Thursday, 13 June 2019


netherlands played portugal in the unl finals . dutch started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation while portugal started the game with 4-3-3 formation . the game started with holland dominating the possession while portugal were sitting back and trying to hit back holland on the counter . holland had two in the middle with de roon and de jong in the middle while wijnauldum was playing behind depay who had babel and bergwin alongside hide . wijnauldum had a free role with him allowed to drift anywhere . the trouble with dutch was that even though they dominated the possession they were not able to convert that domination in creating chances and were short of ideas in the final third . the dutch's idea of offense was that in the final third depay will come deeper and get the ball and then try to create the chances or try to release bable or bergwin who would try to go beyond . the trouble with holland was that their offense can be read from a mile and after first 15 min portugal would stop depay from getting depay time and space on the ball . they would just close him down as soon as he would receive the ball . the most trouble with holland was that they didnt had a flair player who would create the chances for them or say finish that had been created by others . portugal has two good players in form of ronaldo the finisher and silva the creator . 
portugal might had won the match but they were not convincing . most importantly portugal have a very good team and they should be dominating the opponents . instead they are sitting back and hitting on the counter just what weaker teams do . santos started the game by dropping two players . he dropped jao felix and started ronaldo in the no.9 position . he had guedes and silva either side of him . silva is one of the best ball players in the game and he just had to increase his game intelligence . gone are the days when ronaldo could start from the wide left and cut inside and had the pace to get past opponents . he has lost the pace but still has the leap and the terrific finishing ability with the feet . the trouble with portugal was that they dont have an orchestrated offense and some of their players spent too much time on the ball which allows the opposition to close them down and loss of possession . some players in the team were ready to shoot the ball even when they would had been better to keep the ball and pass it to player like ronaldo or silva who would make better use of it .
portugal's goal came in the second half and i think it was because of a bit of over confidence from the dutch plus the good ball play by silva and the threat by ronaldo . people will see guedes finishing plus silva passing but they dont see that ronaldo was on the right and that made the shot easy because ronaldo's presence made the defenders distracted and guedes had time and space over the ball to take shot and score . ceillesen should had done more and should have had more firm touch over the ball .
this was the position when de light came out to close down guedes and lost in one on one battle .
this was the position when guesdes scored off silva's pass . 
the goal prompted dutch to change things . they had already substituted promes for bable but the trouble with dutch shape was that when depay comes deep they didnt had anybody who would go beyond him or get in the six yard box .  van de beek is the kind of player that was wanted . wijnauldum is good player but not the one who can create or control the tempo of the game . he is hard worker . lastly he throwed de jong upfront to have some height in the box but by that time portugal had started to get men behind the ball and kept holland at bay and won the cup .
last but not the least about the transfers but if dortmund are asking 70 mil for sancho then man utd should  just pay them and get the player because the kid is good . Sergio Reguil√≥n who i think will be surplus because real madrid has signed a new left back then i think he will be a very good signing . de beek will be a very good signing for a team as he is a very hard working player and a very underrated player .

