Celtic and Rangers both faced tough ties in the first round of the Betfred Cup, albeit for different reasons. Celtic turned to a change in style to pull them through a rough period, while Rangers faced a robust Kilmarnock side off the back of a testing European tie against Maribor.
The time between two seasons always offers a great chance to reflect on the past and to ideally learn something from it for the near future – especially if the result of the past was relegation, like in the case of Hamburger SV (HSV). There’s no better, and thus painful starting point to create positive change.
Rangers secured a clash with Russian side Ufa for a Europa League group stage place after their 0-0 draw against Maribor saw them win 3-1 on aggregate. Steven Gerrard’s side faced an even sterner test in Slovenia than they did at Ibrox last week, but a strong defensive display saw them resist the hosts’ much improved attacking threat.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City commenced their Premier League title defence with a secure victory over Arsenal. For the first time in over two decades, a new manager was on the touchline for the Gunners, as former PSG and Sevilla boss Unai Emery made his English debut. However, the Emery honeymoon was interrupted by the Citizens, who showed signs of last seasons dominance in possession and pressing, alongside some details in attack construction that need ironing out over the course of the year.
Borussia Dortmund had a season to forget in year one after Thomas Tuchel. With the Peter Bosz experiment having failed, it’s Lucien Favre’s turn to usher in a new era for the Black and Yellows. It was evident after only a few training sessions that the Swiss remains a coach with a ruler and calliper.
Rangers hosted St Mirren on Match Day 2, looking to gain their first win of the league campaign and capitalise on Celtic’s stumble away to Hearts. Steven Gerrard’s side continued to show refinements to their game, testing the defensive organisation and patient build-up play of the guests.
“We found a lot of problems when attacking a 5-4-1 when the striker is marking our holding midfielder and 10 players are defending so deep. We are thinking about how you could attack against that system.” – Pep Guardiola when previewing the 2018/2019 EPL season.
The most successful team in German history and the most successful team in English history meet once again, this time in a pre-season friendly. Kovac shows a preview of the well-oiled German machine he will have on the field for the 2018/2019 season, while Mourinho shows potential issues his team will face during the next months, as he warned it could be a “difficult season.”
Guardiola and Sarri face off for the first time in England. Both managers showed a preview of their likely tactical approach for the upcoming 2018/2019 season. City’s pressing game proved to be the big difference between the teams, creating dangerous counterattacking opportunities even when the build-up was not being executed to a high level.
In the SV Mailbag, we answer questions from our followers. For this edition, George Jones answers your questions relating to coaching and training.