Tactical analysis and drills, focus and opportunities on coaching in different championships and countries

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Most used formations in Europe's top 5 Leagues

The seasons leading up to the World Cup are often the most interesting…

Expressing game dominance in soccer with the Invasion Index

A new possible interpretation of game dominance relies on the concept of invasion index, a metric which quantifies a team’s ability to play close to opponent’s goal.
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Mourinho's excellent match preparation in Europa League Final

The challenge between Josè Mourinho's pragmatism and Peter Bosz's offensive idealism followed a basic script to the letter: Mourinho gave the ball to Ajax (31% total possession, the lowest percentage in a European final along with Simeone's Atletico in 2012 and his own Inter in 2010), leaving Bosz's team dealing with the question of what to do with it.
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Three offensive strategies to face opponent's high press

Only some teams manage to create a sufficient temporary spatial advantage for coming out to play, with quality, in the 1st building-up phase..
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Impact of the three-man defence on European elite teams

For years, use of a three-man defence has been limited to just a few isolated cases and primarily connected to opposing views. Strictly defensive football like that..
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Senegal’s Mané and Keita special offensive transition

In a competition like the African Cup of Nations (CAF), where the balance is traditionally shifted by the expectation of technical or athletic ..
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Inter’s Roberto Gagliardini: dynamisms and tactical eclecticism

On Wednesday evening, Inter finalized an important reinforcement for its midfield with the acquisition of Roberto Gagliardini from Atalanta. The 'nerazzurri' invested two million Euro for the six-month loan of the player, adding another 20 for the buyback obligation..
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Mourinho's tactical flexibility as key factor for Man United race

Understanding the culture, context, club, coach and player is shown to be fundamental today when beginning any training process and simultaneously any analysis of the game..

Diego Costa Statistics: tactical eclecticism and shot accuracy

One of the secrets of Antonio Conte's Chelsea that took the lead in Premier League with a series of incredible, conclusive wins, is the polish that Diego Costa rediscovered ...

MLS Cup Final Recap: Technique and tactics behind the game

Technique, as the ninth commandment of Cruyff says, is the base. It is a simple concept in appearance only ...

Everton vs Swansea 1-1: analysis of Ronald Koeman’s team

It all looked so rosy at Goodison Park back in mid-September.

How to study the offensive game in football: a case study of EPL teams

Any team in the World that has possession of the ball is going to try to create the best situations to be able to have success.

A data analysis of Ibrahimovic play at Manchester United

In the troubles that seem to have afflicted Manchester United in Premier League, Zlatan Ibrahimovic's slump is worrying

Are Leicester Turning The Corner?

Leicester City picked up their first away point of the season last weekend and they did it by…

How Benitez is fixing Newcastle

Football is a chaotic game that, in spite of efforts from the richest clubs and certain cowed governing bodies to ensure otherwise ...

Studying The Game As An Interaction

How can you identify what is effectively happening in the game?

The 4 Key Technical aspects of France strategy heading to the 2018 World Cup

Three months have passed since their defeat in the Euro2016 finals and France has hit the ground running toward the World Cup.

Conte’s Chelsea tactics: 3-4-3 new formation and team defence

After an excellent start, Antonio Conte's new Chelsea approached the second Premier League stop with 13 points in...

How to gain control in the box area

After the defeat to Manchester City in the Theatre of Dreams, my attention quickly focused on how José Mourinho would turn around the least positive cycle...

Everton: What has changed under Koeman?

By the end of his tenure, Everton were playing such miserable football that sacking Roberto Martinez became the merciful, as well as the necessary, thing to do.

How Higuain skills integrate into Juventus: the goal vs Sassuolo

Gonzalo Higuain is integrating into Massimiliano Allegri's system and Juventus is learning to take advantage of his intuition and his magnificent goal scoring skills.

How is Mike Phelan saving Hull City: tactics and key players

Hull City started the season with 12 fully fit senior players, a caretaker manager, absolutely no votes of confidence from the media, and yet with two wins...

Domenico Berardi, technique of a great forward

When the leagues resume, Domenico Berardi will not be on the pitch due to injury. Before the break, however, he managed to get to...

What should Arsenal expect from new-look Southampton

After what was, for the most part, yet another anxious transfer window, Arsenal's supporters now find themselves in a curious position.

