Monday, 27 February 2017


yesterday ath mad played barcelona at vicente calderon . the first thing that you notice is that something is not correct with barcelona . you can see by the body sign that and the most important thing is that you have the best player in the world but you are not able to bring him in the game let alone play around him or base the offense around him . for the first time in my life from the days i had seen messi playing i saw that he wasnt that interested or that something was wrong with him . if you had looked at the PSG game then you would had noticed that messi is the one who took the blame for the PSG game but then it should had been luis enrique who should had been questioned and if you are barcelona then you primary aim is the UCL and if this is the kind of football they are playing then i dont see any reason that they can come back in the second leg . if i was to speculate then i would say that messi may be playing somewhere else next season .
ath mad started with a 4-3-3 formation they had the same personal but they changed it from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 and bought saul and koke in the middle of the park to support gabi . while barcelona started with a 4-3-3 formation but in actual they were playing a 3-5-1-1 formation with messi behind suarez . luis enrique may have tried to bought  a page from gaurdiola's tactical formation but to execute is another thing . i dont know what he wanted to on the right hand side by bringing sergio roberto in the middle of the park and having rafiniha wide . even in the PSG the whole offense was based around neymar and the ball was finding way to his feet to start the move .
we all know how athletico like to play they like to sit back tight get players behind the ball and the hit on the counter . ath mad took the game to barca with trying to press high up the pitch and hit them on the counter . there were two things that bugged me first thing for barca . barca were suppose to start their offense through neymar who was wide on the left flank in a bid trying to stretch the offense and then work things from there . his positioning was that off a fullback who was high up the pitch . secondly if we take that positioning in to reference that he was trying to draw out vrisalko from his position and then  suarez using that space but then the ball had to be moved quick . secondly why does neymar start dribbling ball from such deep positions . instead first off his starting position should be way up ahead and if he is receiving the pass deeper then he should just pass the ball around and take it upfield and then start dribbling . the trouble with barca was that they didnt had a player around whom neymar can play or i think barca wanted to create space for neymar to dribble but ath mad play very compact and enrique should have understand the situation and made the necessary changes . in the entire first half only once did suarez made the run in the space left by vrisalka and created the chance for messi . even though barca had the lion share of possession as shown by the stats but they were never comfortable and the attack looked one dimensional and if you cannot bring the best player in the world in the game then the attack has no sense .
ath mad like to play on the counter and they like to take the ball from back to front very quickly . but the trouble is that at time they just simply give the ball away in trying to take the ball away from back to front . they have got good ball players in the team and at times they can just keep the ball and pass the ball around and be patient . they are good at moving the ball and playing out of the pressing . in this match if you had looked then you would had seen that when they were patient and moved the ball they were far more effective and were able to create chances and were able to put barcelona in trouble .
one more important thing about barcelona is that when barca are on defense and i had said this thing in my take in the game versus PSG . both iniesta and rafiniha are high up the pitch but both lack the positional discipline when they are playing in the middle of the park that is needed . if you look closely then they dont get along busquestus and many a time there is a space besides busquestus which can be exploited and iniesta lack the positional discipline that is needed .
messi may had scored the winner but he looks far from happy in this game . the trouble with barca is that messi is not the man making decisions but he is the one who is taking the blame and criticized for the defeats . i think pogba's transfer fee will be peanuts in front of messi's which can happen if the things continue in the same way .

