Tuesday, 28 June 2016


yesterday two matches were played and both had very surprising result while italy result was a mix of hard work and very spot on  tactics . england's defeat was a result of the over rated players and hopeless players being put on the pitch and the manager being clueless as to what he needs to do and change things .
first off italy vs spain . after the spain game i read the headlines that the golden generation is officially dead . now i dont think so . first off saying such things means you are not giving enough credit to the italian teams hard work and the organisation that they showed during the game . conte should be given the credit for getting the tactics correct and spot on and working with players he has got on hand . he has got those players in the team whom other players would not even had in the team and things work . these are the playes that had  made the difference and are currently responsible for italy's success.
now why has spain been defeated . the reason being that spain had too many no. 10's in the their team . these are all good players but the trouble is that these players are not very good on defense or say that these players are not ready to do the dirty work . these players are not that hard working on defense and this allows the opposition to move the ball . in the earlier euro or the earlier spanish team . the majority of them were barcelona based and they played a high line congested the oppositon worked hard to close opposition down and most importantly at that time the world was new to these tactics . the thing is that the spanish teams have too many no.10's and these players dont actually sprint back to help their defense . players like silva and fabregas are not known to work hard . that is why italy could play out ball from the back and move it forward very easily without being close down . the most important factor had been the work rate of porolo and Giaccherini. these two guys are the two unsung hero of the italian football team . these two guys are responsible so that defending for the back three or back five doesnt gets too much difficult . they had been working very hard closing down opposition when the opportunity arises while keeping the shape when they dont have the ball and keeping it very narrow . they are the ones who start the pressing and do it very successfully . they are just not important on defense but are the major unsung hero on offense . they are the ones who provide that all important support to eder and pelle on offense . main thing is their role is so unpredictable that the opposition never knows as to whether they will stay in whether they will go out wide and continue that path . they help to overload a zone and are major headaches to the opposition .
 conte had studied spain but i dont so that del bosque ever tried to study or watch italy's tapes instead relying on his game plan rather than changing it and giving new headache to italy . i had already written about pelle and eder partnership when i wrote about the game between belgium vs italy . now the trouble with spain was that the first mistake they did was that they allowed the space for pelle and he was at times had time  and space on the ball and was able to choose the pass he wants . spains formation meant that both fabregas and iniesta went high up the pitch on offense and on the counter only busquestus was the gus who was supposed to guard two guys both eder and pelle . spain had started to play too much deep than the previous times .the trouble is busquestus was called to defend both pelle and eder and wasnt getting any help from the back four .  many a times nor ramos nor piques came out of the defense to close down pelle and that proved a big headache for spain because he was releasing eder behind the back with a very good pass . pelle is not given credit which he is due . i had said that he is one of the best assist players in the league and players around him do benefit by his abilities .
the most important fact had been the ease with which italy could move the ball up the pitch from the back without too much pressure . this is the testament that the spain side do need a big change in terms of personal and they cannot just sit back and live on the praise of the past teams . all and all a vey good win for italy and a wake up call for spain to change the players they have at disposal .
what can you said about england . there had been enough criticism but the one that said the best was the one that england were clueless from start to finish . they didnt had a game plan and just didnt know as to what they were to do . here is raheem sterling a 50m player who cannot beat player in one on one situation . the players just dont work for each other . to be honest the most hopeless player had to be rooney who led by example . england players cannot play with middle of the foot which the whole european play that . england against slovakia were better till rooney came on . why did he sent vardy just because the fans wanted it . i mean completely clueless about england's substitution . why take so much time to send rashford when you can see that rooney was hopeless . why didnt hodgson showed the balls to withdraw rooney earlier and make the necessary changes. to be honest he was a hopeless coach and the blame should fall flatly on his superiors who went for such hopeless manager .

