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Blog - Tactics and Analysis

Corner kicks: The Prem's dying art

Tactics And Analysis
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WhoScored: Van Gaal and Moyes compared

Tactics and Analysis
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WhoScored: Struggles of Prem GKs

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Five trends of the 2014-15 Premier League

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WhoScored: Liverpool scoring woes solved?

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 By Michael Cox

David Trezeguet's ruthless finishing made him a memorable striker

David Trezeguet experienced several highs and lows with France as he won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Championship, but he also missed a crucial penalty in the 2006 World Cup.

Football is a game of fine margins, and few understand this better than French striker David Trezeguet, whose retirement from football was widely reported this week.

There's a tremendous symmetry about Trezeguet's high and low points of his career. Both came in major international finals, both came against the Italy national team -- the country where he spent his best years at Juventus during 2000-10 -- and both were utterly decisive.

One was a thumping drive into the top of the net, the other was...

Corner kicks a dying art in the Premier League

Charlie Austin is the Premier League Player of the Month after scoring an impressive five goals in five matches.

The sight of Phil Jones backing toward the Queens Park Rangers crowd, arms raised to signal the plan to his Manchester United teammates, was rightly met with utter bemusement. It wasn't even, as many would have presumed upon seeing him do so once, a matter of mere coincidence; he wasn't taking a corner kick just because he was the nearest man when the ball went out. Shortly after, he was taking another one.

As centre-backs go, Jones is certainly one of the more technical. Comfortable in possession...

 By Michael Cox

Christian Eriksen is the reliable No. 10 that Tottenham have lacked

ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE: Christian Eriksen (88') Tottenham 2-1 Sunderland

You can never entirely judge a player upon highlights alone, but a showreel of that individual's goals often summarises their footballing personality.

Watch Thierry Henry's 228 Arsenal goals and you'll find his cool, composed finishes epitomise his grace and nonchalance. View Cristiano Ronaldo's and you'll witness his sheer power. Observe Lionel Messi's collection and you'll marvel at his immaculate precision.

Tottenham's Christian Eriksen is a fine example, because the Danish playmaker scores...

 By Michael Cox

Aguero and Sanchez dominating the Premier League in very different ways

The ESPN FC crew discuss whom they'd rather have, Sergio Aguero or Alexis Sanchez, ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash between Man City and Arsenal.

During their first Premier League meeting in September, Sergio Aguero and Alexis Sanchez both scored in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates. Ahead of their second meeting on Sunday as Manchester City host Arsenal, few would bet against them repeating the trick; these two South Americans are arguably the Premier League's two most exciting attackers.

The fact they're both from South America is of interest, considering forwards from that continent have rarely been consistently successful in English football....

How do Louis van Gaal and David Moyes match up at Manchester Utd?

David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal split
How do Louis van Gaal and David Moyes match up?

It's fair to say that when Louis van Gaal was quizzed on whether his Manchester United side had improved from the one so often mocked under former manager David Moyes, he wasn't pleased. The most basic numbers suggest, however, that there is not much difference between the two.

It's been well documented that United, under the increasingly maligned Scotsman, have the same points tally (37) as they had at this stage last season. At that time, the fans were placing very little blame anywhere other...

 By Michael Cox

Are Louis Van Gaal's tactics to blame for Man United's scoring struggles?

Manchester United have the same number of points under Louis van Gaal as last year's campaign under David Moyes, but Steve Nicol believes Van Gaal is less scrutinised because he talks a great game.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley and Paul Mariner discuss Manchester United's form under Louis van Gaal as they currently have the same number of points as David Moyes' side last season.
ESPN FC's Steve Nicol breaks down Manchester United's 1-0 loss to Southampton at Old Trafford where he seems just as confused as the players as to where their positions are.

Manchester United's limp performance in Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Southampton was summarised neatly by one single statistic: they didn't manage a shot on target in a match at Old Trafford for the first time since 2009.

That statistic, however, isn't entirely surprising. In the reverse fixture they somehow managed to defeat Southampton 2-1 despite having only three shots. United have managed only the 11th-most shots in the Premier League this season, the eighth most on target, and the fact that they've...