Thursday, 23 February 2017


both team lineups
man city played monaco in the first leg of the champions league tie at etihad . the showed gaurdiola's thinking hat and his ability to move his pieces around but its not about him but i was disappointed with the monaco coach and his tactical noviceness to read the game and make the suitable changes to the game just as gaurdiola did when he wanted to do something . i was expecting him to make changes and close the game when his team was forward because the way man city was playing he needed to switch things and make it difficult for city to move the ball . the other thing is that aguero is lauded in this game but to be honest had it been a better coach and realised that aguero was getting all the space in the hole and none of the monaco centre backs were coming out to challenge him or close him down which made his game easy . i hope he resurrect that mistake in the second leg and make it more interesting .
mancity started the game with 4-3-3 formation with fernandiniho starting as the left back and i suppose it was because silva was playing on that side and he wanted to have a better defender who wouldnt getted mugged by silva . monaco started with a 4-4-2 formation . monaco started the game on a very positive note by pressing city high up the pitch and as the game progressed they started to sit back and hit man city on the counter which proved a better option . man city had the 4-3-3 formation and their objective was to explore the space between the fullbacks and centre backs . monaco on the other had were trying to get all their players behind the ball and one of the centre backs either of falcoa or Mbappé was trying to drop on toure and close him down so that he should have less influece on the game and make man city play long passes to the mancity front line ( i wouldnt go in detail about the defense having the advantage on such passes ) . the warning signs were already there for man city when falcao or mabappe would come on man city defense at pace and were able to turn on man city's centre backs with ease .
how man city could pass the ball from back to front by bringing their fullbacks inside .
man city were forced to play directly to agureo with others being marked tightly by monaco . while monaco were threatening man city too were threatening by their offense . the thing about man city's offense was that they were trying to explore that space between centre backs and fullbacks .now monaco never made any attempt to stop that move or that they cant be explored in that zone . man city were not able to move the ball through toure so gaurdiola made some changes first he bought fernandiniho besides toure to have more bodies in the middle of the park and make it easy to move the ball . man city were forced to pass the ball directly to aguero and i felt that he needed a player around him from the start so that it would be easy to pass the ball to him and play one two with him and open defenses . monaco were playing a high line trying to press man city and city wanted to have that because they could move the ball faster and explore that space behind the back four and trouble monaco .
the turning point of the match was when glik got carded in the first half and before that he was coming out of the defense to close aguero but he got carded in the 8 min of the match and he was afraid of aguero turning on him . the biggest drawback in the monaco's team was the centre backs who were not confident enough and were not given enough protection by the fullbacks and the midfield . aguero was getting all the space in between the lines and because of him man city were able to avert the press . man city's offense is very well know they try to exploit one flank and then use diagonal runs by their wingers to good effect . aguero's role was very crucial in the game he was keeping the two centre backs busy and that was creating spaces for others .
the big trouble with monaco was their midfield even though they are good ball players they were not able to protect the back four . lemar, fabiniho and Bakayoko were not able to protect the back four . gaurdiola showed some of his typical tactical acumen in the first half . he bought the fullbacks in the middle of the park so that the back line could pass the ball directly to the front three ( i will try to show in the figure) and get the ball back to front as quickly as possible and exploit that space behind the back four . the trouble with monaco was that there midfielders were not able to protect the back four and they didnt had a clear tactical plan as to how they were going to stop man city on offense they tried to press high but once the ball was bought in their half they just didnt had the plan as to how they were going to defend and they sixes and sevens . they tried to have three in the middle of the park by switching lemar in the middle with fabiniho and Bakayoko but man city had free radical in  form of aguero who couldnt be contained by raggi and glik and it was letting down monaco .
the tie is obviously not over and with the threat of falcao and mbappe it can never be but jardin needs to change his centre back pairing or atleast give them a better protection or have them told to defend better against aguero because they were just poor in the first leg . jardin does had to get his defensive tactics right and even though monaco got three they were overrun by man city in terms of shot on target and the way they were able to create chances . the midfielders were far too much away from the back line and both lacked game reading to deal with the situation and stamp their authority on the game. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017


yesterday barcelona played PSG in their home and had one of their worst defeat in the modern era . in football not only are the tactics  important but also executing it properly requires the coach making the playes understand their role plus there are many a small detail that go into executing the tactics correctly . for e.g lets take messi for  instance in yesterday's game . when pressed messi would like to get the better of the opposition player pressing and show his superiority in one on one situation . unay emre had deduced this and he just had a plan to nullify messi . he would ask one of his players to press messi who would definitely come out of top against him but the trouble is that the ball is knocked slightly away which gives chance to another player who is just behind the first to sweep and take away the possession ( i will try to explain it in the figure. ) . whoever plays football does knows this . another thing is that in football your athletic ability and physicality . i read sergio busquestus saying that psg were physically better than them but then havent barcelona played better physical team than them in the past and giving such a reason doesnt show very good for busquetus .
psg started the game with 4-3-3 formation even though it was shown that psg were playing with 4-2-3-1 formation but it was the former . while barcelona played with a 4-4-1-1 formation where on messi started behind suarez in the middle and they had ditched the 4-3-3 which made them successful 2 years before . for the first time in his life i think iniesta played in the middle two with busquetus as his partner . barcelona were trying to stretch psg so that messi can find spaces in the centre to work his magic  or vice versa . the trouble was that psg have players who are better athletes and can cover more grass than barca players who are still sticking with some old players who have past their prime and that is seen in their game . psg's game plan was simple they were trying to work a zone and trying to overload it and it can seen in number of times draxler playing a pass inside the box and missing it . unay emrey had arrived this summer and has brought the spanish mentality with him of pressing high and trying to win the possession and how to do the pressing properly . earlier it was only pressing but in these days the opposition are prepared for that and they play the ball crisply and get out of it . teams like to play out of the back because it stretches the game . the reason being that it stretches the game. secondly when the opposition come out to press you it leaves gaps in their defense too which can be exploited if you can move the ball quickly from back to front . 
the tactics were very clear from psg that they were going to press but with a plan they would wait for the ball to come into the midfield and then press and then go all out . the good thing about psg is that they had better athletes than barcelona on the field and could press better and emery had got them a plan as to how they are going to do that properly . the trouble with barcelona was that they had only two in the midfield and they were getting them outnumbered so messi decided to drop deep and help the middle two to move the ball . but as i had said that psg had the plan for him and they executed perfectly on him . psg's plan was perfectly clear they were going to sit back and hit barcelona on the counter and exploit the spaces that were left . i think they bought a page from jupp heynecks tactics book who would like to have his wide players cross into others zone just to overload that zone and take the ball deeper into oppositions half . you could see di maria and draxler making diagonal runs and trying to overload the zones and take the ball deeper . the most important facet was that psg players were better in one on one exchanges and that tells all .
now both matuidi and rabiot had a very good game with di maria also scoring two goals but the pick of the bunch for me who really conducted the game and really showed a midfield masterclass for me was veratti and really showed as to how good no.6 should be . look at the number of times he intercepted the ball but the most important facet of his game is the number of times he was able to pick out a player between the lines with di maria especially who would drift inside and verattti was able to pick him with accuracy . the best thing about him was that he was able to disguise his passes and the opposition just  couldnt read his game . he was the best of the lot for me in this game .
barcelona tried to change the things in the second half when they bought gomes inside to make the midfield three and tried to compete with psg but the psg team was just better in all respect to barcelona . they iniesta is passes his prime and it can be seen in the third goal which di maria scored when he should had strided back to help his defense when di maria was trying to explore his zone . iniesta was just couldnt handle the pace of the game and seemed too slow for it .
i watched the game till veratti was on the field and then i slept . 

