Tuesday, 22 December 2015


now yesterday arsenal played city at emirates and executed their tactics brilliantly . first i would like to congragulate arsene wenger for drilling the team perfectly and executing the tactics on the pitch . i had criticized arsene wenger in the past for being tactically discreet but yesterday he did showed that he had a game plan and he is very tactically astute .
arsenal started the game with 4-4-1-1 . some people will say that it is 4-2-3-1 but let me tell you the tactics matter most on the defense than on offense .giroud was uptop alone with ozil behind him . walcott and campbell on the wings while flamini and ramsey sat in front of the back four . bellerin,mertasaker,koscielny and monreal were the back four for arsenal . while city had the same formation . they had aguero upfront with silva behind him . de bruyne and delph on the wings while toure and fernandiniho sitting in middle in front of the back four .sagna,otamendi,mangala and kolarov were the back four .
the game had a very good pace to it . both the team were playing deep and there was a reason to it . arsenal have weakness with mertasacker while city's back  two too lack pace and giroud is know to be a good supplier where he can lay ball in the path of walcott and campbell. the other reason that both teams wanted to stretch the game and get time to bring players back to have numbers behind the ball . now the game started the game at a decent pace with city sitting back and the hitting arsenal on the counter attack . now why i said that wenger was very good tactically was because first off he nullified the threats that city have on the pitch . first off he asked flamini to mark silva whenever he comes into arsenal half and close him down whenever he has the ball and deny him time on the ball . now the thing is that anything and everthing that city create or flow it goes through silva and he is the orchestrator and anchor for city . so arsenal made a point of stopping silva in the tracks and flamini stuck to his job . he folowed silva in his half and denied him time and space on the ball . so job one is complete for arsenal and  they were able to frustrate silva who would pick a yellow because he would want to give flamini back what flamini was doing with him . the second was to stop aguero for that wenger choose koscielny to do the job . first arsenal playing deep means that there was very little space for aguero to run behind the back four . secondly koscielny marked him very well . he came out of the defense to mark aguero and even come into mertasacker's zone to close down aguero . against aguero arsenal had a clear plan that koscielny would come out of the defense and mertasacker sit back and provide the cover . while monreal too tried to close down de bruyne but de bruyne chance in the first half made monreal to sit back and let de bruyne come onto him rather than go out and close him down . for the first time city could get behind arsenal's back four because arsenal tried to get too tight to them and it nearly cost them . it made arsenal to pull monreal back and be more patient and told him to hold off his position rather than go out chasing . PRESSING
now in the first half the game was evenly poised out and even though arsenal were doing the above things city were comfortable. in the intial exchanges they were the better team and there was a reason for that . toure was playing in the middle town but he had the lisence to go forward . the reason being that delph would come inside and cover for toure and which inturn allowed two things . first off toure could move forward and second kolarov had the space to bomb forward . city played decent football and they seem to carve out a chance when delph found toure in the box but arsenal averted the danger . now aguero playing upfront has its own drawbacks as well . first off the aerial route gets close down because aguero is no match for any centre back pairing where on he will win header against them . but city did make amends for this they crossed low so that aguero can have a chance but couldnt penetrate arsenal back four . untill 25 min city were playing on the counter but after that arsenal sat deep and asked city to open them and countered . now the before the arsenal's first goal there were signs of what could happen and there was a reason for that . even city tried to play long balls to aguero behind the  defense but mertasacker already had a yard or two on the goal side of aguero . secondly these long balls can be intercepted and needs to be precise which didnt frutify for city .
now as i had said earlier that flamini was marking silva i didnt found that with fernandiniho doing the same with ozil who has the similar role with arsenal as does silva has with city . first off city midline was considerable higher than necessary . secondly ozil was constantly finding space between line and even before the first goal he had created a chance for walcott who missed . giroud was constantly getting wide and trying to release walcott and cambell but was not finding success . arsenal were never going to get beyond city back four since they were sitting deep so walcott just used sagna as wall and found the wide corner . sagna was misfooted because he thought that walcott will go in his natural path down the line and cross inside . instead he scored a goal . the second goal was nothing that both teams were trying to do . they were trying to break each other in the  middle of the park and launch counter and on one such counter arsenal scored at the end of the first half . again ozil getting the space . the worst thing is otamendi losing the foot race against giroud which is hopeless for a 35 mil dollar player . ARSENAL ON OFFENSE
in the second half arsenal were going to sit deep and then hit on the counter . they did exactly that and were  hopeless not to finish the game by scoring the third goal . aguero playing atop was not working for city so pellegrini tried to change it by bringing in bony for aguero . by bringing in bony city could have somebody who could compete for the aerial crosses in the box and even though bony is not given that much credit and city never play on his strengths but bony is a very good assist or say he can lay off balls  in the path of players . city can play through and around him but never do that . secondly they tried to bring in navas for silva and give de bruyne the no. 10 role . toure was given the lisence to go forward and join the attack . but arsenal were content by sitting back and they brought all players behind the balls and defended with numbers . toure scored a very good goal but other than that they didnt had anything to show for their effort . 
last but not the least ramsey is a good player but spends too much time on the ball and has too many touches which slows down the game and most importantly it give the opposition the time to close him down and arsenal nearly paid for his mistake in the first half . he needs to get his head up quickly and find the pass and make his mind quickly . secondly he needs to make better choices on the ball . at time the players he passed the ball were under pressure already where on he could had choose to pass somebody other . plus if possible try to be more stronger cause it still boys against men with ramsey . 

Monday, 14 December 2015


yesterday napoli played roma at home . this is one of the most boring and drab game that i am having my take on . it was slow boring and too many touches by players spending too much time on the ball making it slow .
napoli started the game with a 4-3-3 formation with reina in the goal . hysaj ,albiol ,Koulibaly and ghoulam as the back four . Jorginho and allan played in front of the back four in the middle of the park giving protection to the back four with hamsik  . while Insigne,higuain,callejon made the front three .while roma started with the 4-2-1-3 formation with Szczesny in the goal . forenzi,rudiger,manolas and digne in the back four .while Nainggolan  and de rossi were in middle in front of the back four .  Pjanic played behind salah,dzeko and falque . 
the game started with both teams trying to press each other and trying to play a very high line . the game was scrappy with so many touches . now dzeko and higuain are two different players with dzeko more comfortable in the physical game . he likes to play with his back to the goal . higuain on the other hand like to have through balls and is more comfortable on the floor than in air . both teams were trying to play high line but roma quickly realised that it would play in napoli's hand since both its centrebacks lack of pace could cause them trouble . so after 20 roma settle deep and tried to absorb napoli's attack and hit them on the counter . after 20 min roma started to hold shape and let napoli come on them rather than committing themsleves and getting exposed . roma played very narrow and rudiger and manolas stayed very tight on higuain .
now in the beginning i said that it was a boring game because both of the teams were one dimensional and lacked a proper edge on offense . napoli's offense depended on insigne . a couple of weeks ago i did a game between munich and gladbach . then munich were one dimensional where on the attacks would just drift towards coman similarly here the attacks drifted towards insigne . napoli had a plan but they never executed it properly nor did they tried to improvise it  . hamsik was playing in the  middle three but was drifting towards the left side and trying to overload the left flank . but just as munich napoli kept on throwing crosses in the box in a bid that one of them will end on higuain or callejon's head but manolas and rudiger were very tight to higuain . they were good in the air and cleared every ball that came in their way . the only balls that caused for them was the crosses from ghoulam who would stride forward and crossed low which caused problems and on one such cross in the second half higuain failed to connect . the trouble with napoli's offense was that they didnt had a proper no.10 who would play behind higuain or who would go beyond higuain and cause problems for roma . secondly there was no second line of offense on the crosses it was only higuain and callejon in the box there was nobody other who would join them in the box . thirdly hamsik dropped on the left and even higuain did tried to join them and worked the zone but the inexperience and selfishness of insigne needs to stop and he needs to make better decisions . hamsik needs to read the situations better he was put on the goal in the second half and he could had take the ball a bit further and taken the shot but took a shot from the distance . he should had known that he had a yard on the defender and he had a better pace than the defender . last but not the least but the attack needs to spread even where callejon was just trying to be at the end of the crosses from insigine with little contribution in the offense and having fewest touches in the match .
roma had tried to play out from the back but good pressing from napoli meant that they had to retort to the direct route of  the english football . the reason being that not only was napoli pressing well but roma's players did actually knew as what they need to do on offense . their passing was very poor had too many touches and losing the individual battles . one of the key reason's why roma couldnot play out from the back was that allan was doing a successful pressing on Nainggolan . in roma's offense de rossi sits in front of the back four and doesnt like to come out too much from his position leaving the back four exposed so Nainggolan is given the lisence to go forward but allan's pressing meant that roma just couldnt play through him and it left a big hole in the middle with no support for the middle . the second biggest reason why roma were not able to play well was the inability of pjanic to control the game and with little imagination . he was another player who was tightly marked by napoli with jorginho dropping tight on pjanic . they were these individuals battle all over the pitch but the trouble was pjanic wasnt that disciplined on the defense as jorginho was . the third and the most important reason why roma were hopeless was that napoli's pressing meant that roma had to go direct to dzeko but the trouble with dzeko was that he didnt had a single player to who he could pass the second touch . napoli's centre backs were already tight on him so it was necessary to have players around him but roma failed to provide any support for dzeko and continously lost possession . roma just couldnt play proper they were very poorer compared to napoli and the coach needs to sort things out .

