Wednesday, 31 May 2017


on saturday arsenal played chelsea in the FA cup final . in this season chelsea had been asked tactical question by two teams one was man utd who starangled chelsea at old trafford and conte was unable to find the solution to the tactical question that was posed to his team . the second one was posed by arsenal and here i wouldnt say he didnt found the answer but was a bit unlucky . although the tactics employed by arsenal and man utd were completely opposite to each other . man utd stopped chelsea in the tracks while arsenal took their chances and they out played chelsea on the offensive front  . i think wenger doesnt like to copy anybody's tactics and wants his team to outplay the opposition and beat them in the purer form of football rather . i think wenger only has the offensive mindset and he takes his chances on the defense . i dont what contemplated him to change his age old formation of 4-3-3 to 3-4-3but perhaps conte's success with that would had changed wenger's mindset to adopt it .
chensea started with their 3-4-3 formation which had won them the EPL while arsenal had started to play 3 at the back for the last month or so . i dont  think arsene wenger thinks much about tactics . instead he want to play beautiful football playing one touch football and believe in players abilities . unlike utd who strangled chelsea with a proper plan arsenal just wanted to play good offense and score more than chelsea . the commentator rightly commented that arseanl's back three would be tested today with their cohesiveness ,shape and discipline on defense . in the very first minute luiz played a ball behind arsenal's back three and pedro who made a diagonal run from right recovered it and i thought that  arsenal were going to have this trouble all match long . but arsenal recovered better to have foothold in the match . 
now chelsea like to play through costa . here costa was marked by mertesacker when he was playing on the shoulders of the last defender while he was followed out by holding when he was coming deep . arsenal atleast had recognised this and were not ready to give his time on  the ball . the interesting thing was that when mertesacker was guarding costa at that time holding was dropping deep to give mertesacker the cover so that if costa was to get the better of mertasacker he would be there . now this is where i find that conte should had spotted this and should had duly passed the note to his players that hazard was free ( how he was free i will show in the diagram ) . first off bellerin was high on the pitch trying to press alonso . secondly when the ball was passed to costa who was trying to stand against mertesacker at that time holding was dropping a little back . so at that time there was no natural opponent against hazard and that thing had to be exploited by conte . now i know that hazard was playing  on the left and the right footed player with the way they stand find it difficult to pass  to the player on the left but then costa is a good enough player and he can adjust to that and had done so rightly this season . hazard for me didnt show that willingness to get on the ball and get involved . he didnt had the touch for the first 10 min . i think costa should had been informed by conte that hazard wasnt having a natural defender against him and that he should try to pick him and hazard being told to use that space and start the offense from there . i wouldnt say that chelsea were poor they just played their game but when you come second best in any  one on one challenge then the opposition tries to exploit it and thats what arsenal tried to do with chamberlain who got the better out of moses and kept pushing chelsea back . 
any tactics are dependent on the players that the coach uses and how they perform . for arsenal danny wellback was leading the line and i am glad to say that for the first time any english player was found reliable enough by alexis sanchez just because let me tell you about good players mentality they dont pass the ball to average players because they are afraid that he wont be able to use that properly and sanchez who was playing behind welback was ready to pass the ball to him shows that sanchez was trusting welback and welback played very well . he made the diagonal runs the back three to stretch the chelsea defense and take the ball deeper and most importantly he kept the ball in tight situations and showed that he is good on ball .
the real chelsea problems were that the back line is not that mobile and especially cahill who doesnt likes to come out of the defense . at the same time credit must be given to wellback whose diagonal runs wasnt allowing the chelsea back three to come out of there positions and because of this time and again players like ramsey and ozil were able to find space between the lines and that was causing chelsea problems . secondly arsenal had three in the middle with ozil dropping back to make it three in the middle while ramsey was given the freedom to bomb forward . but the best player for the match for me was kante even though he didnt had the impact but that one moment in the match summed up his brain . although he is know for his athletic powress but the quality that he showed was second to none . chelsea were on offense and the ball ended in kante's feet . he showed that he was going to take the shot but realised that he would be better scopping the ball to costa and he did that and caught arsenal offguard who were going to get ready for the shot . i think it summed the player he is and the brain that he has got and i was impressed by that .

