that, we break down the set-piece that resulted in Cavalry's 1-0 win over HFX, and the important steps to replicating the routine with your team.
An encouraging season for Palace fans ended in a 12th place finish, with more work to be done in Patrick Vieira's progression with the team from the days of Roy Hodgson. When the season began, Palace had a host of new faces bringing much in the way of fan fare, from Michael Olise to Odsonne Edouard. Both had their moments in the limelight and achieved acclaim for their performances. But one man who went quietly under the radar in his second season with the Eagles was Jean-Philippe Mateta, who became an important starter for the team toward the second half of the campaign.
Norwich and Watford made 2021-22 a notoriously bad season for the Premier League's bottom two clubs. Luckily, the fight away from the final relegation spot ended full of entertainment and intrigue, with Everton, Leeds and Burnley battling it out to stay alive. Ultimately, the Clarets would succumb to relegation on the final day, even despite a late push under new management. Now with Burnley, Norwich and Watford heading down to the Championship, we asked you to conjure up the names of the players you think should stay in the Premier League in 2022-23. We received a multitude of responses from our readership, and these were the most common names to hit the board, and the clubs that could be best suited for their signatures.
Despite finishing ninth place in the table, very few players from Brighton & Hove Albion achieved their deserved acclaim this season. Someone like Leandro Trossard went quietly under the radar, despite contributing to 11 of their 42 goals in his 34 appearances. Trossard's market value has only risen to 17 million as per Transfermarkt. But as a full Belgian international who can play either as a wide man, wing-back or second striker, Trossard would prove to be an excellent pick-up for any Premier League club, especially ones looking to add an edge to their Champions League dreams.
Fullbacks are not always the flashiest of players, nor do they garner the greatest attention, even despite their importance to creating and generating chances in the modern game. That is precisely why a system like our Role Continuity Evaluation System works on so many levels, as we are able to adequately assess the important characteristics to a player's performance, while minimizing the scrutinization over less important facets of the player's game. Within the system, we break down full-backs into three broad categories: 'Wide Warriors', 'Wing-Backs', and the topic of today's article - the 'Inverted Fullback'. So with that, we explain the tasks, functions and role of an 'Inverted Fullback' and outline some of the very best in the position in 2022.
As often happens in a tightly contested affair, Washington Spirit's encounter with the Chicago Red Stars saw one team outperform the other in the attacking third, and the other come out in wonderfully matching that intensity in the defensive third. Washington should have claimed victory, having hit the bar twice and dominating much of the play, but Chicago held their own, accumulating chances to put the game to bed themselves.
On Saturday February 26th, the Premier League witnessed one of its most harmonic cheers, heard all across the globe. The day marked the remarkable return of Danish superstar Christian Eriksen, making his debut for Brentford after suffering a heart attack during Euro 2020 for his native Denmark. For Bees fans, it was a momentous occasion. But Eriksen played it cool, almost as though it was just another day at the office.
Although Teemu Pukki has succumbed to relegation for the second time with Norwich City, he remains one of the most fascinating and complete centre-forwards on the planet. Full of exceptional movement, intelligent pressing, and a natural eye for goal, Pukki scored 11 times in both of his two Premier League campaigns for the worst team in the league. Now at the age of 32, Teemu Pukki is unlikely to return to the Premier League. That said, his price tag according to Transfermarkt sits at just €5 million, which would be an absolute steal for a player who's hit double figures in both of his Premier League seasons. With that, we discuss and analyze the remarkabilities of Teemu Pukki, and the potential suitors for the Finnish forward if he were to seek pastures new this summer.
Although he's not currently in the Premier League, James Tarkowski remains one of the best value-buys the league has to offer, and should be destined for a move back into the big time. Here is what makes Tarkowski so remarkable, why every Premier League club should be taking interest, and which clubs rank as the best suitors for the 29-year-old.