Sunday, 6 December 2015


now yesterday bayern munich played gladbach at their home and got beaten . many of them were amazed at the result but then bayern were too be caught and they were caught by a good gladbach team who when they had the ball moved it brilliantly and most importantly they were able to find their players and most importantly they knew where there players were . they made good decisions on the ball ,they moved it well .
gladbach started with their prevailing 4-4-2 formation although the commentrators were saying that there were 5 at the back . i always found them in the 4-4-2 formation with stindl and raffael upfront while johnson and although wendnt is a defender but he played quite upfront and was played quite up on the left side . xhaka and dahoud played in front of the defense which consisted of christensen,Nordtveit,Korb and Elvedi. while bayern started with 4-3-3 formation with lewandowski upfront with muller on right and coman on the left . while alonso stayed in the front the back four the front three were supported by martinez and vidal . the back four consisted of lahm,boetang,benatia and rafiniha . now martinez played in behind the front three . the reason being that gladback had conceded most number of goals in the bundesliga on setpieces and the had the lisence to go and join lewandowski in the box on the crosses .
bayern started the game with good pressing but they were monotonous on their offense . it was very much choreographed as to what bayern were going to do on their offense and gladbach could just read it perfectly and clear whatever ball was crossed in the box . the game started with both team trying to play out of the back with gladbach sitting deeper compared to bayern who played quite a high line and it let to their third goal . so both teams were trying to play out of the back both teams were pressing each other high up . for the first time i would say that i had seen some team who was able to content bayern with their pressing and actually trouble them up . gladbach were a very disciplined team they pressed better than most of the team in the bundesliga but also when the ball was passed in the final third they congested the box . there was no space between the lines in the gladbach defense .
now bayern had been playing monotonous against most of the teams this term and had got away . they had been playing like an english team who take the ball wide and whip it in the box . they were playing different than the earlier gaurdiola team and had been much direct this term . earlier gaurdialo teams will take ball wide but wont just whip it in the box . they would work that zone and actually try to work the space the have got by stretching the opposition defense but here they were very direct unlike gaurdila teams of the past who would test with their possession and movement . here in the whole match the patter was the same with the ball ending at coman's feet and he crossing the ball in the box . there were only two instances in the match when bayern played a former gaurdiola team when they combined very well and pryed open gladback . it was lewandowski attempt and the gladbach goalkeeper making a fine save  in the first half . the second one was the only bayern goal which they scored through ribery . the trouble with bayern was that they didnt had a proper no. 10 . they were relying on the physical aspect of the game where on they though that they could beat gladbach in the air since gladbach had conceded so many on set pieces but gladbach defended quite decently with xhaka at times dropping in the back four to make it five and narrowing the space between players .
most importantly what i found in this bayern loss was that gaurdiola was adamant and wasnt ready to change his tactics he didnt ask coman to keep hold of the ball and work that zone and or try to have a better penetration . the other aspect was the number of spillled balls by bayern . their first touch in the match was the worst that i had seen by any gaurdiola team . what gladbach's pressing meant that bayern had to make 40 to 50 yard passes from back to front . now the ball comes at a very high speed and a player snapping at your back it becomes very hard to control and then pass it . bayern were not their best when it came to their passing . i think this game will give gaurdiola some thought to rework his tactics and the shock came at the right time .
to be honest i couldnt complete the post without the mention of this player who was amazing to me and his performance was the highlight to me . mahmoud dahoud was just quite amazing to me . he was partnering xhaka in the middle of the defense helping stop bayern's offense and then joining on the counter .his passing was precise always made very good decisions on the ball. he was very energetic on the pressing and was one of the reason why gladbach pressed very successfully . he is player to watch for the future for me . 

Sunday, 22 November 2015


yesterday real madrid played barcelona at home . the game is essentially important as it test both teams as to how far they have come up fom the last season . the game was important for real madrid since they were outplayed last season . the last game between barca and madrid was dominated by barca and this game was test of rafa benitez's credentials as to how much he has his stamp on  the team . this game not only gives phychologial boost but it gives bragging rights in the league as well .
madrid started the game with a 4-2-1-3 formation with ronaldo,benzema and james at top while bale played just off the front three . modrid and kross were stationed in front of the back four which consisted of danillo,varane,ramos and marcelo. while barca started with 4-3-3 formation with suarez up top with neymar and sergio roberto alongside him . iniesta,busquestus and rakitic made the middle three . the back four consisted of alves,piques,mascherano/mathieu and alaba.
now real madrid had mouriniho and ancelotti before rafa benitez . both of those teams had been counter attacking team with jose mouriniho being particularly successful against barca with this hard counter attacking style . his team would sit back and soak barca attack and then  attack on the counter . ancelotti's team too hadnt been different but then there had change of guard at barca and barca had changed their style last season . barca instead of pressing up started sitting back and hit teams on the counter and that had yeild them treble last season . now the pressure was on  rafa this season to be different than the rest of the madrid teams from before .
now the game started with a very decent pace with madrid pressing and barca being able to play around . madrid started the game with high pressing but barca were able to play around and move the ball forward . the real reason why barca were able to play forward and move the ball because madrid's pressing was not proper . it was individualistic rather than a team effort . player's who's opposite number had the ball would go on and press but there was no team effort in that . they would not press the players to whom the ball can be passed or the ones that were options on the pass .  the trouble with madrid that the team was too much open there was too much of space between the lines and at times you could literally see kross and modric treading back trying to cover the space in front of the back four . most of the barca goals came in  that zone and madrid time and time were not able to close that space . in jose mouriniho's time this space would not be there . jose mouriniho's team would deny any space in front of the back four . the real reason why barca were getting this space because both kross and modric were trying to press barca's midfield and were getting played around . the warning signs for madrid were there from the start when iniesta found sergio roberto who didnt showed enough courage to take the shot and scuffed it .

for barca to be effective suarez's movement on and off the ball was very important . he would come deep and help move the ball forward . but the real trouble was that initially madrid tried to press suarez but they were getting overrun in the midfield and when they tried to press up barca was getting the space behind the back four to explore . the trouble with madrid was not the defense but the offense . if your offense is good then  the opposition doesnt dares to actually committ too many players on offense . madrid had no offense . first off the front four had no cohesion between them . madrid didnt had a front pivot around whom they could play their offense . whoever has the ball would try to cross or shoot but there was no coherent team play . initially bale was playing as the no.10 but he never looked like one who could control the tempo of the game . kross and modric had the double responsibility of both defending the back four as well as creating chances for the team . while suarez was very effective for barca ronaldo just couldnt put his stamp on the game . if it can be put into simple words then the team has no offense and defense . they were trying to press but were getting played around and barca were creating chances on every play when they had the ball .
to be honest this had the poorest performance by any madrid team which didnt had any plan . along the years i had known that rafa benitez tends to make changes or improvise as the game rolls on but here he just seem hopeless and the system that he created didnt had any answer for barca onslaught and most important intrying to be different they were hammered by a very good barca side who could literally choose the zone to explore and milk it . 