Saturday, 27 May 2017


man utd won the uefa cup but the media doesnt seems to be happy . although nowadays the media is all biased and i cannot help that but i am not writing this to comment on that . mouriniho was scolded for the type of football that he coaches and the way that man utd won the game. had pep gaurdiola won this competetion then i think the media would have had a different reaction . the reason behind this is that because the kind of football that both football coach . gaurdiola likes to play an aggressive game while mouriniho likes to play passive counter attacking play . everybody likes to see aggresive forward football and defensive one . had these two been in world of chess then i think both would had been very much respected because some may think that defense is very easy and it doesnt requires much effort then i think he doesnt knows football .  somebody whoever knows football then i think he will know that  its much harder to play on the back rather than upfront . on defense you cannot a lapse of concentration or your entire team pays for that . on defense all the footballing attributes are required your concentration ,discipline , shape and cohesion are all tested on defense. not every team can play aggressive football and there is no need to because the coach has to look at all the attributes while putting the team on the grass . he has to look at the players on hand and how he can use them to maximum and get his team a win. it is said that "defense starts from the front" and "offense starts from the back " . if you had looked at the recent barcelona vs juventus games then i think there defenders were the mvp's in those two legs .
now even though i had tried to justify mouriniho's approach in my first para but a big club like man utd cannot be  just a counter attacking and defensive minded team . its is very important that whenever you have the ball you should show that you are good on the ball and should pose the threat that everytime you have the ball you can score . even though man utd won but there are a lot of quetions about this team . man utd started the game with their 4-3-3 formation and i think utd had adopted this formation because pogba was used to play this formation and that way he could get the best out of pogba . ajax played the 4-3-3 formation but the trouble with me is that i know only one or two players in that team or can just track them since i was watching them the first time . man utd like to sit back and hit back on the counter at the start of the game at least they wanted to press ajax and hit the counter . mouriniho is a master at stopping the teams and he identifies the players and the zones where on the opposition can hurt him and he makes necessary changes and stops the opposition . ajax likes to play off dolberg but again its mouriniho who had told his centre back to be tight on him and deny him the time and space on the ball and as i had said all along daley blind is one of the most underrated player that man utd have . he is basically a midfielder who was drafted in the back four because of injuries and because of his performances he made that postion his . for the first 15 min utd were active and pressing but after that they quickly retorted to sit back and hold their shape . only after 15 min could ajax were able to move the ball and could find some space and time on the ball . the trouble as one of the newspapers had rightfully said is that it was boys against men . utd were better physically and were coming up trump in one on one situations and had better defense because of which they won . 
the questions are not about utd's defensive ability but rather about their goal scoring ability and because of this nature that they drew so many matches in the premier league . utd were sitting back and trying to hit back on the counter . the most worrying stat if you had seen the match was the number of times utd tried to release rashford behind ajax's back four . i dont object to utd sitting back and hitting on the counter but the way they try to use the ball when they get is worrying they just try to play it out to the forward whoever is there very quickly which is not needed . second is the time spend on the ball by the utd players which in turn helps the oppostion to press them . if utd are to play the ball to the forward quickly then they need to play it in a way where on the ball can be kept and moved quickly . utd wanted to feed to rashford but i think on the offensive front utd were just one dimensional . rashford was continously trying to take the defenders on instead he should had been taught to read the situation and make better decisions which inturn would had kept the ball and utd would have had better possession and made something out of it . this is the one end that mouriniho has to work if he wants to recognised as a total coach . one who can coach both sides of the game . 

