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Soccer is a sport that is constantly being tweaked and developed. From the creation of the offside rule as part of the English Football Association's 1863 Laws of the Game to the introduction of the back-pass rule in the 1990s to clamp down on unsporting play, changes and adaptations are part and parcel of the game. The modern era is no exception; from the rise of goal line technology to the altered goal kick rules that allow defenders to...
The beautiful game holds a special place in the hearts and minds of people across the world. It's no surprise then, that various books, films, and pieces of artwork have been created over the years to pay tribute to the role that association football plays in the lives of fans, players, and managers. In this article, we'll be giving you a guide to 10 of the best soccer documentaries ever made, from emotional tributes to the lives of iconic...
Ever wondered how to become a sports analyst or data expert within football? These types of roles have become increasingly common during the past few decades as football continues to expand and grow. Most professional football clubs have in-house analysts whose job it is to study the opposition, watch back their own team's performances, identify strengths and weaknesses, and formulate plans in response. Outside of the clubs themselves,...
It's looking increasingly unlikely that Rangers will be able to seriously challenge Ange Postecoglou's impressive Celtic side for the 2022-23 Scottish Premier League title. However, fans on the blue side of Glasgow have at least been given some great memories in recent years, following a long period in the wilderness during the 2010s. To assist their rise back to the top of Scottish football, the club have made important improvements in...
What does it mean to work in sports analytics? It's a field that has expanded rapidly in recent years, as football continues to develop and clubs look for ways to enact marginal gains in order to compete at the highest level possible. Using innovative set piece coaching , data models such as xG , or more refined match analysis can cause significant improvements in performance. In this sense, sports analytics are increasingly important...
Under manager David Moyes, West Ham United FC has experienced some great times recently, challenging the division's best clubs and embarking on some remarkable European campaigns. Players such as Declan Rice, Michail Antonio, and Jarrod Bowen have been central to that journey, but these individuals aren't wholly responsible for that upward trajectory. As a club, West Ham works hard behind the scenes to ensure they can compete on the...
The rise of Brentford FC in recent years is proof that the implementation of bold ideas, clever recruitment policies, and a clear club-wide strategy can lead to extraordinary results in football. The West London side has one of the smallest budgets in the Premier League, but since they were promoted to England's top division via the Championship play-offs in May 2021, they've been seriously impressive. They opened their 2021-22 campaign with...
It might often be the attackers who get all the glory, but defenders play an absolutely crucial role in top-level association football. In fact, sometimes there's nothing more entertaining than watching a combative center-back relish the task of stopping the opposition from scoring. Think of Italy and Juventus' Euro 2020-winning captain Giorgio Chiellini, or Portugal and Real Madrid legend Pepe, for example. There are a number of skills...
In soccer, attackers often grab the headlines. Whether it's Karim Benzema leading Real Madrid's phenomenal charge to the 2022 Champions League trophy, or Kylian Mbappe once again taking center stage during the Qatar World Cup, if you score goals, you're going to get noticed. While any good team needs a strong core, from goalkeeper through to the central defender and midfield players, it's the players up top that will usually get the...
Football has changed massively in recent years. On the pitch, new tactical developments such as the rise of gegenpressing and the increased popularity of zonal marking have made watching football a different experience, and off the pitch, coverage of the sport has altered dramatically too. Perhaps the biggest change of all is the increased importance of data within football, and when we watch the sport on TV these days, that's something...
The last ten years have been a difficult period for Premier League giants Manchester United . One of the world's most popular and successful football clubs, they enjoyed unprecedented success under Sir Alex Ferguson during the 1990s and 2000s; however, his departure has led to an ongoing period of transition in which discontent has been rife and trophy wins have been few and far between. Despite some improvements having been made under...
Next time you're watching a football match and you see an intricate corner routine scored, or an individual free kick curled into the top corner of the net, have a think about the origins of those special moments. Inevitably, many of the most dramatic scenes witnessed in elite football are the result of detailed training ground work between coaches and players. That's why our series on the best training grounds across the UK is...