Monday, 9 November 2015


first and foremost let me write that untill now i had considered that arsene wenger never worried about tactics and his philosophy was to play good short passing football on the floor and everything fall in place but yesterday's substitution of czorla showed that arsene does cares about tactics and he rightfully subbed czorla to save the game which was getting drifting away from him .
yesterday arsenal played spurs at emirates . both teams started with the same formation with a 4-2-3-1 . arsenal had giroud at the top with sanchez,ozil and campbell behind him . czorla and coquelin were in front of the back four . while debuchy,mertasacker,koscielny and monreal . for spurs kane was at the top while lamela ,dembele and eriksen were behind him . dier and delle alli were in front of the back four . walker,Alderweireld,vertroghen and rose were the back four .
now the game started with a very fast pace with both teams attacking each other as soon as they got hold of the ball . both teams were attacking  counter attacking at pace . now pachettino has studied arsenal and he positioned kane in the zone between mertasacker and debuchy . the very reason why kane was positioned against mertasacker was because mertasacker struggles against pace and is not very keen to come out of the defense and close his opposite number he likes the player to come on him and then take him . arsenal could had been made to pay for mertasacker's attitude in the initial minutes and only czeck's fine form saved him. for the first 20'min the game continued at this brisk pace with both teams playing at pace and trying to hit out each other on counters and catch each other fleet footed . now spurs goal was nothing but a stupidity by arsenal they tried to congest the game by playing a high line but they were not really pressing . the goal scored by kane was because of his good understanding of the position . mertasacker and koscielny lacked the necessary link that is there in the centrebacks and it let to spurs goal . kane just exploited the space that was left wide open by mertasacker .
the game settled on 20 min with spurs seized the control of the game in their own hands and that because pochettino sent dembele who was  behind kane to partner dier in the midfield . dembele was very good in closing arsenal down and getting the ball back whenever spurs lost the ball . he was so good on the ball that arsenal had to sub czorla to get back into the game. arsenal were playing pretty deep and their centrebacks were not ready to come out the defense which was giving kane ample amount of time on the ball to come deep and release pressure on his midfielders to move the ball . arsenal's especially czorla was very poor . he was suppose to be marking demebele who was his opposite number and dembele was getting past him as if he was nowhere  . just as dembele was having a free time  delle alli was doing very good in his no.10 role his close control  was good. but he still has to learn with ozil running the show on the other end . spurs were not enough to take the game away from arsenal where they messed up on chances or just couldnot produce the final ball when required when they had done all the hardwork . lamela was very good in the middle of the park as he had the lisence to come inside and go beyond kane . he dribbled nicely but fumbled or became greddy on the last moment .
after 20min arsenal were sitting back and trying to hit spurs on the counter . even though spurs were controlling the first half there were chances for arsenal in the first half . spurs were dominating in the midfield so arsenal choose to move the ball through the wings . ozil dropped on the left to combine with sanchez . while giroud was coming inside to help move the ball . just as arsenal's back four spurs back four too were not coming out with giroud to close him down instead were giving him space to pick the pass . campbell was playing down the left and was trying to cut inside and cause problems to spurs  as the same  wat he did at swansea . even when he passed he would choose to pass to sanchez on the right bypassing the midfield . sanchez,ozil and monreal combined very well to create a chance for giroud but he couldnot finish it .
SECOND HALF :- arsenal started the  second half with flamini subbing czorla . it was a very correct decision on the part of arsenal who were  getting dominated in the midfield and wenger was determined to get some foothold in the midfield . the game continued the same  till the 75 with spurs comfortable and sitting back and soaking arsenal's effort but the second substitution for arsenal changed the game . gibbs substituted campbell who was tired . gibbs moved on the left and sanchez on the right with him ozil too moved on the right flank . the goal that was scored by gibbs was the same ball that a week before giroud scored the goal against everton. he produced the same and gibbs finished on that beautiful ball . spurs substitution in the second half helped arsenal more than they helped spurs . spurs substituted dembele and delle alli and both were the reason why spurs were dominting in the midfield and the game . arsenal got bouyant in the last 15 min because they didnt had dembele and delle alli who could keep the ball and ease pressure on spurs .
now eric dier was very good for spurs in the midfield but his lack of concentration could had cost spurs dear where on he let giroud once on the free kick and second on the corner on which giroud narrowly failed to score .
CONCLUSION:- arsenal had a deserved draw they started the game better but spurs took the control of the game after 20 min which they seized back after 75 min . arsenal need to think of dropping mertasacker as he allows the opposition too much of space to explore and is poor on the floor . it would  be better to play koscielny and gabriel who are can form good partnership . 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

my thought on madrid vs psg .

not only did rafa benitez changed the players but he changed the system and tactics from the last time they played PSG . last time real played a very line and congested PSG but this time around both teams played a very deep defensive game both defensive centre backs were stationed deep in front of their box and were not ready to come out of their positon and go with their opposite number that is why ibra had such a free time on the ball . while the opposite was also true for ronaldo . thiago was ready come out to close down jesse but was letting ronaldo scott free . the game was very stretched there was a lot of space to play .
now coming to the game i was intrigued about PSG sometime they spent too much time on the ball . i think blanc was trying to make a point that he can coach a system where he can play beautiful small passing game . they were passing out from the back but at time were taking risks with their passing .madrid did tried to press psg with kross particularly coming out of the midfield to press motta . similarly madrid did tried to make it a man vs man in the midfield with modric dropping on matuidi and casmiero dropping on rabiot but the real problem was that madrid's back four never came out to press ibra and then he would drop in the midfield and take out all the steam out of the pressing and help move the ball forward .
PSG's whole attack were based around two wingbacks who were the creator of chances for psg . psg were moving the ball through the middle but there was nobody who was there to run beyond ibra . now cavani was playing down the left side and he was coming inside to move the ball and defend and danillo coming out of the defense to close him down . so there was space behind danillo to explore but psg never tried to explore that . there was no channel running to stretch the real madrid defense . secondly when the fullbacks were having the ball they were crossing the ball even though it is good move but at time they could had tried to work that zone and try to open madrid .
madrid were over run in the midfield but psg were never able to explore that advantage . in this match the madrid's shape was totally crumbled . at one time you could see 6 madrid players in line waiting for the cross in the box . the middle was totally gone . psg did made some intelligent cut backs but were unable to finish it . the reason madrid were overrun in the midfield because madrid's two front players ( jesse and isco ) didnt bother to track back with their opposite numbers . had psg's finishing been better then we would had seen a different scorelines . in this game madrid were totally shadowed and it was only psg's inability to finish that saved them .
now i dont like to do this but then i cannot help myself . why is cavani even in the team when he cannot finish simplest of the chances that were created for him . he cannot do the half turn his touch is poor , his passing is hopeless .i mean is even worth it .
ronaldo this week said that he is the better player than messi . is he even day dreaming . he cannot beat a player in one on one . hopeless free kick taker . i mean other than heading goals and finishing chances created can he do anything . 

