Sunday, 28 August 2016


yesterday spurs played liverpool at their home . spurs started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation while liverpool started the game with 4-3-3 formation . the interesting thing was that Wijnaldum was shifted in the middle three along side henderson . while spurs had wanayama and dier in the middle in front of the back four . to be honest i had never seen spurs side being so poor and pochettino being so tactically naive .
the game started with a very good pace with both team trying to close down each other whenever the ball was high up the pitch . compared to liverpool spurs were playing a bit high off the pitch . now the advantage was with liverpool in this lineup first off they had three in the middle compared to two in the middle for spurs . secondly the middle three of liverpool are pretty mobile  and are more comfortable on the ball than spurs middle two . also the front three of the liverpool are more mobile . the first mistake that spurs were making is that they were wasting time on the ball and i would say particularly with vertroghen who was doing it . now the commentators were praising him but let me tell you the more you spent time on the ball the more time you allow the opposition to climb off the pitch and close you down. liverpool were just doing that . they were just a bit patient in closing but vertroghen's time wasting on the ball meant that they could organise themselves properly to close down spurs . this closing resulted in the first chance for liverpool . the second thing about spurs was that the middle two are not that comfortable on the ball . wanyama is good midfielder but he is not the kind of player who can control the tempo of the game or is that extremly mobile . instead he likes to have players come on him or read the game properly and then intercept at the proper moment but the fiery pace of the game meant that it just flew past him . for me dier just didnt know as to what his role was in the middle because his role is taken by wanyama and now he just doent know as to what he needs to do . both of the spurs midfielders are not mobile nor are great ball players let alone control the tempo of the game. the real problem for spurs was that they were not moving the ball faster . the four players up the pitch were waiting for the balls to be passed to them but liverpool just cut off their supply . i think spurs missed dembele and his ability on the very much in this match . had it not for vorm i think spurs would had a spanking yesterday .
in the game spurs were on the offense trying to compose a move while liverpool were on the counter . spurs game plan is to play through kane and then use the three players behind him to bomb forward beyond him . the other thing that spurs were doing was that they were trying to send rose up the pitch in trying to push mane back  . they knew that he would have the space because eriksen was moving inside seconldy mane at times can be lazy but this move can fire back . i explained that in the diagram because this leaves mane quite a space to explore and most importantly spurs midfielders not that mobile compounded that .  liverpool were quite prepared and ready for spurs . first off they kept a very tight mark on kane . both matip and lovren were tightly marking kane and were making it impossible for spurs to play through him . secondly all the middle three were very well placed in front of the back four and there was little space between the lines for spurs to exploit plus the liverpool players are quite mobile and energetic compared to spurs compounded with the lack of pace in the spurs middle two meant that liverpool just dominated the first half and should had closed the game in the first half itself . the other thing is that on the counter while liverpool centre backs were ready to following kane ,spurs centrebacks were not that keen to do that . they were holding there position and letting firminiho time and space on the ball which allowed him to choose the pass and combine with the other two and they were causing all sort of problems for spurs . 
spurs started to get better in the second half and i would credit that to delle alli because even though he is a bit rash he can pass the ball he is mobile that means that spurs could move the ball better and most importantly coutiniho had started to getting tired and was not tracking dier that actively . which resulted in the equalizer . in the game rose was getting quite a bit of space to move upfield but i am not satisfied by his performance . firstly i thought he was a bit impatient in crossing the ball . secondly the crossing was poor and it was just crossing in the box without any proper target . thirdly i think he lacked a bit of discipline when he could see that his opposite number was striding towards the goal then he should come rushing down to help his defenders instead jogging back .  second one was wanyama who needs to get with grips of the game . the only player that looked positive for the spurs was lamela who looked comfortable on the ball and looked the one who would cause opposition the problem when he had the ball .
henderson has been starting the game ahead of can for the last three matched and but he still lacks that technical ability and he missed some genuine chances when he could some real quality passess . i think kloop is quite right about dropping struddige because klopp wants the strikers to work had and start the first press and struddige never works hard .

