Sunday, 28 February 2016


yesterday real madrid played their local rivals ath mad at their home . this is one of the biggest test that zidane has to face after becoming real madrid manager and this was the game where on he had to show as what he can do with the team and what does he offers as a manager . this game offered him to stake the claim to be a permanent real madrid manager someone who wont be questioned for his credentials . i think the game answered the question as whether zidane has the ability to be a permanent madrid manager .
madrid started the game with the 4-2-4 formation . people may be saying that while showing on tv it was 4-4-2 but i am saying 4-2-4 because madrid had pushed 4 players up the field  and only had 2 in the middle . madrid started with ronaldo and benzema in the attack with james and isco wide . modric and kross were in the middle in front of the back four . the back four consisted of carvajal,varane,ramos and danillo who was on the left because marcelo was absent . ath played with their usual 4-6-0 formation or in other words you can call it 4-4-2 but those front two also come inside to squeeze space  in the middle and help the midfield . they had torres and griezman up front . the middle four consisted of koke,gabi,agusto and saul . while the back four consisted of juanfran,godin,gimenez and felipe luis .
 the game started with the usual note with ath mad sitting deep with two banks of four and trying to absorb real's pressure and hit them on the counter . to be honest ath mad team are the best counter attacking team in europe . real may had superstars but they are of no use since none  of them cant get better of his opposite number in one on one situation . ath mad have better player in my opinion . the cohesion between players on the counter is very good . they play better counter than most of the team in europe .
real madrid were the offensive team . here was a chance for zidane to show as to what does he offers as  a manager . he has a very talented squad in terms of isco,james,modric and kroos . now the difference between zidane madrid and other's is that zidane has got ronaldo more on the ball . he has brought him deep . he is playing him more as  winger than as an out an out forward .even though in the earlier teams ronaldo was wide but he would eventually end up in the middle . ronaldo here is getting more on the ball he is coming late in the box .he is out wide delivering crosses to others and has more touches in the game than any other player in the game . now madrid started with a lop sided offense and i am saying this because on the left they had ronaldo,isco and even benzema . but the right side had only james. so even though madrid had numbers superiority on the left flank they didnt had too much joy with penetration . instead of trying to take the ball deeper madrid were happy to deliver crosses in the box . they didnt had the usual threat of ronaldo in the box in the first half who was out wide . the game was going according to ath mad plans since they didnt to deal with ronaldo's threat in the box .
zidane had pulled ronaldo out wide but to be honest ronaldo is very inside the box . he is one of the best headers of the ball .his threat alone in the box creates space for others . zidane had pulled him wide and that meant that ath didnt had to deal with a good threat in the box . ath mad likes to have all their players behind the ball trying to squeeze the space for the opposition . they let the opposition ( good teams like barca and real ) come beyond the half line and then try to press them up . real madrid were offered quite a bit of space by athletico . ath mad had numbers in the middle so madrid were trying to play balls from flank to flank in an attempt to stretch the play . but the trouble with real is that they are much dependent on players abilities to open opposition defense rather than having good interplay between them . in trying to get ronaldo on the ball players like isco,james and benzema have very little of the ball and dont have too many touches on the ball .
the main problem with real madrid is that they had not been able to bring benzema into the game . ath mad were never ever going to give benzema time and space on the ball . they marked him tightly . plus zidane hadnt been able to create that cohesion between benzema and ronaldo or others . the inter play in real team is just not good their are certain players who spent too much time on the ball and slow the game. zidane likes to get the ball moving from back to front very quickly but these players like james ,isco and at times modrid spent time on the ball and lets the opposition settle and take shape .
to be honest i think zidane got the defensive tactics right but were let down by his players . ath mad likes to have all the players behind the ball . mostly they have all their players in their own half . so instead trying to squeeze them high up the pitch and offering the space behind the back four real madrid receded backwards towards their own goal trying to draw them in . ath madrid had to cover that much grass in order to have a shot at the goal . plus real's had their back four always on the goal side .  the trouble with real madrid was that both isco and james were pushed high up the pitch with benzema and ronaldo so kroos and modric had too many players to deal with in the middle . real's back line were receding deep in their own half so there was a space between back four and midfield. griezman was using this space excellently and he had a first warning shot before the goal from the same space .
