Wednesday, 28 December 2016


yesterday liverpool played stoke and won . i wanted to see stoke and what better to watch them than play liverpool . but first for the last two seasons stoke have added quite some quality players in their ranks but they have failed add any good decent defensive player in their rank and whatever they have added are not upto the task . stoke are good on one end but the defensive end made them look ordinary plus some tactical mistakes by their manager in trying to accommodate the players and trying to offset the opposition also cost them .
starting formation
liverpool started the game with their regular 4-3-3 formation . while stoke started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation . stoke started on a very positive note by trying to press liverpool  but it was only successful when the ball was in liverpool half . the trouble with stoke is that there front four are good but they are not properly supported by the back four who have severe lack of pace and dont like to come out and close down . this is what let stoke down. initial walter's and diouf were the wide men and crouch the middle man with allen behind him but stoke were not finding any success and every attempt to move ball upfield was failing . crouch could win the first ball but he didnt had anybody to pass the ball beyond him . secondly liverpool contest the ball once it was on grass and were succeding in dispossessing crouch . so stoke didnt had any success . hughes noticed this and changed the formation and switched walters beyond crouch so that crouch can flick the headed balls to him. but in doing so they conceded the left side to liverpool because having moved walters over there they didnt had a natural player over there to occupy or defend that zone. stoke found some good success initially with this switched formation and direct play . the other thing that he changed was that he restricted johsnon's movement and he had a flat back four making it a back three with diouf and pieters as the full backs .  their approach was to play through crouch and he would try to release walters on goal or try to pass the ball to allen who was around him . stoke took the lead because of some stupid defending . in the lead upto the goal neither clyne nor pieter's opposite number mane went with him to close him down. instead he was allowed to cross and walters headed the ball for goal.
formation after hughes changed it . 
the reason why i had criticized stokes defensive players is because of their lack of game reading and doing nothing but standing . as i had stoke had changed the formation midway through the first half but it had adverse affect on them too . first off they didnt had any natural cover for pieter's on the left side to imbula was aked to cover that zone . so imbula had to cover not only central zone but also cover the left side zone which meant that there was considerable space between him and whelan . secondly liverpool move the ball very quick and kloop knows the importance of moving the ball fast because it doesnt let the defense settle and close you down . kloop has made them understand the positional aspect of the game very well and their ball handling . so liverpool bring the ball back to front very quickly and this meant that allen,walter's and crouch were not able to help team on defense . the trouble was that the back four were not ready to come out of defense and close down liverpool players and this allowed the opposition time and space on the ball and they were able to take the ball wide and bring it inside with ease .
if you watched liverpool goal's then you can see stoke's defensive mistake . leading off to the first goal matin's indi played mane onside had he kept the defensive discipline better then he would had caught him offside . he was one of the back three while johnson and shawcross moved up he stayed back and that allowed mane to be in the onside position . secondly he just kept on backing instead of trying to close him down in the movement . the second goal was the classic example as to how stoke got stretched and how the back four just kept their position instead of coming forward to close down the player in space. liverpool moved the ball from flank to flank and stretched stoke . if you watch the goal then you could see the space between whelan and imbula since imbula had to look at the left side as well . thirdly the back four not coming out quick to deal with firmino who was in the hole with time and space on the ball and they got punished . the game was over once liverpool scored second goal .
hughes needs to have some defensive addition into the team . secondly i would had loved whelan being dropped and allen and imbula in front of the back four which would had given them a good mobile and ball playing cover . 

Monday, 19 December 2016


yesterday man city played arsenal at etihad . now before i write about the game let me say that doesnt matter what formation you play or the way you execute it but atleast on defense the players mental ability and his ability to read the game and take decisions is put to test . those who do it correct are known as great players . if you had looked at the great teams of the past and present then you may had read about the game reading of the back four or one or two stalwarts in the team who would read the game and were able to stop the opposition in the tracks . the coach is important because he teaches you as to how you make decisions and what you should do in those situations . but ultimately it all depends on the player on the field and his ability and mental ability and there is the difference between a good player and great player .
man city started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation with sterling starting as the no.9 .while arsenal started with the same formation of 4-2-3-1 with sanchez in the no.9 position . the game started with arsenal sitting back and trying to soak up city pressure and hit them on the counter . on the very first counter arsenal were ahead and the very reason why arsenal were ahead because otamendi and kolarov . sanchez dropped deep to collect the ball as he does and let ozil,walcott and iwobi  run beyond him and that has been the tailor made counter or way or offense for arsenal . now the reason for writing first para is this . first off otamendi or kolarov should have followed sanchez and shouldnt had given him time on the ball because they didnt had anybody beyond sanchez to worry about whom sanchez could release behind them . now even if they had not followed sanchez then they should had realized that he would try to release walcott who had made the run and they should kept track of him and made sure that the pass cant be played to him . city's defense were just ball watching in that play and were rightly punished . this is where the good players come into play because they can read the game better . reading play means that they can predict what is happening next and take the necessary steps and prevent it .
the goal was scored early in the first half and arsenal were comfortable for the whole half while city were just flat out . city were spending too much time on the ball and were just not crisp on the ball  if you had looked at city's offense then you could see that at time there were only two players involved in the move the on passing and the one receiving and the others were just mannequins .city's offense lacked a clear direction .  there were three or four times when yaya toure tried to release sterling behind the back four . the idea of playing sterling as the no.9 was to use his pace against gabriel and koscielny but city were just too slow in moving the ball . the instinctive changes that gaurdiola makes or the inputs that he provides were completely lacking . city were far too flaccid with toure the most frustrated player because he was slow and coquelin was getting the better off him in the exchanges . gaurdiola didnt seem to have the answer's to arsenal's counter in the first half and the first half ended with arsenal ahead . for the first time i thought that gaurdiola had lost it and had the changes in the second half didnt worked then the thoughts would had been confirmed . 
gaurdiola changed the personal in the seconld half first off he bought de bruyne central and sterling wide and also the other thing that he changed on the defensive front . the time and space that sanchez was getting wasnt there . sanchez was followed up by kolarov and otamendi and was denied time on the ball . the most important change was that they were moving the ball crisply and moving quickly . the change from the first half was that in the first half city were playng the ball more in the wide area's and were unable to bring it inside . sane who was staying wide in the first had  started to make diagonal run's towards the  goal in the second half with de bruyne dropping deep like sanchez to release sterling and sane behind the back four .  city wanted to stretched arsenal although arsenal wanted to be more compact but there was considerable space between the back four and the goal keeper which was there to be exploited .
the reason why arsenal lost there way in the second half was that sanchez wanted to much off the ball . city had changed there mentality and were not going to give sanchez the time on the ball so it would had been better off sanchez to pass the ball quickly and move it crisply and his over insistence on doing things caused arsenal their offense  . arsenal tried to change things by bringing giroud but by that time arsenal had lost the impetus and were merely chasing the game .
ozil was criticized after the game for disappearing during the game but then in the first half the way arsenal are set on the counter he doesnt sees lot of the ball and he dependent on sanchez's service to feed him the ball's as ozil gets into sanchez's position to keep the centre backs occupied . but after giroud was bought about i think ozil should had taken the reins of the game but then he needs somebody to play around him and then he flourishes but he failed to establish that . while criticizing ozil nobody questioned walcott . he might had scored the goal but just look his ability on the ball . he cannot drive the ball . hopeless on the ball . the goal he scored was made by sanchez's work . why wasnt he subbed in the first place is mystery . i think iwobi deserves his minutes . to be honest i was impressed with granite xhaka and coquelin who dominated the arsenal midfield for me .