Sunday, 1 November 2015


now yesterday liverpool played chelsea at stamford bridge . chelsea and liverpool both started the game with same formation with a 4-2-3-1 . the formation might be same but the approach to the game was different . chelsea tend to sit back and attack on the counter . they tend to soak up attack and exploit spaces left by the opposition on counter . while liverpool have a very different approach to chelsea from the time klopp has taken over they play a very energetic game . they press hard and try to start the offense from the position they win the ball . the system has its plus and flaws that i will talk later .
now from the time klopp that taken  over he has changed the liverpool's formation and style but with that you can see that the players positioning and their understanding of the game has become better . the second thing that has changed is that they are now passing the ball more they are not spending time on the ball . under brendan rodgers tenure atleast in this season players were spending too much time on the ball allowing the opposition to dispossess them or the move would find hard to have any continuation . the offense was getting bogged up and it was getting easy for the opposition to stop liverpool . this liverpool team is playing a very good forward going offense .
now chelsea didnt had matic and fabregas in the centre that they usually had last season instead they had mikel and ramires . now even though liverpool like to press but they dont like to do it over commit . they wait for the ball to come into the midfield and then they start pressing hard . chelsea yesterday started pressing just to give liverpool the taste of their own medicine and test them as to how do they hold up when they are pressed . now chelsea had oscar  and hazard who keep swapping postions . now i had said that the liverpool system has flaws and it was exposed very early if you look at the first goal you will see it . chelsea played the ball quick and played a very quick one two and oscar was released in the space behind clyne and this because of the over committment of the players on pressing and some players inability to read the situation . if you could see then after oscar was released in the space behind clyne skrtel was reluctant to come out of the back two to come and deal with oscar and his initial reluctance gave oscar time and space on the ball . now moreno is being blamed for the goal but he was keeping tab with his opposite number plus he had to worry about the cross so he cannot see ramires who came storming into the box if anybody is to be blamed then it has to either lucas or can not moreno .
now liverpool started the first half with firmino in the no.9 position with adam llalana behind him . now as i had talked already chelsea started the half by pressing liverpool but as the half progressed they eventually settled to hold their positions and soak liverpool attack . now majority of the liverpool attack were from the right side .the reason for that because oscar and hazard both like to come inside and were getting stuck inside so clyne was getting good amount of space to go up unapposed on the right flank . when liverpool had the ball they moved the ball better but they clearly lacked two things . firs thing was that they lacked a clear no.9 or physical forward around who they can play or to whom they can cross . second they clearly lacked no.10 who would orchestrate the attack who would find the fluidity in the attack they were finding spaces they were not able to make any incision or somebody who tick the team . clearly the first problem was seen by klopp so in the middle of the first half he asked both can and lucas to go and join the attack and get in the box trying to be at the end of something which liverpool were crossing or passing in the box .
now as i had talked about the flaw in the liverpool system well there were instances in the first half when they could had been in trouble but it is the lack of chelsea's incohesive offense which is at fault . now both lucas and can were coming forward to press chelsea but indoing that they were leaving the space between the back four and then and if somebody had observed closely then you could see  couple of time hazard and costa both had time and space on the ball . now when lucas and can are going foward to close down at that time the back four too should follow the suit but skrtel was reluctant to come out of the back four and at time it was giving players time and space in the hole and it could had proved costly .
chelsea this season had been leaking goals and the reason being that the teams have found a way to open chelsea . they are trying to get behind chelsea back four instead they try to use the chelsea back four as the wall and get around them . the real problem for chelsea had been terry and cahill . they are typical english centre backs who dont like to come out of defense and like the players come out on them. they like to hold their positions and are more comfortable in air than on floor . they are the ones who had been the major problem for chelsea this season. now liverpool's first goal was because mikel in the chelsea midfield is a stupid player ( i dont know why mouriniho choose him ) . he is very lazy and if you looked closely then it is his zone which ramires is trying to cover where coutiniho is . mikel is seen jogging and not making enough effort to come to his position and deny coutiniho time and space on the ball and that resulted in the first goal .
in the second half the game changed for liverpool when they introduced benteke for firmino .as soon beteke was introduced they changed the approach they started going direct to benteke . but with they also changed benteke's position he didnt went on against cahill and terry but he started to go bit wide and trying to drag either of them out of position . since both of them are reluctant are to come out of defense he won the header easily which lead to the second goal . the third goal was nothing but the reluctance of terry and cahill to come and close benteke . klopp is playing players in their favourite positions and most importantly he is playing to their strengths and that is why they are working for him . when benteke came he went direct rather than passing the ball around .
conclusion .
if jose mouriniho keeps on playing cahilll and terry together then he is going to have trouble at his hands . when he plays cahill and terry he has to play deep since both dont have space and he doesnt want team to exploit that space behind the back four . as i had said that teams dont go on challenging terry and cahill in the air but ask questions of them on the floor and try to exploit their weakness . mouriniho needs to change this . another thing that he needs to change is that he needs to create cohesion in the offense . the only way that his team can play is on the counter . when teams sit back and ask mouriniho's team to open them up then they come short and this he needs to address .

Monday, 26 October 2015


now the anlysis of the game is on  espn and the lineups are all there so i would just present my take . now first of all you had said that schneiderlin and schweni were passing the ball sideways . now the central area was very congested . now only fernandiniho and fernando were there but you could see that toure too was dropping deep and trying to congest the space in the middle . infact it was the first time that city were giving utd respect but sitting back and playing on the counter or else it would be other way around on all times untill now . the numbers were not there for utd in the middle and more so utd had better player at the wings like martial and valencia who are better runners and are good in one on one situation . if you had seen utd tried to release to rooney in the channels but rooney just couldnt keep the ball . part may be because he has lost considerable weight compared to time when he used to play there so the physical battle wasnt his strong suit plus i agree he is technically very poor ,cant use two foot and let an open ally for the defender to nick the ball off him .
 second was that mata was having very less area to work with . if you had watched closely then you would had seen that mata was closed down very quickly by fernandiniho  or toure whenever he had the ball . they were not letting him anytime on the ball . but i do have reservations about mata on the offense he never sticks on the wings so that wing he plays  is compromised so that utd cannot fully stretch their opponents . he needs too many touches and too much time on the ball . in the match he even once conceded the possession and had to take the card to stop the counter .
now about rooney who was awful . yes no doubt that he was awful and yes technically hopeless but van gal also knows this . now if you had watched real this season why not make rooney play ronaldo why not let him move and join the attack and stretch the defense . secondly why keep martial binded to one postion i mean mata has the lisence to come inside and join the attack then why not martial . just think how dangerous he will be if he is the lisence to roam . the defense will be on  its toes as to whether he will remain wide or cut inside and that in turn can create space for player like schweni and herrera who are good enough to use it .
now about city . you have  to note that schneiderlin was kepping good tap on toure and did disposses him a couple of times so an individual battle was going in the middle over there .  you blamed toure but i think the plan was correct to take the ball wide and then try to find toure or bony on the cross but credit has to be given to rojo and valencia. who just didnt gave any joy to KDB and and sterling on the ball . .  they  just eat them in the tracks .  i think playing valencia was a very good decision by LVG . he must have watched or taken suggestion from giggs who must had told had him as to how valencia had eaten sterling previously and i havent found  any player who had beaten valencia . for me toure was playing too deep and was mainly concerned with utd rather than thinking about city's offense . plus utd kept good tab on bony who was coming wide to help the offense but smalling didnt offered him time on the ball and came out of the defense and didnt let any time on the ball for bony . but little blame can be put on toure because he wasnt able to properly help sterling and KDB . 

Sunday, 25 October 2015


now yesterday celtavigo played madrid . now before i start the analysis i just want to say that the real president florentino perez is very fond of beautiful football but the three big name managers that he had appointed under him had  the team playing on the counter rather than playing beautiful football which perez desires . mouriniho' team was all counter attacking and when opposition sits back and asked them open up then they struggled to open them up . ancelotti's team was no different and can be put in that category . while i had watched real this term and i find that they are not going to any different . the tactics are different which i will talk about next .
now yesterday celtavigo and real madrid started the the game with the same formation with both playing 4-3-3 . let me be honest but i was watching celtavigo for the first time do it was difficult for me to get to know their players . i only knew aspas a couple of times at liverpool while i had watched nolito in the spain game . so those players with wass who was the only pure blonde on the pitch was disctinct to me . now real had danillo,varane,ramos and marcelo in the back four . while casmiero in the front of the back four with kross on the left while modric on the right side . jesse,ronaldo and vasquez were the front three . while for celtavigo nolito,aspas and orellana in the front with hernandez ,wass and fernandez in the middle three while the back four consisted of mallo ,jonny ,cabral and gomez in the back four .
the game started with real starting to press celtavigo and hitting them on the counter . now even though real's midfield and the front three were pressing but the real back four were not coming that high they were much deeper than the paris game . they would come with the player but were not trying to play a high line and let celtavigo have space behind the back four to explore since both aspas and nolito do have decent space . while on the other hand celtavigo also were playing deeper . they like to stretch the game since the space they can create they can use and they use it well . celtavigo players are very good on the ball . they are very comfortable on it and dont get bogged in one on one situation . madrid on the other had wanted to press celtavigo and start the counter immediately.now under benitez the team has really started to take shape . what real were doing in this match was that real were moving the ball from the flanks . there preference was on the left since jesse, kross and marcelo there with ronaldo dropping to stretch the back four and get one of the centre backs to come with him and disrupt the back four . while lucas vasquez too would come and cross over and join attack trying to overload the flank . now on one such occasion real were lucky to get the ball from back to front  since celtavigo were pressing  intensely . jesse moved the ball from the left while ronaldo made a channel run from centre to wide and crossed the ball to ronaldo who finished brilliantly fooling the defender with his run.
celtavigo too had a good offense . nolito was remaining high up the pitch on the left . he first set up orellana in the space between the line . now when  you watch the game you could see that there was considerable amount of space between real back four the middle three which celtavigo were not able to explore . nolito at times can be said that he gets over selfish and tries the shot rather than crossing for the player who are in  better position . orellana was constantly coming inside and getting in the position in between the line  where on he was constantly causing trouble for real madrid . at times aspas was coming deep to help in moving the ball . but none of the back four were coming out with him . i think casmiero's game reading needs to improved since he constantly trying to press but should also conside whether he is leaving space which can be explored by the opposition .
the second goal from real madrid was the same like the first but the addition was vasquez had moved into one zone and  it left the right zone completely open which let to danillor running clear of nolito his opposite number and scoring the goal . real moved the ball very well in triangles wth marcelo and jesse being in top form . danillo wasnt getting proper defensive attention from nolito who seem to very lazy on defensive duties . after the first the goal real had dropped deep while after the second goal real just relaxed and allowed celtavigo the ball and instead of pressing sat back and hold the shape and countered . celtavigo had some decent chances and navas made some very good saves but the game was over on 57" min when cabral saw the red card for protesting . i think the ref just lost it and made the game hopeless .
now aspas was playing as the centre forward for so the aerial battle was lost . he cannot outjump varane and ramos on any day . while real moved the ball perfectly as a team .celtavigo were dependent on orellana and nolito majorly to open up the oppostion while orellana showed flexibility in his positioning and nolito kept on stretch real i think aspas should had done more . i think real countered celtavigo and aspas very well . they played deep and played aspas in front of them rather than letting him on the shoulder for his trademark run . by playing deep they denied him the space to run. now this is where aspas has short comings and that is why he never was successful at liverpool because he cannot link properly with his wingers and create space for them . i think it would be perfect that they look for plan b other than aspas when he cannot be effective . 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015