Wednesday, 5 June 2019


liverpool played spurs in the final of the ucl . if this had not been the ucl final to be hones i would shut down the tv or atleast channel and watched something different . this was the worst final in terms of the football played and this match showcased the class of football played this season . the teams had been below par and what ever they talk of tactics at time i find it stupid . man city played a good game but if you dont defend properly then you are bound to loose and oversmartness is a crime in football . for the entirety of the match i was expecting to play some good football to understand the state of play and play accordingly .
liverpool started the game with their usual 4-3-3 formation while spurs started the game with the 4-2-3-1 formation . liverpool got in front in the very first minute because of a stupid refree decision and these laws needs to be revisited because sissoko wasnt trying to stop the ball instead he was just jesturing to the others to keep eye on players behind him when the ball stuck him . so when liverpool got ahead too early in the match spurs had the entirety of the match to equalize or even win it but spurs were just too bad . 
now about the game lets talk liverpool likes to play on the counter attack also they like to press if possible . spurs had two in the middle with sissoko and winks in the middle . kane was upfront with alli just behind him while eriksen and son were wide of kane . lets get to basic winks and sissoko's job is to get the ball to front four and from there the real attack starts because you are trying to breach the defense that the opposition is put . liverpool were trying to play a very high line and spurs were trying to play son behind the back four but there was no cohesion between son and the player who playing the pass . secondly whenever the ball is in the final third and is passed either in the middle or wide you have to take into consideration the formation of the opposition . not only that but you have to take into consideration the players strength's and weakness as well as our players strength and weakness for that you need the coach to properly coach the players as to what they need to do . in the game spurs front use to get the ball but were not able to put three good passes together so as to trouble the opposition and cause worry to the opposition . in this particular i think son was the guilty party because he wasnt able to read the game properly . secondly you try to overdo with the ball is a crime in football . you let your team down . you just cant put four players upfront and expect them to combine but you need to create the proper cohesion plus you need to make them understand the various scenario's as well as how they need to improvise . spurs front four were just too bad in the final  third and they just couldnt combine together to cause any trouble to liverpool  . most importantly the players who are cool and read as to whether they can shoot first time or they have a time to take touch or pass to the player in the better position are the players who excel in the game .
the trouble with spurs was that not only were not able to combine but also they were not able to control the tempo the game . see in the final third its very important to control the tempo of the game . you play a somewhat slow game till you bring the ball in the final third but from there you need to control the tempo . you can suddenly up the tempo by playing quick one two pass and combining or just slow down when you see that the gaps that you envision are not there . you need to again restart the offense from a certain point and that is what a coach is for . he needs to coach this  . frankly spurs have guys like eriksen who can do that but sadly for me the technical ability is not matched by the technical knowledge of the play . alli was let down for me .
liverpool too didnt played a very good game . they like to play on the counter . kloop had rightly judged that mane will have a very good chance against tippier and mane was seeing more of the ball in the first half but as liverpool started to sit back spurs even though they dindt do very good with the ball but still dominated the possession liverpool started to play more through mane and salah trying to release them in the space between fullbacks but i think what let them down was the support of the midfield who should had controlled the tempo better and tried to keep the hold of the ball and try to trouble the opposition more but liverpool were poor and it wasnt the best performance by liverpool although they won .

Saturday, 4 May 2019


ajax outplayed spurs in every department in the first leg of the semifinal in the ucl . spurs started the game with 4-1-4-1 formation while ajax started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation . tadic is playing as the no.9 for ajax and his back to the goal play had been one of the real factors for ajax doing well in the ucl . in the previous encounters spurs try to control the tempo of the game and set the pace but in this game at least in the first half spurs seems to have given the control of the game and were just content on sitting back and hit back on the counter .
the game started with spurs sitting back and ajax being the team which had the majority of the possession but also it was able to control the tempo . the problem with spurs formation was that the midfield was very light . they only had a legitimate midfieder in the name of wanyama while alli would drop back alongside wanyama . they didnt had a wide players who would support the wing backs so the wingbacks were exposed and most importantly they couldnt show the ajax wide players the right way so that they could be less effective . because of this both ziyeck and neres were able to come inside and link up with de beek and tadic . in the first half spurs were left exposed by the lack of wide players who would support their wing backs in congesting the space for ajax wide players and stop those inside channel runs . spurs played a very direct english type game . they went direct to llorente who would try to release moura . while eriksen and alli joined the attack . the trouble with spurs offense was that ajax could see the move coming right away and can take proper positions to defend .
vertroghen had injury in the first half so sissoko was bought in his place and spurs changed the shape they went from 3-1-4-1 to 4-4-2 . sissoko was drafted on the right side of the midfield who would support trippier in dealing with wide players while eriksen was sent on the left . most importantly with the urgency spurs upped the tempo they started closing down quick and also upped the tempo of the game  . this continued for the first 15 minutes of the half and when the ajax manager saw that he told his side to slow down the tempo of the game because ajax too were playing the same trying to match spurs . the most important thing was that spurs had started to get some space between the lines because of the direct play . ajax midfielders were getting caught high up the pitch when the ball was played directly to llorente and he could bring it down in the space and lay down to other players , the trouble with spurs was that they dont have a very cohesive offense and players take a touch to pass the ball and it gives the defense to adjust themselves and prevent any danger . spurs played the initial formation with the belief that with llorente in the side they can exploit the height advantage they have in the box but instead being able to get the advantage from the wingbacks spurs were conceding teretorrial advantage to ajax and because of which ajax were able to move the ball freely and dominate spurs .
this tie was won by ajax because the front three with de beek can really combine and trouble any defense . tadic is one of the best no.9 . although small he can really keep the ball to his feet and lay for neres and ziyech . i dont think that spurs are going to overturn the deficit and i think ajax are going to the final .