Juventus new tactical setup and key players after the transfer window

Juventus was one of the most active clubs during the summer transfer market...

Ivan Jurić’s Genoa after Gasperini: new attacking tactics and formation

The beginning of a new cycle for Genoa involves some softer and expected changes...

Fullbacks’ role in Pep Guardiola Tactical System

At FC Barcelona Pep Guardiola started to revolutionise the way of envisaging football, through the positional play that is characteristic of him. He drew inspiration from his coaches and he evolved...

Backline build-up: Guardiola, Emery, Sampaoli and De Boer’s teams

Guardiola, Emery and Sampaoli choose to seek superiority building up with the two centre defenders and a midfielder who drops back between the two to act as playmaker.

Manchester City new striker Gabriel Jesus

You can certainly see why Original Ronaldo (Originaldo, if you will) sees so much of himself in Manchester City’s new signing Gabriel Jesus.

Reinventing teams' tactics: 3 top managers in the EPL

All the high-performing football teams in the world reinvent their self when new players join them. Clubs necessarily experience transformations so that this results in a sustained performance - if possible with quality play.

Awareness: How to defend on the opposite half

In order to describe how marking can best work as a fundamental defensive tactic, we used Hummels, a centre back who came up under the leadership of three great coaches...

New Italy coach Giampiero Ventura: strategy and formation of the team

Although they particularly stress a clean ball coming from the defence, Conte and Ventura's teams do not play...

Portuguese tactical resilience

Fernando Santos managed to fit his best players into the right positions in a balanced and sustained manner, even though there had been tactical indecisions and changes within the team.

Wales tactical analysis: Highs and lows of the team

It cannot be said that Wales does not have a certain taste for history. In 1958, the last time they participated in a large international competition until Euro 2016, a goal by Pelè...

Evolution of Chile's pressing from Marcelo Bielsa to Juan Antonio Pizzi

For the second year in a row, Chile has won Copa América in the final against Argentina. The first two titles in Chile's history have roots...

Twin strikers: Combined movements in the central area and defensive mistakes

The choice made by Italy and France, respectively against Spain and Iceland, was to focus on offensive development in the central area in order to...

Building-up with 3 centre-backs

There are different approaches at the start of the offensive process (1st phase): while some coaches prefer a more fixed backline...

Germany offensive strategy: Line-up and pressing

Germany had qualified for Euro 2016 as the first team in Group D, but only the Czech Republic – of the winning formations in a group – had conceded more goals (14 compared with 9).

Conte's great tactical performance behind Italy's win over Spain

It seems strange now to recall Antonio Conte's gloomy forecasts for his nation this summer. Far from a lone voice, the Italy boss....

Russia's exit from Euro 2016: Analysis of game plan and goals in the group stage matches

They were placed in the complicated "B" group with teams like England, Wales and Slovakia. But there is no doubt that Russia's performance at Euro 2016 was disappointing.

Wales midfielder Aaron Ramsey: Solidity and tactical balance

If the man of the hour for Wales' miracle is Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey is playing a role that is just as fundamental.

Portugal team tactical identity at Euro 2016

In Portugal's first two games their opponents' pragmatism (Iceland and Austria) enabled the coach Fernando Santos to see they must have greater judgement in the offensive third.

Positional play and build up: Diaz role in Chile's team

Looking at the images from the Mexico-Chile match, it is clear how the key to interpretation for Chile revolves around Diaz. We can identify two build-up models that combine continuously: positional play and building up.

Spain team analysis: Tactics, formation and weaknesses vs Czech Republic

Spain’s start at European championship was brilliant (13 matches undefeated), but the 1-0 against Czech Republic confirmed a few difficulties in the scoring phase for La Roja.

Individual movements to confuse the opposing team

It often happens during important competitions like the ones that are currently taking place – Copa America and Euro 2016 in particular – that the curiosity about which play strategies will prevail works its way into football enthusiasts' debates. What is sometimes forgotten is that the individual plays will be the ones that really make the difference. And quite often, even if the most superficial spectators do not realise it, every single play is the result, especially for the most organised teams, of specific drills that are run dozens and dozens of times in training.

Belgium weak points without Kompany and Lombaerts

Belgium is one of the most awaited teams at Euro 2016. And yet, a problem that cannot be ignored came up for coach Wilmots just a few months from the French tournament: the injuries of Kompany and Lombaerts, the starting centre players. Wilmots' idea was to come to Euro 2016 with a four-man defence with Vertonghen and Alderweireld as backs, as has been the case in recent years.