Tuesday, 21 June 2016


yesterday england played slovakia in the final game of the group matches . before i write about the match and all that let me tell you but i had not seen such seriously stupid writer that daily mail the british dialy has . i dont know whether they watched the match or they just write it . seriously whether england were better with wilshere or rooney on . how many passes did rooney completed and what was his contribution . i dont know about these writers but seriously do they know about the game . the way england were playing and the way wilshere executed it was quite decent .
roy hodgson made 6 changes to the starting lineup and i dont think it made any difference to the lineup since there are only a handful of england players who can play with middle of the foot or on the floor . wilshere and henderson came in the midfield along side dier who is not flourishing in the role of the defensive midfielder . while struddige and vardy came in the forward line . england started the game with 4-3-3 formation . while slovakia started the game with the same formation . the trouble with england is that none of the england players can pass the ball on one touch . they make two touches and this allows the opposition to close them down and the move is gone . the trouble with england game was that they didnt had the natural width . struddige and lallana both came inside so the back four got already congested plus no natural width meant that it helped slovakia who just waited for them to cross and deal with it . seconldy england just cannot work balls from the wide positions . they need to work on it .
the game started with slovakia sitting back and playing on the counter .while england played possession football and tried to open up slovakia . slovakia were sitting deep since they were afraid of vardy's pace and were rightly worried . of the three england forward lallana was the most effective one his movement was causing all sort of problems to the slovakia's defense . he was coming between the line and collecting the ball or start in the middle and go wide thus keeping himself unpredictable and making himself available for the pass . he was the only one hardworking english player in the team . his only weakness is that he doesnt stands that strong the ball and seconldy his fondness to play with both feet but at times he let himself down by doing that . now vardy started the game because kane wasnt performing but then england just doesnt play around central striker and  vardy did showed his pace when he was released by wilshere behind slovakian's defense . wilshere played some very delightful long passes to vardy and struddige . he was criticzed for losing possession when he moved up the field but then england players just dont move or make themselves available whenever or they just dont know what position they should take . the trouble was slovakia knew about wilshere's ability so whenever he moved up the pitch he was closed down very quickly and coupled that with england players hopeless positioning he was criticized unfairly or may he was overtrying but i think he was one of the bright spark in english attack and england had the best chances till both these two were on the pitch .
the other good performer is dier who's distribution of the ball seems to be improving with game and his pinpoint to struddige was very good . his defensive work is also good . he is one of the few players in the england players who can play floor football and should he progress the same way then the future is bright for him . henderson was hopeless .
now struddige was lauded for his goal against wales to be honest it was hopeless scrappy goal . he is the least hard working player in the team . today's defense start from the top and the less time that the forwards give the centrebacks on the ball the better it gets for others to press others and snatch possession from the opposition . lallana was working was very hard but he was never getting that support from the others especially struddige . he was hopeless . secondl instance is when he dropped into the midfield to collect the possession and you just pass it back to the centre back . i mean he is under no pressure . he could do the half turn and pass the ball forward or wide . its shows the lack of concentration in the game where on you should know the players around you and reading of the game . third is when dier passed him a very delicious balls over the top on goal . a good striker does knows whether he can take an extra touch or should he shoot it first time . seconldy if he is not then he will try to protect the ball and atleast try to keep it up field and hold it till he has support .struddige was hopeless . people may argue that he let clyne on the goal with a fine ball but then he was 10 yards from the goal with the slovakian defense sleeping and allowing him time and space on the ball and allowing him to pick his pass . come on even rooney would do that ( haha ha aha ) .
what can you write about slovakia . they there to sit deep and for the point so that they can qualify for the next round . they just could pass the ball  and were more reliant on abilities of hamsik to guide them through . their main vice was that they spent too much time on the ball and had they passed the ball crisply and kept the flow moving then they could have caused england some problems but it seems they just could get the move going . they could bring the forward into play . slovakia are just not playing the way they played in qualifiers .
last but not the least but there is a talk of roy hodgson being given the extension to his contract . is the way england team wants to play . one win over wales that too a scrappy one and he is given a contract extension come on . dont the fa wants to play good attractive football or just do  they want to play scrappy football .