Saturday, 20 April 2019


man city played tottenham in the ucl q/f at the etihad and the game was quite entertaining . the way gaurdiola sets ups his teams has got quite a bit of meaning to it . the player he used and the movement of these players the zones they occupy the runs they make the way the offense starts and how he wants his teams wants to execute it . man city started the game with the 4-3-3 formation while spurs started the game with 4-2-3-1 formation . the way gaurdila set up his team was most fascinating and i will try to explain why .
in the man city formation sterling and b.silva start as the wide players but both play inverted . while d.silva and de bruyne play alongside fernandiniho or gundogan in the midfield . now the attack starts from the wide with b.silva or sterling starting the offense and they stay out wide . their starting position is wide left and right . both are inverted players so both try to cut inside ( shown in the figuer .) now this leaves space behing the back four to explore or that the ball can be taken further forward and crossed into box which can be much more threatning . so here comes the two midfielders who bomb beyond the wide players and both these are correct foot players ( lefty on left and righty on right ). even when they cross the ball they have a perfect plan for that . aguero who plays as no.9 doesnt tries to occupy the space between the centre back but he there and there about so that they cant just ignore him . because he stays inside the centre backs too have to keep an eye on him because if left unguarded can be cause trouble so the centre backs are pulled towards him which leaves the space between them and the goal keeper from which the ball is crossed and player on the opposite flank can get to the end of it . 
the game started with man city being the offensive team and spurs sitting back and hitting man city on the counter attack . trippier was always going to be in the trouble with sterling in the foot race and he decided to be patient than hasty when defending sterling and it is the right thing to do because sterling is too fast for tripper . but the one thing that trippier did wrong was that he allowed sterling cut inside and allowed him time and space on the ball in the 18 yard box . spurs equalised very soon because man city's defense were bit hesistant of the spurs counter offense and instead of trying to stop in the tracks they just kept on dropping back and allowed sun time and space on the ball which allowed him to pick up the pass and then play good interplay to score . the second too was one of the mistakes by the one of the man city defenders which allowed spurs to counter and score .
the way spurs were set up was that wanyama and sissoko were in front of the back four while alli,eriksen and moura made the three behind son . sissoko especially played on sterling side because he can protect trippier if sterling tries to come inside and give him cover . but the trouble with spurs was that they were especially in front of the back four and mostly de bruyne could find that space in between midfield and back four and spurs would be in trouble . the same can be said about man city because on the counter there midfielders would be scampering back since spurs will be bringing the ball from back to front with pace and most importantly they only had gundogan to guard that space . the first 15 min were all chaos because gaurdiola's side's made mistakes which shouldnt had been made by his team . in the first half man city controlled the tempo and the game slowed down a bit after first 20 min . the half ended any more drama . 
i think gaurdiola must had asked his team to up the tempo on the second half because with upped tempo the opposition can make mistakes and the team can capitalise on the them the third goal is the perfect example of the gaurdiola's tactic's and spurs at that time just didnt had any answer to man city's tempo . they were lucky to have that third goal . the most important thing was that i didnt find any novelty from gaurdiola in the last 15 minutes . he did change players but thats that there was no change in shape and tactics which were the same . 

