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'
Explaining the Creative Link – Player Role Analysis
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.'
Mikel Arteta – Arsenal – Tactical Analysis – 2022-23
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.
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.
Emma Hayes – Chelsea – Tactical Analysis (2022-23)
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.
Roberto De Zerbi – Brighton – Tactical Analysis
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.
Erik Ten Hag – Manchester United – Tactical Analysis
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.
Eddie Howe – Newcastle United – Tactical Analysis (2022-23)
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.
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
Argentina *3-3 France – World Cup Final – Match Analysis
Wow. What a final. The 2022 World Cup showed quite a bit of promise for having a tournament halfway through the season, and the final lived up to expectation as one of the best in years. Argentina came out flying on all cylinders, with France looking shell-shocked for the entire first half. But through the efforts of Mbappé and a few others, they eventually clawed their way back to force the game into extra time, and then penalty kicks. Here is our analysis of the 2022 World Cup Final between Argentina and France.
Antoine Griezmann – Player Analysis – 2022 World Cup
Antoine Griezmann has been a pivotal figurehead in each of Didier Deschamps' major tournament successes, but the 2022 World Cup might just be his best of all. The French playmaker has created more chances than any other player at the tournament (4 per 90), bagging 3 assists in his 6 appearances as he works to support the wondrous efforts of Olivier Giroud and Kylian Mbappé. Griezmann's been perfect as a '10' for France - a role that few dare to play him in despite his incredible tactical nous and uncanny awareness of space. Here is our analysis of Antoine Griezmann ahead of the 2022 World Cup Final.
Lionel Messi – Player Analysis – World Cup 2022
After coming desperately close in 2014, Lionel Messi now has another shot of World Cup glory, in what could be his final act at the prestigious tournament. The 35-year-old has been absolutely brilliant at the 2022 showcase, scoring 5 goals with 3 assists in 6 matches, and coming up with some of the most significant single-handed efforts we've seen from anyone at the tournament. Here is our analysis of Lionel Messi at the 2022 World Cup.
Lionel Scaloni – Argentina – Tactical Analysis – World Cup 2022
Without a big job in management under his belt, many might have been skeptical of Lionel Scaloni's ability to manage big-game players like Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martinez and Angel di Maria. But Scaloni has demonstrated an incredible ability to manage all the moving parts of this Argentina team throughout the 2022 World Cup - arguably as the most flexible and adaptable coach at the tournament. Here is our analysis of Lionel Scaloni's team ahead of the 2022 World Cup Final.