VfB Stuttgart have outperformed expectations during the Hinrunde. Yet, perhaps more so than their results and play, the array of strategies and structures employed in build-up and defensive transitions have left an impression on the Bundesliga. Head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo has established a formidable attacking team that consistently penetrates and creates, and hence can beat almost every opponent.
Americans call aubergines ‘eggplants’. For those familiar with the deep purple skin of the vegetable(?), this seems peculiar. To British ears, it’s one of those “oh, America!” things to roll ones eyes at and quietly mock, like ‘pants’ and ‘soccer’ and the missing ‘u’ in ‘colour’. And then you learn that there’s a variety of aubergine that is white, and small, and generally looks quite like an egg.
Following on from the first of this two part series where the predominant offensive structures Manchester City used were outlined, this part will examine the methods used to create chances within the aforementioned structures.
Manchester City were the most potent attacking force, in Europe’s major five leagues, during the 2019/20 season. They ranked first for expected goals (xG), shots taken and goals scored compared to the other top performing teams in Europe.
German Club TSG Hoffenheim has reached 6th place, allowing them to play on the international stage in the upcoming season. How did Hoffenheim perform after the re-start following the Corona-break? What are the key characteristics, including their principal strengths and weaknesses?
When he was appointed as Barnsley manager in November, Gerhard Struber was a relative unknown to the typical English football fan, but the Austrian had begun to make a name for himself in Europe with his high intensity philosophy and his success at Wolfsberger AC. When he was appointed, Barnsley were rock bottom of the Championship and were without a win in sixteen, and so the aim was very much to fight against relegation.
Ever since the massive success of Guardiola at Barcelona, a lot of people have gravitated towards the philosophy of positional play. This momentum in turn, increased the number of articles and analysis on the subject, putting a large emphasis on playing out from the back in the current literature on the game. Because of this, I thought that it might be interesting to go completely against the grain, and instead focus on long balls and how one is able to utilize them.
VfB Stuttgart did it. One year after their promotion they made it back to the 1. Bundesliga. Having moved from Hoffenheim to VfB at the end of December 2019, head coach Pellegrino “Rino” Matarazzo, led the team to this success. What kind of football does the Italian-American focus on and what are the prospects for the upcoming challenge in the first division?
Tactical Periodization is a football training methodology developed around 35 years ago by Vítor Frade, a sports science professor from Porto University in Portugal.
Throw in situations in matches are often just taken for granted and involve little meaningful thought or decision making around them, other than to mark the opposition and prevent ball progression. But these situations can dictate not only who controls possession, but also how and where this possession takes place.