now james rodriguez was termed guilty for the goal since his opposite number felipe luis had time and space  plus he trodded scott free in the box . but the real culprits had been modric and kroos . it was their job to take their proper place in front of the back four and try to protect it . they were played out of the game since they tried to close down the ath mad players and were played around . if you look closely then they were coming jogging around rather than coming fast and trying to close down ath . mad players or atleast numbers in front of the back four . plus if you look at james and luis positioning then on the break luis will always be on the front of james since he will have less distance to travel to real goal than james . the best chance that madrid had was on the counter . i think real mad are better counter attacking than being offensive team with time on the ball .
in the second half zidane tried to change things by changing personal. he bought ronaldo in the middle but the story remained the same instead real madrid were seen content to cross ball in the box rather than trying to seek penetration or try to open opposition with good inter play . i think zidane has to go to the drawing board and most of all get good inter play going on the training pitch and teach his players about positioning and his ideas .
last but not the least about ronaldo i think he is stupid . he really should look after his perfromances . he is looked upon as if he is one who will create something special . ronaldo looks more like an ordinary player he expects special from his team players but fails to deliver when required . he cannot beat players in one on one situation . he is more of a box poacher than anything else . he is a finisher now rather than a creator . his comments are stupid and arrogant and he does that when he wants to leave the club making the club to get rid of him . 

Monday, 22 February 2016


now yesterday dortmund played leverkusen in their home . for the first time in my life i saw a referee taking a defenitive action and walking out of the pitch because the one of the coaches hadnt followed his orders . robert schmidt had not only let his team down but also let the game down . he should had left the dugout when he was given the order to go to the stands . instead he kept arguing and let his team down. i think the referee's action's were perfectly correct when he found robert schmidt not cooperating . i think a harsher punishment should be dealt to schmidt so that no other manager wouldnt dare to behave so irresponsibly .
leverkusen and dortmund team lineups
leverkusen started the game with their tried and tested 4-4-2 formation. keibling and hernandez started the game as forwards . while mehmedi and bellarabi were the wide players . kampl and kramer were the two player sitting in front of the back four . the back four consisted of jedvaj,tah,toprak and wendell . dortmund started the game with their 4-3-3 formation with obemeyang up top with mikhitariyan and pulisic alongside him . while the middle consisted of bender,ginter and leitner . the back four consisted of pisczek,sokratis,hummels and drum .
this is how dortmund move the ball from back to front with abumeyang making wide runs stretching the offense and opening spaces for mikhitariyan and pulisic .
leverkusen go direct to hernandez or keibling who pass out wide to mehmedi or bellarabi to cross in the box . 
 both sides like to play out from the back and both like to take ball up quickly . both like to high press and are very energetic team . they both like to play more on the counter where on they break opposition offense and hit them on a fast counter exploiting the spaces left by them.both teams played deep because each team had a pacy forward who would trouble the opposition with pace and they didnt want to get caught out . they kept the forwards in front of them and started two yards on the goal side of their opposition number .  while dortmund are reliable on abumeyang and mikhitariyan for goals . leverkusen are dependent on their two forwards keibling and hernandez . the first half was a very cagey affair with both teams pressing and not allowing time on the ball for each other . now in the first half tuchel borrowed a page from gaurdiola's page from his time at barcelona where on he would ask busquestus to go deep between two centre which would allow the two fullbacks to bomb forward since they would have the cover of their respective centre back since they would be out wide since busquestus has moved into their space to guard it ( i will shot that in the pic ). but the trouble with both the teams is that they like to take the ball very quickly forward instead of trying to draw out team and play as per the situation . leverkusen too move the ball up very quickly . they try to find keibling or hernandez and then try to play through them . tuchel playing bender deep is because he wanted to help his centre backs deal with leverkusen forwards and have an extra man there to deal with them .
