Tactical Analysis

Manchester United vs Liverpool – Will LVG hand the game to Brendan?

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This weekend’s box office match is the showdown between the two most successful teams in the history of the English game. Sir Alex’s Ferguson’s enduring legacy was how he successfully knocked Liverpool off their perch. Yet the post-Fergie era hints at a similar fate for United as the one that befell their northern rivals. Both teams started this season with very high expectations. Manchester United embarks on their second season with LVG at the helm and a fan base that expects results after a number of high profile signings. Liverpool on the other hand appear to have perhaps learnt their lesson from previous transfer windows and have brought in a number of potential “signing of the season” candidates. This weekend’s clash is about much more than just the 3 points. It is about bragging rights and a long term rivalry – The question now is not about who is better equipped to win this match, but who will tactically nullify the opposition and come out on top? The answer to this question lies in the hands of the Manchester United manager. Read the rest of this entry »

“Quality” players that Arsenal Wenger should have looked at

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Arsene Wenger has used his annual party-line of “no quality players on the market” to justify another miserable transfer window. He looks and sounds like a different man to the one who consistently unearthed young exciting talents in the first decade of his tenure. Here is a look at a number of players in different positions who would have made an upgrade to his current squad without the need for splashing astronomical cash sums as Wenger would have us believe. Read the rest of this entry »

How LVG can get the best out of Anthony Martial

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The last day of the transfer window saw Manchester United surprise everyone with the signing of Monaco’s teenager Anthony Martial. A lot of debate has gone into whether he deserves the £36m fee that makes him the most expensive teenager in the history of the game and whether he will be more than just a substitute to Wayne Rooney. Read the rest of this entry »

For the second time this season, United sign Arsene Wenger’s perfect player

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Morgan Schneiderlin

Arsenal’s match against Manchester City last season has seen the birth of Francis Coquelin. After years of struggling to even cement his place in Championship teams, Coquelin was suddenly seen as the solution to Arsenal’s midfield problems. His rise to prominence is akin to Macheda’s for Manchester United in 2009. He was seen as the saviour of United’s scoring woes until his eventual fall from grace. Read the rest of this entry »

Pedro on the wing and no Terry – Alan Pardew can really hurt Chelsea

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A struggling Chelsea entertains an in-form Crystal Palace in what could be one of the matches of this weekend. Chelsea goes into this match without their talismanic skipper and with an adjustment to their front three following the arrival of Pedro from Barcelona earlier this month. Read the rest of this entry »

Incompetent Arsene vs Inflexible Brendan: A tale of two managers

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First Half

Rodgers got his pre match tactics spot on. He was aware that Wenger has one preferred way of playing football and built his pre match preparation to counter that perfectly. With the exception of Ramsey’s disallowed goal – admittedly wrongful – Arsenal were no match to Liverpool in the first half. Liverpool dominated the first half because of 4 main players – 2 from either side – Chambers, Coquelin, Lucas and Can. Read the rest of this entry »

Giroud is not the bad piece in Arsenal’s puzzle – another Frenchman is

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New signings, high expectations, slow starts, fans booing Wenger and the team, impressive second half run of matches and finishing off with Champions League qualification have been the defining characteristics of Arsenal’s campaign in the last couple of years. Why Arsenal can’t start as strong as they finish the season, why they can’t progress to the latter stages of the Champions Leagues is a conundrum for their faithful supporters. Read the rest of this entry »

Balotelli or Suarez – What is Rodgers’ plan for Benteke?

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In recent years, Liverpool fans got used to signing high profile strikers. Every couple of years a new player comes in, carrying the burden of a high price tag and facing the unforgiving jury. Torres and Suarez were the obvious success stories, while Andy Carroll and Balotelli flopped. Benteke’s signing could go both ways depending on the style of football and team setup that Rodgers chooses for next season. Read the rest of this entry »

Manchester United’s most exciting signing is an unknown

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The red half of Manchester is brimming with confidence and excitement after the captures of Schneirderlin and Schweinsteiger. Yet looking at a fully fit United squad, one can’t help but notice that the aforementioned players don’t seem to be plugging any glaring holes in the starting lineup. While the two of them are outstanding players and a great addition to the team, a fully fit squad boasts the likes of Herera and Carrick – two players that are capable of occupying the two midfield spots for the next season. Read the rest of this entry »