The 6th game week of the Bundesliga season delivered a number of interesting clashes. Bosz’ table-topping Dortmund hosted their great rivals Gladbach led by Dieter Hecking, and this was accompanied by the battle of the talented young German coaches as Nagelsmann and Tedesco’s team’s clashed. In both matches there were interesting approaches to build-up with structures focused on using the available space left by the opponent to progress. The analyses therefore have a small conceptual element included.
Rangers hosted the first Old Firm game of the season already five points behind cross-city rivals Celtic after six games played. Brendan Rodgers’ side extended their winning run at Ibrox despite a resilient defensive display from the home side, which served to highlight some of the champions’ shortcomings.
In the opening day of the group stage of UEFA Europa League the Olympiastadion hosted an encounter between theoretically the two most solid teams of the group. While both teams displayed a man-oriented defending, their attacking approaches were quite different creating an interesting clash.
George Jones focuses in this article on how to adapt a practice he has seen countless times at all sorts of ages and ability levels throughout England.
Tottenham met Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on Wednesday Night in the opening round of the Champions League Group Stage. The Germans travelled to London undefeated under new manager Peter Bosz, whilst Spurs were keen to eradicate their ‘Wembley blues’ after a mixed start to their season.
Is a country that is struggling to stay in the top 100 of the FIFA ranking worth writing about? Does anybody even care about “soccer”, when there’s baseball, ice-hockey and other games, that use the name “football” for themselves?
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 part 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.
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 side’s playing in Belfast coinciding with the ‘Twelfth’, an already unusual scenario was only compounded by Celtic’s uncharacteristically poor play in possession, albeit in part down to the home side’s good defensive organisation.