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WhoScored: Is Di Maria enough for Man Utd?

Tactics And Analysis 4 days ago
Read

WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis Aug 22, 2014
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WhoScored: Arsenal's midfield issue

Tactics And Analysis Aug 8, 2014
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Cox: Window pain

Tactics & Analysis Jul 17, 2014
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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
3 days ago

How will Angel Di Maria fit into Louis van Gaal's Manchester United XI?

The ESPN FC crew discuss the British record signing of Angel Di Maria to Manchester United and debate the impact he will have with the Red Devils.

How do you solve a problem like Di Maria? Manchester United have paid a British record fee for Angel di Maria, yet the 59.7 million-pound signing does not really fit into their current 3-4-1-2 system. A winger joins a club who have dispensed with wingers.

- Marcotti: Have United overpaid for Di Maria?

However, Louis van Gaal described his most expensive arrival as a midfielder and a versatile player who gives his managers options, as he showed last season. "He can play inside or wide," the ...

4 days ago

Is Di Maria enough for Man Utd?

Angel Di Maria has a host of tools at his disposal.
Angel Di Maria has a host of tools at his disposal.

An angel has arrived in Manchester. Many fans think Angel Di Maria will be United's saviour this season. Others worry that while his arrival provides a huge step towards recovery, bigger problems remain, most importantly in defence.

With the Financial Fair Play authorities looming over United's bookkeepers, there may not be much left in the bank for further business this summer (particularly given that they have recouped less than 10 million pounds from transfers in the last two years but have ...

 Posted by Michael Cox
6 days ago

Van Gaal's tactical evolution

ESPN FC's Craig Burley discusses how the perception of Manchester United needs to change based on their current form.

Louis van Gaal has begun his time in charge of Manchester United by playing a 3-4-1-2 formation, an alignment with which he enjoyed success as Netherlands manager at the World Cup.

"Success" must be qualified, of course -- the Netherlands came third. However, it was a dramatically better performance than was expected, as many tipped them to finish behind Chile and Spain in the group stage. In the end, only a defeat to Argentina on penalties denied them a second consecutive appearance in the fina...

Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
6 days ago

Tactics Board: City exploit weaknesses

Jovetic
Stevan Jovetic escaped his markers to score twice.

Jovetic exploiting the gaps

Manuel Pellegrini talks about the importance of having four strikers. Really, however, his match-winner in the 3-1 victory against Liverpool is more of a No. 10. Stevan Jovetic helps turn City's 4-4-2 into a 4-2-3-1 formation as he, David Silva and Samir Nasri operate between the lines.

It is a particularly effective ploy against a team such as Liverpool, who feature one holding player, Steven Gerrard, who is more a deep-lying playmaker than a midfielder destroyer an...

Aug 22, 2014

Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini expects to get his first home victory of the season at the hands of a Suarez-less Liverpool side.

Much of the talk ahead of Manchester City's clash with Liverpool has surrounded Mario Balotelli's impending arrival at Anfield. The Italian will not be registered in time to feature on Monday night, however, in what is the first heavyweight battle of the season as the defending champions host last season's surprise runners-up.

Even without the ever-entertaining Balotelli, there are some intriguing matchups in the upcoming showdown, with both managers having to make tactical decisions after so...

 Posted by Michael Cox
Aug 21, 2014

Dortmund building Arsenal-like empire

Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp is expecting a tough test from Bayer Leverkusen in their season opener.

It would be an exaggeration to describe 2014-15 as a genuinely new era for Borussia Dortmund, but they're set to embark upon another phase in their exciting adventure as one of Europe's most revered sides. To be specific, this is the third phase -- and potentially the most interesting so far.

The first phase was simple -- it was Dortmund's sudden transformation into Germany's most complete side. In 2010-11, Dortmund took a huge leap from fifth the previous campaign and become the Bundesliga's be...