dortmund are very much dependent on abumeyang for his goals . but if the opposition plays deep and defends properly then dortmund can be stopped. plus leverkusen pressing in the middle meant that dortmund couldnt release or pass the ball to abumeyang  through the middle . in  the first half it would be worth nothing as to how many times sokratis and hummels launched the ball towards abumeyang . how many times they fialed to find . the most reliable option for dortmund is mikhitariyan but in the first half he was kept quite and he was guarded extremely tight . now leverkusen's defenders dont like to come out of their positions so abumeyang coming deep and collect the ball and lay it pulisic and mikhitairyan but they were not able to provide the service since leverkusen did a very good job on defense . dortmund lack a no. 10 and their one dimensional game makes it easy for the opposition to read and take proper measures .
 the first half was very cagey with both teams pressing and not having too much joy on the ball . kampl recived first half yellow card so he was taken off at half time and was replaced by ramalho . leverkusen started to sit back in the second half allowing hummels and sokratis time on the ball . dortmund bought reus in the second half and he played on the left . now dortmund started to play what tuchel like to play ( will show in the pic ) . the first goal arrived because leverkusen hadnt recovered from their offensive play and were caught on the wrong side of the ball . first off was ramalho who couldnt read the danger and the second was hilbert who were caught flatfooted . ginter showed the presence of mind to release reus in the space who found abumeyang for score . to be honest even after the goal leverkusen's style never changed and they continued with same way and dortmund just made changes to ensure they kept their lead and have victory .
the game wasnt a very tactical affair even though some may say it . the coaches should be able to determine when they should move the ball faster or when they should move the ball and what they need to do . both tuchel and schmidt appeared to one dimensional with their approach and on offense they didnt appear to offer anything new .

Thursday, 18 February 2016


now yesterday roma played real madrid at stadio olympico . before i write about the game i want to talk about zidane's real madrid and spaletti's roma . are madrid better under zidane than it was under rafa benitez then the answer is no . i dont think so . i will explain that in the game . while under spaletti roma has indeed improved . their defensive structure is far better . they move the ball better but it can be said that they havent got a worthy opponent who would test them . they had a match against juventus two weeks ago but juventus were cagey and never really tested roma fully . roma are playing out from the back they are moving the ball better but still there are certain problems which needs to be addressed like dependebility on certain individuals for scoring goals .
now roma started with the 4-2-1-3 formation or we can say that they started with the 4-5-1 formation . spaletti started without a recognised striker and used perotti as the no.9 while salah and al sharaway were alongside him .while nainggolan was just behind these front three. vainqueur and prajnic were in front of the back four . the back four consisted of florenzi,rudiger,manolas and digne. while real madrid too had the same formation but it was a sligthly tweaked one . it may looked like 4-3-3 but i would say that it was 4-4-2 with ronaldo staying up top with benzema even though he operated from the left but still it was more of 4-4-2 than 4-3-3 . madrid may had shown 4-3-3 on the paper but they played like 4-4-2 . now benzema was uptop with ronaldo alongside him while kross and modric were in the middle with isco and james on the wings . the back four consisted of carvajal,varane,ramos and marcelo .
 the game started with a decent pace with madrid on offense and roma sitting back and hitting back on counter . roma were comfortably playing very deep because of the fear of the pace of benzema and ronaldo . plus rudiger and manolas dont have that great pace . while under spaletti roma are a bit better they have a good shape to the team on defense . they started by closing ronaldo and james not being allowed time on the ball . florenzi and digne were tight on ronaldo and james giving them no time on the ball . i had said this even in the juventus game that roma allows time and space between the lines (hole) but madrid were not able to exploit that . there are reason's for that .
