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 .