lunedì 19 agosto 2013

PDC needs time for his revolution

You know, revolutions require time and aren’t painless. That was also for Sunderland new era that started with a defeat. Pajtim Kassami's header was enough to give the away side all three points. With Fulham playing 10 men behind the ball and with their main forward often moving wide open, Di Canio's players wasn’t’ able to find a way to score. The Back Cats looked fit and sharp after the physical boot camp Di Canio installed this summer, and they are built to play from the back, with short passes in a tactical platform new manager created in the way to play a more funny game. On the paper, Sunderland's manager wants his side to deploy a 4-2-4 formation.“When we have the ball, I want us to be 4-2-4 with the wingers, pushing forward to join the attack and the full-backs moving up. We want to attack, we want to entertain and we want to score goals and the players we have brought in will make us much more able to do that,” he told the Echo. And Sunderland did it with both Adam Johnson and Emanuele Giaccherini operating as true attacking wingers but the team was unable to get behind the opposition's back line. They started well, employing a pressing game with both central midfielders Cabral and Seb Larsson chasing their counterpart Steven Sidwell and Derek Boateng while the defensive line was playing high up the pitch. Also, both Cabral and Larsson was good moving alternatively up and down to support the back line in the build from the back and the forwards. The problem was that Sunderland wasn’t able to create clear scoring chances, despite Di Canio’s quote that "there was only one team that tried to play football and create chances. We were in their half for 80 minutes and had some good chances. Only one team set out to win it." Most of the shoots came from distance – 71% as whoscored stats pointed out – but it was just the Czech right-back Ondrej Celustka’s chance to be really dangerous. The powerful Jozy Altidore played well as target man up front but didn’t give his best shooting. Team’s creators Giaccherini and Stéphane Sessègnon was erratic while the only Johnson was in life but inconsistent. Team is looking for a central midfield playmaker and they needs one to pair to Cabral.

Mourinho changed way

José Mourinho started his first stint as Chelsea manager introducing a three-man midfield, a relative news for Premier League, lining up his team in a 4-3-3 formation. After the period spent with Real Madrid, Mourinho is back with new tactical ideas. We still have seen part of Portuguese’s classic game plan, as Chelsea dominated the opening minutes with an aggressive approach by forcing opponents to concede possession and as they rest with the ball to secure the lead. But overall Mourinho seemed more flexible, adopting a 4-2-3-1 in the 2-0 victory over Hull City, with Ramires and Frank Lampard utilized as central midfielders behind the offensive quartet. With Juan Mata out of shape, Mourinho asked the debutant Kevin De Bruyne to cut in from the right while Oscar was starting as the central playmaker and Eden Hazard filled the left forward spot. It was a fluid three interchanging positions as Hazard’s cutting in from the left combined with Oscar and De Bruyne's off-the-ball movements.  Hazard created six goal-scoring chances. All of them found space between the lines moving wide open or into deeper positions and all beneficed by the play of centre forward Fernando Torres which was acting like a true pivot or deep-lying forward and played better then stats dictate, although he disappeared after the break. They played a high tempo football and they could continue to play this way as Mourinho has six players for the three positions behind the centre forward to utilize within the game. He can utilize Hazard, Oscar, De Bruyne, Mata and André Schürrle the same way he did with Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Angel Di Maria in Madrid. "I've managed so many times here and won so many matches here but we've not had many periods like that for quality," Mourinho told. His Chelsea 2.0 is more similar to Real Madrid than his first Blues version.

domenica 18 agosto 2013

Crystal Palace returning to the Premier League after an eight-year absence

Crystal Palace are back in the Premier League and will start the season as relegation favourites against Totthenam in the first game of an initial schedule featuring probable key relegation battles against Stoke, Sunderland, Swansea and Southampton in their first six fixtures. Palace will try to execute a counter attacking game play with low defensive back line to neutralize Tottenham’s pace. They will go with the 4-2-3-1 with Jose Campana playing in a deep playmaker role trying to orchestrate the counter attacks and with Jonathan Williams playing as an inverted winger. When not in possession, Palace will stick to a compact and narrow line up to stop Spurs midfielders from passing to Soldado. Known for employing an attacking philosophy for the majority of his time at Bloomfield Road regardless of the opposition, Holloway has conceded he may have to play a little more defensively this time around. "Hopefully we can stop the opposition doing whatthey are doing," he said. "We can break it up and then go and score ourselves and get three points instead of none and get to 40 points so we can do it again [next season]. What I've got to do is stay calm, keep my feet on the ground, keep working and keep being realistic. "I need to give them tactics that I have picked up along the way that might stop some of these teams who have got technically better players." Despite the slow recruitment and the loss of Wilfried Zaha, there are reasons for optimism. The Australia midfielder Mile Jedinak could prove he’s worth the Premier League, and Julián Speroni is a consistent goalkeeper. There is excitement for the arrivals of Dwight Gayle from Peterborough and Marouane Chamakh on loan from Arsenal. And you also will have to take a look to the captain of Spain Under-20s team, José Campaña, a deep-lying midfielder that is a rough diamond. He will have to strength the midfield alongside Williams and Yannick Bolasie. Gayle is the club's record signing from Peterborough for an initial £4.5m and he scored 13 goals in 29 games last season. Chamakh is a risk but it’s good to take. He has the pedigree and Holloway hopes he can flourish in the way to fill the void left by the injured Glenn Murray whose 31 league goals last season were the key of the team's promotion. He will have to boast a forward bunch featuring also Elliot Grandin and Stephen Dobbie.

venerdì 16 agosto 2013

What Tom Huddlestone can add at Hull?

Hull City boss Steve Bruce thinks the Premier League will be forced to take a look to his side's ambitions after landing England Tom Huddlestone on the eve of the new season. Bruce is determined to keep Hull in the Premier League. Hull finished second in the league last season utilizing a 3-5-2 formation featuring three solid centre-backs and two up and downs wing-backs as Ahmed Elmohamady and Robbie Brady. Hull's transfer activity this summer has been finalized at giving the Bruce more options. He got two good goalkeepers in Allan McGregor, bought for £1.5m from Besiktas and free-agent Steve Harper, signed from Newcastle. In preseason, Bruce switched between 3-5-2 and an attacking 4-3-3 designed to exploit the speed of Aluko and the centre-forward Yannick Sagbo. But the surprising move was the signing of Huddlestone that joined the club for a record £5.25m deal. He could make a big impact with the Tigers after a two-year stint plagued by injury that forced former Forest midfielder and England international to start just 11 Premier League games, and that made him expendable for Andre Villas-Boas this season. Huddlestone isn't the most mobile midfielder and has a low tackle accuracy as his 62.5% EPLIndex stats showed, but still remains a very technically gifted midfielder with good passing abilities. According to WhoScored, the Englishman picked up six assists in his Premier League and Europa League appearances last campaign, averaging 1.1 key passes per game. Maybe he isn't the best ball playing midfielder around but he could be a decent deep-lying midfielder if paired alongside runners. Passing is something he can do very well if placed in a comfortable position. His chances at Spurs were limited behind Sandro, Moussa Dembele, Paulinho, and Etienne Capoue. His move away from Spurs would finally aid Huddlestone to gain regular first team football play action and capture Roy Hodgson's attention. Huddlestone he will definitely be a key part of the Hull squad who is playing to retain a top-flight spot.