 halguera had come heavily on zidane and isco this week in press and i think he is right . now what is the difference between zidane's madrid and that of benitez's madrid . well the first off difference is that ronaldo is seeing lot of the ball and everthing is going through him . he is helping his team to bring the ball up . he is coming deep to move the ball up . his touches has increased and he is more involved in the game than before . but the thing that is wrong is the offense . on madrid's offense how many players are involved in a move then the answer will not more than two or three . are they trying to work a zone and take the ball deeper in opposition's box then the answer is not . instead when it reaches the box they are happy to cross it . arent zidane's tactics a bit similar to ancelotti to whom he was an assistant then i would say that he definitely taken some element from that . they are moving the ball from one flank to another . they are trying to exploit the space that is created on opposite  flank when one flank is worked on . the shocking statistics is the number of touches that ronaldo had and the no. of touches that players like james and benzema had . i think benzema was not very much involved in the first half . i had said that madrid were not able to explore the  time the space that they had in the hole that was offered by roma in the first half . the reason for this because they didnt had anybody fromt the midfield to go beyond benzema . they dont have a proper no. 10 .
 is roma under spaletti better than the previous manager the answer is a tad better . they are playing more like a team . they still lining up the same way that they were under the previous manager . they are still dependent for goals on salah and now al sharaway . but the difference is the ball movement . before they would just try to get the ball to salah but instead they are moving the ball better . they are passing it better . but still there offense is one dimensional and there needs to be some improvement on that.
 the game had a good pace to it . roma were sitting back and allowing to come and absorb the attack and hit them on the counter. in the first half majority of the attacks were from the left since ronaldo was on that side . madrid were a bit hesitant about salah's pace so they played deep . they let him in front of the ramos and varane rather than trying to play very high defensive line. ramos was always a yard goalside of salah . now the first goal came because of florenzi's mistake . in earlier matches too florenzi was criticized about his position on defense . here too instead of him on ronaldo had he chosen to let ronaldo and then taken proper actions like showing him outside or getting close to him on the run and dislodging him  off the ball which he had done earlier in the match . instead he tried to close him down which allowed ronaldo the space to run and then florenzi helping him by going down too early and allowing ronaldo  a shot on goal  which too a lucky deflection .
after the first goal roma's players hear dropped a little they started to make some erractic passes . spaletti tried to change the system when he bought dzeko for alsharaway and it worked a bit . they now had a target in the box and it did cause some problems for roma but madrid started pressing roma high up the pitch and most importantly the midfield getting caught high up the pitch so there was space in front of the back four and benzema or ronaldo could pass to each other piercing the back four on the run. the second goal was a resultant of that.
 even though madrid were the dominant one and won the match comfortably zidane still has a long way to go . he still needs to get more player on the offense to make the team more complete and the offense more effective .

Wednesday, 17 February 2016


now yesterday chelsea played psg at their home . before i write about the match i think chelsea under hiddink are better than they were under mouriniho . they are moving the ball better . the players are working harder plus the team structure is far better than before .for last match i think he got the selection very correct .he didnt went defensive like mouriniho and played only three attackers but instead he went with a good lineup who could play good football . they didnt show value of themselves when they had the ball . i think terry getting injured was a boon in disguise for chelsea and i will tell why in the analysis of the game .
now PSG started the game with a 4-3-3 game . they had ibramovic up top with lucas and di maria along side him . while the midfield consisted of motta,matuidi and veratti . while the back four consisted of marquinihos,thiago silva ,luiz and maxwell . while chelsea started the game with a 4-4-1-1 formation with costa uptop with willian just behind him . the middle four consisted of pedro,fabregas,mikel and hazard . while the back four consisted of azpilicueta,cahill,ivanovic and baba rehman .

now as i had said that terry's injury's was boon in disguise because ivanovic would started as a right back had terry being fit and it would had been a problem for chelsea . ivanovic would have had to deal with lucas who is very tricky and has lot of pace and he would had struggled against him . but instead hiddink moved azpilicueta to right back spot and he can match lucas's pace and negotiated successfully with him . PSG was continously trying to release lucas and di maria behind the back four and chelsea playing proper fullbacks helped them deal with these two threats properly . plus i think ivanovic is better centre back than terry . he very mobile and does comes out of the defense to close down his opposite number . while terry does sticks with his position which allows the opposition time and space on the ball which can be fatal .