Tuesday, 27 November 2018


on saturday spurs played chelsea and they just beat them very convincingly. when you are trying to analyse the game there are various factors that are taken into consideration like formation ,player used for that  awarness of players , their movement and many others . its always a coach's job to find out as to what went wrong in the match and if the scenario rises again he has a solution in mind . whichever team game it is . its like a game of chess where on the two opponents keeps on asking question of each other and try to seek answer . whoever finds the solution is the winner .
spurs started the game with 4-3-1-2 formation with sissoko preffered in the middle of the park alongside dier and eriksen . while chelsea started the game with 4-3-3 formation . the game started with spurs giving chelsea a taste of their own medicine . chelsea like to press hard and try to hit team on the counter . here spurs did exactly what chelsea does to others team . what chelsea like is that the opposition sits back and then the assess the shape and open them up with their ball movement . here spurs just didnt let them have time and space on the ball . while we talk about the formation and all that we do have to take into consideration the tempo of the game . it doesnt matters whether you play on the counter or on ball holding offense. its very important that you control the tempo of the game because if cannot control the tempo the game you can be ripped apart because if you let the opposition let control the tempo the game they can move the ball very fast and slow and get you out of shape and use that to their advantage .because after all the game is all about discipline,hard work,concentration  and organisation and if any of one quality comes short then the one team that lacks it can ( definitely) ends up on the losing side . 
so how did spurs controlled the tempo of the game . for the first 15 min they gave the same medicine that chelsea gives to their oppposition . they just closed down chelsea very hard and never allowed them time and space on the ball . the game was frantic till the first 25 min . most importantly chelsea are caught our of shape when the ball is take from back to front . the trouble is not the back four its the midfielders . apart from jorginiho the others are caught very high on the pitch and basically there is a lot of space in front of the back four which is there to exploit and thats what arsenal did in their first match against chelsea .
so how did spurs controlled the tempo and how chelsea lost it . for first 25 min spurs high pressed and scored . but you cannot do high press for the entire time of the match . you need to change levels and thats what they did . after 25 min spurs started to sit back but the sitting back wasnt that they let chelsea let time and space on the ball . instead they let chelsea come in their own half and then pressed them enough so that they had to play with a high tempo . this is where i think chelsea lost . spurs after 25 min had passed the mantle to chelsea by sitting back and chelsea had the ball . chelsea should had controlled the game better . but instead they played with on tempo and one dimensional always trying to play a forward pass game . while chelsea had the ball they should had controlled the  game better and moved the ball better . 
for that i am  going to give one example what gaurdiola team use to do at barcelona . they would slow down the game by playing tiki taka and moving the ball around and let the opposition take the shape . what this does is you can gauge the opposition's defense and can work your offensive moves . they would play tiki taka and suddenly they would up the tempo to which the opposition is caught unprepared . chelsea played with one dimensional tempo . they should had controlled the tempo better . they should had tried to draw out spurs out of their own half . the trouble with sarri's team is that they only know in one way of playing the game . the second problem is that the cohesion that is wanted between the front players is not there . conte's team had a good cohesion between hazard and costa and that won them the league . in sarri's game the no.9 is used more as a positional piece who keeps the centre backs occupied and other try to exploit the gaps . it had been a problem with his team at napoli too and i had written about it when i had analysed the napoli's game . this game should be a learning a curve for sarri who should look at his tactics and the back that remain at the back when  opposition team come very fast forward . 

