- Aug 26, 2008
- Reaction score
The second slide is, perhaps, even more interesting. It shows that Catania, when it attacks, switches to a three-man defense, with a sweeper or defensive midfielder drafted as an additional centre-back. It is in this role, pioneered by Matthias Sammer, that Simeone shined as a player; it is from here that somebody can easily dictate the tempo in a zone system. On the upper right corner one can almost see a player completely free, and indeed, by dropping the holding midfielder, a team is able to let the fullbacks surge and fully integrate themselves into the offensive schemes. More or less, this technical lore comes away as a Catalan achievement: Guardiola showed us what damage can be done by shifting to a mixed 3-4-3 system when in possession, and make no mistake, Barcelona is always in possession.
Like Bielsa, overall Simeone seems to like to have a mix in the midfield. Alongside the obvious presence of a holding player, it is common to see at the Massimino a mobile combination of wing-backs, traditional wingers and winger/playmakers—the idea being, to put it in pseudo-scientific terms, that to a diagonal surge through the middle to latch on to second balls corresponds an equal force to retreat and assist your outside centre-backs when the opponent is raiding down that particular flank.
how would you stop Barca? what system will you use to counter them and is there any team in the world which could have a go at them by adding just two players?
Madrid not included they are the club of the last century and they are contend with it
My answer would be two strong midfield players who can destroy and create plays together ala Carlo-rijkaard partnership and a counter attacking force ahead of them
So I choose current milan+schweni+pastore so much speed and tenacity
-----------pastore/or(old ricky kind of player)---------
Even this team could get their but kicked..
Dont make it a dream formation/signing thread
As I took in a second viewing of Barca’s dismantling of Manchester United, I simply couldn’t resist the comparison everyone is talking about. Is this Barcelona team better than the AC Milan team of the nineties that I grew up with as a child? Now I admit, it will be virtually impossible for me to come to an unbiased conclusion. Sacchi and Cappello’s Milan were my introduction and education to football as I know it, and frankly there could have been no better teacher. But Pep’s Barca has now arrived into some rarefied air, three straight La Liga titles and 2 out of 3 in the CL means that the great Milan squad of my youth may have finally found a true rival.
Ask anybody who's done it, and they'll tell you that sustaining success is much harder than achieving it in the first place. The great Hungarian coach Bela Guttmann refused ever to spend longer than three years at a club because he felt that after that he could no longer motivate players. It may be that in the modern world of soccer in which money begets money, success is easier to sustain than previously, at least on a domestic level. On a European scale what that means is a cluster of perhaps eight or so super powers constantly battling for the Champions League, which is surely the main reason no side has successfully defended the title since the AC Milan of Arrigo Sacchi in 1990.
After Barcelona’s super human display in the Champions League final against Manchester United, the question on many people’s lips is whether this Barcelona is the best side football has ever seen.
If you watch the final in detail, and look at the statistics, it’s hard to argue with that notion, the Catalan’s holding 70% possession of the ball, completing in the region of 600 passes, and getting 12 shots on target in comparison with United’s one.
It’s safe to say then, at a time when they have no peers, Barca are competing with history. And if you look back through the ages, there is one side that jumps out of the dusty pages as major competition for the “Best Team Ever” tag.
An old scout report by Villas-Boas (on Newcastle) mentioned in that Eurosport article. Quite detailed. And also reminded me that Shearer-Owen once used to start for Newcastle. What a fall for the Toon in these last few years!
Came in here to post this scout report.
It's a detailed one to say the least, interesting read. I wish we could find more stuff like this.
Can omit White Hart Lane as we know it'll be a blank board.
'ave a go, lads!
I agree with you both though. I'd love to see more tactical reports like that one. Looked around a lot but no luck. Btw, that report was posted by Sonny.Bill.Williams a few pages back.
I've been traveling to Switzerland, Germany, and now England these last few days, so I thought it was only fitting to post the analysis below from London where I am currently enjoying the good weather and great company of friends and colleagues. When having conversations, especially here in England and over a pint or two of good beer, it's not unusual to hear complaints about leagues becoming too unequal. Usually these complaints are couched in terms of fairness, and they tend to come from supporters or officials of clubs that aren't doing as well as they would hope. But none of this means the complaints don't have merit.