now yesterday arsenal played bayern munich at their home . arsenal started with a 4-2-3-1 combination or say 4-4-1-1 on defense while munich started with 4-1-4-1 or 4-3-3  . now even though munich started with 4-3-3 their formation was quite fluid .
arsenal had bellerin,mrtasacker,koscilny and monreal in the back four with czorla and coquelin in front of the back four . sanchez ,ozil and ramsey started behind walcott who was playing as a lone striker . while bayern started with lahm,boetang,alaba and bernat in the back four with alonso in front of the back four . while muller,thiago,vidal and costa played in behind lewandowski .
now bayern started by playing a high line while arsenal started the game by sitting deep with two banks of four and even ozil dropping to help the middle four to make the numbers . so arsenal were trying to sit deep and soak munich's pressure and hit them on the counter .arsenal were playing pretty compact but still bayern were able to find space between the lines plus bayern had space on the flanks since bellerin and monreal were not told to go and chase costa and muller since they let kosicelny and merta
sacker exposed . so they were very conservative on the defense.  they had the first meaningful chance of the game at 7 min when on walcott scuffed his shot from inside the box . now in the bayern formation muller was hugging the touch line trying to stretch the defense while thigo was dropping in besides muller with lahm   on the right flank trying to overload it and carve out an opening through that zone . another thing that bayern were doing was that lewandowski wasnt staying on shoulders of the last defender but instead was coming deep and collectiong the pass and trying to run on the defenders . he was particularly doing this against mertasacker who is not good and on occasion was saved by bellerin when lewandowski had nearly runed in the box and was ready to pull the trigger . now lewandowski was coming deep but mertasacker wasnt coming out of the defense to close him down but staying in his position and maintaining the shape and discipline. now thigo and lewandowksi and thiago were constantly finding space between the lines and on such space he and muller nearly carved out an opening . bayern were all over arsenal in the first half .
another angle of bayern attack was through costa and his direct running . now costa's crosses had been one of the success for bayern this season but here he wasnt crossing in behind the back four but was trying to cross between the lines and find somebody in between the lines . now arsenal were trying to play on the counter attack and even in the first half bellerin was one who was on the forefront with his running on the counter with him getting beyond ramsey on the counter .
the important aspect of bayern game was way they controlled the tempo of the game .now on 35 min arsenal created the best chance of the half through monreal crossing to walcott who's shot was blocked by neur .  now after this bayern just slowed the game and made just steamed the flow of arsenal's counter . now arsenal took the initiative after this and were trying to press bayern for the first time in the match first time and nearly caught neur .
now in the second half bayern changed the formation with muller trying to run behind the back four with arsenal playing slightly up . now in the second half bayern changed their personal with vidal going wide and costa coming in and trying to run on the back four while muller making runs behind the back four from wide positions but they were content on shooting from distance . they were blessed with some chances with individual mistakes by some arsenal players who were not ready to release the ball early  and nearly paying for it .
bayern changed alonso and vidal on the 71  min and arsenal sensed a chance in that . with the change arsenal started pressing more and got the success on one of the free kicks and the second one was result of good game reading by bellerin who intercepted a pass to bernat and started the counter on which ozil scored .
now let me talk about the game in general although arsenal won the game but i think munich were the better team they controlled the tempo but were unable to penetrate arsenal's defense . arsenal need to do more if they are to show that they are a good team then they need to play good offense when they have the ball . they try to go too direct when on the counter when there in no continuation to that offense . instead when they have the ball they should try to make good decisions on the ball and should try to keep the ball and move the ball better and show that they are good ball playing team when they have the ball .there is no bad in sitting back and hitting on the counter but when you have the ball you need to show your class . there are some arsenal players who wont release the ball early which in turn helps the oppositon who can close them down or dispossess  them or they allow the opposition to regroup since the time you spend on the ball .  you slow down the game and in turn allow the opposition to regroup or dispossess you or the player whom you pass the ball . sanchez  gave the ball 3 times in his own half and could have cost arsenal the game . czorla too at times too is guilty of spending time on the ball and in turn giving up the possession or slowing the game . the best player in the game was ozil who made very good decisions on the ball he showed his class . let me tell on 65 min instead of going direct arsenal could have played the ball around and carved something out . atleast could had showed that they could play and keep the ball and can create chance when they have the ball . most importantly arsenal have the players who can pass and keep the ball and create problem for the oppostion . all and all a moral boosting win for arsenal but bayern will have to find answers and i think they will in the return match   .

Monday, 19 October 2015


now yesterday inter played juventus at the san siro . inter had 4-2-3-1 formation with icardi leading the line while jovetic,brozovic and perisic behind the icardi . melo and medel were in front of the back four which consisted of jesus,meruillo ,miranda and santon . while juventus started with the 3-5-2 formation with moratta and zaza upfront . while evara and cuadrado were wingbacks . marchisio played in front of the back four while pogba was on the left while khadeira was on the right . while the back three consisted of brazagali,bonucci and chiellini .
now the game started with a good pace with inter trying to press juve and start the counter . inter showed a good amount of energy for the first 20 min . they were playing a high line trying to press juve and making them play from the back . in this pressing the best chance of the first half to juve when inter tried to press juve worked the ball through zaza and passed it to cuadrado who he took  one too many touches to shoot the ball and scuffed the shot . while inter were pressing the ball and trying to  win it back juve werer sitting back and letting the ball come into the midfield and then press it . they were allowing inter's centre backs time and space on the ball and were not pressing them . instead waiting for the ball to come into the midfield and then press it aggesively . juve also were playing a deep line . but the real hero of the game was jovetic who was the real instigator and  creator of all the inter's offense . he was playing behind icardi and was combining very well with perisic . they were trying to overload the left flank since cuadrado was coming back on defense to mid line and then letting brazagali take on perisic rather than going on with him . jovetic was very good yesterday . he won all his individual battle . his positioning was very intelligent . he would start upfront but will come deep to collect the ball and start the offense . he was dribbling well and was the thorn in the juve's side . marchisio was the man who was suppose to mark him but not one time did marchisio  could win a one on one against jovetic . secondly jovetic's movement was the real headache for juve . they were uncertain as to whether he would come inside or go wide . his movement created space for perisic and inter's offense was all about him. the only drawback in the game was that jovetic didnt got the proper support from icardi . had icardi showed a little intelligence and imagination with his movement and ball playing quality then jovetic would had been able to have more penetration . while at time he had to be contend from taking the shots from out of the box .