now the game started with decent pace to it . chelsea were sitting back with two banks of four and sitting deep . the reason with chelsea sitting deep was that both cahill and ivanovic struggle against pace and they like to players in front of them than having them on the shoulders and trying to catch them on in offside trap . chelsea didnt want to offer the opposition the space behind the back four since ibra was coming deep and allowing lucas and di maria to make diagonal runs in the box . now psg passed the ball around but they never threatened  the chelsea goal . they passed the ball around crisply around in the midfield but never played that sort of passes in the midfield . for the first 20 min they passed the ball around and tried to outpass chelsea and tried to open up chelsea with their passing game . the troubel with chelsea was that they didnt had anybody who was going beyond ibra through the middle . lucas and di maria were trying to make diagonal runs from the wide to the middle but chelsea fullbacks kept good tabs on them . for me PSG made one pass two many they passed the ball just in the midfield and never brought it up in the final third quickly to threaten chelsea . for the first 25 min i think they couldnt just involve ibra into the game . when psg's attempt failed to outpass chelsea and open them then they took the ball wide and cross it into the box and it did created the chances for them which ibra couldnt finish .
now for the first half hour chelsea were just sitting back and defending whenever they had the ball they were closed down very aggresively by psg and the possession was lost . why i lauded hiddink for choosing such a good team was shown in the 30 min when chelsea had the ball and they passed it backed and forth and kept the ball which mouriniho's team certainly lacked . they didnt spend time on the ball and passed the ball very nicely . now chelsea were negotiating psg very well in every zone but they had obviously one weakness in the form of mikel . if somebody had noticed then there was space between mikel and fabregas plus fabregas was very good today in his defenisve pressing while mikel was less so . he was the reason why chelsea conceded the first goal .it wasnt because he turned on the free kick but because he couldnt defend lucas properly in the first place . fabreagas was very good with his defensive pressing very good but mikel lacked that energy plus his game reading is also not that nice . it was his zone that was exloited in the second half .
in the second half psg changed the approach they started to bring the ball in the final third very quickly . they created some very decent chances but chelsea dealt them very nicely . chelsea's centre backs dont like to ccome out of the defense and it was the reason for the second goal . in the second half psg started to play through ibra . they had lucas and di maria going beyond him . ibra was getting time and space between the line where on he could play the ball for the player who was making the run from the midfield . earlier psg had changed the personal and brought cavani and pastore . cavani exploited the space left on by baba rehman who had came out of the defense to press him . earlier too ibra too had a shot saved by courtious when the similar thing had happened when rehman came out to press somebody and left the space to exploit .
now chelsea were sitting and hitting back on the counter and it was a bit helped by psg who played a bit of deep defensive line . the reason being that even though thiago and luiz could deal with costa . the trouble was with pedro and hazard who would put psg in trouble . plus the thing was that with playing a deep last line meant that chelsea would get stretched they would have to cover that much more distance to get beyond the last player or keep hold of the ball longer which inturn would bring more psg player back on defense and get the ball back . there were times in the match that both willian and costa had time and space in between the lines but they just couldnt exploit that advantage . the trouble with psg was that they were pressing but it meant that only with the player with possession of the bal not all around . so chelsea could move the ball around and they were good value for money .
as i had said that the lineup choosen by hiddink was very good but i would had just tweaked it a little i would had played pedro or hazard as the furthest player and played costa behind them . it a formation costa is familiar with when he played at ath. mad with david villa .  it would had trouble psg more than what the formaiton is .

Sunday, 14 February 2016


yesterday juventus played napoli at their home in a game which can be decisive in the title race . but before i write about the game let me talk about massimo allegri . allgri has currently linked with chelsea head coach job . now over the years abramovic has yearned to play tiki taka or attractive football by chelsea but he has never succeeded in getting a coach of that type . allegri too is not the coach who fancies on attractive  football but rather his fundamentals are all strong defending and counter attacking  football . if yesterday's juve's display or their performance in last years UCL is to be considered then they defended the lead which they had got rather than trying to outscore or play attractive football . my consideration is that allegri and chelsea are not meant for each other . allegri is totally meant for italian football and if he takes out a job in england then it would be a total mistake for him and would damage his reputation but if i am proven wrong then i will be glad .