Germany’s strategy without Philipp Lahm

For the first time since the 2002 World Cup, Germany will play in an international tournament without Philipp Lahm. The German national team lost not only its captain, but also a tactically fundamental player who left no heirs. After all, can a back be replaced who, according to Pep Guardiola, has the same football intelligence as Iniesta?

England’s 3 moves to defend from a corner kick

Great international events have always been a time of growth and innovation. At the threshold of this Euro 2016 competition, it would have been difficult to hypothesise any significant changes because, without even realising it, we have gone through a change of an era over the last two years, coinciding with the last World Cup. Germany was the country able to absorb the Spanish influence and transform it into a football style with vertical possession, sprinting and aggressiveness.

France offensive strategy at Euro 2016

The 2015/2016 season was Karim Benzema's best since he has been with Real Madrid. He scored a goal every 83 minutes in la Liga, in addition to the 4 on the path toward La Undecima. Under normal circumstances, after a year like that, Benzema would no doubt have been the star of the home Euro 2016 for the favoured French team.

Analysis of Euro 2016 teams: Italy

Claudio Marchisio's injury and the decision not to call up Andrea Pirlo triggered a bit of debate on Antonio Conte's choices in view of Euro 2016. Also considering the fact that Marco Verratti is out, Italy has without a doubt lost three very high quality elements in the midfield.

Analysis of Euro 2016 teams: Slovakia

It has been assumed in some quarters that England have an easy first round group in France. Russia are old, so the argument goes, Wales are too reliant on Gareth Bale and Slovakia are…well…Slovakia.

Principles of a fluid and complete team

After meeting Foggia on the first day of Coppa Italia, I am seeing a more mature team, more aware of their own qualities. A team that I would define as fluid, able to mould endlessly with respect to the various play situations.

What would Italy strategy be if Giampiero Ventura takes over as coach after Conte?

At the end of the European Cup, Antonio Conte's adventure on the Italian national team's bench came to an end. As things stand, the name of his successor has not yet been announced. But there is no doubt, as journalistic indiscretions will confirm, that the most likely candidate is Giampiero Ventura.

5 types of throw-ins and defensive techniques

We have classified 5 types of throw-ins (long, to change game play area, to win the finishing area, to develop the strong side and fast solution) and we asked ourselves what the difficulties are in defending this solution.

Analysis of trident tactical formation and set up

In Italy, 4-3-3 is a formation historically associated with Zdenek Zeman, who believed that it was the best way to set up the pitch in order to continuously form triangles and generate multiple passing solutions. In recent seasons, a Zeman pupil has been emerging who, after years of work at Sassuolo, managed to forge his own way, finding a balance between the defensive and offensive phases: Eusebio di Francesco.

Analysis of Euro 2016 teams: Romania

Romania’s strengths are obvious to anyone who has taken a glance at their qualifying campaign. They finished their group unbeaten, having conceded only two goals in ten games. And when you watch them, it doesn’t take long to see why.

Analysis of Higuain play: Positional superiority and counter-movement

36 goals in Serie A. No one like him in the history of the Italian league. This is Gonzalo Higuaín’s incredible score in the premiership league. A player who, under Sarri's direction, found his second youth, showing the world how, as an excellent player, with hard work and the support of a great team, you can become a top player.

Suso’s movements in Genoa scheme

Jesús Fernández Suso, who joined Genoa on loan from Milan last January, is just the last name in the list of players relaunched by Gian Piero Gasperini (among the others, Marco Borriello, Thiago Motta and Diego Milito, or more recently M’Baye Niang, Diego Perotti and Leonardo Pavoletti). Suso played a big part in Genoa’s good results in the second part of the season, which saw the Rossoblu climbing the league table from the 17th to the 10th place.

Analysis of Euro 2016 teams: Albania

Of all the teams heading to France for the European Championships, Albania have surely the most fascinating back story. They’ve never qualified for a major tournament before. They’ve only ever qualified for two youth tournaments before.

How to create space into the opposite half of the pitch

A vital behaviour in players that occupy areas between backlines and that appear in spaces on the wings is without doubt, playing with the “blind” side of players that come out to apply pressure on the player in possession of the ball. Besiktas managed to apply this principle at some points during the game.

