“The best team lost”, is the quote doing the rounds after Real Madrid’s 1-2 win at Old Trafford. It’s widely accepted that this rare show of humility from Jose Mourinho is true, but as Manchester United know better than most, you need to be more than simply “the best team” in a competition, if you want to win it. Mourinho’s modesty is being seen as an indication that this great wandering winner will one day want to settle down at Old Trafford. Alex Ferguson has singled out the Portuguese in the past as one of the few managers whom he thinks has the quality to continue the work he’s done at Manchester United. Mourinho withdrew Read more..
Blackburn Rovers came into this game needing a win to give them a chance of avoiding relegation, maybe a point would do, but they desperately needed the three points to take them level on points with QPR, and Bolton who will have a game in hand. These were the tactics which Steve Kean decided would be best suited to achieving this aim. He was obviously luring Blackburn’s two remaining opponents, Wigan and Chelsea, into a false sense of security. Having seen this they’ll think Blackburn are rubbish and slump to defeat – giving Blackburn 6 points and Premier League safety! Genius. The 0 shots on goal they managed in this game will mean Ali Al Habsi and Petr Cech won’t turn Read more..
It was supposed to be an all English final in this season’s Europa League, an all Manchester one at that, which had Channel 5 and ITV 27 rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of more football (advertising money). Suddenly Thursday nights on Channel 5 were the place to be. That was until both Manchester sides went out of the competition on the same night, but why were Athletic able to beat Manchester United so convincingly? The main reason for this result would be that Athletic Bilbao have been built into a well oiled pressing machine by their manager Marcelo Bielsa, which unsettles their opponents and doesn’t give them time to play, or time Read more..
Since Barcelona’s rise to power as the dominant force in world football, tacticians have been exhaustively analysing their methods and style to the nth degree. Barcelona are the successful, world renowned embodiment of certain tactical systems, which make their style of play the subject of many a debate, and numerous analyses. Once the obvious exhibit has been dissected thoroughly, the studious football writer needs to look elsewhere to fulfil their desire to explain tactics to people and draw crap diagrams which don’t really mean much. This is what they found in their search for an alternative. Make sure you include or at least reference the following: Marcelo Bielsa. Cruyff, Michels and Total Football – this might Read more..
After looking in the last article, at how Manchester United can try to stop Barcelona playing, whilst at the same time launching effective attacks of their own, it is now time to look at what at times can be an unstoppable force – the Barcelona attack. Because when you keep the ball like they do, you rarely need to defend! Having one of the best players ever to play the game helps. As does having the top 3 players in the world at the moment, but these players have been allowed to shine in the Barcelona system, and the system benefits them as much as they benefit the team. It gives them an amount of Read more..
Manchester United V Barcelona – 28/05/2011 – Wembley Stadium The odds for Manchester United to win the Champions League final, are around 3-1 with most bookies. Is there really that much of a gulf between the finest team England has to offer, and the Spanish champions, Barcelona? If Manchester United are to upset these odds in the upcoming Wembley final, they won’t just have to display the mental strength that Manchester United units are known for, they will also have to get it tactically right. For some tactical references they could look at the recent spate of El Clasico matches, and surely they will take some encouragement from the fact that Real Madrid seemed to Read more..