The underwhelming Jadon Sancho – in-depth analysis!

Lots of Sancho talk lately and I’m here to set the record straight in this mega-thread…

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Southgate costs England the Euro’s, and EBL predicted it!

Before the final was played, I outlined why Southgate should not opt for a 3 at the back system against Italy due to how well the Italians match-up with that system. Within the game, England were nullified as a result of that tactical error, and my analysis was vindicated.

THREAD!

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The understudied phenomenon of penalties

Penalties are an area of the game which are grossly understudied. The extent of penalty analysis we hear from the pundits on TV is for the taker to ‘to pick his/her spot and not change it’ and that the ‘goalkeeper should do his/her homework.’ This, in my opinion, is a rather simplistic view of a significant situation in a match-defining moment in a low scoring sport. So, to delve further into the topic of penalties, I decided to test my own opinions on penalties against the existing literature that has been published in journals around the world. 

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The Champions League Final preview

A possession based three at the back team has never won the Champions League. Three at the back systems are typically related to defensive teams but Thomas Tuchel and Pep Guardiola have changed the paradigms of football fans around the world who previously associated a defensive approach with a 3 at the back system. Remarkably, both face off against each other in the final, so no matter what the outcome is, history will be made. Let’s take a deeper look into how both teams play.

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Real Madrid vs Liverpool – tactical preview

After being proven correct in my latest bold prediction which received an abnormal amount of attention, I’m back to make yet another bold, but logical, prediction. Liverpool, just like Chelsea against Atletico, will progress with ease against Real Madrid bar an almighty fluke, and for similar reasons.

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Liverpool vs Man City – in depth analysis

The build-up to this huge encounter seems somewhat pessimistic from Liverpool’s perspective after yet another daft result against mid-table minnows on Wednesday night, whereas City’s superb run of form against those same mid-table minnows has seen them clamp their authority at the top of the Premier League table. With City 7 points ahead of Liverpool with a game in hand and 16 games to go, this really is last chance saloon for The Reds. This article discusses the tactical intricacies and game dynamics of the most important Premier League game of the season so far.

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4-4-2 vs 4-4-2 zonal high press – a common encounter in the modern game

Arsenal vs Manchester United is a classic match-up of a 4-4-2 vs 4-4-2 high press, or a 4-2-3-1 if you want to refer to their-on ball systems. Both of Arsenal’s previous two fixtures were against Southampton who also play with a 4-4-2 high press so that’ll give Arteta’s men apt preparation for the game against Manchester United. The primary focus of each manager will be to press the game high up the pitch whilst reinforcing their players to be secure technically in the build-up phase. Whichever team makes less mistakes in these affairs typically comes out on top.

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The general misunderstanding of central midfielders

When people talk about the best central midfielders in the Premier League they’ll refer to the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and N’Golo Kanté in the same sentence, and that doesn’t sit right with me. One spends most of his game between the lines and rotating with the right winger whereas the other is typically a box to box destroyer. One has an attacking role with little defensive responsibility and one has a defensive role with little offensive responsibility. So how does it make sense to compare the two? Well, in short, it doesn’t, despite them both being ‘central midfielders’ in their respective teams. This suggests that a player’s role is a better parameter when comparing, or judging, central midfielders. So, what role is considered to be that of a traditional central midfielder, and who are the best players at that?

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Liverpool vs Manchester United – tactical analysis

The 4-2-3-1 is typically a problematic system for Liverpool whenever they come up against it because of the natural overload it creates in the build-up versus Liverpool’s press. Manchester City, Napoli, Flamengo, Spurs and Ajax have all had success against Liverpool using that system (amongst other teams I’m sure I’m forgetting). Manchester United also typically play this way, but never have done against Liverpool because of the difference in quality over the last few years. The 4-2-3-1 represents a high risk-high reward approach as the system plays into Liverpool’s hands because of their notorious pressing (assuming the opposition play out from the back, which is what United do). As a result of this, Solskjaer always felt that a low block was the best way to play against Liverpool because he didn’t trust his players to play out of Liverpool’s press.

“Sometimes we’ve struggled more in games where we’ve had to break teams down. I can’t see Liverpool coming to park the bus – that’s just not in their mentality. So I can see it being an open game, which will suit us.” (@talksport, @metro).

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