i really dont like to talk on such subjects but i think the two goals were offside . 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016


yesterday utd played spurs and it was the first win for utd after 4 games in the league but even in the win i think utd are one dimensional the attack lacks innovation . they are still playing on the counter offense and they still dont look like the team who when they have the ball look to be dangerous . the only positive thing has been mikhitariyan's performance . but the utd win would had been better had some players made better decisions on the ball .
utd started the game with 4-3-3 formation . this formation does gives freedom to both herrera and poga who can go forward that they have carrick behind their back to look after defense. spurs have their standard formation of 4-2-3-1 . spurs started the game with utd sitting back and soaking the attack and trying to hit on the counter . the trouble with utd that spurs were pressing them and the problem with utd is that they cannot play out from the back while both spurs centre backs are good ball players and comfortable with ball on the feet . utd have good defenders but their ability on the ball is not that good and when pressed they tend to punt the ball upfield to ibramovic . utd's main offense has been to play around ibramovic . the offense seems to work well with mikhitariyan given the lisence to leave his zone and go in the playmaker role while martial keeps stretching the defense by remaining wide . the trouble with utd is that there offense is one dimensional . ball is played to ibramovic and then in turn he tries to release mikhitariyan or martial behind the defense. other is that when they get congested in one zone they pass the ball to opposite flank and try to stretch the game and use the space that is left on . the trouble is that they are not moving the ball quickly or crisply . secondly they are not keeping the ball and i havent seen them working  a move and then open the opposition . everytime its on counter and utd should try to hold the ball more move i, work a zone ,try to take it deeper and then take the shot . to be honest there are some best long distance shot takers in the utd team in the form of ibramovic and pogba and even mikhitariyan but i havent seen them taking shots beyond the box . with ability like that utd can be deadly from far more distance and that in turn stretches the defense . when utd are on offense balls were directly played to ibramovic  but at the same time i didnt see a player around ibramovic to whom he can pass the ball quickly . just look at the time he had to hold of the ball  and it does gives the time for the opposition to claw back . just look at the way hazard is stationed closed to costa in the chelsea and just look the rewards they are reaping with that partnership . it would be better to post pogba or mikhitariyan close to ibramovic since both are very good ball players and are two of the best ball players in the world and their weight on the pass is terrific . i want carrick to play more quickly i think that he spent a bit more time on the ball than required and if he can release the ball more early then the play would start the offense more quickly .for the first 20 min spurs dominated the possession and there was a reason because their front players are more mobile than man utd's . i wanted the reciprocation by utd . they have ibra upfront who is not that mobile but he could had been asked to track on  one midfielders and then ask the herrera ,mikhitariyan to close the front players and try to give them the same medicine .
spurs had been struggling to get kane into their offense and this had been their biggest drawback . spurs have good ball players all over the pitch but the trouble is that they are not able to play through kane they dominated the game . the game plan was very correct they played compact and had more passes than utd in the game . they closed down utd very quickly and made them play the ball quickly which made them concede the possession . for the first 20 min i think that spurs played very well and had they been able to get their offense going then we would have had a good game . even in the last game against chelsea they were not able to give any service to kane and that had made him a frustrated player . pochettino is good coach but how come he not able to see this problem and tackle it is beyond me . to be honest delle alli is played in the no.10 role but he hasnt got the first touch that is needed to be a no.10 and the creative mind to be play in that position and it would be better if dembele is promoted in that position who can go past players with ease and is better in every aspect than alli . 
in the game the players are the one who have to take the decisions . it doesnt matters what they coaches teaches you on the training field but ultimately its the players who are playing and the ones taking decisions on the field . there were two incidents in the play that really were the highlight and i think i have to write . first off martial was released by ibramovic on 24nd min behind the defense but the ball wasnt in total control but martial was one on one with the goal keeper had he controlled the ball better and shielded it and made sure that he stood between the ball and the player .just look at the way mikhitairyan did it and he just scored .  had he been able to done that then he could had prevented walker from making the clearance and that should had been his first priority . yes he wanted to take the shot but when the ball is upfield your first priority should be to protect it and then take the shot  . the second one was on the 50th min when pogba ,ibra and somebody like mikhitariyan  were on the counter with three against three . pogba had the ball and ibra was on the left and herrera or mikhitariyan on his right . pogba was not under any pressure when he switched the ball to ibra . there two better options were to keep the ball and take it further forward or pass it right who was in decent space and space to run into or make something of it . pogba passed the ball early to which ibramovic was closed down and lost the possession and utd lost the chance . i think that mouriniho needs to show that to his players and get them to make better decision .
the only player that i was impressed was the substitute eric bailly and the reason being that he is not supposed to pass the ball but just punt it upfield and clear it but instead he played the ball very coolly and passed it under pressure and that too very nicely so if i was the coach then i would see that he continues that education and keeps playing that way because you may never now that we may have to use him as that .

Sunday, 27 November 2016


yesterday chelsea played spurs at stamford bridge and chelsea have dealt heavy defeat to clubs . it was interesting to watch as to how spurs would stop chelsea . chelsea started the game with their winning 3-4-3 formation while spurs started with their 4-2-3-1 formation.
chelsea's main offense had been diego costa even though hazard and others had been scoring goals but costa is the one who the centre of all that good which chelsea had been doing on their offense . the change in the chelsea team had been that earlier hazard wasnt having that aount of the ball which he is currently having . secondly pedro is there in the front three but he is used  for his running for braking offside traps and making runs and is primarily used to disrupt the defensive structure . hazard is the main playmaker a role which he always wanted . in antonio conte's team  the front two had always played in tandem with each other . just look at eder and pelle in the italian team and here it is costa and hazard with pedro in the side role . the whole offense goes through and if he doesnt plays well then the offense suffers . spurs made sure that they keep tight on him and give him little time and space on the ball . the space he operates is the zone between dier and walker . spurs superiority in the first 30 min can be determined by the touches that costa had . this is because spurs press very hard on chelsea and gave very little time on the ball and that forced chelsea to play direct balls to costa and dier did very good and won the duel . chelsea got the foothold back into the game when they switched hazard from wide to central position behind costa and they started playing ball to costa's feet rather than  in the air and chelsea got the foothold back into the game . they started the moving the ball better and that gave them the advantage . 
the deadlock was broken when eriksen scored and it was because when chelsea have a flat back five there is a lot of space in front of them and there are only two players to guard who are reluctant to leave their zones . if the opposition can just bring the ball from back to front quickly against chelsea then they can catch them . even though spurs scored the goal but the trouble was that they couldnt work the ball through kane . even the earlier games if you had seen that but kane had been isolated and spurs had not been able to give him decent service or that they can involve him better in their offense ( game against arsenal) just as chelsea are able to bring costa and the game flows through him
now in the game reading the play is very important and especially for the defenders and they have to make decesion based on that . spurs lost the game because of two personal mistake by their one player that is dier . in the run up to the first goal pedro crossed the zone and came central. if you could see he wanted the ball to be played to alonso but matic made the smart decision to pass the ball to him as he could see that pedro didnt had any player against him and was having space . here is the mistake and the stupidity by dier and here is what is game reading is all about . dier was concerned that the continues then and come forward then he may leave walker exposed but he didnt realized that walker was against and was more than decent to take him on . secondly he should have come forward and shouted to look for the space behind his back that it didnt get explored . his indecision cost spurs the first goal but i think there are many a factors that are also reponsible for that .
costa's touches in the first half.
first and foremost spurs front three are good on pressing but when required they dont come deep quickly enough to make the numbers and squeeze the space . the second goal for spurs was nothing but stupid game reading lack of understanding of the game and carelessness by the spurs players . if we look at the spurs second goal then dembele lost the ball in the midfield and it was played onto costa who didnt had much joy till that in the game and he decided to take the ball deeper . he was guarded by dembele who had lost  the ball .  dier who was closed to the dembele should had first kept his shape and moved in line with demebele because the only way that ball could had been played was beyond dembele ( i will show in the diagram ) not through him and dembele is good enough in one on one situations . he could have had joind dembele to press costa and try to get the ball the maximum that he would had given away was a corner which is not bad instead of loose ball inside the box . so dier's stupidity meant that the ball could be played across but another players stupidity meant that moses could stride unchallenged in the box and score the ball . as i had said the front three of the spurs players dont like to come deep and defend and that was responsible for the second goal  . son was the man that was the opposite player against moses and he is one that is suppose to guard him when he come on into spurs half . you could see son not interested and jogging as if he had no part in that play and let moses stride into the box and score . the game was just over then and there even though spurs made changes but they were never were able to score against chelsea who made the defensive changes and secured the game .
off the spurs players only dembele seemed to be the man who was really up for the game and all the others were either nervous or were upto the game . pochettino had rightfully said that they need to add quality to the squad if this squad cannot perform . but first he needs to look into himself as to why his offense is not working and how he can involve his forward more into the game . alli is decent player but he need to get his first touch sorted . the difference between a good player and a great player is the first touch on the ball . eriksen is good player but after he scored why was taking shot from anywhere and everywhere while he could have worked the ball and have better chance by taking it deeper .  chelsea passed this test because spurs are always weak in the second half of the game but the big test comes next week when man city will play them and how pep will bind costa . 

