Coping In The Dugout – Part One

Continuing with my football related posts I have now turned my attention to the figure in the dug out. Arguably the most important, and the most difficult role in modern football, the football manager needs to be inspirational, tactically astute and calm under pressure.

A book I have recently finished reading, named the 90-Minute Manager, looked to compare the running of a business to the management of a football team, and although the book has its flaws and is a little dated, it is a pretty decent read. It has provided me with the inspiration for these articles where I focus on the role the manager plays, outside of the implementation of tactics and beyond the lone figure we see on match day.

Continue reading “Coping In The Dugout – Part One”

Why Liverpool Can Dare To Dream

The dust is only just settling at Anfield after the incredible 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal, but I imagine rumours are already being whispered around Liverpool of an end to the title drought. The victory today sent a very real message to the rest of the league and was a strong signal of intent from Brendan Rodgers’ side.

As a lifelong Liverpool fan I am undoubtedly biased towards the reds, but even an outsider can see that a Premier League title is within reach. The first twenty minutes today was scintillating. Quick pressing, high tempo, passing and moving, not letting the opposition settle, and in truth Liverpool could have scored two or three more than what they did. They were that good.

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Manchester United: Ferguson’s Poisoned Chalice

As much as it pains me to write about Manchester United – being a die-hard Liverpool fan – I feel that the almost, inevitable failure of David Moyes is a forgiveable topic. Whilst reading The 90-Minute Manager I stumbled across some valuable insight and historical analysis. It led to me believe that the recent below-par performance by Manchester United is not only expected, but it is set to continue. I may well be forced to eat my words one or two years from now, but if the day comes when Moyes gets the sack remember that you read it here first.

The 90-Minute Manager is a book written by David Bolchover and Chris Brady, it compares and analyses football management in relation to business management, concluding that successful football clubs should form the basis for how businesses are run. My inspiration for this piece comes from this book, and all quotes are taken from its pages, unless otherwise noted. I plan to write about this book in more detail in a later post, so for now let us just focus on the topic at hand. The current and future failure of Manchester United under David Moyes.

Continue reading “Manchester United: Ferguson’s Poisoned Chalice”

Hendy Crush Porth Tywyn

On a damp, grey day Porth Tywyn travelled to Hendy hoping to get revenge for the loss inflicted a few weeks before. Both sides had won only one of their last five, and Porth Tywyn had a nightmare start finding themselves a goal down after just three minutes. A brilliantly executed volley just outside the area by Callum Carew. The Porth Tywyn goalkeeper looked uncomfortable between the posts and Hendy looked to take full advantage by attempting a number of long range efforts. In the twenty seventh minute Hendy doubled their lead, a goal gifted to Mike Grey from a rebound off a saved shot. Four minutes later the pitch and players were engulfed in a downpour of lashing rain and wind. This did not prevent Hendy extending their lead as another rebound was slotted home by Hendy striker Trystan Bateman. A comedy diving header-come-body check by Aaron “Chunk” Foster was the only other notable event before half time. In the second half the skies cleared and the weather improved dramatically. Just four minutes after the restart Hendy got their fourth. Mike Grey rolling home a left foot effort after the ball evaded the Porth Tywyn defence. In the fifty third minute commanding centre back Tom Stevens got on the scoresheet by poking home from two yards after a Hendy corner wasn’t dealt with. Hendy got their sixth in the seventy third minute when Grey completed his hat-trick. He almost added a fourth a few minutes later, but the post denied him. A seventh soon followed when Carew scored his second of the game, five minutes from the end, leaving just enough time for a consolation goal to be scored by Porth Tywyn before the final whistle. The full time score read Hendy seven, Porth Tywyn one. Notable performances for Hendy from Tom Stevens and Callum Carew, though Man of the Match must be awarded to hat-trick hero Mike Grey.

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How The Analysis of Chess Highlights Key Concepts Within Football – Part Two

Following on from part one, which can be found here, I will continue to look at the key footballing concepts that became apparent to me whilst I was reading Adam Wells’ Football and Chess. In part one I have already looked at Connectivity, The Battle for the Midfield, Mobility, Space and Overloading and Stretching.
Let’s kick off (pardon the pun) part two with a look at Defence.

DEFENCE
From reading the book I really got a sense that defending was less about talent and individual skill, and more about system and organisation. Though this seems to down-play the abilities of defensive players, it is quite clear that defensive minded players do not require tremendous amounts of skill and ability.

Continue reading “How The Analysis of Chess Highlights Key Concepts Within Football – Part Two”