now inter continued to press aggressively for the first 20 min but after that they too started to sit back and defend with numbers behind the ball . now on juve's offense cuadrado was getting the space on the right flank just because his defensive duties were shared with brazagali who would take his man when he  would come beyond half line . cuadrado was having the space because perisic was getting caught high on the pitch on offense while juan jesus was reluctant to come out of the back four so cuadrado had all the space and time on the ball . so when cuadrado had the ball allegri tried to stretch the defense by asking khadeira to go beyond cuadrado on the right flank and overload it . although juve were able to bring the ball upfront but they were unable to penetrate inter's defense . since inter had started to play deep . their middle line  and back four played a very good  defensive game and denied juve any space between the lines when the ball came deep on the flanks . in the first half miranda and co. not coming out of the back four to close down moratta who was coming deep and start the offense and help his midfield on possession and get it upfield . both of the teams were cancelling out each other in the midfield so at times they were going direct . in that muriello hit some good passes from the back four  to find jovetic .  but he could had payed for his smartness where he tried to dribble his opposite number and got caught early in the 2nd half .
now in the match for me inter lacked a smart centre forward who could had linked with jovetic and perisic while  juve lacked a proper no.10 ( tevez) . the 2nd half was like the first half and cuadrado's time spending on the ball was getting frustating . secondly he wasnt able to find a juve player in the box . because all of the juve's offense was from the right side . the best chance or move constructed by the juve was however from the left side by pogba and evara who combined nicely to get the ball deep into inter's box but again failed to find the finish .

now juve are playing 3-5-2 which they had been playing at the start of the season but they lack the quality in the side . khadeira is playing in vidal's position but to be honest he hasnt got the quality or guile while going forward because vidal  wouldnt just cross the ball but instead would look for alternatives and make better decisions . cuadrado needs to stop spending time on the ball while zaza has the energy but looks  more like a sasullo player . while juve too needs to help zaza they need to have player around him quickly when he has the ball and lesser his burden on the ball .
all and all the game was about jovetic who was the most electric player in this game . he was the player who carried inter and was the reason why inter had a decent offense and caused all the problem for juve but he lacked support from other players . if he could have that support from other players then i dont doubt that inter can be in the UCL next season .

Thursday, 15 October 2015


untill now the team had been carried by robben but his injury had been the major factor in dutch meltdown since he was the one responsible for all the dutch offense . while anybody would credit or not but absence of nigel de jong had too been one of the factors . now the dutch style of play had been long gone . to be honest from the days of van basten being incharge of the team the team had been playing on counter and it had been carried on by some individuals with inform players like sneijder ,van persie and robben so the style was long gone . the dutch playing the flowing passing game was all gone . here it was all dependent on the individual qualities of the players rather than the team playing and once the individuals were absent or on decline the teams fortune dwindled . in the last 10 years the dutch just looked at the results rather than the team play and that is why they find themselves in this situation .
now on tuesday netherlands played the czeck republic for a place in the uefa uero play off . now their fate wasnt in their hands and the result in the match between turkey vs iceland was also important . now this one match isnt the one that was real cause of dutch meltdown . to be honest when i watched the dutch play in this match then i thought that i was watching the irish play in dutch orange . they played the same long ball game that the irish were playing .
now lets start of the match . now let me clarify that i would be able to describe the czecks as clearly as i can with the dutch team . the reason being that i was watching the czecks the first or second team and the players in the czeck team ( except cech ) are not that much seen or dont play for big team . so for i cannot descirbe their game very precisely . now the dutch started the match with a 4-3-3 formation but it also had its loop holes . tete,bruma,van dijk and riedewald were the back four with danny blind in front of them . while sneijder was playing just ahead of blind but playing deep . weijnauldum was playing behind huntellar in the hole while depay and al gazi were on the wings . the dutch wanted to play a very open game and wanted to stretch their opponents . while on the other hands the czecks were very conservative they formed two banks of four when they lost the ball and attacked on the counter . the most surprising thing was the complete lack of style and the hurry that the dutch had on getting the ball forward and crossing it in the box or getting the ball towards czecks goal . now the dutch centrebacks were quite some time on the ball . now since blind and at times sneijder man marked out of the game huntellar tried to come deep and collect the ball and start the offense but he too was very much very well marked by the czeck players and was nullified . plus when you put the ball to centre forward then you need to have players around him to whom he can pass but huntellar wasnt couldnt do that and the dutch couldnt provide him the proper support . now the second point of attack was to pass the ball to depay or al gazi . now here lies the problem . they had time on the ball but they were just content on crossing the ball rather than trying to take the ball much deeper by passing the ball and have more penetration . the postions from where they crossed it could had been much more better and more deeper than the ones they crossed . they crossed from the edge of the box while they could had taken the ball much deeper or even tried to get themselves beyond huntelllar which sadly nobody tried . the dutch were just in  a hurry . they were just crossing the ball in the flurry . to be honest had it been the earlier dutch team then the wingers would had been patient they would had passed the ball far more times and would had tried to open the opponents with their passing  and movement which was very much lacking over here . plus i rarely saw a move which had more that  passes in the game and the dutch didnt shoot or crossed the ball .
now daley blind did realised that danny blind was getting man marked in the game and secondly huntellar didnt had any support around him . so he made the necessary change by bringing van persie in place of reidewald and getting support of hunellar . he brought weijnauldum deeper in support of sneijder who started to play in place of blind . after this the dutch  game just became  a long ball game and they just lobbed the ball on the heads of huntellar and van persie . the czecks were holding their last line just beyond the box and the dutch were determined to exploit this space but they never tried to out pass their opponents and the team looked devoid of direction and tactics . when van persie scored an own goal through header in the second half i stopped to watch the game and slept .
now in the opening 30 min what the czecks were doing what was that when they lost the ball they would form 2 banks of four and wait for the dutch to bring the ball forward . they man marked blind so that he cannot start the offense they were very much successful in marking him out of the game . now the dutch problem was that they were too much open both al gazi and depay were hugging the touch lines and were very high up the pitch while weijnauldum was just behind huntellar with sneijder joining them . so what it meant was that on the counter there wasnt enough protection for the dutch on the defense coupled with their individual errors which led them to being down 2 goals inside 30 min . another reason being that the czecks outplayed their opponents on the floor . they passed the ball better . they excelled in one on one situations and they had a better organisation than the dutch . all and all the dutch were outplayed and out muscled out of the game and the better side won .

Monday, 12 October 2015


now yesterday ireland poland in their home and this fixture was crucial for both as win for both teams  . it would had meant automatic qualification for both teams . now i am trying to do analysis in terms of ireland here . the reason being that i dont certain polish players so  i couldnt track their movements so i cannot form an accurate picture of the game but will try my best .
now yesterday ireland started the game with a 4-3-3 formation with poland doing the same . now there had been  some differences with ireland  in the game with germany and poland but the approach was the same . the reason i am writing  is that martin o niel is  incharge of this team for the last 20 games and he  cannot instill a style in this team . nor did i find any particular approach with which they were going to open up the opposition . the question with his team is always been whats next . who ever has the ball then he is faced with the dilema as to what to do next who is he going to pass the ball . yes they are playing long ball but it too requires some ball playing quality . yes the forward holds the ball or wins the first header and gets the ball for your team but what after that . whether you take it wide and whip a cross inside the box or do you pass the ball and combine to open opposition up . i certainly found ireland wanting . the only positives were some players who were comfortable over the ball and with their individual quality  but are unable to do the whole job unless they get the proper support from their team  .
now yesterday's game was very fast with teams trying to press each other very aggresively and trying to win the ball early and hit the opposition . both the teams approach was the same they were trying to find their forwards early . poland were trying to find lewandowski while ireland were trying to find long and continue from their on . for ireland walters was trying to get beyond long while for poland both wingers were getting beyond lewandowski depending upon the zone . both lewandowski and long were tightly marked by their opposite numbers . but the difference here was the balls that were passed to these forwards while long was contesting for all aerial duels . lewandowski on the other hand was passed floor balls and they were from some considerable less distance which too is a factor . the difference had been the supporting cast and the midfield and the forward line and its quality . poland's midfield were able to play some very good floor football and pass the ball in tight situations and were work out the zones . while for ireland as i had said earlier the questions was always there of whats next . lack of approach play was irelands weakest link .
poland started with a bit of a stutter but after 10 started to put the ball down and started to play with confidence . the reason was because of some individual were able to stamp their authority on the game . lewandowski and Krychowiak were able to stamp their authority on the game . just as leawandowski was getting influential in the final third Krychowiak was the reason for that . he was breaking all ireland's offense and starting the offense most importantly he was making very smart decisions on the ball . his passing was accurate and his support to the play was also very good . this is the kind of player that are wanted by premier league teams .
now as i had said that i had watched both ireland's game i was amazed at the players selection . why was wesley hoolahan dropped . he was the sole reason that ireland any kind of offense in the german game . i really dont understand what is the role of the midfielders in the team . first off atleast in this game oshea and keogh were coming out of the defense and marking lewandowski but in the german game they were not ready to come out of the defense . the midfield were chasing and were leaving a considerable space for the germans to explore . i would only find fault in the germans game that they were not able to explore that space between the lines . i was finding it hard to find what role jeff hendrick has in this team or is he just making numbers . clearly the irsih needs a better coach than matin o niel . 