Monday, 22 August 2016


yesteday man utd played southampton at home and it was paul pogba's debut . people had been questioning whether he is really worth the money that utd had spent on . what do you want from a player that he should be good in one on one situations ,comfortable on the ball in air as well on floor and a good shooter . doesnt pogba ticks all these boxes . he does and for that its money well spent by utd . in football a good offense is a good defense and for the first time i would say that jose should be creative and work on the utd offense more than on defense . if the offense is good then the opposition doesnt like to come forward too much or are afraid to commit too many players forward . i think with zlatan pogba and mikhitariyan utd's offense has got a whole new dimension and the threat has multipled exponentially. why i am saying this is that because both pogba and ibra are the two best headers of the ball . secondly both are very good shooters from long range so goal threat is not only in the box is quite beyond that and that gives utd a very sharpe edge .
now about the match utd started the game with their 4-4-2 formation while southamptom were 4-3-3 . even though utd have so many good players they are still playing on the counter attack . although its jose's team and it will play the way he desires but then in the first times utd were one dimensional and it is because there attack was limited to one zone and they were not able to spread the ball and were made to either cross the ball or give away . both shaw and valencia saw a lot of the ball because both wide players were coming inside congesting the midfield and allowing spaces on the flanks for the fullbacks to bomb forward . as i had said that in my previous review of utd that pogba will require a much speedier partner in the midfield . utd are playing fellaini in the midfield and he is played for the fact that he is good in air and is good on the ball but he is slow . there were times when he got played around . because of fellaini and rooney southamptom had a very good penetration in utd's zone . firstly they moved the ball very crisply seconldy they had number's in the midfield and thirdly the movement by their front players was the reason why could get the ball . the front players started inside but then drifted out to collect the ball and get it much deeper into utd half and that would cause problems in other matches . the one thing for concern for utd's team is daley blind because time and time again southamtom were trying to cross the ball in his zone rather than baily's zone and win the header . i think in air he can be caught and that is the worry . utd should work that the ball shouldnt get that much deeper in their territory and if they can do that then that will be the domination .
over the last two game rooney had been playing in the no. 10 role and had been poor . he had been poor on the ball with the ball and off the ball  and had been poor on the pass as well . he will be criticzed for his display but i think he has some qualities and the cross for the first goal was that . first let me tell that pogba, zlatan and others are very comfortable on the ball and if somebody had played football then they would know that players like playes who are comfortable on the ball that is why great players like to play along side each other . what rooney needs to do is just play one touch football rather than just trying to collect the ball and spread it . he needs to get his head high quickly when receiving the ball and pass crisply . no need to spend time on the ball and when he has time and space on the ball he can do his magic . thirdly he needs to create that understanding with ibra who is very comfortable on the ball . he will pass the ball if he finds that rooney is not comfortbale on the ball just as valencia does hesitates to pass to mata because he know that under pressure mata may loose possession .
i think utd need to play blind in the midfield he is good passer and reader of the game will help utd win the ball higher off the pitch . seconldy herrera needs to partner blind in the midfield to have that necessary mobility and pogba can play behind ibra .
i think southamptom have got a very good coach in puel who likes to play the ball the ball on the floor and likes to pass quick. the penetration by southamptom was good and had they worked it a little bit i think it would been much more exiciting . 

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


yesterday west ham played chelsea at the stamford bridge . this was conte's first game as the chelsea boss . chelsea started the game with a 4-3-3 formation instead of the 3-5-2 formation which had been conte's favourite when he was at juventus as well as with the italian national team at the euro's . the team selection did showed as to what conte expects from his team . he like his players to mobile and do their job which is why he saw hazard coming back and doing his duties on defense which he was reluctant to do when he was playing under jose mouriniho . they are moving the ball better and atleast he wants his midfielders to be very mobile who should be able to move up and down the pitch . the selection of oscar and kante does shows that . while west ham started the game with 4-2-1-3 formation .
the game started on a very positive note for west ham and it looked like as if that similar things are going to happen with chelsea as what they had been happening last year . both terry and cahill dont like to leave their position and are more happy to let the player come onto him than chasing around . both terry and cahill were holding there position and going on with carroll . it may be because they didnt want to let their fullbacks exposed in a one on one situation with valencia and ayew who were playing along side carrol . the reason why west ham were having some possession was because kouyate was dropping into the midfield and help noble and Nordtveit move the ball upfield or move it around . but this lasted for only ten minutes because after that chelsea took control of the game and there are reasons for that . first off kouyate was moved from his deeper position to high up on the pitch to support the front three and so chelsea had numbers in the middle of the park who could press west ham midfielders and that resulted in loss of possession but there is also a reason for that . both Nordtveit and noble are not that mobile midfielders compared to oscar and matic so it is very important to not overstay on the ball and pass it quickly when  you have it . the midfielders job is very important and he is one who controls the tempo of the game and he is one who creates different angles on offense and his comfort on the ball is very important for the team . noble and Nordtveit are not that mobile so it was their duty to get the ball moving quickly and get their head up quickly when they are receiving the ball and pass it quick . it was also the duty of the front players to make themselves available for the pass but the trouble was that Nordtveit and noble's incapabality on the ball cost westham . it wasnt that they were very highly pressed but them overstaying on the ball allowed the opposition to come and close them up and loose possession even the passes he made were not accurate . west ham were relying  mostly to go through carrol but there are short coming in his game which i will talk below .
chelsea are playing the way conte wants press high up the pitch but as soon as the ball come into your half of the pitch sit deep get numbers behind the ball and deny space to the oppostion to move the ball . conte's team play on the counter's and this ones no different but the thing here is that they move the ball much better the tempo is kept high by the team but again the offense is much dependent on players to create things rather than team working . chelsea tried to get the ball to the ball to either of the front three . conte is very good at tactics and on offense he knew that costa will always have an upperhand against collins on the floor so he was encouraged to take collins in a one on one battle all game long . collins was always circumspect as to whether he should come along with costa or should he stay along side reid . he was afraid to close costa because he knew costa could turn on him and would have a free space at the back to run on goal . the west ham midfielders too were ineffective in that sense who couldnt narrow the space in front of the back four and try to cover the back four the way kante did for chelsea . kante was superb in his debut even though he had a yellow card in the very begining but his game reading and his ability to keep the game simple is very applaudible . the other player is oscar who's hard work goes unnoticed because its his hard work and his running which pays off in chelsea closing and retaining the possession . he was also good on offense .
even though chelsea had a good game they still lacked the incisive pentration . if you looked at the chelsea's shot on goal then you would see them from quite a distance from the goal . this had been the problem for conte's team they lack that incision which he needs to create . secondly hazard was trying to take players 40 -50 yards from the goal and trying to out dribble from there . yes conte has provided him the freedom to go for one on one's but he should be selective and make good decision as to in which zones and against whom should he try to go on one and from what part of the pitch . i think conte will make him understand that .
carrol wants to have a england team recall but these english players are hopeless with ball on the feet . they cannot pass and are hopeless on it . i think it will be better if he looks into his ground game . 