Monday, 21 November 2016


utd started the game with 4-3-3 formation while arsenals started with their 4-2-3-1 formation . utd tried to man mark arsenal's midfielders basically they were set up to stop arsenal whenever they come just into utd's half . the mismatch was on the right side of utd where ramsey was marked by valencia while mata was marked by monreal . in each case the fullbacks were going to come on top .
utd tried to play through rashford and they tried to explore his pace by trying to play direct balls to him and try to get him in one on one with koscielny but to be honest there are may be very few players in this world who would beat koscielny in the foot race . while utd were trying to do that arsenal's offense is dependent on sanchez . all the arsenal's midfielders were man marked by utd so they were not finding any space so it was sanchez's duty to come and relieve pressure on his players by providing option for an extra body to pass . whenever sanchez comes deep ozil feels the role by making runs behind the back four or going uptop but yesterday ozil wasnt on song in the first half and utd were able to stop there combination . there were two mistmatches on right side of utd . first off in no world ramsey was going to get better of valencia while the same could be said about mata against monreal .
here i want to present my take on the game now . first off rashford was playing upfront . just as i said earlier utd were trying to get him in the foot race with koscielny why not try that on the other side with mustafi and test him out . now mata always comes inside and tries to play the no.10 role and because of this valencia gets the space to run on opposition defense . while this is true but at the same time the right sided attack gets hampered because of the lack of natural width with mata not staying wide and utd cannot work that zone because of the lack of players in that zone and utd have to cross that ball which is easy to deal that ball worked just like for the first utd goal and a 10-15 yard ground pass . martial was staying out wide and trying to stretch the defense . instead why not put him in tandem with rashford and try to switch between those two . mouriniho's plan was to test jenkinson but to be honest jenkinson is quite a decent defender and  he did well . instead why not start martial just off rashford and see . even though mata scored the goal and he will be lauded but to be honest he lost possession twice by over staying on the ball while he could have had released the very quickly and kept the move going . utd  were trying to play through rashford but why not let him hold the ball and let others come into play . there is always that element of him leaving the defender leaving empty if he tries to be too cute . 
i read jamie redknapp criticizing rashford for the equalizer that utd conceded but to honest he should look at the play and the player. first off he was against a player who was fresh off from the bench and rashford had just had a complete game . seconldy just look at the play . utd players were all inside the box expecting for a ground pass being made or that if the ball is worked up in the zone just as arsenal do there would no space for them to work with . so i wont criticize rashford . but the player that i would cricize would be pogba . in the first half just as mouriniho planned to stop arsenal's midfielders and have them time on the ball they too returned the favour and in the first half coquelin did a very good job on pogba and it could be said that he was in his pocket . he robbed him of possession twice and was quite good with his job . to he honest just because you are the world's most expensive players doesnt means that you have to dribble everybody and spend time on the ball . pogba had been at times guilty of spending time on the ball . the game didnt had too much of a great tactical side to it . 
bayern played dortmund in another big game and to be honest it was one of the boringest match between the big clubs that i had seen about whom i am writing . there are all sort of statistics that are available but the one that need to be there and that should be is the time that players spend on the ball and make it slow and allow the defense to organise itself to stop the offense .
bayern started the game with their usual 4-3-3 formation while dortmund started the game with 3-5-2 formation . touchel had used this formation in the draw in march. dortmund took the lead through abumeyang goal . the reason being that ancelotti wants his fullbacks high up the pitch and his zone is protected by the midfielder but if you can work that ball beyond him then there is a lot of space on either side of the centrebacks which can be exploited . even though bayern played a bit deeper compared to dortmund they still were comfortably high on the pitch. just look at alaba's positioning and he was caught high on the pitch and couldnt get into his natural position . dortmund played a very high line but the offside trap was broken times and again and as there was considerable space between the back three and they were not flat instead baratra and ginter were bit higher than sokratis . time and again both lewandowski and muller broke the offside trap and but were unable to use those opportunities . bayern played like a english team last season under gaurdiola last term but this term under ancelotti they look to spend more time on the ball and dont look to be that crisp as they looked under gaurdiola . every players tends to make atlest three touches and at times it seems as to that they dont have a game plan as to how they are going to open up dortmund's defense. they could work up the ball deep into dortmunds half but just couldnt score a goal . bayern bug seemed to be caught with dortmund because as the game went on they seemed to be spending more time on the ball and conceding possession to bayern . under ancelotti bayern doesnt seems to be that threatning as they were earlier . 

Friday, 11 November 2016


today brazil played argentina in world cup qualifier . the match might have just confirmed brazil's qualification for the world cup while argentina's world cup hopes lie in balance . the way brazil played and the way they used the field and kept argentina  at bay was commendable . the most important factor in this game was the mobility of the players and their speed and brazil had that and they used it to maximum . had agrentina did one thing correct then this humiliation would had been avoided and that is that both neymar and coutiniho exploit or are dangerous from one zone ( i will show that in the lineups ) from where coutiniho scored . had argentina just closed that zone then i think that they would had atleast half stopped brazil because jesus wouldnt had been able to beat otamendi and mori in the air and had they played deep then there would had been little space to exploit behind the back four .
brazil started the game with 4-3-3 formation with fernandiniho sitting in front of the back four while he was partenered by renato sanches and pauliniho . argentina started the game with 4-2-1-3 formation. the formation was a bit odd because argentina had three in the middle with mascherano,perez and biglia in the middle . of the three in the middle perez or biglia would try to fill up the space on the right of argentina . they didnt had a fixed right sided player . brazil knew that if they stop messi and stop him from getting time and space on the ball then would have stopped half of argentina's offense . so brazil didnt man mark messi instead they just let him take the position and the player that was occupying that position would try to close down messi . the second thing that brazil did right was that they played deep compared to argentina who tried to play a bit high even though they had problems the back four . the most important facet of the game was the mobility of the players or atleast the mobility of the back four and the front players and the cohesion between them .
the first thing correct that brazil did was that they played and this stretched the game and argentina didnt want the brazilians to have the ball so in trying to do that they tried play a high line and tried to close down brazil since they knew that the brazil players given time on the ball would hurt them . brazil played their tactics beautifully by playing deep but initially they were just trying to soak up argentina's pressure and they were trying to stop messi . there was audition for man city forward role for gabriel jesus and the did it perfectly well . his job was to play high on the shoulders of mori and otamendi  and keep stretching the game and keep mori and otamendi occupied which he did . argentina were worried about his pace . now neymar's movement was unpredictable . untill the first goal brazil were flat but coutiniho changed his zone for the first goal and linked with neymar. mas couldnt come out of the back four since renato sanches would fill coutiniho's position and exploit that space . coutiniho got the space in the hole and he is one of the best shot taker beyond the box . brazil's first goal was a combination of various factors and coutniho excelllence over the ball . the other two goal were nothing excellent counters by brazil and argentina's inability to deal with it .
the trouble with argentina is not the defense but the offense . i had said that in my previous articles that if you have good offense then teams dont commit too many players forward and are afraid to come upfront because they can be exploited of the space that they will leave . argentina were very bad in their offense  . they rely heavily and his ability to open opposition up . first off i dont understand his plan to play three defensive minded players . even though brazil did the same but then you can understand that because they had messi to contain . but at the same time brazil's middle three are more mobile than argentina's middle three . now the thing is that when he played them he compromised the right sided offense although perez or biglia dropped there and tried to occupy the zone and work but brazil were able to always contain them . seconldy there is poor link up play between messi ,higuain and di maria . for me di maria was poor . firstly he started out wide trying to stretch the defense was always solo in his effort .
the most important factor in nullifying argentina was to just stop higuain . he was man marked by marquinihos and miranda . most importantly marquinihos who is quite mobile . the thing is that higuain cannot beat miranda and marquinihos in the air . seconldy brazil played narrow and deep  to allow argentina any space behind the back four to exploit so that balls could be played in the space . the other wrong thing is that after the first goal argentina got rattled and messi started to drop deeper to get the ball upfield and this where i think argentina and bouza got it wrong . he should have kept messi upfield because who has the more fear factor than messi when he has the ball near the box . messi coming from the deep allowed brazil to close him down or foul him or bring numbers behind the ball and crunching the space . i think villanova was correct in playing upfont on his own which created space for the entire team to play although messi may not have that much off the ball that he desires . in the second half he bought aguero but by then the contest was over and argentina were overwhelmed by brazil's counters .
i think argentina genuinely missed banega or lamela who would take that right side and is good dribbler . banega is the same he would had linked better with higuain . i dont know as to why bouza didnt changed things after first goal . why not ask messi to drop on right side where on he plays for his club and try to stretch brazil and try to test one of their fullbacks . messi upfield would had always created chances . secondly why didnt they tried to drop deep with the play and let brazil cover more of the grass and try to get more players behind the ball . i think bouza's job would be on the line if he cannot get them to play more efficiently in the next match against columbia and all marks to tite for getting things right .
lastly i think in the form of jesus man city are going to get an upgrade of aguero and gaurdiola would love it . 