Saturday, 18 June 2016


yesterday spain played turkey and it showed as to why they are the best teams in the business and why they should be considered the favourites to claim the title back . in football cohesion between you team members is a must . if the threat is coming from each and evey member from the pitch then it makes that team that more effective to execute its game plan and far more dangerous . its not necessary that each and evey one should score but providing that pass or being one of the element in the jig saw in opening opposition  . yesterday spain were all that . they just overwhelmed the opposition . of all the contender team the reason why spain stands out is having he best fullbacks in the tournament . their ability to give width to the attack or even at times run behind the back four gives them the edge . spain are not just opening the opposition with tiki taka football but the second goal did demonstrated that they can change the approach and they will explore other ways also like crossing in the box . this was game that spain established there credentials as the favourites for the cup .
the game started with spain playing there usual 4-3-3 combination .while turkey playing 4-5-1 started the game . there are two important things that need to talk about . first off the distance between the two centre back of turkey . i dont know but there was more that 10 yards of space between turkey's two centre backs . i think they never ever thought that moratta would beat them in the air and were concerned about attacks coming from the flanks rather than trying to keep hold of moratta and the threat he possessed in the box . if you had seen the turkey's defense then it was very spacious . there were lots of gaps . the distance between two players was far more than that was required . plus the thing was that the defense wasnt that mobile as it would wanted . there were moments when moratta dropped between the lines and it was desired that one of the centrebacks should come along with him from the back four but that never happened because of the threat that spain possessed . turkey were always on the wire because spain always had runners from the midfield who would go beyond the back four and open turkey's defense . the good thing about spain's attack was the cohesion between the fullbacks and the centre forwards or the players in the box .now normally the fullbacks cross in the box in the attempt to find someone in the box and find someone at the end of it . but here moratta was making himself available so that alaba was not finding that difficult to find him in the box . the fullbacks knew where to cross the ball and forward knew where he needs to make the run as  to where the fullback was going to cross the ball . i think the biggest mistake that turkey made that they got over stretched and tried to contain spain even in the wide areas where as they should had stayed compact and let spain come onto them and then hit them onto counter . turkey just didnt worked as a unit which is the key for a good defense . defense is the ultimate football game because here you are required to play as a unit rather than  as a individual . turkey will have to do much better if they are to have result against the czecks and hope to make it to the next round .
just as turkey did mistakes on defense i think they were poor on offense . first off turkey had a very good target man and keeping him in the box and then trying improvise with time . first off ramos and pique quite deep and were not coming out of the defense to contest the long balls with the turkish centre forward . at times i think arda turan did try to keep the ball to himself and tried to over do things . his passing was presumptous as to who he was going to pass rather than trying to take the natural option trying to move the ball and not getting closed down that quickly . they could had started the game playing one dimensional but just crossing into the box and then try to improvise instead they tried to show that they too can play ball and just lost possession because of it .
i think this win will give spain a necessary boost and turkey will have to the drawing board as to what can they salvage in the game between them and the czecks it will be a game which may decide as to whether the czecks or the croats go into the next round .

