Category Archives: Tactics

Germany’s versatility a gifted curse for Joachim Low

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It is the Germans who always find a way to adapt to football revolution.

In the 1970’s, when Ajax Amsterdam and Holland developed total football, Bayern Munich and West Germany found a way to take it to the next level. In a team boasting Franz Beckenbauer, they had a complete footballer; a defender, a passer, a scorer. That carried onto the rest of the team, and Bayern Munich dominated club football while West Germany did the same on the international stage.

Something similar seems to be happening. While Barcelona and Spain have dominated via the development of tiki-taka, Bayern Munich and Germany have seemingly evolved it. By adding Read the rest of this entry

Italy’s World Cup hopes rest on the pearly wisdom of Pirlo and Prandelli

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Peerless Pirlo will take his final bow. After Brazil 2014, Andrea Pirlo will no longer don the azzurri blue of Italia.

It means that even though he has already shone in those colours, he must do so again to produce a final performance. The man who owns a vineyard must feel like a conductor of an opera at its end. It must finish with a flourish.

Pirlo is however the game’s most current graceful regista. In Italian, the word regista means director, and if his football career were a movie, it would seem like that of a Christopher Nolan film with twists and turns and mental puzzles yet to be solved but then already solved in a quagmire of illusionary forms.

That is how Pirlo plays the game. Slow, but quick, his passes Read the rest of this entry

Didier Deschamps hopes to inspire the French to victoire

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Franck Ribery has literally had an annus horribilis. At the start of the year, he was a treble winner with Bayern Munich and potentially a Balon D’Or winner. However, a third place finish in FIFA’s Player of the Year Award, a less than impressive end to the club season with Bayern and niggling injuries have seen his brilliance slide down a slippery slope.

France on the other hand seems to be going in the inverse direction. There is a huge improvement, a massive heightening of hope since four years ago when capitulation at Knysna brought about embarrassment. Didier Deschamps has ensured that does not happen again. By not picking Samir Nasri in his squad, he as at least guaranteed that Read the rest of this entry

Messi magic could take Argentina all the way

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If Brazil’s number 10 jersey is the most revered jersey number in the world, then Argentina’s number 10 comes a very close second.

It is more than just a jersey number — it is a tradition, a culture, a realisation of an ideology steeped in football romanticism. The enganche, a sly silky skilled, languid playmaker, with art and grace, beauty and poise epitomises the beauty of that albiceleste shirt number.

In Lionel Messi though, it bears a wearer cut from a slightly different cloth. If Juan Roman Riquelme was the epitome of enigmatic genius, Messi is the image of short, quick and Maradona-esqueness.

He is also the picture of frustrated greatness.

For all that he has achieved, Read the rest of this entry

Could Spain pass their way into history again?

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For some, tiki-taka is dead, while for others, it is merely evolving. Whichever side of that argument you lay, there is no denying that Vicente Del Bosque has questions to answer coming into the World Cup. The world champions and double European champions are in a state of transition. Some players are ageing, some new ones are showing promise and in between is a period where the sheer surprise and awe of that passing philosophy Read the rest of this entry

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