Monday, 7 November 2016


yesterday arsenal played spurs in the north london derby . the game wasnt that glorius to the eyes and this was another spurs performance where they had been poor but still came out with a point in the contest . they had been poor against liverpool and the same was against arsenal . to be honest midway through the first half to the end of the game i never saw a game plan from spurs they passing the ball but what were they supposed to do when they had the ball was always a question . the problem with spurs was that they could take the ball till 20 yard from the box but from there what they need to do and who will do what was always a question . the trouble with spurs is that harry kane like to play forward but at the same time he like to drop deep and wants somebody to run beyond him . he is not a complete no.9 around whom you can play . he like to get more involved in the play and the player that was most missed yesterday was lamela who like to go beyond kane and take that position in the box which kane should be occupying . in this game spurs shape was ripped apart by arsenal . it would be better explained in the diagram .
the game started with arsenal playing their usual 4-2-3-1 lineup with alexis preffered to lead the line . spurs started the game with unusual 3-4-1-2 formation  . just like most english game the game has a good pace with arsenal sitting back and hitting spurs trying to build a good offense . the only good thing about spurs was the return of dembele who is very good on the ball . spurs played three at the back with wimmer trying to cover for vertroghen and dier . even though both team tried to play a high line and congest the play but both teams kept the forward in front of their back four and kept a 2 to 3 yard distance between them to have a head start .
arsenal for the first time too the novel approach of sitting back and hitting spurs on the counter attack .even though spurs had three at the back the trouble with spurs was that the three were not flat instead dier and vertroghen were a bit high trying to deal with iwobi and walcott . arsenal have worked out their offense what they do is that alexis like to drop on the left and bring and try to hold the ball and then develop the offense from there . so when alexis drops on the left walcott will do a diagonal run in the box and try to get at the end of passess  created by alexis and ozil . the good thing about arsenal is the way iwobi had been able to get himself in the mix with ozil and sanchez . he keeps things very simple and has a very good sense of positioning and very good decision making on the ball . the trouble with spurs was that there was considerable space between the back three and sanchez could work the space and make a run behind the dier to recive the ball and start the offense . the trouble with arsenal is that they just try to score perfect goal if they just try to take some shot from the edge of the box that will make them more potent .
spurs tried the 3-4-1-2 formation in this game and even though they had 5 at the back they were not flat . instead the fullbacks never ever tucked up alongside the centrebacks but were high up the pitch and were trying to man mark their opposite number . as i had said before that spurs missed lamela in this game who complements kane very nicely . the trouble with kane is that even  though he is good player his positional sense is not that good . this could be seen when on the play when son would be bringing the ball upfield then he could not make the decision as to whethere  he would try to get in front of the defender for the cross or pull away from him . the other trouble was the lack of bodies for spurs in the box . eriksen wasnt trying to go beyond kane instead he likes to pass and cross  the ball and create chances from the edge of the box . the trouble with spurs was that they wanted to stretch the game with wingbacks but the trouble was that there was decision making trouble with whether they should try to bring the ball or whether they should cross the ball . spurs thinking was that playing fullbacks high up the pitch with the thought that they would be able to push back arsenal's wingers but it back fired on them . on the counter they got exposed and it can be shown in the figure . the fullbacks have to cover length on the counter than the wingers once they loose the ball and they get caught out of position . the only good thing about spurs was dembele's quality on the ball but his movement was restricted because he had  couldnt leave wanyama exposed . arsenal knew quality of dembele and they tried to man mark him with ozil which shows his importance . they didnt tried to mark wanyama .  i think pochettino needs to get back to the drawing board . yesterday he wanted to pull arsenal in their own game but got backfired .

Thursday, 27 October 2016


 yesterday man utd played man city in the efl cup . utd played a 4-2-3-1 formation . utd had been one dimensional in the past games . the utd opposition could read their play and could prepare themselves for that .  if yesterday's utd's performance is anthing to go by then i would say that jose could play this team with some different players and with some tweaks that i think would make utd much more threatning and more incisive and would utd's opponent on the back would and create space for them to play . in the past games utd had been playing through ibramovic and most importantly what had happened that when he is stopped utd's offense was stalling . yesterday he was coming deep turning and playing passess to on rushing rashford who was playing wide . i think there is a catch here and i think if jose could just rashford inside and make his starting postion just beside ibramovic then i think he will be more threatning . ibra has pogba for company but the trouble is that those two are just not clicking and i think that adding rashford to the mix will create space for them . if rashford could have his starting postion just between right back and the centre back . what this will mean that if the centre back comes out to deal with ibra then just as he turned on kompany yesterday ( ibra has the quality to do that the same way ) he could release rashford behind these back four and i think this threat will create space for utd and they could keep the ball better and if they can get the ball near the box then i think pogba are ibra are very good shot from distance and they could be a threat . what utd needs to do is that they need to keep the opposition guessing with their movement as to whether rashford is going to come inside or whether he is going to remain wide . rashford's starting postion would give him added threat and better use of his pace  . 
the other thing had been about juan mata and i think his movement has given utd a fresh impetus in offense but to be offense i think he makes too many touches to the ball and slows the game . if we can replace him with mikhitariyan or martial then i think the threat will be even more with their ability in one on one situations . the thing is that utd's wide players had been too orthodox in their approach and that had been the problem for utd . the other player that had been overlooked but can be useful for utd would be schneiderling . he has the same qualities as carrick and is a very good long ball passer and he could be the one who would partner herrera in the middle of the park and would give more impetus to utd's attack . if utd can play compact then the opposition will have to play compact and that will give utd chance to close them down and retain ball high up the pitch .