Analysis of André Gomes: How could he fit into Juventus?

Juventus, fresh from winning its fifth consecutive championship shield, is making plans for next season.

Space and movement as key-factors to improve performance

A Roma team fully in the running for second place that, under Spalletti's direction, has rediscovered energy and organisation, so much that they have brought home eleven consecutive wins.

Statistical analysis of Casemiro impact on Real Madrid performance

The demanding Santiago Bernabeu fans are often divided over his importance. But Casemiro's contribution to the cause of a Real Madrid that is astonishingly back in the race for the Liga and in the Champions League semi-finals can be anything but overlooked.

Jorginho’s role in Sarri’s tactical scheme

If a team bases its game play on precise mechanisms practised during training, and if the opposing teams come onto the pitch with the specific intent of blocking those mechanisms, a coach finds himself in a crucial dilemma: either find a solution or be forced to distort your game play.

Set pieces as determining factors: How the Champions League semi-finalists defend

In matches that are more and more played at the limit and battled out in episodes, set pieces could be determining factors in shifting balances. Match analysis has a dual value: on the one hand, understanding what current defensive organisation trends are and on the other, understanding where Real, Atletico, Bayern and Manchester City can try to build their offensive plays.

Statistical analysis of Atletico Madrid growth in the last 3 years

Two Champions League semi-finals in the last three years, consistent top spots in Liga and two eliminations inflicted on Barcelona, both in the quarter finals of the most important cup.

How to attack a fully manned defence with two players

What are the two main factors in an effective attack?

The principles of positional play in Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich

The words “Set, unmark and pass” are certainly intrinsically in the mind of any player of Pep Guardiola’s Bayern. The driving/progression/retention of the ball attracts the attention and the presence of opposing players whilst generating spaces that facilitate the movement of the backline offensively.

The tactical secret behind Leicester city's success

It seemed like it was just a dream, an illusion. And yet, Leicester is still leading the Premier League at the decisive time of the season. Much has been said about the impact on the Foxes structure by Claudio Ranieri, a figure like Jamie Vardy, the talent of Ryad Mahrez and the unique physical qualities of N'golo Kanté. But is there a tactical secret to the success of the Foxes?

Analysis of Icardi’s play: An "old-school" footballer

The goal scored in Frosinone on Saturday marks Mauro Icardi's fiftieth in one hundred matches played wearing the Inter jersey (a perfect average of half a goal per match that really does not reflect his seasonal average, which is slightly higher: 0.58 goals per match).

Conte’s 3-4-3: How it works

Without a doubt Conte's recently signed contract with Chelsea runs the risk of creating some problems in the press for him because of the English media's attention to the current National team coach's past controversy with sports commissions and the law. However, from a tactical point of view there is no denying that his technical prowess is nothing short of exemplary.

Analysis of FC Barcelona’s defence

Barcelona got back on the pitch after the break with a slightly less confident step and one might wonder if Luis Enrique's team isn't risking thwarting everything good they have built thus far.

Analysis of Germany's tactics in recent games

Winning the World Cup and the European Cup two years apart is no easy task, but Germany's goal is still to prevail even within the borders of the continent.

Total football. A chameleon-like Italy undermines the spanish model

Total football, in the true sense of the word. It would be easy to say, knowing that Spain would be the team in the these final preliminary matches for Euro 2016, but the “total” surprise comes from Antonio Conte's Italy.

What does it mean to change formation during the game?

Let's try to understand what advantages it provides by looking at the Italian examples of Juventus and Fiorentina.

Guardiola’s Bayern individual battles and combined manoeuvres to get free

Ten seconds that changed the course of a match, perhaps of an entire competition. The play that led to Bayern's draw against Juventus during the Champions League round of 16 embodies the entire essence of the game of football: individual battles, combined manoeuvres to get free, defensive/offensive transition, breadth, depth, density and concentration

Corner kicks: Lessons from top european champions

"Why not kicking direct from a corner kick ?" So many fans end up asking this question every time their team plays, proving how difficult is to understand coaches strategies on set-pieces.

Roma from Garcia to Spalletti a strong character even in difficult situations

From Udine back to Udine, Roma celebrates once more, but a century seems to have passed, not the thirteen months marked by the calendar.