To see if there's anything to them, some data Benjamin Leinwand and I have been collecting may help us out, I think. Initially, Benjamin and I wanted to get a sense of overall levels of parity in various leagues and to put them in perspective. So we started by examining levels of competitive balance in six European leagues with data for the past 15 years. We measured balance in a league based on wins and with the help of the Gini coefficient and the so-called Standard Deviation. The data showed that - considered over the entire 15-year period - the Dutch Eredivisie has been the most imbalanced league, while the French Ligue 1 has been the most balanced. The data also showed two groupings, with Ligue 1, the Bundesliga, and La Liga exhibiting more and the Eredivisie, EPL, and Serie A less balance.
Of course, there are different ways to measure competitive balance, and we'll provide some analyses of whether this matters before too long.* In the meantime, though, I thought I'd point out that what you find has a lot to do with where you look, and that's true when it comes to understanding league (im)balance, too. There are different ways of slicing the data on leagues and each gives you a slightly different vantage point on where leagues are or are headed. Here's an example. The good thing about combining 15 years of data when looking at league balance is that we can avoid focusing too much on recent events that may or may not be typical. But there's a downside to this: by averaging over a longer time span, trends get lost in the shuffle. It seems to me that both are important - we want to know if the Bundesliga is more balanced than, say, the EPL, but we don't want to make sweeping generalizations by looking just at last year's results.
But we also want to know if a league has become more or less balanced in recent years - that is, what has happened to parity over time. Is the Eredivisie's or the EPL's lack of balance (compared to the other leagues) a recent development, or does it reflect a long-standing pattern? To answer these kinds of questions and get a sense of the dynamics of competition in the six leagues, we took a look at trends over time and plotted the annual Gini and Standard Deviation scores since the 1994/95 season. The picture looks like this.:
The first point is that some leagues show very clear upward trends. The trend is most obvious in the case of the EPL, where we see an ever increasing imbalance in the league that started as far back as 1997. And this trend is apparent, regardless of which measure of imbalance we use.
The numbers show that the Premiership is significantly more imbalanced today than it was 5, 10, or 15 years ago. But it does not seem to be the only league with a growing competitive imbalance. The Bundesliga, too, seems to have crept upward ever so slightly, and so has La Liga very noticeably since 2002. Interestingly, the Eredivisie's high level of imbalance and Ligue 1's high level of parity do not seem to have changed much over time.
And the trends are statistically significant: when we estimate a regression model of Gini or Standard Deviation with time as the independent variable, we find significant and positive linear trends (p<.05) in the EPL (for the Gini coefficient as well as the standard deviation), and for Serie A (for standard deviation of wins). The coefficients for La Liga are positive, too, but significant only at the .10 level (two tailed tests of significance, in case you were wondering). So what we can say, based on these data, is that the Premier League has become significantly less balanced over time, and that La Liga and Serie A also have become more unequal, but the trends there are not as clear cut - in the case of Serie A only with regards to one measure of parity and in the case of La Liga to a lesser extent (statistically and substantively speaking).
Now that we know the overall historical levels of balance and trends over time, let's get to the fun stuff most fans really care about: what do the numbers tell us about which of the leagues was most imbalanced in 2010/11? Take a look:
Regardless of whether we measure league balance with Gini or Standard Deviations, we currently have two sets of leagues when it comes to parity. On one hand, there's La Liga, the Premier League, and the Eredivisie, one of which was imbalanced to begin with (Eredivisie) and two of which have become more so over time (La Liga, EPL). On the other hand we see significantly lower and virtually identical levels of imbalance in Ligue 1, Serie A, and the Bundesliga for the 2010/11 season. Looking at standard deviations alone (below), the Bundesliga was in a league of its own, recording the highest level of parity of all the leagues last year.
So what does this mean? Assuming that levels of imbalance in the Premier League are too high or are in danger of being too high (and some people would disagree with either assumption), it tells us that Manchester City and Chelsea are not really the problem, or not the only problem the league has. The trend toward competitive imbalance in the Premier League started quite some time ago and well before Roman Abramovich and Sheikh Mansour appeared on the scene. At the same time, I do wonder how much more of a league of haves and have nots the league wants to become (or remain). And the Premiership is not alone; some of the other leagues also seem to be on the verge of becoming significantly more unequal - in particular La Liga - and another - the Eredivisie - already is very unequal. And while the Bundesliga appears to be the healthiest league at the moment (financially speaking), it's not clear that this is necessarily connected to the level of competitive balance. After all, one of the sickest leagues (Serie A) is just as balanced but not doing nearly as well.