The Champions League returned in mid-week with the first legs of the final qualifying round on Tuesday and Wednesday. Unfortunately, the draws pitched together a number of strong teams that could have a big impact on the competition, who would now have to battle over two legs to reach the group stages. Fortunately, this gave PR, AL and JD interesting ties to analyse, and each author summarises the key aspects in the clash they watched.
Following an eventful summer in the Blue partÂ of Manchester, Pep Guardiola’s team started off their Premier League season with a comfortable win over Brighton, who were newly promoted from the Championship. Although the implementation of the game plan could be accurately described as lethargic, some of the potential themes and modifications of this new Manchester City group were shown, with room for improvement on display as City shake off the cobwebs.Â
In football there are two broad categories of defensive approaches; zonal defending and man-marking. Each approach has sub-divisions; however, the two styles differ mainly on reference points. In zonal defending each player references their team-mates and the ball, in man-marking however, the reference point is the opponent.
Linfield hosted Celtic at Windsor Park for the first leg of their Champions League second round qualifier, in a game that will be remembered more for events off the pitch than on it. With the match moved to Friday evening as opposed to the originally scheduled Wednesday night to avoid the Glasgow sideâ€™s playing in Belfast coinciding with the â€˜Twelfthâ€™, an already unusual scenario was only compounded by Celticâ€™s uncharacteristically poor play in possession, albeit in part down to the home sideâ€™s good defensive organisation.
The first season in Manchester under Pep Guardiola has been a little inconsistent, although the clear signs of improvements are steadily visible. With the arrival of Guardiola a whole adaptation process started for the team, which was basically and most importantly the presentation and implementation of the Positional Play. HereÂ TP in August has already previewed the issues City has had in the previous season, and the possible changes that Guardiola may bring to Manchester City.
SV-Coaching is our practical-related category. The content combines technical, tactical and physical aspects into a holistic training approach, that focuses on decision making under variable space, time and opponent pressure. The coaches should take and adapt the ideas to find exercises suited for themselves.
The US continued their unbeaten streak under manager Bruce Arena on Sunday, after starting the last phase of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying with two losses which led to the sacking of Jurgen Klinsmann. Even though Mexico remained at the top of The Hex after this match, the American team left with their heads held higher as they depart having drawn Mexico at the Estadio Azteca for just the third time in World Cup Qualifying history, doing so with a framework that deviated from their usual system of play.
This yearâ€™s Champions League culminated in Cardiff, as Juventus aimed to stop Real Madrid winning the trophy for the third time in four years. PR, JD and EA give their thoughts on how the game unfolded.
On the fourthÂ episode of our show, the panel talk about the 2017 UEFA Champions LeagueÂ final.
Celtic completed an unprecedented domestic treble on Saturday, as they defeated Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final, adding to their League Cup and Premiership titles. Brendan Rodgersâ€™ side went unbeaten in all competitions in Scotland in the Northern Irishmanâ€™s first season in charge. Though they managed to win the league at a canter, finishing a staggering thirty points ahead of second-placed Aberdeen, Celtic were forced into a gruelling contest by the Dons to round off their record-breaking season.