Thursday, 2 February 2017


on tuesday liverpool played chelsea at anfield . it looks like the title is chelsea to loose . in this game conte was a little sceptible about the defensive side of the game and that is why he went of willian instead of pedro and for me that one change put chelsea on the backfoot . secondly i was really amused that since conte is a such a good tactician but how he failed to spot that he was getting outnumbered in the middle of the park and he should had done something about it . even though liverpool press it still leaves spaces behind the back if you can get around the press and whoever plays football do know that if they can pass the ball crisply then they can exploit that pressing and put the opposition on backfoot . 
chelsea started the game with their usual 4-3-3 formation but even though it was 3-4-3 on the paper it was more of 3-5-2 formation with willian dropping back to cover for moses . liverpool started the game with their usual 4-3-3 formation . liverpool started the game with their usual high pressing game . the one that was in liverpool's favour was that they had three in the middle of the park vs two and the main thing about liverpool is that their wide players keep dropping in the middle to support their midfield in pressing the opposition and getting the possession back . in the first half liverpool kept on playing balls from flank to flank in a bid to stretch chelsea's defense and create space between then so that they can be exploited but the one thing that liverpool lacked for the whole game was the no.10 if you looked at the liverpool formation . they didnt had a single player between the lines who could dictate the offense and attract the offense towards him and create space for others . either the liverpool players were in the middle or trying to get beyond the chelsea back line . secondly chelsea play very compact and they dont offer much space between the lines when the ball is ball is bought around the 18 yard box . they defend with numbers and work very hard to close the opponents . liverpool also lacked a proper no. 9 who could really stand in the box and asked the balls to be delivered to him ( not struddige ) . in the first half even though liverpool had the lion shared of possession in the first half they really didnt troubled courtious much only for wijnauldum testing him from distance and others being ineffective .
diego costa's game touches
chelsea took the lead in the first half because of the free kick but to be honest they lacked any cutting edge . as i had said in my previous post chelsea play through costa but against liverpool he was closed very quickly and matip had him in the pocket and you could look from the stats . chelsea's main weapon had been pedro's off the ball running where on he run's beyond costa and stretches the defense and creates space for others to explore and he had been one of the major reason for chelsea's success this season . conte dropped him for willian who is more conservative and spend little too much time on the ball allowing the opposition to close him down. offensively chelsea had the worst game after their amazing run . they just couldnt get the ball near liverpool's box and should be happy about the point .
in the second half kloop changed the approach on offense . he had sensed that he didnt had enough players in the box if the ball is crossed so instructed wijnauldum and can to get in the box more and try to be at the end of the cross . the first chance that liverpool created in the second half was when they took the ball from back to front very quickly and they had their first  clear chance of the game . now liverpool equalised the same way that spurs had scored their goals against chelsea and it did showed again moses's positional lack of discipline on defense . moses like to get forward as quickly as possible whenever the ball gets  forward . the second  offensivetactical  positional change that klopp had made is that he had sent milner forward and if you could see then milner just headed the ball in the dangerous area where wijnauldum scored the equalizer .
although klopp made the changes but chelsea made the necessary adjustmest on defense and i stopped watching the game on 75th min because it was 3am in the morning . last but the best but jackie chan nailed indian dance . he took the same joy that we have when we dance and it can seen from his face .