Monday, 24 October 2016


yesterday man utd  got humiliated by  chelsea and it is more to mouriniho's hopeless than it is to the defensive indiscipline . i had said that in my earlier post that offense is the greatest defense and if you look at the yesterday's game then it is perfectly true . the trouble with man utd is that they are very one dimensional and unimaginative when they have the ball . i would like to take references of the liverpool game while writing about this game .
chelsea started the with 3-4-3 formation and this formation had them playing because conte had been able to accomodate his all best players plus he had been able to make them play as they want to at the same time adding pace to the attack and making them play at counter rather than playing with possession football . the transition from back to front had been at pace that had helped to win 2 consecutive matches and dominate opposition . while man utd started with their usual 4-4-1-1 formation .
man utd were behind even before they could kick the ball and it was because of chelsea's changed style of play . what the 3-4-3 had done is that it had given pedro and hazard to play as no.10 who could go beyond costa . in this system instead of costa backing out to  the centrebacks and get into a confrontation . in this chelsea formation he  drops deep asking the centre backs to close him down and if they dont then he has got time on the ball and he releases hazard and pedro beyond him . the other thing that chelsea are doing good is that now both hazard and pedro are not binded to one zone and this gives headache to the defense because they dont know as to whether hazard or pedro are going to come inside or stay wide in their natural positions . the width is provided by fullbacks and the midfielders are there to pull the strings . this system suits pedro the most because he is a natural runner who like to make diagonal runs breaking offside traps . he is better at making runs rather than with ball at his feet . plus he is not binded with the zone and he can make diagonal crossing into others zone which gives headaches to the opposition defenes . conte has got chelsea playing again and his plan A has got him two good wins but the trouble is what happens when his plan A fails and what will he do . the good thing about chelsea's offense is that now both hazard and pedro have got the lisence to move out of their zone instead of having responsibilities to keep on stretching zone and staying wide instead that job is now left to the full backs . chelsea can switch now from back three to back five or four as the situation required and the formation is quite flexible .
in this game man utd started the game with fellaini started to drop on matic while pogba would drop on kante . the trouble with man utd is that they are just ordinary with the ball . first and foremost can somebody fathom the idea of dropping ibramovic and to be honest i think he is the main cause for man utd attack stalling and other is mouriniho  who is unimaginative . the thing is that if you stop ibramovic then you stop man utd attack and that's what liverpool did when they played man utd last monday . they just man marked ibra out of the game and they did the same with pogba to just stifle utd attack . whatever attack that came from the flanks they just crowded the box to give no space t head the ball . the trouble with utd is that the attack gets stalled because ibra is making no movement . he is not getting wide and drifting wide or doing anything . secondly there are no runners beyond ibra and nor rashford nor lindgaard made a central run to go beyond ibra . the troubel with utd are that they spend too much time on the ball and this because the offense is not orchestrated by the coach . mouriniho is too dependent on counter attacks but last monday liverpool just killed man utd's counter by stopping two players . the trouble with man utd had been that they had been too reliant on ibra but he had not that mobile so why not play rashford or martial upfront and add more pace to the utd attack which is severly lacking . utd were decent after the half time and it was because mata wasnt confined to his zone instead he was making diagonal runs and creating problems for the opposition and you see that it was the time when utd had the best penetration and ball possession . the trouble with utd is that they know only one type of offense and that is taking ball wide and crossing it into the box . instead they should start working the ball in and they have very good shot takers from beyond the box in pogba and herrera .
one thing i dont understand is why is mouriniho hell bent on playing lindgaard ,young and fellaini . to be honest fellaini is useful when the game is physical but here chelsea were going to play floor and he is not that good in closing down and very mobile . secondly why are young and lindgaard playing when there is an excellent player in mikhitariyan who is better than all of these . i had said that mouriniho has to invent himself as a offensive coach in this job and if he cannot then this will be another bad year for utd fans and they should be ready for it because the football world has moved on with insistence not just only good defending but also on good offense as well . 

Friday, 21 October 2016


yesterday man city played barcelona at nou camp and it is always test as to how gaurdiola's current team tries to match up against his former team who have set level of excellence in the world of football . now i am very much confused with the articles that are there in the media and the comments made by some of the former players about man city . one comment was particularly very stupid by roy keane who said that city were brave and stupid . we know the kind of game that gaurdiola coaches and his footballing philosophy . seconldy did you ever hear a grandmaster leave his pet opening against another grandmaster in a candidates match and try uncharted water i dont think so . gaurdiola play's football and it is very admiring if you beat your opponent at his own game . yes city came short but then it is not the final and gaurdiola will now have the time to assess as to where his team were short and why do he needs to do and did he lacked and i am certain that in the return leg we will see a better performance from city .
city and barcelona both started with 4-3-3 formation . both started to play deep with barca more deeper than city . for the first 20 min the game was evenly poised with gundogan dropping on iniesta and silva trying to man mark busquestus so that they cannot play through him . man city tried to press barca to test them and tried to win ball high up the pitch but barca stretched man city vertically . first they started very deep so that city players would had to cover more ground to press and in that time barcelona could move the ball . for the first 20 sterling was giving a very hard time to alaba and he was able to have some joy against alaba but he was let down by the other players . first off city didnt had a proper no.9 who is a goal poacher and one who would play on the shoulder of the last defender or one would be poacher on the crosses made in the box . if gaurdiola does play's de bruyne as the man up front then he should just ask him to try to get beyond the centre backs to keep them occupied so that there is space in front of these defenders . what barcelona do when they loose the ball is that they congest that space in the middle . once alaba went injured enrique asked busquestus and iniesta to give protection to digne . the trouble with man city was that at times they were not able to work out tight spaces and were getting caught out particularly on the flanks with sterling particularly losing the ball in those exchanges . the trouble was that gundogan who was suppose the support to sterling wasnt there . i thought that at times man city tried to over work the ball on the flank and get behind . instead they needed to spread from flank to flank as barca were doing . they just wanted to stretch city and they knew that the more the stretch city the harder it will be city to close them down and barcelona will be able to move ball more freely . the trouble with city was that there players were not that mobile as compared to barca's and at times i thought that the attack stalled or created a chance for barca where on they could force city into making desperate passes . nolito and sterling stayed wide to stretch barca's defense but then they stayed in their position and waited for the ball instead they could had moved with ball . just as suarez and messi do which doesnt allows the defense to settle down and get a grip of the situation . they keep on changing zones and tracking them becomes difficult but sterling and nolito kept rooted to the position so when the ball got to them barca just could read as to what was going to happen next and could adjust themselves .i mean to say that city just need to add a bit more pace to the attack and creativity and dropping silva wont be a bad idea .
the trouble playing barcelona with messi is that you are virtually playing against 12 players . you cannot contain messi . he is so good on the ball and most importantly just as he is good on the ball he is very good passer as well and has a very good vision plus he has good reading of the game . barcelona's plan was simple when city started pressing that get the ball to either of the front three and then start from there . while city tried to contain neymar with zabaleta and fernandiniho trying to contain him but instead they fouled . while they went tight on neymar . against messi they just didnt went that hard . instead they dropped back a little giving him time and space on the ball . the trouble for city was that when gundogan went upfront to close down either iniesta or busquestus fernandiniho was left with a very space to guard down in front of the back four . another thing is that the front three of barcelona have a very good understanding in respect to the opposition as to what they needs to do and how they are going to open up the opposition defense . i think pep will look at this match and will try to figure out a way to stop messi or atleast contain him . i think clichy deserves next chance against him and if possible put a right footed player against him .
the one thing that i felt awkward is that bravo is good goal keeper and he made a mistake but when the ball fell to neymar on his miss pass why didnt he let him score and just be on the pitch and keep the game 11 vs 11 . atleast the contest would had been there and dont know what would had happened . i think pep will look into his .
messi scored a hattrick in this game but there was one player who i was impressed in this game and his ability over the ball that was samuel umiti and stones should take a look at his performance . he was the one who passing 30 yards ball from the back to the front players feet with ease . he was equally good on defense as well never putting a foot wrong.
last but not the least but i think gaurdiola will have make the balance between keeping shape and pressing and hope he figures out that . 