napoli's formation
now about the game . juve and napoli are the two best sides in italy and they had healthy respect for each other . it was shown on the pitch with the way they lined up and the way they defended but then i am not very pleased with allegri . i mean he literally had 10 men behind the ball with a narrow 4-4-2 and literally no press on napoli and sitting deep and letting them have the ball . i was frustrated with both teams and i will try to explain why . juve started with a 4-4-2 with dybala and moratta up front it should be said 4-6 not 4-4-2 because all these players were behind the ball when they would loose possession . now marchisio in the middle with khadeira with pogba and caudrado on the wings . the back four consisted of Lichtsteiner,bonucci,brazagalli and evra . napoli started the game with a 4-3-3 formation . they had higuain up top with insigne and callejon .while allen,jorginiho and hamsik were in the middle . the back four consisted of hysaj,albiol,Koulibaly and ghoulam .
juventus on defense
now the game had a decent pace about it . juventus were sitting back and letting napoli come on  and then hit them on the counter . the most intriguining thing about juventus was that they would have all the 10 players behind the ball but they would press very little and were trying to soak in napoli's offense . the trouble with this formation was that they didnt anybody to release behind napoli's back four so they had to move the ball around just to bring it upfield . since juve had to move the ball around to bring the ball upfield . this helped napoli since they could bring players behind the ball and have numbers on defending and stop juve's offense . since there were no juventus players playing on Koulibaly and albiol's shoulder napoli could play much higher defensive line  compared to juve who were playing much deeper defensive line.
now both teams offense are dependent on certain players . napoli's offense is totally dependent on higuain . he is their sole finisher and in this game it was totally dependent on him napoli were just happy to take the ball wide and whip the ball in the box . they never ever tried to work the ball to have better penetration or there wasnt anybody who was trying to go beyond higuain . they were happy to cross the ball for higuain . juve had deduced this thing very well that napoli's everything and anything flows through higuain and that is why squeezed the space in the middle . they marked higuain very well and never allowed him too much space and time on the ball . brazaglli was the key man who was tasked to keep tabs on higuain and he did a good job . callejon and insigne were not very effective with the ball while hamsik just couldnt exert himself on the game . he just couldnt carve out a opening out for the team and was content on shooting ball from the distance when presented with the opportunity . napoli's limited offense was exposed in this fixture . there fullbacks could move upfield without any opposition since both pogba and caudrado moved very close to khadeira and marchisio to a very narrow two sets of four . but still they were happy to cross the ball in the box rather than working the zone and trying to have a deeper penetration where on they could cause problems for juve's defense . juve were deep where on they didnt allow any space behind the back four to exploit .
now juventus offense is dependent on two people in particular dybala and pogba . dyabal comes inside and collect the ball and releases players that are beyond him and he can play good one two but the juventus offense and their positoning isnt helping him . juventus are dependent on pogba for his deep runs and his thundersome shots from distance and his ability to open defense single handedly . now xavi was asked about the player that he would like barca then he pointed at dybala not at pogba and i think he is correct with his observation and allegri is not able to get the best out of dybala he needs to get the team playing around him where this little guy can play small passes and can dribble in tight spaces and can open defenses . there was no cohesion between him and moratta . juventus have to play him more forward and him playing on the should make him more dangerous and more unpredictable with his movement and juventus can stretch opposition . pogba is very good technical equipped player but lacks the guile at this point to be world class . he needs to be bit more patient and should work with the players around him . whenever on the ball his first priority is to shoot the ball rather than passing the ball and trying to take the ball deeper . several time he wasted the ball in the match . if allegri can work with him and can make him understand as to how he can control the game and exert himself on the game then i think he can definitely be world class . he needs to work on the passess he tends to make them very hard (i.e he puts lots of weight on the ball which becomes difficult for the receiver to whom he passes to control ) .
allegri had moratta and dybala upfront which meant that they didnt had a aerial presence in the box and allegri tried to change it by giving something new to the napoli's defense . he brought zaza who could be a aerial threat in the box and it did the trick .
to be honest both the teams lacked creativity and were more dependent on players quality than the interplay between their players and their movement . i think allegri got really lucky last season but this season he could get caught against the better teams . napoli i think just blew the best chance to win the scudetto and should concentrate on getting in the UCL now . 