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


yesterday man utd played leicester in the community shield . nobody were anxious about leicester and their style of play . but on the other hand everybody were there to assess man utd and their style of play and the way they handle a team like leicester . mouriniho's team are counter attacking teams but when the tables are reversed then they often struggle and than had been his downfall at both chelsea and real madrid where on the opposition had deduced that if they sit back and counter which mouriniho's team do then they can have the joy against mouriniho's team . leicester are tailor made that way they sit soak off the pressure and then counter through vardy ,okazaki and mahrez .
utd started the game with a 4-4-2 formation . all the eyes were on ibramovic and the way he is going to influence the nature of play in utd game . fellaini and carrick started the game as to central midfielders . in the premier i had seen that they are not ready to change and accept that a player is past his sell date .
 utd were poor the midfield was unable to connect with the forward line and there is reason for that . the first point that i want to make is that both fellaini and carrick  are not suitable to play in the utd midfield . although fellaini's defensive performance yesterday would make a case for him but on the offensive front he is not the one who should sit in the middle and dictate the play of the game .when you play in the midfield the midfielders even though has small movement but it is very important because his movement keeps on opening different angels for attack and that is why it is very important to have the mobile players plus if he closes down the play in the midfield then it becomes easy for the back line to defend . both carrick and fellaini are not that mobile and dont possess that mobility to support the wingers or get up and down the pitch and close down players when the opportunity arises .  both are good technical players but to be honest i would prefer herrera and schweni( even though he is suppose to exit the club) . carrick certainly has the technical ability but he certainly lost his legs and when the quick counter comes on he certainly looks helpless . in the match also you could see that utd got better when herrera came on the pitch . he is quick and certainly closes the opponent quickly and cover grass faster than these players . the last but not the least but i would make the case for danny blind to be played in the middle of the park . the boy is very good and calm on the ball and is one of the best passers of the ball. he was shifted in the back four because of injuries and i think his best place is the middle of the park with herrera where on they could contain the opposition much high on the pitch and most importantly blind is very good passer of the ball even under pressure . he is only one who is best floor passer and sees the play very good . the reason for saying this is that utd were finding it difficult to move the ball through the middle . if you are not able to feed the ball to the offensive line then the front start coming deep and thats what happened with rooney and ibra who just couldnt had the joy of the ball when they were upfield . every players like to have the ball and wants to involved in the play . midfield's job is very important and i think my pick will be blind and herrera in the midfield with baily and jones as the centre backs .
now jose like his team to be playing on counters while sitting deep he has bought mikhitariyan because this kid very good in dribbling and creating chances plus there is pogba so utd have a lot of flair this season a thing which had been lacking from them for the time ronaldo left utd . i think utd and this team has given chance for jose to reinvent himself and i think he should take that opportunity . i remember the title winning season of 2012-2013 season when utd won the title at that time liverpool was coached by brendan rodgers who were famous for playing barcelonaesque football . what utd did that day was amazing they played the same style with liverpool . they pressed them kept the ball moved it well and most importantly they dominated liverpool which was a tactical masterstroke by sir alex and i would want jose to just not stick with just one kind of football . i think for the first time other than the first time when he was at chelsea he has got a team who can dominate the opposition not just in terms of goals but also in possession and that what would assert their dominance and gain the necessary respect for them .
to be honest i dont believe that rooney has the guile and technical ability to be a no.10 . he is technically inpet but jose is adamant about playing him then he should play him above ibra as the top man . ibra had been playing as the no.10 for the last 3 to 4 years . he is certainly very comfortable on the ball . he can link with rooney rather than other way around . this utd team would freighten anybody if they can just click .
i think utd should let go of players like ashley young,mata,memphis de pay and rojo . players like fosu mensah and janujaz  should be sent on loan to have regular first team football so that when they return next term they would be first teamers . now there had been a lot of talk about mata being subbed in the community shield and how jose let him down . first off its mouriniho's he takes the decision and secondly the ones who are criticizing they should first start to coach and win something before criticzing others . i think it would be better if utd sell him .