Monday, 5 October 2015


now yesterday bayern played dortmund at home . bayern started with the 3-3-1-3  or you can say 3-4-3 formation while dortmund started with the 4-3-3 formation . bayern had martinez,boetang and alaba in the back three while alonso played in front of the back three . while thiago and lahm played on the left and right of alonso respectively . now why said 3-3-1-3 is because leawandowski was playing in more withdrawn role . muller was playing as the furtherst forward man while lewandowski was playing just behind muller . it has its own advantagous . the front three of bayern were muller with costa on left and gotze on the right .
dortmund started with the 4-3-3 formation with hummels and bender in the centre back role with sokratis on the right and Piszczek on the left . while the middle thee consist of gundogan,weigl and castro . the front three consist of mikhitarian,kagawa and abumeyang .
now bayern started the game with playing high line and pressing dortmund . now the first scarce of the game was to bayern when they survived the diagonal run from abumenyang who was released by mikhitarin behind the bayern back three . now both the teams played a high line to try and squeeze the game and press the opposition but the effectiveness that was there in bayern pressing was not there in dortmunds pressing . the reason being dortmund waited for bayern to bring the ball into midfield and then press . instead bayern ball got the ball quickly to costa and gotze and push dortmund back .now dortmund were playing a high line but as soon as gotze or costa got the ball they dropped back in the box and denied the space between back four and the goal keeper ( atleast they did this good . ) dortmunds shape to defend was actually very good where there was little space between the lines for munich to exploit . weigl and gundogan held very good position ahead of the back four so that there was little space for munich to work . there was space for munich on flanks for costa and gotze but dortmund didnt go chasing instead they let gotze and costa and come onto them and let them cross and defend rather than played around .
while dortmund had their own offense. they tried to play out from the back which is why bender was played in the back four with hummels because of his ball playing ability since bayern are doing the same as dortmund on defense . dortmund were trying to get the ball quickly to mikhitarian or abumeyang . either of them will try to release them behind the back three through diagonal balls .dortmund were nearly successfull  in that and alaba took the card to stop abumeyang . now the trouble with dortmund was that while bayern were able to bring all the elements into play dortmund were unable to bring castro and kagawas into play . whenever dortmund used to work the ball to abumeyang and mikhitarian who would get press eventually . they would pass the ball back but then dortmund were not able to work the ball to them and would eventually loosed possession . i had an obvious difficulty to work out as to what was castro's role in the team . i thought that the space that bayern offered in front of the back three will be exploited since it was only guarded by alonso and dortmund could drop somebody into that space and exploit .
now its very easy to criticize touchel but i think he has got a plan and now i think he has seen the flaws in it . mikhitarian and abumeyang are the two main players in his system and two were responsible in destroying leverkusen . touchel could be seen gesturing to the team to play diagonal ball and make diagonal runs . dortmund goal was the perfect example of the thing that was supposed to be done by dortmund and the way they passed the exploited the narrowness of bayern defense by stretching it and exploiting the space behind back three . now he obviously has to figure out as to how he fixes his flaws . dortmund suffered because they were not pressing that aggressively as bayern
were doing and touchel still has to work out as how his players will work out when  pressed and take their positons . the first goal came because dortmund played a high line and didnt press bayern that faster and dortmund were all over the place . muller first went wide for a decoy and made the diagonal run and the dortmund were open . two of the five goals came from balls from the back . the third goal came from a counter when dortmund lost possession and bayern turned it into a counter . to be honest dortmund were in the game till the half time but as soon as the third goal was scored i think dortmund just dropped the fight and accepted the fate and you could see them just giving up in the last 15 min .
the second half did showed as to how much gaurdiola thinks the game like chess just as dortmund the score and the space between the lines and mikhitarian come over there . he changed the system by dropping lahm as the right back and changing the system from 3-4-3 to 4-3-3 and giving ample protection at the back while getting more bodies in the middle by shifting thiago with alonso . thiago had a good personal duel with gundogan in the game and he was the one responsible largely to keep gundogan quite . this season bayern had become more direct with costa and gotze in recent matches . he has stopped tryning to outplay the oppisiton out of the game . instead it is much more direct now for bayern now . 

Sunday, 4 October 2015


now yesterday sevilla played barcelona at home . sevilla started with a 4-3-3 or even can say a 4-4-2 while barca started with their familiar with their familiar 4-3-3 formation . now thing with sevilla's formation is that vitolo played very high up the pitch but kept coming back to defend against his opposite number alaba so their can be flotation between 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 . either way who ever wants to take which formation is on his discretion .
now for sevilla Kolodzieczak and andronelli started as centrebacks with koke and Trémoulinas as the fullbacks . while nzonzi and Krychowiak were central midfield duo krohndelhi was on the left while vitolo was on the right . the forwards were iborra and grameiro . barca made changes following injuries . pique was joined by mathieu as the central defensive pair while alaba and roberto were the fullbacks . mascherano played in the midfield in front of the back four with busquestus on his left and rakitic on the right . while the front three consist of neymar,suarez and munir .
now the game started with a very good tempo and it continued till the end . now there had some change in the barca stratergy lately where on they seem to have turn the page and gone to take a leaf out of gaurdiola's era and start pressing . now there were some characteristics to barca's offense . whenever the ball was moved from right flank of barca then neymar would come inside and try to collect the ball in the middle while suarez will drop on the left trying to stretch the defense and in turn keep right back busy who's opposite number was neymar . what would do this was when suarez was moving in neymar's zone was that the right back couldnot move out of the defense to go with neymar and that would meant neymar was virtually free to collect the ball with no opposite number to mark him . suarez was trying to stretch the defense and which gave space for neymar to run into so that he  can create trouble which could be exploited. they did that very good in the first with barca having very good chances being created by neymar for suarez . on the 14 th min he tuened very nicely on nzonzi and Krychowiak and slip the ball who should had finished it . neymar was the total influence in the first half for barca . barca was having ample space to play because sevilla's front three were not coming back to defend so barca could stretch sevilla and they did that with space on both flanks . the middle line was getting too stretched and barca were taking full advantage of it . only their finishing was lacking .
now while barca were doing this sevilla were trying to hit barca on every counter and they were having quite the success in  it to cause problem's and the reason for that was gamiero and his hard running . now barca were playing high line which was leaving too much space behind to run . iborra was coming slightly deep and releasing gamiero in the space he would run the ball on either flanks and bring the midfield and wing backs into play who would come and join them on offense . secondly even though on defense krohn-delhi was playing as a left sided played on offense he was moving inside and playing behind the front three. he was quite effective and made very correct decision's on the ball and choosing correct player to pass the ball . him moving inside was confusing barca since they didnt know as to whether he would stay inside or again go wide in his natural positon to join TrĂ©moulinas. vitolo remaining high up the pitch means alaba was kept on his toes and was very cautious of his movement not let vitolo slip .
the main problem had been gamiero who was with running causing all sort of problems to barcelona . both of the sevilla's goal came on the counter and because of gamiero's running . now as soon sevilla scored the goal they started to play deep compared to what they had been playing . vitoloa who was moving high up the pitch joined his middle three to defend  the lead they had against barca .
in the second half barca tried to change things with maschrano went to his positon in the back four and barca went on the offensive and that was helped by sevilla's changes . sevilla bought llorente in place of iborra and reyes in place of gamiero and it handed the advantage to barca because they didnt had to worry about gamiero's running behind the defense anymore . plus llorente was very well handeled by pique who took upon himself to guard llorente . just as the minutes passed by sevilla became more and more compact and tried to defend the one goal lead .
barca lost the game not because they defended poorly but because they were unable to finish what was created . last but not the least but the ref was  stupid and i dont know how but how can he give TrĂ©moulinas penalty when he didnt even move the hand towards the ball . all a very good and open game . 