Tuesday, 14 June 2016


yesterday belgium played italy in one of the opening fixtures . the italians won the match but rather they pulled belgium in their game and belgium just could find a way past italian defense . belgium have the best offensive playrers in their squad and have a squad full of superstars while for the first time italians just didnt had any star player in their squad .
the game started with belgium playing 4-4-1-1 . while the italians started the game with 3-5-2 formation . the 3-5-2 is conte's favourite formation . conte must had studied belgium's weakness and he prepared for it .
conte was applauded for his tactics in the media and i would say that atleast on the offensive front he got that spot on . not with the defensive one . yes the italians defended very stubbornly and didnt offer belgium anything but to be honest it had to do more with belgium's inability on the offensive front rather than the italians defensive effort . how he got the offensive front correct was that on the wings he knew that hazard and de bruyne doesnt like to come deep and defend and do their defensive part . secondly he loaded the wings with two guys . but the biggest failure on the part of belgium was their inability to stop pelle . just how many time in the match pelle won the long balls and laid it out for eder . the italians had the pattern set . pelle is one of the most underrated players . i think he has the most no. of assist for the centre forward and links very well with players around him . you could ask that to sadio mane .
the reason why said that his defensive approach was not that good because the italians backed too much had there been a better team then they would work the ball more better with such deep penetration being offered by the italians . the belgium failed to find one decent ball to lukaku's feet ( although he missed one ) and that would had been a game changer . you cannot allow the opposition to come so much inside your own territory . yes you had players defending it but better teams find a way around it and it was just that belgiums were not that better the other day .
 the trouble was that the belgiums backing up and never challenging pelle for the ball and sitting back and letting him have the ball . the trouble with belgiums is that they have centre backs playing in the fullback role and they dont like to come out postion . what conte had see that the italians would always have space on the wings because hazard and de bruyne wont rush to defend and that allowed the italians time and space on the ball. pelle needed to be their in the box since he is one of the best header of the ball . but i felt that eder could have done something . they could have had worked the ball better then i think the belgiums could have had more trouble .
the game started with lukaku upfront with fellaini behind him with hazard and de bruyne on wings . now the italian back three play together day in day out . they work as a unit . most importantly they play deep and start with a yard on the goal side . what conte did was that he congested the field of play and you could literally see italian player at 10 yards distance from each other . they played very compact . belgium depend on hazard and de bruyne for the creativity or for opening opposition defense .here they were not given any space to work with .
this was total failure on the part of mark wilmots in terms of offensive game . first off his team was totally one dimensional . first off the belgium always tried to cross the ball in the box and never tried to open the italians on the floor . secondly the penetration was poor whenever they had the ball wide they just tried to cross theball in the box . they should had been more patient with their possession . they had players who can dribble and pass . for one time de bruyne made a diagonal run and he had clear chance on goal but i never saw that anybody making that again . their lack of specialised fullbacks was clearly exposed here . the fullbacks extend the attack they provide the necessary width to the attack in the modern football with their runs . most importantly somebody needed to play off lukaku just as eder was playing off pelle . first off fellaini was playing but he was there to head the ball rather than to play off lukaku . another thing was that many of their players spent too much time on the ball allowing the italians to contain them . the italians were never going to come and close down and give too much off space . instead they would sit deep and crunch the space and hit you on the counter . what i wanted to see was lukaku going wide (shown in the diagram ) and have more penetration . the trouble with belgium was that they just didnt had any patience with the ball just look at the positions from where the balls was crossed in the box . couldnt they work the ball deeper . the italians do that at juventus day in day out and were really comfortable . to be honest with such an attacking threat belgiums should have had a good game and had a decent result but missed it  .

bonucci was going to be a very important player because of his ability to play out from the back . he produced three good balls from the back out of which one resulted in the goal . radga naingollan was another who was auditioning but he still lacks that mobility for a complete midfielder who could impose himself on the game .
for me mark wilmots needs to rethink about his tactics and the football they are playing and their dependence on headed goals . italians were decent in the game but their offense needs to have a plan b not just pelle to eder . all and all a very good win for italians which would give them confidence .  

