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Chelsea’s Title Challenge: Adaptability Key to Success

Jose Mourinho was understandably pleased following his side’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal that gave the Blues clear daylight at the top of the Barclays Premier League. “In this moment, our team can adapt to everything”, enthused the Portuguese manager in a post-match interview. “We are not this kind of fundamentalist team who only play one way, think one thing. We can play different ways, adapt to different situations.” Whilst the statement might be perceived as the latest attack on Wenger and Arsenal in a war of words that seems to have no end in sight, it underlines the most salient reason behind Chelsea’s success thus far this season – their adaptability. Particularly over the past month, the Stamford Bridge outfit have shown that they are a side capable of winning games by adapting their own style of football to the opposition. This isn’t to say that Chelsea are the only team that can do this. Crucially however, they can do […] Read more »

Mauricio Pochettino has led Southampton to the top four

What Tactics Should Tottenham Employ Against Manchester City?

Mauricio Pochettino faces one of his biggest test against the Premier League Champions Manchester City. How will he fare? Andreas Vilas Boas just 14 seconds after the whistle saw his team concede a goal against a rampant Manchester City last season. City went on to score 5 more at regular intervals and defeated Tottenham 6 goals to none. This season however, with a new manager and a slightly revived team, Tottenham will be required to put up a better show and at least earn a draw if not win against the second placed City who are 5 points adrift Chelsea. Tactical Change AVB employed a flawed tactic last season by playing slow center backs and a high defensive line. Many football pundits criticised Boas for using his best center back as a left back as Kaboul and Dawson were unable to keep up with the pace of Aguero, Navas and Negredo. Walker on the other hand was fast but still […] Read more »

De Gea - The Flying Spaniard!

De Gea, Koke, Alcacer and other youngsters pivotal for Spain’s success

Spain’s recent victory against Luxembourg came felt like a breath of fresh after a few disastrous games. After sustaining 4 defeats in 6 games and a terrible World Cup, questions were raised about the abilities of Del Bosque as a coach and his unreasonable trust on certain players. There were doubts about the team’s adaptability and ability to cope with high-tempo counter-attacks. Many felt that the coach should give younger players a chance and let go of some of the deadwood. It seems like all the opinions haven’t fallen on deaf ears as Del Bosque fielded the youngest team of his reign in a game against Luxembourg which Spain went on to win 4-0. The coach dropped Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas, who had a disastrous game against Slovakia, in favour of the young and in-form David De Gea (23). Other youngsters such as Bartra (23), Dani Carvajal (22) and Alcacer (21) also got a chance on-field which meant the […] Read more »

Azzuri Italy 1

Bright Start For Antonio Conte’s Italy But Caution Is To Be Observed

Gli Azzurri have reacted well so far under their new head coach Antonio Conte after a dismal showing in the World Cup in Brazil. Italy should work hard to carry on this trend and Conte himself has to deal with some unanswered problems. Italy needed a fresh start following their humiliating group stage exit in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Cesare Prandelli accepted responsibility for the failure and subsequently stepped down from his position as the head coach of the national team. Antonio Conte, who surprisingly left his job at Juventus after three consecutive Scudetto wins, took the job of restoring the pride back in the Italian national team. Antonio Conte has started his tenure as Italy manager with three impressive victories, seeing off Holland in a friendly match before claiming victories over Norway and Azerbaijan in the Euro 2016 qualifiers. They have scored six goals and conceded one so far. Still early days but the hallmarks of Conte’s […] Read more »

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Rewind: Germany Edges Poland In Emotional World Cup 2006 Tie

On Saturday, Poland beat Germany for the first time in their history to take control of Euro 2016 qualifying Group D. The match, which ended 2-0, featured goals from Milik and substitute Mila, and marked the first time the Poles beat their neighbors in 19 attempts. One of those attempts was during the group stages of World Cup 2006. The Germans and the Poles found themselves in Group A with Ecuador and Costa Rica, with Poland and Ecuador vying for the second spot into the last 16. With this in mind, the Poles arrived in Dortmund to stymie the hosts, who fielded five of the players who would go on to win the World Cup 2014. Germany 1-0 Poland Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund, Germany June 14, 2006 In front of a home crowd of 65,000, the Germans dominated possession but couldn’t take the lead, with Miroslav Klose coming close on two occasions in the first 15 minutes. In the tenth […] Read more »