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Blog - Tactics and Analysis

WhoScored: Pogba on track to world's best

Tactics And Analysis
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Corner kicks: The Prem's dying art

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WhoScored: Van Gaal and Moyes compared

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WhoScored: Struggles of Prem GKs

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Borussia Dortmund's crisis isn't a crisis at all, and stats prove they will rebound

Borussia Dortmund head coach Jurgen Klopp is looking forward to the second half of the Bundesliga season.

Everyone says Borussia Dortmund are in crisis. Less than two years removed from making the Champions League final and less than three years removed from winning the Bundesliga, BVB have fallen into the relegation zone. With the league resuming this weekend after its annual winter break, Dortmund sit 17th, a full 30 points behind first-place Bayern Munich.

Proposed reasons for Dortmund's slide have ranged from injuries to lack of belief to the league catching on to Jurgen Klopp's tricks. Other...

 By Michael Cox

John Terry is the Premier League's best central defender this season

The ESPN FC crew debate whom they believe is the best defender in the English Premier League, and settle on Chelsea as the best defensive unit in the league with John Terry at the helm.
Big, big, big, big game in the Premier League. The boys report from Stamford Bridge, speak to Frank Lampard and play a game of snakes and ladders ahead of Chelsea's clash with Manchester City.
ESPN FC's Janusz Michallik analyses how Juan Cuadrado would fit within Chelsea's starting XI.

Ask any English football fan for their opinion on Chelsea captain John Terry, and you'll probably receive a somewhat blunt response. The first answer is very rarely "complete defender." Terry appears almost universally despised among English football fans, with Chelsea supporters an obvious exception. Disliking Terry has become something of a national sport and, you could argue, with good reason.

Controversies from earlier in Terry's career range from somewhat trivial to the significantly more...

Pogba on track to unseat Ronaldo, Messi as world's best

Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri praised young star Paul Pogba following his brilliant performance in their 2-0 win over Chievo.

In the world of sport, periods of increased or decreased form from an individual or team are quick to be jumped upon. The "purple patch" is a phrase oft-used to describe an individual's improved performances over a short period of time, and the "in-form" player is heralded for this upturn in fortunes.

When, though, does a player stop being "in-form" and his performances reflect the norm? When does he stop "playing out of his skin" and instead perform exceptionally within it?

The players who...

 By Michael Cox

Swansea and Southampton: Model clubs of the Premier League

The ESPN FC crew debate whom they believe is the best defender in the English Premier League, and settle on Chelsea as the best defensive unit in the league with John Terry at the helm.

This weekend the Premier League is preparing for a showdown between the division's best two clubs, as Manchester City travel to Chelsea for Saturday's late kickoff. It's a meeting between the top two, and while not realistically a true title decider, it's probably the biggest game of the season.

It's difficult, however, for the majority of other clubs to learn lessons from the Premier League's two title contenders. While Chelsea and Manchester City have performed well over the past half-decade...

Are Divock Origi, Saido Berahino worth all the hype? The stats are intriguing

The ESPN FC crew discuss potential moves before the end of the transfer window, whether or not Mario Balotelli will leave Liverpool and Diego Costa's diving.

How do you build for the future in January?

The pressures of the midseason transfer window are largely focused on the here and now. Teams buy in the winter in order to strengthen for the next five months, whether it be for a title race, European push or relegation battle; they don't generally spend with the next five years in mind. But this season has seen several intriguing transfer stories in which the needs of the present and the future overlap.

WINTER TRANSFER WINDOW LATEST

- Infographic: How a transfer works
- Karlsen: Premier League club-by-club needs
- Carter: Top 10 transfer targets in England
- Window Shopping: Club-by-club guide
- Delaney: Top free agents next summer
- Delaney: What January holds in store

West Bromwich Albion and England U-21...

 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...