Saturday, 15 October 2016


now yesterday dortmund played hertha berlin . about three weeks back touchel's stock were very high and his team was highflying and when they destroyed wolfsburg at that time everybody who had seen them thought that this team would definitely challenge bayern munich for the title and even can pip them . but come three weeks later everybody has started doubting touchel's tactical ability and his inability to correct at what is wrong or what is lacking in the team and what should be done . the first half especially highlighted his lack of tactical acumen and inability to change things when they were direly needed . his team was one dimensional in the first half and except for one or two moments when they troubled the opposition then there is something lacking in the game .
dortmund started the game with 3-4-1-2 formation . pulisic and Schmelzer were the two wingbacks with weigl and rode sitting in front of the back three while gotze was playing the no.10 while mor was abumeyang upfront but mor was on the left . hertha berling started the game with 4-1-4-1 formation with stark in front of the back four .
the game started with hertha berling sitting back and playing on the counter and inviting dortmund to open them up . dortmund start the game very fast they try to close down very fast and they try to play abumeyang behind the back four . hertha berlin were disciplined from the very start . they were sitting back and pressing only when the ball was getting into the midfield or up . they played narrow since they knew about the pace that certain dortmund player's possessed and their ability to run with the ball . they didnt went for overpressing trying to expose themselves with spaces everywhere to be exploited . dortmund's offense depends on players running behind the ball or abumeyang getting released behind the back four . the trouble with dortmund was that hertha were prepared for that . hertha's back four kept abumeyang in front of them and starting 2 or 3 yards behind him . secondly when they pressed they pressed with intent and made sure that they get the ball or foul the player to stop the play .
the trouble with dortmund was that they just couldnt bring ball upfield in the first half and the player responsible who charged with the responsibility to play in the hole and dictate the offense and around whose whole offense was revolving was kept very quite by hertha berlin and stark man marking gotze out of the game . now there are some facets of the game that are very interesting and this is where i find that touchel lacked improvisation and should had needed to change things . first mor was dropping on the left side where there was Schmelzer already so virtually they could work the zone better and at times you could see that Schmelzer was getting quite lot of space to run in the hertha's half . while it was it was opposite on the right flank it was left for pulisic to explore and there was no support from him on that flank and he himself had to carve out chances with his great running with the ball . the trouble with dortmund was that in the first half that they were not able to bring abumeyang in the game . it was touchel's incopetence that he couldnt work out as what needs to be done . if gotze wasnt getting time on the ball then he could have asked his players to surround gotze and get the ball from him on the first touch and play around him . secondly he needed to do more to bring abumeyang in the game . touchel just failed to do that . whenever rode or speigel moved upfield they were getting space and time on the ball but they were hurrying too much with the offense . instead they should learn from germany's coach joachim low who's team never hurries and plays very good football . dortmund were below par in the first half . if abumeyang wants to be a top striker then he needs to learn to combine with the team and have an all round game . he is not that good in the air . secondly he should hold the ball more and release playes beyond him but then touchel needs to ask him to do that . he was just hanging there upfield in the first half without any service . the trouble with dortmund is that there is too much of individual running by the players instead of team play and it from way to far deep that is why leverkusen were able to stop them in the tracks . both speigel and rode are good player and can control the game if only touchel can devise a proper offense .
hertha had a very good offense . Ibisevic was playing upfront but had Haraguchi,stocker and Esswein to run beyond him . i was impressed by haraguchi who created first two chances for hertha in the first half . his vision was very good his running with the ball also . i am glad for him . another player i was impressed was hertha's goal keeper jarstein who was very good and very comfortable on the ball and what he was doing .
i feel asleep when rode was replaced by kagawa on the 60 min but for the first 60 min i wasnt impressed with touchel and with such a fine squad i think he needs to do more . his tactical incompetence is holding the team back . secondly gotze needs to introspect his game . he was totally hopeless in the game and a player should realize when he needs to change the game and when he should spend time on the ball and when he should play one touch game . hope dortmund improve .

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


well after yesterday's match vs slovenia i am reading the comments made by england manager southgate and i am feeling amazed and i fell certain that this man is certainly not fit to be a manager . southgate had commented that he has taken over a mess i mean what mess .you have players you prepare them for the game . first off you try to have a plan and then you try to improvise it . after that i read reports that southgate had won over the fans by making such comments i mean arent these comments foolish . why are you a managerto sort that mess out to get the best out of the players and give that team a direction which is lacking and that is what is expected out of you . if you are not upto a job then atleast you should not be talking and making stupid comments which will harm ur furture prospects . secondly did we ever see a top manager sitting idly in his seat and not watching the game intently ( van gal was one who would sit but would take notes of that game of what the players had done wrong in every aspect and try to improvise it in the next game ) . i havent seen a top manager sitting ideally in his seat when the game is going on . he should always be trying to improvise and telling players at what they are doing wrong and what they are to do and improvise on plan . for entire game i watched southgate sitting on the bench . i am sorry but i dont find any sympathy for soothgate and i find him incompetent for the job as a football manager . then i read giggs comment that rooney is confused with his positioning. why is he confused he has played both postions before . he certainly got the briefing from his manager as to what he wants or what he needs to do on the pitch then why is he confused . thirdly rooney was hammered and several journalist noted that he wasnt missed and they celebrated on that then i want to ask if dropping rooney was celebrated then how many of those players do really warrant or deserve a place in the first 11 rather than the team itself . off the starting 11 i would only recomment two or three players who would be starting if england are really serious about chopping players on their performances . for me delle alli,joe hart and stones would only make the 11 who would retain their places and others shown the door .
to be honest if we look at the game then i fail to find a game plan with england . compared to england slovenian players were better on the ball and there organisation was way better than england . the eastern european teams are known for their pacy counter attacking football ( the czecks ,yugoslav's ) . the slovenians were no different and they would be cursing themselves for drawing . the trouble was with england what was their game plan ( dont know) what were they trying to do ( dont know ) . first off in modern football you dont spend too much time on the ball because it slows down the game and allows the opposition to regroup and defend better . the reason why england players were spending time on the ball because they dont have the positoning sense which needs to be there when you need to move the ball upfield . the organisation needed and the roles that are to be played in that move is certainly not known to these players .
struddinge was playing as the no.9 and he was criticized by the former players for coming deep and leaving his position . first off struddige wasnt going to beat the slovenian centre backs in the air and so any way that england were going to muster any threat to slovenian goal then it was going to be on the floor . to be honest england dont have any flair players in the side who could open opposition on his own ( the one that they have was bought on after 80 min ) . if you are not having any flair players then  the team combination and crisp passing is very important . to be honest england players arent that good technically . delle alli is good but still lacks that killer first touch . lets start from the back . why do you let cahill pass the ball from the back . how many times did he gave away the ball by picking the wrong player to pass . all through the team didnt had any cohesion . the back four ,the midfield and front players didnT  that had any understanding between them . why were lindgaard and walcoot hell bent on dribbling the ball . secondly the midfield were not able to support there winger's and the forward . they were not able to control the game and their lack of movement and understanding of the game meant that england just couldnt stamp their authority on the game . why did southgate took this much time to bring rashford and what deserved lindgaard a full 90 min. there are many a question but one simple answer that they need a good coach and that cant be mancini or it will be another stupid decision by the FA . 

