Currently in the process of chasing down a fourth Premier League title under Pep Guardiola, Kevin de Bruyne has taken charge of Manchester City's dominance in the last few months, rising above the rest as a completely untouchable figurehead in the team. Last night saw the Belgian score four goals in a single match, taking his tally up to 15 for the season - his most in a single Premier League campaign. With that, we break down the tactical elements of Kevin de Bruyne's masterclass against a normally stern Wolves defense, and how the Belgian led his team to a smashing 5-1 victory.
How to stop the long-ball specialist
A little over a week ago, we asked you to give us your top of the line ideas on how to stop the long-ball specialist. Every single professional team has at least one of these players in their side, yet it remains a relatively undiscussed discourse. When you take into account the inherently unattractive dogma surrounding the notion of a long-ball ravaging through the beautiful game, there's even greater negative connotations toward something that in reality, is incredibly elegant. So with that, here is our analysis as to how to stop the long-ball specialist, with your answers intermixed along the way.
Analyzing the Premier League table based on Expected Points (xP)
The use of probability models in football to calculate Expected Goals, Expected Goals Conceded and Expected Points, have taken off to new heights in recent years - with more fans, coaches, managers and even players paying attention to these hypothetical numbers. Between statistical probability, the actual result, and the expectations for all that has been produced, we analyze how many points each team should have won in each match, based on Expected Points.
Bruno Lage – Wolves – Tactical Analysis
After the departure of Nuno Espirito Santo at the end of last season, Wolverhampton Wanderers hoped their next manager would have the gusto to turn the club back into a Europa League challenging team. While Bruno Lage wasn't the flashiest of appointments, the Portuguese manager has surpassed fan expectations, turning Wolves into one of the best defensive units in the league. Despite scoring just 14 goals in 19 league games, Wolves sit 8th place in the table, on 28 points. That in large part is due to the excellent tactical balance of Bruno Lage's team, their sound defensive structure, and the fact that every single player has completely bought into his ideologies. Here is a tactical analysis all about Bruno Lage's Wolves.
Wolves 0-0 Chelsea – Tactical Analysis – Bruno Lage’s Defensive Masterclass
A little over a year ago, Thomas Tuchel made his managerial debut for Chelsea, dominating 80% of the possession in a stale 0-0 draw. Sunday's encounter between the two teams saw many parallels, especially in Wolves' defensive appetite and Chelsea's failure to convert. However, it was a vastly different affair, with Wolves putting on a defensive masterclass, completely stunting Chelsea's progress and limiting them to just 1 shot on target. So with that, here is our tactical analysis of how Bruno Lage's team stopped Chelsea in their tracks, and secured another important 0-0 draw.
What Nuno Espirito Santo will bring to Tottenham Hotspur – Tactical Analysis
After months of searching for the perfect manager, Daniel Levy and Tottenham Hotspur ultimately settled for former Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo - who left his post at the end of the 2020-21 season. The Portuguese's departure from Wolves was a slight surprise, having led them to the Premier League to begin with, followed by two back to back 7th place finishes in 2018-19 and 2019-20. But Levy snatched up the opportunity to take on another Portuguese manager, and he will be hoping Nuno fares better than his predecessor - Jose Mourinho. Here we analyze Nuno's potential tactics at Tottenham, and the chances of the manager and club working harmoniously together as one.
Chelsea 0-0 Wolves – Tactical Analysis – Tuchel’s 3-2-5
In terms of goal-scoring, Thomas Tuchel's first game in charge of Chelsea might not have gone as planned. But his team still put up a magnificent, tactically intriguing performance, and much promise for the future certainly remains. Given that he had only one day in charge of the Blues before this match, Tuchel certainly managed to get his point across regarding the tactical innovations that he wanted to implement in this match and the players seemed to follow his instructions incredibly well. The German manager changed Lampard's team more than expected, and even implemented a highly intriguing 3-2-5 attacking shape. Let's get right into this tactical analysis of Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea in their 0-0 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
How Wolves Have Struggled Without Raul Jimenez – Tactical Analysis (2020-21)
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.
Nuno Espirito Santo – Wolves – Tactical Analysis (2019-20 Edition)
Wolves finished last season in 7th place, an admirable finish for a team who had just come up from the EFL Championship. This season they've fared even better and as things stand have a real shot at securing European football for another year. Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo has been absolutely essential to their success since taking over and deserves an immense amount of credit for everything that he has brought to this team since 2017. Despite being in the Premier League for over a season and a half now, Santo has won over 50% of his games as Wolverhampton Wanderers' manager. This is a Tactical Analysis of the wonders of Wolverhampton Wanderers and their manager Nuno Espirito Santo.