Manchester United vs Ajax | Europa League Final Preview

Manchester United vs Ajax | Europa League Final Preview

On May 24th, Ajax and Manchester United will meet at the Friends Arena in Stockholm for the Europa League final. Manchester United essentially have their season riding on this match.  They failed to get into the Champions League places after a bitterly disappointing league campaign saw them finish sixth.  They did win the EFL Cup, but a loss in this match would see this season end as a failure.  Manchester United cannot afford to miss out of the Champions League for …
Mourinho’s Europa League Gamble Could Prove Expensive for Manchester United

Mourinho’s Europa League Gamble Could Prove Expensive for Manchester United

In the last few days, we have heard some very interesting things from Premier League managers. Pep Guardiola had a “Big Club” gaffe when he said that Barcelona or Bayern would have sacked him for a trophy-less season. Last week, Jurgen Klopp was found wondering why Southampton seemed to have relaxed against Arsenal after giving Liverpool a very tough game. When this was followed by Liverpool thrashing West Ham 4-0 at London Stadium, Arsene Wenger wondered aloud about whether some …
Part one: What the summer has shown for the PL's top clubs

Part one: What the summer has shown for the PL's top clubs

Most fans don't look too much into the importance of the pre-season campaign but for many youth players it is one of the most important stages of the season. It's a chance to showcase their skills, put a marker down for a place in the Premier League squad and an opportunity to play alongside senior players in a competitive match. However, the pre-season period can also be very important for new signings. Some of this summer's top transfers will be …
Liverpool Lack Chemistry

Liverpool Lack Chemistry

Harry Redknapp was very fond of saying "Football is a simple game" when he initially took over from Juande Ramos and when he reflected on Andrea Villas Boas's reign. Player chemistry on the pitch is key to any successful team, go back through the ages and any successful team has partnerships on the pitch in various positions. The partnership that is taking the Premier League by storm is the Riyad Mahrez, Jamie Vardy partnership. Each knows what the others thoughts …
Top Potential De Gea Replacements For Manchester United

Top Potential De Gea Replacements For Manchester United

It is seems increasingly likely that this summer Manchester United will be faced with the arduous challenge of replacing their Player of the Year and star goalkeeper David De Gea. Although Van Gaal has stated he is becoming more positive with regards to his chances of keeping the Spanish stopper there is no smoke without fire. A move to Madrid this summer appears a formality for David De Gea. A task United would rather be without this summer is trying …
Manchester United - Blinded by Injuries?

Manchester United - Blinded by Injuries?

This one places Manchester United third on the rather dubious EPL Injury table just below Everton and Newcastle. With 10 injuries at the moment, Louis Van Gaal's side has been ravaged by a series of short-term and long-term injuries alike throughout the season, hampering any possibility of getting a consistent run-out with his favored group of players. This International week has particularly given him more to worry about, with key first team players in David De Gea (Finger), Michael Carrick …
Liverpool's experimental tactical approach vs. Anji

Liverpool's experimental tactical approach vs. Anji

Marco Van Basten often spoke about an invisible cord that connected players within a formation, that one player's movements would directly affect another. The possession-based philosophical approach to football thinks about football in terms of space; how can a team control the game both with or without the ball? What was particularly interesting about the Anji match was that Rodgers’ Liverpool tactical approach moved away from the 1-4-3-3 that Rodgers has relied on since becoming the Liverpool manager. The Europa …
Systems Football: Midfield Part IV – Tiki Taka / Totaal-Voetbal

Systems Football: Midfield Part IV – Tiki Taka / Totaal-Voetbal

*Part 5 now unavailable
PLEASE FIND LINKS FOR PART I, PART II AND PART III AT END OF POST
Introduction: the foundations (part 4/4*) – Midfield and Concluding Statement  This is a four*-part series of articles that aims to introduce football coaches and fanatics to basic concepts in a systems football approach (such as tiki-taka). The systems approach to football is founded upon a system of complexity and unity. Part four of this series isolates the scenario of playing against …
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