Monday, 13 June 2016


now yesterday i was criticized for criticizing rooney and the rating that he was given but if we are to justify rooney rating of 8 then what are we going to say about kroos and khadeira's performance last night . they were simply immaculate . why kroos had not struggled in spain is because he can not only play long balls and spread the play but also can play with same ease on the floor . given with that he has good shot from distance which is very good asset and one that a defensive midfielder needs to have . just as he was good on the offensive front in spreading the ball and dictating the play he was very good at closing down the possible danger helping the fullback in dealing with the imminent danger of yarmolenko . same can be said about khadeira who was also equally good and just because he was good that is why kroos could had time and space on the ball because they couldnt mark these two at the same time and let holes in their defense .
germany started as the dominat team and they dominated the whole match .as expected germany dominated the play and ukraine would sit back and try to hit germany on the counter . their main counter weapons were yarmalenko and konoplyanka .germany started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation while ukraine started the game with 4-4-1-1 formation . this is why germany are the champions because they do not just rush things like taking the ball wide and whipping it in the box . they work the ball and try to have maximum penetration and you could see the penetration by the team and the number of clearances inside the box . it shows the germans ability to play the ball . plus the understanding that the players have about their positions .
the germans dominated the game because they had the midfield advantage even though kroos and khadeira were the midfielders but both the wide players kept on coming inside as well as both muller and ozil dropping in the midfield to dominate that zone and give upperhand to germany which allowed them to press ukraine successfully and most importantly their midfielders just couldnt had time and space on the ball to support their wide players and get them moving upwards .
the germans dominated the game but they had trouble in the wide areas especially with yarmalenko and konoplyanka who were very lively . both are good players and can take on fullbacks and beat them in footrace and in trickery but the real trouble was that they didnt had the pivot around who they could play . they didnt had the support of their midfield plus not even from the front players as well . the germans had the trouble dealing with these two and when these two came into the final third they created some very good decent chances . there were two things that i thought ukraine did bad first off  they spent too much time on the ball to allow themselves to close down . secondly their play was just too one dimensional . both yarmalenko and konoplyanka were staying wide and not coming inside and trying to link up with each other and try to borrow a page from bayern munich tactics of the champions league winning team . i wanted to see both players linking and playing off each other with others around them . ukraine need to resolve their play and need to get to have some different variations in moving the ball .yes now its understandable as to why germany play so deep because they dont want their fullbacks to get exposed and offer space for players like konoplynka and yarmalenko to run behind them since they can beat them in the foot race . but the trouble is that germany are conceding too much space in doing so and other teams who will be better will try to exploit the space that is offered . seconldy on the counter germans were getting caught up . ukranians were filling the box to head on the cross but they were very one dimensional in their approach . if you could see then kroos or khadeira were getting sucked up on the wing trying to give support to the wing backs in dealing with the opposite number at the same time gotze,draxler,ozil and muller were getting caught upfield and were not able to support their defense . so there was a lot of space in front of the back four and only one player to guard and that was either kroos or khadeira . so ukranians should tried to exploit that space and placed players just in front of the back four on the cross and this would had given them more numbers to pick in the box and some good angles

all and all a very convincing win for germany and showing as to why they are the best and most importantly their second half performance where on they just dominated the ukrainians fully and sniffed any possible threat deserve credit .

Sunday, 12 June 2016


yesterday england played russia and came out with a draw . i was reading the news and one news i read was rooney awarded 8/10 points for his performance in the match . another was the positives that glenn hoddle was talking about . to be honest what are the positives that need to be taken out of this game .last but not the least what is roy hodgson job to put out players on the pitch and watch from the sidelines or does he needs to constantly try to improvise his side and give inputs to his players and try to improvise the situation . atleast in the second half i expected him to do something when england were overwhelmed by the russians . i am disappointed by hodgson's role .
the most obvious questions from the game were does rooney deserve to start . he had been given a 8 by the pundits but the first thing that you notice is that these england players are not that technically proficient . they dont get their head quickly . the once who play football knows that once you get yourself in line with pass then you can get your head up and search for the pass so that you can pass it in one touch and that what spaniards and the germans do . english players cannot do that and that is why they need to do two touch. the other thing was that england player pass the ball but they dont move to recieve it back . thirdly the choice of pass was very poor by english players they would pass it to player who would get close down very quickly . they were not helped by the playes movement . i have heard that hodgson takes the practise and tells them on how to play in a situation but obviously they have either not grasped it well or hogdson hasnt explained them well . the most obvious question was as to why was kane coming in deep . he can come deep in the run of the play or when england have the ball and help it get upfield . when england dont have the ball he should be around the back four trying to stretch the play always keeping an option open for the long ball  and the most important one is that when england have the ball wide he should be on the should be on the shoulders of the top 4 keeping them engaged so that there is space behind him .
the most important thing is that you are playing kane as no.9 then try to play through him . he is good passer and alli and he can combine beautifully . he must be a frustrated player because he couldnt decide as to whether he is going to at the end of sterling's cross or should he play one two and release sterling beyond him. i think hodgson needs to sort his role and get him more on the ball and get him more involved . another thing was that other than back four and dyer the others where taking positions upfield but there was not a lot a movement from them . i think one of them needs to drop deep and stay alongside dier and just control the game from there and then make late run rather than making early foray upfield . hodgson will have to think too much since they have bale and england are playing too deep which will help bale since he may just use smalling and cahill as the wall and shoot around them .
england started the game with 4-3-3 while russia were the same . for the first half england overwhelmed russia and they were themselves to blame . they tried to play the english game with england and wanted to take the ball upfield quickly and were hitting long balls to dzuba . secondly they were not able to track runs of alli,llalana and kane who coming deep and letting alli and llalana to get beyond him . the russian were getting all opened because alli and llalana were finding space between the lines and using that positions to find walker on the right particularly whom smolov was not tracking properly . the problem with russia was they didnt know as to who should track alli . whether somebody from the back four should come out and track kane . most importantly russians were nervous on the ball and were misplacing the pass which was allowing england to close them down and win possession high up the pitch and hit them fast on the counter .
the game changed in the second half and this is where a manager comes into play . when the russians come out for the second half they looked more assured on the ball . they moved the around and didnt just tried to find dzuba . they kept the ball rolling and looked more assured on the ball . just as russians were getting control the game england were sitting that much deeper and inviting pressure and trying to play more on the counter .

