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Soccer is a sport that's full of buzzwords, now more than ever before.  Total Football ,  gegenpressing ,  zonal marking  — sometimes it feels like the technical terms never end. However, there's one footballing phrase that's been used so much over the past decade or so that it comes almost as second nature to many soccer fans across the world. Of course, we're talking about tiki taka. What is tiki...
Old-fashioned number 9s are few and far between these days. Strikers like Alan Shearer, Andrew Cole, or Miroslav Klose used to light up their respective leagues with incredible goal tallies, their focus remaining centered on putting the ball in the back of the net. But now, the demands on players are greater than ever before, and most forwards are expected to bring multiple different skills and qualities to the team. It's this backdrop...
In soccer, whether you're playing in the Premier League or for a local amateur side on Sunday mornings, the rules remain the same. There are strict regulations on the laws of the game, the size and dimensions of a soccer field , and the number of players on the pitch. Whatever the level, a standard soccer match is 11 v 11. However, it's also possible to play smaller-sided soccer games. Professional association football matches will...
The beautiful game is made up of a wide range of different tactical styles and coaching strategies. Some teams use intense counter-pressing to win the ball in high positions. Others go direct, utilizing the power of long balls and aggressive set-piece play. One tactical blueprint that has had a major long-term impact on the sport is the concept of Total Football. Revolutionary when first introduced, its mark is still evident...
Football tactics have moved on a lot in the last few decades. The increased presence of foreign coaches in the Premier League has led to all sorts of tactical trends and theories making their way into the highest echelons of the British game. One term that you've probably heard being used is "gegenpressing". It has been a major element of some top European teams' tactical blueprints in recent years. But what does it mean? In this...
Our series on the most popular formations in soccer has dived into a wide range of tactical setups and strategies, from wing-back-heavy systems like 3-5-2 and 3-4-3 to more defensively solid, compact formations like 4-4-2 . The shape we'll be discussing in this article is in essence a variation of that latter shape, 4-4-2. That being said, there are a lot of differences, which we'll get stuck into shortly. Formations play...
There's no "right" or "wrong" way to set up your tactics for a soccer game . One of the most crucial aspects of any tactical approach is the formation, and there are tons of different shapes and structures coaches can use to exploit opposition weaknesses and get the best out of their players. One slightly less common formation that deserves some attention in our series on the best soccer formations explained is 3-4-2-1. It's a...
Back in the early days of the Premier League, you'd be hard-pressed to find a top-level English side that wasn't playing 4-4-2. This simplistic formation led many teams to success with its use of two banks of four and a striking partnership. But since then, things have changed. The 4-4-2 shape has been adapted in many different ways in order to encourage certain passages of play and put emphasis on different areas of the pitch. One...
It's pretty common these days to see teams lining up with a back 3, but this wasn't always the case. In English football, the 3-man defense has experienced a surge in popularity in the last few years, with Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Wolverhampton Wanderers just some of the teams known to regularly use this approach. However, there are several ways a manager can use this foundation to structure their team. Previously in our series on...
A Champions League final win against Liverpool on 28th May 2022 secured Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti's status as the first-ever four-time European cup-winning coach. The Italian has received plenty of credit for his calm, hands-off approach and excellent man-management skills, but he's also a tactical innovator in his own right. One of his biggest contributions to the game is the development of the 4-3-2-1 formation, a slightly...
Tactical shifts and trends are inevitable within the world of soccer. As time passes, new strategies, formations, and approaches to the game will develop, and old methods will be left behind. These days, it's rare to see teams lining up with a strike partnership, for example. Back in the day, formations like 4-4-2 relied heavily on having two forwards who were capable of winning headers, holding up the ball, and linking up with each...
In our ongoing series explaining some of the best soccer formations used in the modern game, we've tackled a wide range of systems. Some are currently being used by the world's best teams ( the 4-3-3 formation , for instance), while others are a little less common or tied to a different footballing era. The shape we're focusing on in this article falls into the second category. The 4-1-3-2 system isn't particularly common, and there...