Saturday, 8 October 2016


spain played italy in the world cup qualifier in italy . there were number of changes for both the teams but most noticaly for italy had been giacherenni being dropped while for spain koke started the game . this was the classic example of how dropping one guy or one jig saw marble builds the whole team and how it crumbles it . montolivo started in place of giacherreni but both are different kinds of player . montolivo is not that mobile player and his asset is passing the ball long rather than his athletic ability while giacherreni had been know all about his hard work and running . his whole hard work and running was missed by italy in the first half and he was the main difference in  italy's win over  spain at the euros .
now spain are under new steward ship of Julen Lopetegui . his team started the game with their usual 4-3-3 formation while italy are too under new coach ventura and he went with the same 3-5-2 formation that is very well known to the team . he went with the obvious because the italian players are very well versed in this formation and do know there roles . the only problem was chilleni was not there and romanigoli started in his place . the game started with italy sitting back and spain enjoying all the possession in the world for the first 20 min and spain had some very good chances in the first 20 min .
even though italy were playing the same formation the way they were lining up and executing it was very different compared to what they did it in europe . in this match the italians were playing flat 5-3-2 formation . both the fullbacks were getting tucked in along side the back three and making it a back 5 while middle three were beyond them . when spain had the ball they would just get in their half lineup like that and there was no pressing which was there in the euro's . the first difference was that the fullbacks alongside the back three here while in the conte's team they would high up the pitch whichever flank had the ball trying to congest the space and the other flank fullback will be tucked along side the back three making it a back four . the difference was that the fullbacks were active in that formation not over here . secondly italy played very placid with no pressing on the ball atleast in their own half which was not the case in conte's team . this inaction by the italians helped the spaniards to move the ball  . they are masters to move the ball . they tried to stretch the italians by moving the ball from flank to flank . the fullbaks were getting the spaces because the italians fullbacks who were guarding them were tucked alongside their centre backs . iniesta ran the show for first 20 min . he dribbled the ball. played one two with costa and silva and spain had the ball in italy's half . but after first 20 min spain started to loose the grip on the game and the italians were able to make comeback  into the game .
italians tried to play out from the back and in the previous fixture they were successful because spain's pressing wasnt that good . they didnt had the most energetic players in the team which are now replaced by energetic ones . the other factor that helped the italians was the partnership of pelle and eder which was taken due notice by the spaniards and it was taken care that they dont have time on the ball . the other thing was that italians were trying to play out from way too deep and that gave the spaniards plenty of time to close down the italians and stop them in the tracks .
in the second half the italians tried to come up the pitch . they were playing far too deep in the first half and late in the first half they started to play up the pitch and the spaniards started to take advantage of that . costa started coming deep and vitolo  started to the get beyond costa . the trouble with italy was that there defense was static and the back three lacked communication and most importantly romaniogli lacked anticipation and the play reading that is needed when you play at the back . the first goal was a result of that . the game changed after that because spain were getting comfortable and italy had to find answers and goal down and that too away meant that the group was handed over to spain .
now the trouble with spain is that and the so called big star name players in the spanish players in the spain squad is that they went into hiding as soon as italy started coming up the pitch to close them down and asking them questions . just like in the latter part of the first half iniesta and silva went into hiding . if you had seen man city vs spurs match then even in that silva went into hiding in that match . spain wanted to protect the lead and try to hit italy on the counter attack . the trouble with spain is that part of the spain squad just dont know on how to maintain discipline on defense . you could see the amount of space between lines in the spanish team . the spanish coach wanted to play deep and soak up the italy pressure . i think the spanish coach would had been better if he had taken off these two and replace them with defensive players .
i really did not understand pelle's substitution with immobile . with goal in the bag spain were going play deep so they needed somebody to have a target man in  the box which was pelle . immobile is similar to eder so removing pelle made no sense to me . but i dont understand pelle's action . i think they should make an example out of him for misbehaving with the coach .
the other trouble with spanish team had been lack of discipline . ramos and pique are good centre backs but are prone to mistake and most importantly they dont understand the situation . a defender doesnt needs to always win the first challenge but he needs to be very patient and ramos especially lacks that . his lack of situation reading would cost big to spain and same can be said about costa .

Monday, 3 October 2016


what a roller coster week this had been for dortmund they played 3 games in that time and they won -draw and lost one . whoever had watched dortmund last week would not believe the decline that dortmund had in just one weeks time . they absolutely destroyed wolfsburg and anybody who would had watched that would had thought they are going to major force to be reckon with in germany as well as in europe . in all the three games dortmund started with the same formation that is 4-1-4-1 . the way approached the game was similar in all the three games and the style of play was similar . the tactics and the game plan and the execution was all the same . the trouble is that even though when dortmund blew wolfsburg away there were warning signs and touchel was just ignorant to take them into consideration . let me take one game at a time and present it .
wolfsburg vs dortmund .
now dortmund's approach to the game had been the same in all the game . he has spiegel in front of the back four protecting the space and he would sent his other two players in the middle high up the pitch and the game plan had been in every game . either they try to release abumeyang behind the back four and use his pace or use the wide players like dembele and pulisic or emere mor to run on defenses and try to open up the offense . against wolfsburg they had a very easy game because wolfsburg try to play a very open game and that got into the hands of dortmund who could press wolfsburg very  hard and other thing that was very good for dortmund is that wolfsbug play a very high line and that too without any hard press and the formation is too open .  if you look at the distance between players then you would be amazed and dortmund just took advantage of that . the other joy for dortmund is that the space that their wingers got against wolfsburg . if you had watched dembele that day then you would had been amazed . he turned veirinha inside out but the trouble was that veiriha didnt got enough protection from the wolfsburg midfield and that is why dembele could terrorise veiriniha . but there were warning signs against wolfsburg which touchel ignored and he paid that against real madrid and leverkusen . the thing is that wolfsburg were finding space in front of the back four time and again and touchel was doing nothing to cover it . only speigel was there and he couldnt cover the big space that was there in front of the back four . if  you had looked at wolfsburg shots on goal on dortmunds goal  then time and again you would see that most of their chances were created in front of the back four .  you could even see that just like in leverkusen game also  time and again .the one important thing was that when crosses were made from the left by leverkusen then they didnt tried to find somebody in the box or tried to exploit the space in between the back four and the goalkeeper but the ball was cut back and it was played in front of the back four.  
dortmund vs madrid
real madrid are very good at playing counter attack and if you let them play that then you will get killed . thats what dortmund did and they almost got teared up . now at times i find touchel to be tactically naive because if things are going in front of his eyes and he does not corrects it then its not proper . the manager is there on the touchlines so that if he sees his primary game plan working then he could switch to other one and time and again i had seen that touchel game plan had been the same throughout the game . dortmund got into a fix as to what they need to do against real madrid as to whether they need to do pressing or should they hold the shape and defend . the pressing was singular and not the whole team was involved in it . real madrid could just pass the ball around and play around on the counter and hit dortmund hard . most importantly they were finding spaces in front of the back four and the space left by the fullback . madrid were just milking dortmund on the counter and most importantly time and again speigel was getting exposed and he couldnt get enough support from his team mates . the back four wasnt coming forward because of the fear of leaving space behind and the other two midfielders were  caught high on the pitch .
leverkusen against dortmund .
in this game dortmund got really dismantled . the offense was one dimensional . they tried one single thing time and time again and they were rightly punished for it . leverkusen press hard but they just dont go for it like a mad dog and get themselves exposed . they choose a moment on where on they can press the opponent and then go full on pressing . they let the opposition come on them and dont go on chasing after them . for leverkusen the middle four are very important and they are the ones that are responsible for the press and for ticking the team . kampl and aranguiz just read the game very good and they are nicely seconded by chalangolu and mehmedi. the trouble with dortmund was that they just had one game plan and that was release abumeyang in behind the back four but leverkusen played deep and seconldy their centre backs had good understanding between them and they both martialled abumeyang well . the other thing was that the dortmund players spent too much time on the ball allowing themselves to be pressed and lossing possession . the other factor is that time and again dembele doing the same thing time and again . first off he should be taught as to how he needs to play around a player and play give and go to really create the space for himself and the team . touchel was seeing telling the players to pass the ball but the playes were just not following him and at times he seemed frustrated . the trouble is that dortmund were just one dimensional in the game . how many times did they tried to release abumeyang behind the back four and how many times dembele tried to take bender and loose possession . dortmund needs to get back to drawing board and look at the mistakes they have committed .

