Understanding ball, opposition, teammates and space

Nothing can exist in football without perceptions of ball, opposition, teammates and space (BOTS for short if you want!). While there may never be one unequivocally correct answer to any given footballing problem, players can more adequately assess for decision making through muscle memory, experience, automatisms, sheer intelligence, and studying the tips in this article. But those same players, analysts and coaches must also recognize the deeply-rooted tandem bike quadracycle nature of the four elements of the game, and how they all co-exist to work in harmony.

Tactical Thinker: Relegated stars that should stay in the Premier League next season

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.

Undervalued Premier League Talents: Teemu Pukki

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.

Dean Smith – Norwich City – Tactical Analysis

At the time that Dean Smith took over from Daniel Farke at Norwich, the Canaries were rooted bottom of the table with just 1 win. They looked destined for relegation without any hope of survival, regardless of how Smith might do in charge. But now, after two back to back wins against Everton and Watford, Norwich suddenly have a real chance of survival. Here is a quick tactical analysis of Dean Smith's 4-2-3-1 with Norwich City.

The Longball – Premier League Preview Show – Norwich

John and Declan are joined by Norwich superfan Lewis Fuller to sing the Canary calls ahead of Norwich's second season in the Prem in three years. What will losing Emi Buendia to Aston Villa mean? Can Teemu Pukki inspire them to survival? And how will all the new players gel together? We discuss all in this episode!

Daniel Farke – Norwich – Tactical Analysis

While many Premier League teams of years past have succumbed to relegation and then sacked their manager, Norwich stuck by their man Daniel Farke, and it has paid off one season later. The German coach has inspired the Canaries to an instant return to England's top flight, securing 97 points in their 46 EFL Championship fixtures. The last team to secure that many (or more) points was Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2017-18, and look at where they are now. So although the Canaries have been yo-yo-ing between the Championship and the Premier League in previous years, the club should have hope that their Premier League fortunes can change around next season. Here is a tactical analysis of Daniel Farke's Norwich at the end of the 2020-21 Championship season.

Top 100 Male Footballers 2019 (100-91)

It's almost the end of the year, so it's only fitting that we count down the top 100 footballers of 2019. Check out the start of the list (100-91) right here.