Saturday, 13 May 2017


now on tuesday monaco played juventus in the second leg of the ucl . monaco were outplayed in the first leg so it was upto the monaco coach to find some way to counter against juventus . so what do you do when you cannot think of anything well you just copy your opponent and try to play the same way as they play but then there is the difference in the application and the way you execute it . i had said that it time and time that a good coach takes into consideration the players at his disposal and base their tactics around it . monaco tried to match fire with fire but got their hands burned . second thing was that in this game many of the players were playing in the audition and their individual performances were going to evaluated and some just made themselves shine while some need polishing and need to upgrade their game as per the situation and polish themselves more .
 juvnetus had started with their usual 3-5-2 formation and compared to conte's 3-5-2 this one looks very good and  most importantly they seem to know their roles and are able to control the tempo of the game better than the juventus under conte . monaco were outplayed in the first leg when they played 4-4-2 and jardin wasnt able to find the answer so he just copied the system . the reason why he copied he system was that in the first leg the juvnetus fullbacks were getting too much amount of space and they were the reason why jardin wanted somebody to stop them having time and space on the ball . the reason why juvnetus fullbacks were having space and time on the ball is because both lamar and silva has this tendency to move inside the park . there is a reason for that because when you congest the play you can press better but the trouble was that one of the juvnetus fullback didnt had a opposite number to mark and juventus could pass the ball to him and he would had too much of space to dart forward  . the trouble with monaco is that both not both lamar and silva want to track the fullbacks . the most important thing is the application . 
the most notable thing is that while juvnetus centrebacks came out of the defense to press the monaco centre forwards .monaco's centrebacks were not ready to come out of their postions and close down juventus forwards . now the principle of pressing is that you press the first pass and carry on till the danger is averted or you recover possession while reverse of that is when you are pressed is that you try to find a player who has time and space on the ball . the other thing good about juventus is their ability to play out from the back when their midfielders are pressed just look their back three's ability to pick out player from the front line with a pin point pass and it when you can do that you can just turn the defense into attack in an instant . juventus had many weapons first off they were playing on counter at which they are very good . secondly against barca manzukic who was playing as a wide player started as a proper centre forward and this was because compare juventus centre forwards manzukic and higuain's aerial ability and that to monaco's centre backs abilities . allegri must had thought that he definitely had a chance there . the trouble with monaco in the first leg was that their midfield wasnt able to support them properly as they had been against man city . the midfield i think was cautioned by the jardin to not move up the field very quickly and leave the space between them and the back four .
juventus when they loose the ball they just get numbers behind the ball very quickly . plus i had said that previously that they are drilled very nicely to when to step up or hold the shape but their man facet is that their defenders are coming trumps in one on one battles . in the second leg jardin decided to play juventus formation but the trouble is that monaco are not drilled to play beautiful football but instead they are dependent on individual abilities to get better in one on one battle and create things for others . first off when monaco had the ball they just didnt transferred the ball from back to front very quicly and both silva and lamar spend time on the ball and does allow juventus to get players behind the ball and when they do that they will just stop you . if you had seen both the tie's  monaco had the chances when they were able to get mbappe on the ball very quickly and he was able to run on the defense . in the first half he terrorised bonucci . jardin had sensed that and in the second leg even though he played both mbappe and falcao. he positioned mbappe wide so that he would come up against brazagli who is not that good compared to bonucci or chilleni . he wanted mbappe to run on brazagli and try to beat him and create chances for falcao but the trouble with monaco was that silva who was placed behind these two didnt had any joy on the ball . first off juventus didnt allowed him time on the ball and most of all the juventus just got the better of him . most importantly i think silva was poor and he should had understood that juventus players were under instructions to close him down quickly  so he should had played quick one two's and released the ball  early and should had kept the tempo of  the game fast. same can be said about moutiniho . i think this is where jardin didnt prepared very well . just as you have a tailored defense you should try to have a tailed offense and that why you have the training sessions . jardin should had just trained them well which allegri did .