French set-ups leads to Barca demise
Spurs 1 Milan 0
Barcelona 5 Real Madrid 0
If you watched this game, check-out my analysis and make a comment.
Thank you Coach! Your analysis of the Barcelona/Real Madrid clash could only come from someone with a supremely sophisticated grasp of “the beautiful game”. I watched the game twice and like Mourinho, I wondered how it was that a much heralded Barcelona team could toy-around, practically, with an equally mighty Real Madrid team. You broke down the tactical complexities of the match to a simple and clear read into the working mind of the two coaches. Knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of players and adjustments coaches make to mask individual and team weaknesses are not easily discernible traits but you nailed the challenges and opportunities both teams faced spot-on although there might well be other reads. In this case, Barcelona prevailed emphatically and your take makes a lot of sense. I look forward, with eagerness, to reading more of your analysis of the many great match-ups coming in the near future. Coaches would do well to read them and engage you – as this segment presents a great addition to their continuing drive to improve their knowledge of the game.
Spurs v Milan
Greta analysis. While I was watching the game I could not understand the lack of penetration by Antoninni/Abate. In retrospect Lennon/Chorluka on one side and Pienaar/EssouAkotto on the other shut down the wide runs and forced Milan to play through the middle of the field. As your analysis pointed out, this played right into Spurs tactics as Sandro/Palacios commanded the midfield. The lone creative Milan midfielder (Seedorf and then Robinho) had no real support and played across the field rather than through the defense. I thought Michael Dawson had an excellent game as well.
As for Spurs, apart from the counter I could not see where they were going to get a goal from. Crouch was isolated, the crosses from Lennon were too shallow to the front of the box, and VanderVaart was closely watched by TSilva – Milan’s best player on the night. Spurs greatly missed Gareth Bale’s probing runs. I feel Modric could have pushed higher as well.
Looking forward to Arsenal v Barcelona…
GREAT EYE FOR THE GAME, I COULDN’T AGREE MORE!
Arsenal v Barcelona
Another brilliant analysis. This is good teaching material and I can think of a few matchups I have seen recently at the youth level that players and coaches could apply your thinking to. Ultimately lady luck was with Arsenal on the night
I found Arsenal’s opening 10 minutes set the tone for the game – high speed pressure, with three lines of attackers/defenders. I think Walcotts and RVP’s first few attacking runs let Barcelona know that someone had to stay home. Nasri and Clichy combined to keep Alves’ runs under control, but Koscielny was left to repeatedly cover the hole left by Clichy playing more advanced. Barcelona could not seem to get Xavi and Iniesta fully involved in the attack. They seemed overly concerned with Fabregas’ movement and ability to unlock deep runs and that meant Messi had to drop deeper than usual to pick up the ball. Barcelona looked more likely to rely on a single player to create. Even if that player is Messi, it lessened his chances. I look in the next game for Xavi, to push forward and leave Fabregas to Busquets individually.
I was surprised that the Barcelona wingbacks Alves and Maxwell could not create more wide play – and I’m interested in your analysis. Eboue and Clichy are not known for defending well against skilled wingers and Arsenal’s aerial defense is generally poor. Yet Barcelona did not attack through crosses from the wide areas, rather they relied on central passes into Messi. The Arsenal high back line strategy looked poor all night and will need to be addressed as they seemed to lose Villa and Pedro once Messi touched the ball.
I thought the substitutions as you outlined were brilliant by Arsenal, not so good by Barcelona. Given the squad Wenger took with him Bentner was the only wide attacking player available, but I would have loved to see Chamakh partner RVP and Arshavin. Bentner just never seems to be at the right pace of Arsenal’s attacks.
Looking forward to the rematch- go Gooners!
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