Saturday, 11 June 2016


yesterday france played romania in the opener of the uefa uero 2016  . first off i dont know many of the romanians players only two are known to me . now france started the game with 4-3-3 formation .
now first off with this performance should france be considered as the favourites for the cup . i have doubts . there is serious lack of cohesion in the side and it is dependent more on individual abilities rather than team play and cohesion between players . in the first half romania started the game better . they had borrowed the idea from athletico madrid where on they were waiting for the ball to come into midfield and then press it . romania had very correctly guessed that kante and pogba would be the two guys who would be dictating the play and they should be the ones who should not be given time and space on the ball and that what romania set up to do . as soon as france had the ball they would let koscielny and rami have the ball and positon themselves to press when it is moved into midfield . they played a very high line which could had proved costly because i think they didnt romania calculated that rami is good ball playing centre back and can play good balls from the back . the space behind the back four meant that france played some long balls to release griezman but could not find the proper ball . whenever france could overcome that pressing from romania they were knocking on romania's goal and they were finding space on the wings because to play the high press romania had to play compact and which meant that the fullbacks were having space to run to . but overall in the run of play romania had tied france and were dictating the tempo of the game.
romania were causing france problems were with balls played behind the back four . rami is a cause of concern with france . romania tried to exploit rami's lack of pace . so initially when france tried to play a high back four they quickly had to drop back to compensate for rami's lack of pace . romania played some very good short crisp passing game but they had lack of height in the box . secondly they were missing some good deliveries from the wide where on they could trouble france but overall they did ok on the defensive front to keep france at bay . france's main threat griezman was not timing his run properly and was not that effective .
in the second half romania changed their game they started to sit back and most importantly kante started to dictate the game and romania started to sit deep . the initial pressing was gone and france got the hold on the game most importantly deschamps changed the system . he bought coman to stretch the play  .matuidi who was very sitting along side kante in the first half and had it very quite one started to move up the pitch in the second half . he started to impose himself more on  the game .  secondly he switched payet in behind giroud in the no.10 role . payet can dribble past player and able to release players in space . his switch changed the game and france went on to win the game .
can france build on this performance . i dont think so . first off kante had to cover too much of space in front of him . secondly there is no natural cohesion in the team and players like rami and evra lack of pace can cause problem's to france . thirdly france's are too much dependent on pogba or payet and in the next game if they are tied down what then . there was a lack of movement upfront since kante and pogba both were unable to find players to who they could pass . all and all i think some of the france players are playing more for themselves and to achive personal glory rather than team play .