Thursday, 29 September 2016


now one thing that i was very intrigued with and always gets intrigued whenever i watch the match is that certain coaches does tend to stand on the touchlines and do nothing when there is need to be done . just like the players playing inside the pitch the coaches too play the game inside the head and they try to compute as to what can be done on both the ends and always try to improvise always trying to do better because there is always room for improvisation . the coach needs to provide input as to what the players are missing . i was not pleased with ancelotti  . when the coach is talking that keeps the players on their toes and their concentration and performance doesnt drop while if he sits up then it can . 
yesteday ath mad played bayern munich and lost and why shouldnt we be surprised by it . ancelotti's team's start very but they start getting stuck and in the end he doesnt knows as to what he needs to do . last night was no different bayern's attack was monotonous ,one dimensional and the opposition could just read it and stop them into the tracks . i was surprised at the way that ancelotti didnt change things or change the approach or even try something new ( i will point the shortcomings ) . when we are talking about bayern then the comparison between ancelotti's bayern and gaurdiola's bayern will be there . this bayern team was slow and here it is dependent on players abilities rather than coach's designed offense to open up opposition defense . the tempo to the game from bayern side was slow . the players were unsure of the next move as to what they need to do next they couldnt crisply pass the ball between themselves .
bayern started the game with a 4-3-3 formation while ath. mad started with their 4-4-2 or 4-6-0 formation because all the 10 players try to get behind the ball . now ancelotti system is different . the way he coaches or like to line up his team is different . he likes his fullbacks high up the pitch who would stretch the play from him and push the opposition wingers back to defend their opposite numbers . while the middle three are suppose to defend the space left by the fullbacks as well as supporting the front line . they try to work the traingle on either flanks and but there were shortcoming in that attack . first off there were too many touches and the attack was slow a facet which allows the oppostion to organise and close you down and does create problems for you .
first off ath mad . they play a very simple game . play on the counter . get players behind the ball when the ball comes in their half . defend deep and narrow and dont give too much space between the line . when the ball is upfield try to press the opponent and if they can win the ball then try to launch counter from there and thats what they did bayern . but bayern did had a flaw in their formation . first there fullbacks were pushed high up the pitch and ancelotti wanted the opposition wingers to mark them but they were marked by opposition fullbacks and ath mad wingers dropped on the midfielders . the trouble was that the midfielders were also having quite a space between them so when somebody lost the ball then it opened a big space for the opposition .( will explain in figure). ancelotti tried to stretch the opposition but instead it backfired on him . 
bayern started with having ribery on the left while muller started out on the right . while muller kept on coming inside ribery stayed wide trying to stretch the play .vidal,alonso and thiago were in the middle supporting the front three . the majority of the bayern's offense was on the left side with ribery trying to dribble in and link up with lewandowski but first lewandowski was very well martialed by savic who was good . while ribery was also trying too much and it was one dimensional where on the line of attack was the same. on the right hand side muller was coming inside which was giving space for lahm to bomb forward but first thing is that athletico defend deep . bayern's slow offense meant that athletico were getting time to close down bayern and get players behind the ball .
now the mistakes in bayern's offense . first off from fullbacks now the fullbacks moved up to a certain position and crossed . they never ever tried to go beyond that like leichesteiner of juventus . the formation was set up that way that had bayern tried to play the fullbacks deep then they could have had a surprise for athletico and created new angle for offense . secondly lewandowski always stayed at the top and it was correct for a certain time but when things arent working then it would had been wise to make a move and take the centre back with yourself and then trying to utilize that . nor were there any midfielders who were trying to get beyond lewandowski . to be honest there was a lack of movement from lewandowski but what can he do when his manager would had asked him to hold that position . there was a lack of creativity in the attack and crispness which is needed to open up a defense like at mad. there was no no.10 but then there was no need in this formation if only they can work the triangle on either flanks and then try to spread it on either flank or somebody does something some very creative in that offense but then bayern lacked all that and pushing men upfield wasnt going to do all that .
in second half ancelotti pushed the players up and made some personal changes . some were forced and some were necessary but did it made any change in the way bayern moved the ball or they tried to change the way they moved the ball or the way they tried something new . no they were just flat that way and lost the game .

Sunday, 25 September 2016


to be honest yesterday's arsenal's win over chelsea was very important . the win was for the cohesion in pieces . going forward arsenal were just unstoppable . most importantly yesterday for the first time i would say that their players were enjoying football . they were not scared of the oppostion and this approach will put fear in their oppositions  heart . even in the psg game when they were second best but still they could muster the offense and at times they were opening psg and were rightfully rewarded . the most noticable thing in that game was that conte wasnt having any answers to arsenal's approach . i find this very amazing . when they were one down at the same time he should had made some changes . he should had changed the approach . he  could have sit back for that half and soak up the attack and had prevented the lead from increasing and made necessary changes after the half time and could had saved the game . to be honest i am conte very incompetent for this job . yes he can feel aggrieved that chelsea hadnt buyied the players that he had  required to make this team work . it is said that the offense start from the back and the defense start from the top  . chelsea are hopeless at the back and their back line of ivanovic and cahill doesnt give them any confidence . but it all comes down to conte and his inability to drill this team and to make things work . if you had followed conte's juventus carrier then conte's juventus never went beyond the round of 16 in the ucl even though they were winning title in italy .
this win for arsenal was for beautiful football they play . now arsenal started the game with their usual 4-2-3-1 formation . while chelsea started with 4-3-3 formation . to be honest conte is more like jose mouriniho in that aspect very defensive minded and disciplined  . i cannot say that he is new and time should be given to him . in the modern game time is not the luxury . plus for me he has good enough players at his disposal with whom he can have a good team . for arsenal i think they have found the missing link on the left side someone who will inherit pires,ljuenberg and rosicki . iwobi for me was the standout performer of all the arsenal players . he was simply amazing and walcott should really copy him and he will be a good player as well . iwobi just keeps the game simple and i like his style he knows how to take position . he will not overtry to run on players or take them on . he has a very good vision and that was evident on the second goal when he released bellrin in open space .he is the very definition of wide player needs to be .not the typical type that are required in england but the arsenal type who is ready to go beyond the forward and will cut inside instead of staying wide .
i think wenger had been delibrately playing sanchez in the no. 9 position because he is very pacy so that pushes the opposition back because if they try to play a high line then sanchez will definitely exploit that space behind the back four . he likes to come deep collect the ball and he now has players who are ready to go beyond him like iwobi and walcott  . this was the game when ozil was at his best . he was avoiding challenges playing one two and just ticking the play and keeping the ball rolling . now arsenal delibrately play czorla and coquelin in the middle because i think they expected to be pressed although czorla went into hiding in the liverpool game but here he was pulling the strings . they just played their game and chelsea were just all over the place .
the reason why chelsea are all over the place is because the off the two centre backs off that cahill just doesnt likes to come out of the back he is stupid . if you had seen arsenals offense then it was all from the left and it was delibrate because both of them lack pace . arsenal would work that zone and then switch that ball to right where they would find bellerin bombing because hazard doesnt have got defensive discipline . but to be honest if you move that ball crisply then no team in the world can defend that . arsenal played one of the best football that we had seen so far this season and with this football they can challenge anybody .
to be honest i was disappointed with conte again there were flaws in conte's formation and the way they are working the ball . as i had said that they are playing very expansive . they are relying on individuals to do the the magic rather than as a team . certain players are spending too much time on the ball . there is no no.10 .there is no cohesion between players as apposed to arsenal's . one thing that i wanted to write is why was fabregas man marking coquelin in the game . really dont understand that the necessity for that .
earlier man utd played leicester and i still think that pogba is still played in the wrong position . he comes alive when he is near opposition's box and for me he is the best technically gifted player in the world . also blind playing at left back is not very good idea . he is another utd player who is technically superb and partner herrera in the middle of the field so that pogba can join ibra on the attack and that would be comment .