The Mysterious Case of Reduced Shots on Target

The Mysterious Case of Reduced Shots on Target

In football a shot is the successful culmination of the coordinated effort of eleven players on the pitch, as well the hard work of the manager and the coaches. Generally speaking, the more shots a team has, the more likely it is to be successful. More so if the shots are accurate and on target. So one would assume that football teams would strive to increase the number of shots they take and as a result also increase the number …
Why Valencia is the True Untouchable at United

Why Valencia is the True Untouchable at United

There was an interesting question that Mourinho faced before the European game against Fenerbahce regarding potential 'untouchables' in his current Manchester United similar to a few he had named during his time at Chelsea. 'Untouchables' in this context, refer to the players that would start every single game unless they are injured or suspended and the Portuguese has a habit of working with small squads with a particular pool of players (usually the spine of the team) that he always counted …
One-Touch Passing - Is It Key for League Success?

One-Touch Passing - Is It Key for League Success?

“…Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your team mate.” – Johan Cruyff
Many football teams lay a great importance on quick passing and movement (one-touch passing), perhaps none more so than Barcelona, where the great Cruyff himself instilled this philosophy. In the Premier League, Arsenal are the biggest proponents of this philosophy but most others, including Liverpool – other than the six months under Hodgson, Manchester United, …
Drop in Clean Sheets – Better Offence or Worse Defence?

Drop in Clean Sheets – Better Offence or Worse Defence?

“I told them, [get] the clean sheet, I buy everybody a pizza. I think they wait until I improve my offer, okay a pizza and a hot dog.” – Claudio Ranieri, Leicester Manager during their title-winning season Clean sheets are important. For Ranieri, they are important enough to throw in a hot dog along with his already generous offer of pizzas (which he actually treated his players to) as an incentive for his players to get one. For others such …
The Centre-Back Comparison | Who has had the most impact so far?

The Centre-Back Comparison | Who has had the most impact so far?

The dynamic of football is changing and it is most evident in how defenders have carried themselves over the years from when they were expected to be the leaders and physically robust men in the side by default to the more rounded version of defenders that have dominated Europe and their respective domestic leagues in recent seasons by playing a key role in the build up from the back. The two most successful managers in the modern era Jose Mourinho and …
West Ham’s Abysmal Start

West Ham’s Abysmal Start

When West Ham United finished seventh in the English Premier League last season, improving by five positions, the effusive season reviews (example) they received were completely justified. Not only had they beaten Liverpool (Home & Away), Manchester City and Arsenal (Away), Chelsea and Manchester United (Home), but also qualified for Europa League because of their league position, and they were moving to a new, bigger stadium. Although that move could have jinxed the team’s fortunes, if you were a West …
A Statistical-Strategic Approach to Understanding Olivier Giroud's Game

A Statistical-Strategic Approach to Understanding Olivier Giroud's Game

The start to this season has not been the one Arsenal expected. At a time when competitors have hit the ground running, Arsenal have made a slow start. While they did sign Lucas Pérez from Deportivo La Coruna; Olivier Giroud, Arsenal’s main striker for the last four seasons, is expected to continue in his role as the leader of the striking contingent. Arguably, no striker divides opinion like the Frenchman. He has been booed by his own fans and criticism …
A Glimpse At The Tottenham Hotspur Striker Hunt

A Glimpse At The Tottenham Hotspur Striker Hunt

As the European championships are drawing closer to a fantastic end, football clubs all over Europe, especially in England, are gearing up for the domestic football to begin - to set pulses racing for fans and everyone who is involved alike. Tottenham Hotspur, after what was a remarkable season in 2015/16, bar the finish - have gone under the radar in the summer a bit - owing to some big managerial arrivals at some of the biggest clubs in England …
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