Sunday, 7 February 2016


now yesterday bayern munich played bayer leverkusen at their home . now befor i write about the game let me talk about the things that have happened regarding the appointment of pep gaurdiola . now gaurdiola is going to come to england and take over the reigns of man city . the stories have started circulating as to how man city would dominate the premier league . the most that is expected from gaurdiola is the tiki taka style that he will bring with him to the etihad . man city's appointment of gaurdiola and him choosing city over utd is seen as the balance of power tilting in manchester . now the thing is that tiki is played by spain but teams around the world have found a way to counter it and that is why spain had a disastorous campaign in the last world cup . but the most important thing regarding gaurdiola is will he teach them tiki taka or will he try something new . if you had watched bayern's game this season then you would had noticed that bayern had never played tiki taka this season . instead bayern had played more like a english team this season . playing very direct taking the ball from back to front very quickly and crossing the ball in the box rather than trying to open the opposition by outpassing them or working one zone and opening it . bayern under gaurdiola this season  hadnt been playing tiki taka anymore . they had been domination opponent in the first few games where on they defeated opponents with bigger margin but against gladbach they had been found out . gladbach played their counter attacking game and got the better or munich . even though people are very optimistic that man city will dominate the premier league but i am not too certain about it and gaurdiola will opt tiki taka at man city is another question that remains to be brewing for a time being .
now in yesterday's game leverkusen started with their usual 4-4-2 formation with jedvaj-jonathan tah -toprak and wendell in the back four . while kramer and kampl were the middle two in front of the back four while calhanoglu and bellarabi were on the flanks . hernandez and keibling were the front two . munich started with the 4-2-1-3 formation with lahm-kimmich-badstuber and alaba in the back four . while alonso and vidal were in front of the back four in the middle with costa playing just off lewandowski in the no.10 role who had robben and coman besides him.
now the game had a very good pace about it and leverkusen worked very hard into the game . now it can be said that gaurdiola was given the taste of his own medicine by leverkusen but not without a plan and they didnt just press because they wanted to but they had a plan on how they are going to press .first off they congested the middle of the park with both the back four and the middle four getting very narrow and just congesting the space in the middle of the park . both lines of the back four were had very little space between them . the leverkusen wingers were helping their fullbacks to deal with munich wingers since this season all the bayern attack had been through them . so leverkusen were determined not to give wingers any time on the ball . now as i had said that leverkusen made the middle of the park very congested so what they wanted was that bayern play the ball to either of the wing and then they would start pressing and they made bayern play to their tune rather than playing to bayern's tune . they didnt tried to overdo pressing means trying to press bayern centrebacks as well instead they would wait for the ball to be played out wide and then press and if the situation is there where on they can press the bayern's centrebacks then they will . leverkusen middle four and the fullbacks deserve special praise because they just neutralised bayern's offense . special mention has to given to toprak who's game reading was very good and he would stepup whenver it is needed .
now bayern's offense is that they take the ball wide and then cross it in the box and that what they had been doing this term. in this match he used robben and coman as the wide players and it was through them that bayern wanted to create . now this season lewandowski had been playing more as a link up player rather than as a out and out forward . he had been coming inside and trying to release coman or robben behind him . initially in the match lewandowski got the space between the lines where he would collect the ball and then try to release coman or robben he nearly got successful with releasing behind the back four but coman just couldnt find any team mates in the box . leverkusen didnt played a high line so that robben and coman had too much space to run . plus bayern just didnt work the ball and kept it instead they were happy to cross it in the box and find somebody . in the first half douglas coasta was just invisible and kept quite by leverkusen who's kampl and kramer worked very hard . leverkusen would try to hit bayern on the counter but never had an incisive opening to trouble neur in bayern goal .
