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Whoscored: Welbeck's chance to prove himself

Arsenal 6 days ago
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WhoScored: Five to watch in qualifiers

Tactics And Analysis Sep 4, 2014
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WhoScored: Is Di Maria enough for Man Utd?

Tactics And Analysis Aug 28, 2014
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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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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
4 days ago

Jack Wilshere finds his best position; Jesus Navas' width helps Man City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini criticised referee Mark Clattenburg after their 2-2 draw with Arsenal.

Arsenal showed promise as they came from behind to lead 2-1 against Manchester City, but then the old problems surfaced as City struck a late leveller. Here are some of the tactical breakdowns from the game:

Wilshere is central for Arsenal

Jack Wilshere is starting to find his feet in midfield.
Jack Wilshere is starting to find his feet in midfield.

Jack Wilshere was used as a holding player in a midfield diamond by England against Switzerland. He spent parts of last season operating, often uneasily, on the wings for Arsenal. Now he is benefiting from a change in thinking from Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners manager...

 Posted by Michael Cox
4 days ago

Manchester City display direct, rugged edge at Arsenal

Sergio Aguero's 28th-minute goal for Manchester City put Arsenal on their heels.

LONDON -- In strategic terms, Manchester City's Manuel Pellegrini is a subtle manager, more likely to change the balance of his team with a minor alteration rather than a sweeping, dramatic shift in formation.

His starting XI for the 2-2 draw against Arsenal, however, was a surprise. Without Yaya Toure in midfield, he was forced to select Fernandinho and Frank Lampard, both starting their first game of the campaign. The Brazilian looked rusty, and Lampard struggled to cope with the speed of the...

 Posted by Michael Cox
6 days ago

What the football world can learn from Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol contends that Atletico Madrid are in a stronger position to repeat as La Liga champions.

It feels like an eternity ago given that the international break provided an unwelcome interruption to the beginning of the 2014-15 campaign, but Stoke's 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the previous Premier League weekend was one of the shock results of the season -- regardless of what happens over the next 35 games.

Stoke hadn't ever scored a Premier League goal at the Etihad, and failed to win away at the top 12 last season. Their victory over City, generally supreme at home, was a stunning...

6 days ago

Danny Welbeck's chance to prove himself the finished article

Speaking at the SoccerEx conference, Phil Neville believes Danny Welbeck has made the correct decision by leaving the club.

Throughout Danny Welbeck's short career thus far, he has remained a mainstay in the England squad and often the starting XI despite dipping in and out of the Manchester United first team. Criticised as a striker who does not score goals, he remains widely regarded as one of England's best attacking players, and there were few who could find a reason to call Arsenal's 16 million pound outlay a bad move.

Having previously hinted that he wouldn't be bringing in any other striker before the transfer...

 Posted by Michael Cox
Sep 9, 2014

Is the diamond formation here to stay in Europe?

Benfica's effective use of Angel di Maria in the diamond during the 2009-10 season produced some breathtaking football.
Benfica's effective use of Angel di Maria in the diamond during the 2009-10 season produced some breathtaking football.

"Diamonds Are Forever," sang Shirley Bassey in the theme to the 1971 James Bond film of the same name. It was among the best Bond theme songs, but if Bassey was predicting the popularity of the football formation over the next 40 years, she was somewhat mistaken.

At the start of the 2014-15 season, however, various sides have been experimenting with the system, including some of Europe's best footballing teams. Is the diamond back and here to stay?

- Macintosh: Welbeck makes his case
- Report:...

Sep 4, 2014

Five in-form players ahead of Euro 2016 qualifiers

Chelsea's Diego Costa has hit the ground running in the Prem with four goals in just three matches.
Chelsea's Diego Costa has hit the ground running in the Prem with four goals in just three matches.

More and more football fans, who would rather see somewhat meaningless and mundane friendlies scrapped (see England vs. Norway), bemoan the international break nowadays. Next week, however, the competitive nature of the game will return as the qualifying campaign for Euro 2016 kicks off.

As is the norm after a major tournament, the stalwarts of years gone by tend to step away from the international lime-/lowlight to pave the way for new faces, with 'transition' the go-to buzzword for so many...