Thursday, 15 November 2018


utd played city on sunday . before i write about this game or anything else let me tell you some from india's great history . it is said that abhimanyu the son of arjuna of  pandava's from mahabarta is that he learnt how to break into the ckravyuh ( formation) in his mother's womb . now what his this got to do with this match well the fact of the matter is that mouriniho just learnt one part of the game and that is how stop team's . he is what they call the defensive coach in the american football . he knows what teams should do when the other team has the ball and that is what is got to do with mouriniho . mouriniho is just one way coach and i think  he just thinks about defense and what his team does when they have the ball . even though man city won but i still think that gaurdiola's team wasnt that impressive  as well . first and foremost he has studied chess and talked with them about tactics and when you talk with such sharp minds about tactics i think he needs to show some of that on the field . even though his team won it wasnt that convincing for me . they were going to win no doubt about that but the trouble is they should had just outclassed man utd which i think they didnt . when man utd were good they had such fear in opponents minds that the opponents knew that they can score at will and that is why they won a lot . gaurdiola's team is still not doing that . they still are not playing the same level as i want them to be . 
the game started with man city and utd playing the same formation . i dont have any issues in any team trying to defend deep and sit back and play on the counter attack because the coach decides what is best for the team with the players on hand . the issue is not about sitting about sitting back and hitting on the but its about when you have the ball and what you do when you have it . you need to show the quality when you have the ball . fine if its on the counter attack . the understanding of any manager about the game gets endorsed by the offense his team plays . man utd when going forward just didnt had the clue as to what they want to do with the ball and this is a clear indication that mouriniho doesnt understands offensive side of the game . while i see gaurdiola constantly tipping his players on what to do when they have the ball and what need to do . i never saw mouriniho tell his players on what to do when they had the ball . it happened all throughout the match and mouriniho just didnt had the clue as to what his team is doing with the ball .
i would like to give an example on 37th minute rashford was released behind the left backs space by herrera . rashford had lindgard and martial in support . while rashford went for the ball . lindgard and martial went inside the box with the expectation that the ball will be crossed and they should try to get at the end of it . while rashford was mobbed by two players and led to eventually ball played out and loss of possession . now this is stupidity . the player should had studied about the space that was between rashford and the middle . even there was a space between the defensive players and it should had been exploited . team works for space they try to create and thats what team try to do . here there was space and they just couldnt exploit it . ( see the pics for that . ) either one of the player should had gone with rashford and help move the ball inside while one should had gone inside the box to keep the threat of cross alive . its shows the lack of knowledge about the offensive of the part on the part of mouriniho . his players were caught on the ball because they seem to be fixated on passing the ball to a certain which you cannot be in the football game . you need to read the play and do what is necessary . utd dont have a single player who can put his foot on the pedal and control it . they are just playing like individuals and not as a team . 
the  second thing is that mouriniho prepared his team with the expectation that city will press them and if the ball is moved fast enough then he can catch them on the counter and out of shape . which is what he did at real madrid in the title winning season . gaurdiola has learnt from that . in the second season he clearly struggled because instead of trying to press him teams were sitting back and inviting madrid to open them up . mouriniho always knew just one way forward and he just couldnt make adjustments . the adjustments that man city or gaurdiola made to the city team was that they pressed but never  hard pressed . they only pressed the player with the possession of the ball . they played deep or dropped deep maintained their shape while just doing enough pressing to keep man utd on their toes . when the opposition is not doing what you expect him to do then you need to make adjustments and clearly mouriniho wasnt able to do that . this was another failure on the part of mouriniho .
let me tell you defense is a maze or puzzle which the opposition needs to solve . gaurdiola has talked with the grandmaster so they must have imparted some very good knowledge with him . man utd defensive formation was like a sitting duck formation . city has so many good players that if they move the ball properly then they can rip open utd on every move . this was seen on the third goal but in the middle of the they just didnt do enough for me . they just didnt showed their quality on the ball . i expect more from gaurdiola and this performance was not enough for me . 