now in gaurdiola's team we usually see somebody take the reign's of the game and control it but here it was just nobody . gaurdiola tried to change things in the second half where on he bought muller in the no.10 role and sent douglas costa wide . bayern did create two chances in the space of five minutes and there was a reason for that . kampl and kramer were pushing forward trying to press and costa could get the better on one on one with hilbert who had replaced degovah  and could find muller inside the box who missed his shot . the back two were engaged by lewandowski and it created a space for muller in the hole but he couldnt finish.
bayern's are not playing as to what we distinguish with gaurdiola instead they are evolving and gaurdiola is trying new things . but to hype gaurdiola would be very stupid . he can be found out and without a proper flair player he can be found out and it had been shown in the games with gladbach and leverkusen . but one thing about gaurdiola is he is very open to changes and will be very flexible with his approach .

Monday, 1 February 2016


now yesterday milan played inter . before i talk about the game i think the level of italian football has really gone down . italian teams play slow tempo game plus players spent too much time on the ball making the game slow . plus the most important factor that makes the game boring is the number of unforced error's that is the lesser percentage of pass completion rate by the teams  makes the football boring to watch . the teams may play different formations but unless the pass completion rate is not improved or the unforced errors are not reduced then the game will continue to be boring .
now in yesterday's game milan started with the 4-4-2 formation with bacca and niang at the top . while honda and bonaventura were on the wings with montolivo and kuca in front of the back four . the back four consisted of abate,alex,romagnoli and antonelli . inter started with a 4-2-3-1 formation with jovetic uptop supported by peresic,ader and ljajic . while brazovic and  medel played in front of the back four . the back four consisted of santon,miranda,murillo and jesus .
the game had a decent pace about it . it was box to box game with both teams sitting deep . both teams wanted to play out from the back and both teams wanted to press when the ball was upfield and they loose the ball  .  now milan has two upfront but there was little cohesion between bacca and niang . bacca is very good at holding the ball and laying it off to the running player . his link up play is very good . the trouble with milan was that there was no link up play between niang and bacca . niang should had been on the shoulder of the last defender where on bacca could had released him . milan's main offense came through bonaventura and honda on the flanks and milan were committing players in the box on either players cross to score . milan's best player was kuca who was a breath of fresh air in the side . the trouble with kuca was that he was playing in a position where on he couldnt be very adventurous . while many may laud his offensive side but on the defensive front also he was very good . i am not a fan of montolivo . i think he is very slow and takes time on the ball and cant control tempo of the game and like general english midfielders likes to move very little . had it not been kuca then milan could had conceded in the match . milan were generally helped in their game because of inter's one dimensional approach  on offense .
now for inter's offense jovetic is the instigator,creator and most of the times finisher . jovetic at times comes inside to start the move and he releases peresic or llalajic and then play's one two to open the offense . they are very comfortable when the opposition comes to close them down  so that they can play around them and that what milan were doing . milan had pushed antonelli upfront to stop peresic and were trying to press inter high up which jovetic used very nicely . he first released eder behind the back four only for the ref to rule the foul against him . then he secondly released peresic but both time inter couldnt had a decent shot at goal . inter never worked the ball properly to carve out a proper opening . the only one created when jesus crossed for eder but he couldnt finish it but other than that inter just didnt used the ball properly . they were just taking shot from distance and were of no trouble for milan . adam llajalic was just absent in the first half and most of the offense was through jovetic . inter used brazovic in the middle but the game was such and the instructions from mancini must had been to the ball upfield and to jovetic as soon as possible so he couldnt make his mark on the game . neither of the two side tried to control the tempo instead whenever they had the ball their sole ain was to take it upfield and play a forward game and try to hit the oppositon instead of letting him settle down . since both teams played deep both teams were able to handle the pressure that was put on them because they could read the attack . the side that finished won the game and the side which defended poorly lost .
i just watched the game till jovetic went off and i thought that with him coming off inter didnt had any chance in the game and  i wasnt proved wrong ( although they missed a penalty ) .