Wednesday, 30 September 2015


now yesterday porto played chelsea at home and chelsea lost . it was very well said by miguel delaney on soccernet that chelsea were wrong . chelsea lacked any creativity nor did they had any foothold on the game . the formation and the players that were chosen by mouriniho at times looks like to chosen for loss .
now chelsea played with a 4-2-1-3 formation with cahill and zouma at the back with ivanovic and Azpilicueta as fullbacks . mikel and ramires were in front of the back four with ramires while fabregas was ahead of them . willian ,costa and pedro made the front three . while porto started with 4-3-3 formation with maicon and marcano at the back with pereira and indi as the fullbacks . the middle  three consist of  neves,danillo and imbulla as the middle three . now danillo was sitting in front of the back four while neves was slight on the right side while imbula was on the left . while the front three consist of brahimi ,Aboubakar and andre .
now porto started the game by playing direct balls to Aboubakar who coming slightly deep ( about one or two yards) to collect the ball and then pass it on the brahimi who was out wide for the whole match . he would then try to run on ivanovic but keeping him guessing as to whether he was running down or cutting inside and at the same time combining very well with imbula and Aboubakar . porto would show that they are going to try and open  the left side and them pass the from left to right and stretch chelsea play . now the trouble with chelsea was that Aboubakar was getting slightly inside to collect ball but zouma wasnt coming out of the defense to close him . it left Aboubakar with pretty much time on the ball to collect the ball and pass it whoever that he desired off . secondly if you had looked closely then brahimi was hugging the touchline and stretching the play . now everybody knew that ivanovic knew was going to struggle against the brahimi who is a good dribbler . so it was imperative that zouma should had moved closer to ivanovic( i had shown the space between ivanovic and zouma in the chelsea  diagram)  so that he could double him down or close him even when he could give slip to ivanovic . the warning signs were already there when before the goal brahimi had cut inside once and had a shot scuffed . chelsea should kept a tight leash on him just as willian was doing a great job on left side where he was helping his fullback  .mikel or ramires should had done a better job over here .
now chelsea were playing on a counter here . to be honest costa was very good yesterday he was coming deep to collect ball and bring the midfield into attack . while marcano showed the willingness to come out of defense to close him down maicon stayed deep and maintained the shape and let costa scott free . now costa played majorly on left side where on he combined very nicely with fabregas and willian but he never got the support from the midfield from mikel and ramires who were poor yesterday . ramires is also very technically poor . he has a poor touch and doesnt understand the game. to be honest the support that porto front three got from danillo and neves was never there from ramires and mikel who were very poor . now chelsea's best came when pedro was put through on goal with good pass from costa . now i had described pedro earlier he likes to at the end of things rather than be a creator
. now chelsea were very poor and lacked support for costa . to be honest porto were trying to stop fabregas and try to press chelsea and i thought two or three time ramires got the ball between the lines which he could not use properly . porto's midfield were trying to press chelsea while thebackline were not ready to come high and playing deep enough not to let have too much space behind as pedro had slipped earlier on goal .
now let me describe to two situations in the first half where on costa was drifting on the left side he worked maicon very well to give him a slip but there was nobody in the box to whom costa could atleast  cross .secondly when he drifted on the right he again worked marcano very well . fabreagas to support him and when these two worked the ball none of the chelsea players came to continue that play and use that advantage and use the positon of the ball . so out of sheer frustration fabreagas crossed the ball knowing he had nobody in there to target since costa was there with him wide . chelsea were poor on their offense . chelsea need from their midfield to support their front players and it was not there while porto's midfield supported very well to the front line chelsea's middle line was very poor . what can fabregas do when he has no confidence in mikel and ramires that they can bring the ball and keep the play rolling and not loose the ball . ramires had some beautiful positons in the game where he got some space and time on the ball in the hole but was not able to use it properly although his run led to the goal .
most importantly chelsea's playes were sleeping in the game and and the second goal was an evidence of that . although mouriniho made changes in the second half but untill then imbula had come into his element in his element and had started imposing himself on the game . he was good  as was neves the kid was very good on the ball .his game reading was very good and also his ability to release players in the space was very good . there were some individual battles in the match notably with willian against peraira and brahimi against ivanovic .

Saturday, 26 September 2015


now spurs played city at home . spurs started with a 4-4-1-1 combination while city started with 4-2-1-3 combination . spurs started with a very young lineup . they had dier and alli in the middle while city had fernanado who was first time starting this season along with fernandiniho. toure started behind aguero while for spurs kane started upfront with sun behind him . spurs had eriksen and lamela on the wide while city had sterling and de bruyne on the wide . spurs had Alderweireld  and vertoghen with davies and walker in the back four . city had Demichelis and otamendi with kolarov and sagna in the back four .
now the first started with spurs started with spurs trying to press but quickly settled to sit back and hold shape and discipline . now in the first half spurs were trying to play out from the back and try to open city with their passing and ball movement . majority of their offense was from right side with lamela ,sun and eriksen involved who was coming inside of the left and getting involved in the play. for the first half eriksen was the player . to be honest spurs could had opened city properly had they been a little patient with their play and their deliveries . if you had seen city's back four could had been kept occupied with kane or sun and if you could see then their was a considerable space between city's back four the middle two . it was because fernandiniho was worried about eriksen as he was told to keep a tab on him and he was doing a decent job on him . fernando didnt had the discipline to quickly drop deep and close the space between back four and middle . had one of the spurs player dropped into that space then it was their for the taking . but spurs couldnt capitalize on that .
now for city in the first half for city de bruyne was the best player for them . he knew when to switch the play and when to come inside and when to stay wide . his vision was very good . now city had toure behind aguero but he wasnt very close to aguero instead their was a  lot of space between him and aguero . it was because he was stretching spurs vertically trying to get the space between back four and midfield so that he can play de bruyne and sterling in the space . spurs CB's very afraid of aguero's pace and very reluctant to go and close him . he was getting all kind of space between the lines where on he could collect the ball and run on the defenders . vertroghen and Alderweireld were very just backtracking and letting him have all the fun. to be honest spurs were fortunate not to go down early in the first half . now dier was trying to mark toure and at time he and alli lacked the organisational discipline to take their proper positions in front of the back four . to be honest toure was playing behind aguero and but he was not making run in the box but was staying just off the box rather trying to come inside the box and provide the aerial threat or provide an alternative for cross .
now for the city goal spurs made two mistakes . first that they gave the ball away cheaply . secondly eriksen should had taken a card and clipped toure so that he could had prevented the goal . this point was very well pointed out by the commetator
jim crawford .
now the second half was very different to the first half . now city were playing with a high line just as they did in the juventus game where on the back four tries to stand just off the box and tries to catch the other side offside . now in the second half spurs changed the approach . they started to play traditional english football with trying to find kane with long balls . now city's centre backs were not any match for kane in the running game and most importantly kane was getting wide to collect the ball where on he would move into space left by the full backs . he would collect the ball and spurs attack would be on. now this approach started to pay dividends for spurs as they could fine kane and then move forward and then eriksen and lamela would come and join the attack . spurs were able to score three more goals because city were all over the space in the second half and simple defending errors  cost city . city made the changes but they could not affect the outcome of the game . spurs played deep and then had more players so there was no space for city to work with .he shifted de bruyne in the middle but by that time the game was more than over . had it been earlier then we could had seen a better game .

now in the match alli started the match in the middle along side dier . i think both need to learn the trade and make decisions on and off the ball and should choose better options where on the play continues on . his work is just not to pass the ball but need to give the option to pass back and continue the play . they both need to stamp their authority on the game .
to be honest i would really like some comment as to what did i missed during the game and your takes on the game .