Tuesday, 13 November 2018


yesterday bayern munich played dortmund in the bundesliga . while munich have a mini collapse in the bundesliga . dortmund are at the top .  munich started the game with 4-4-1-1 formation while dortmund too played the same combination . it was important game for both the coaches because it gives them the bragging rights atleast till christmas for being the best team in the land .

the game started with dortmund sitting back and bayern being the aggressive team trying to have the initiative . for bayern groetzka started the game in the middle of the park along side martinez . at other times in other games he has started in the no.10 position . for dortmund goetze started the game upfront in the no.9 formation . bayern had both ribery and gnabry in wide positions . bayern were trying to stretch dortmund so that the spaces can be  exploited by ribery and gnabry . the first goal came because bayern moved the ball from side to side in trying to steretch dortmund . because of that dortmunds defense got somewhat disorganised .plus the biggest mistake to that goal was the prenotion that akanji had . dortmunds midfield had moved up when the ball was moved from side to side and muller found the space between the lines . akanji in bid to close down muller left his position and went to close down muller . had akanji stayed in his proper position and maintained his discipline then he could had made it difficult for lewandowski to score . his prenotion was the cause for the first goal . bayern were dominating in the first half . even though they were dominating they were not able to find past dortmund . there was a reason . when you want your team to perform then you need to have each player to contribute . most of the bayern attack was from the left and ribery being the insitgator . the trouble was that the ribery and alaba were combining wide but the proper pivot that they wanted to bring the ball inside wasnt there . plus they were not that patient in their possession and instead choose to cross the ball rather trying to work the ball and get it come inside . on the defense bayern's plan was excellent . they were pressing dortmund so that they have to pass quickly . dortmund had reus and gotze upfront who were up against muller and boetang and there was no chance of them winning aerial duel against bayern's back two . so bayern's tactics were atleast working on the defensive upfront and they were able to contend dortmund in the first half .
akanji left his position and it led to first bayern goal

there is no problem in sitting back and hitting on the counter but for that you need to show your quality when you have the ball . plus the trouble with sitting back is that you are inviting the ball to be crossed or come close to your goal then you are inviting trouble . yes dortmund had a good shape to their team but individual mistakes can happen and that can  cost the team very much especially as dortmund had seen in the game against athletico madrid . ath.mad were able to stop dortmund in the tracks and were able take advantage of the deep line that dortmund play . in the first half whenever dortmund had the ball they just couldnt take the ball near bayern's goal and the reason for that  was the midfield of weigel and witsel just couldnt control the game properly and support their front line and the wingers . plus when gotze and reus had the ball they made bad decisions on the ball and that led to their attack stop in the tracks had they done better on the ball then bayern would had been in trouble .

the game is of two halves and the tempo that you have in the first cannot be maintained in the second half and that is why team make adjustment to the game . they just dont go on pressing which they will do in the first half because they are fresh . the team needs to make adjustment to their game and play accordingly. bayern just didnt that . they tried to play the same game which they were playing in the first half . in the second half the main change that dortmund made was that weigel was replaced by mahmoudi who is much more attacking minded than wieigel who is a defensive minded . mahamoudi instead sitting back like weigel started to come forward and started to join the offense and most importantly the pressing that was crisp wasnt that much crisp in the second half . this gave dortmund the space and time on the ball and they have decent players who can use the ball .
even though dortmund won their coach favre needs to look at the way they play when they have the ball . most importantly the distribution from midfield and from the back is very poor and this stops their offense in the tracks . secondly their offense can be read from a mile long . they try to take the ball wide and then the fullbacks and his forward try to combine and try to open take the ball forward . this offense was stopped by ath madrid and they couldnt conjure another way to take ball forward against ath madrid and even in this match in the first half bayern stopped them in the tracks . for bayern they just keep on dropping too deep and once the pressing fails plus the thing is that they just have one player who  is protecting the back three ( since one of the fullbacks is caught high on the counter on offense ) . he needs to be a bit more conservative because they even lost against wolfsburg even when they dominated the match but on the counters they were exposed and paid with the result .