venerdì 27 settembre 2013

José Mourinho and André Villas-Boas

The disciple and his professor will meet for the first time as rival managers as Chelsea prepares to face Tottenham at White Hart Lane. Villas-Boas had worked under Mourinho at Porto and Chelsea as chief scout until he thought to deserve more power on the training field. But he had his bigger involvement request at Inter scuffled. So he tried to build his own reputation pursuing his ambitions. We don’t know exactly when the relationship between him and Mourinho was broken. The history told Villas-Boas attempted to get a first team coaching stint in the summer of 2009 at Braga but he failed before to get his first managerial job at Académica de Coimbra in the same year.
"I worked for José for seven years but we haven't spoken for quite some time," he said. "I haven't even got his number now. We had a great personal and professional relationship before, that we don't have now," he said. "I don't think we need explanations on friendship and personal relationships. But our relationship broke down.”
The relationship between the Portuguese managers started back to 1994, when Mourinho was the Bobby Robson's interpreter at Sporting Lisbon and Villas-Boas a young student of the game living near to the Englishman’s apartment. Villas-Boas wrote a paper with a tactical analysis about Domingos Paciência that made Robson so impressed to lure him and send in Scotland to gain his coaching badge. When Mourinho returned to Porto as manager in 2002 he asked him to create and run the scouting department.
A things is sure: Villas-Boas’ philosophy is far from that of Mourinho. While Mourinho put emphasis on transitions, Villas-Boas likes a more complex brand of football. Villas-Boas’ failed stint as Chelsea manager in 2011-12 is part of the story.
Mourinho is a fan of defending deep. His 4-3-3 at Chelsea was more a 4-5-1, with players asked to collapse behind the ball as quick as possible in the defensive phase. Villas-Boas approach was different. He was looking for a heavy pressing to win the ball back quickly. He wanted a high defensive line and this was a point that made him struggling at Chelsea, with John Terry & Co. uncomfortable to play this way.
Mourinho switched from his classic 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 this season, being flexible enough to adapt his ideas to his players’ skills. “We will play 4-2-3-1 in the first game, my favourite system, though sometimes I change the triangle and play with one in front of the defenders and two players up,” he said. “Other times I play with double midfielders and a number ten… but in another match I could change it. If we are losing, we might need to have two pure strikers.” On his side, Villas-Boas stuck with his usual formation.  The 4-3-3 system at Porto was built around Fernando moving forward despite being a holding midfielder, and switching spot with Freddy Guarin who usually drop deep if Fernando advanced and with Joao Moutinho acting like a classic box to box midfielder. Villas Boas tried to reply this midfield rotation at Chelsea but it didn’t work as the same manager admitted: 
“Our No 6 [at Porto, usually Fernando] sometimes became a more attacking midfielder and we tried to do that here [at Chelsea]. We decided it doesn’t work here, so that’s one of the things I have adapted. You lose a little bit of balance in the Premier League if you play that way. Transitions here are much more direct, making the importance of the No 6 to stay in position most decisive.”
The midfield rotation creates a mobile midfield, and allows team to make free a midfielder in the build up if opponents are chasing the deep-lying midfielder. Now, he has the chance to reply this formation with Tottenham. Sandro, Moussa Dembele and Paulinho suit perfectly his needs. And the 4-2-3-1 version he sometimes employed there is also similar to 4-3-3 system he ran at Porto.

giovedì 26 settembre 2013

Napoli - Sassuolo: analisi tattica

 Dopo le prime quattro giornate, chiuse in fondo alla classifica con 0 punti e 15 goal subiti a fronte di soltanto 1 realizzato, il Sassuolo riesce ad imbrigliare la capolista Napoli con una solida prestazione in trasferta. Per fare questo, Eusebio Di Francesco cambia l’assetto tattico della squadra, abbandonando il classico 4-3-3 per un più prudente 3-5-2, con Luca Antei, Francesco Acerbi e Paolo Bianco come difensori centrali, Ezequiel Schelotto come esterno di destra nel centrocampo e 5 e con Domenico Berardi impiegato davanti come seconda punta al fianco di Simone Zaza.
Rispetto alle precedenti uscite, Di Francesco ha schierato i suoi in posizione molto più arretrata, con un baricentro medio di 48.6 metri e una linea di pressing all’altezza dei 31,3 metri.

Le punte sono rimaste un pò lontane dal resto della squadra, nel primo tempo, come testimoniato dalla distanza fra il blocco difesa e centrocampo e l'attacco, di ben 61,1 metri.

La squadra è rimasta corta soprattutto nella distanza fra i reparti di difesa e centrocampo. Il baricentro più basso è dimostrato anche dal fatto che le uscite sugli esterni difensivi in avanzamento del Napoli erano demandate agli interni di centrocampo, con gli esterni di Di Francesco che hanno privilegiato la copertura della profondità e il compattamento di una linea a 5 in fase difensiva.

Nella foto vediamo la disposizione 3+2 del reparto centrale e d’attacco


 Nel secondo tempo la squadra è stata più corta, con una distanza media di 56,2 metri.

Nonostante questo atteggiamento più prudente – non si è vistala pericolosa ricerca del fuorigioco con linea alta che tanti problemi aveva creato nel match contro l’Inter – il Sassuolo ha mantenuto intatti i propri principi di gioco, privilegiando l’azione manovrata rispetto al lancio lungo a scavalcare il centrocampo, con il 74.1% di azioni a partire da dietro e soltanto il 25.9 di palle a scavalcare il centrocampo.In fase offensiva, la ricerca della verticalizzazione per le due punte ha preso il sopravvento sulla ricerca dell'ampiezza immediata, con il Sassuolo che ha tentato 0 cambi di gioco.

I flussi di gioco evidenziano una preferenza per la catena sinistra della squadra composta da Alessandro Longhi, Jasmin Kurtic e Acerbi. Francesco Magnanelli è stato il miglior passatore. Il regista del Sassuolo ha completato il 62% dei passaggi ed ha cercato una distribuzione equilibrata del pallone, preferendo giocare palla sul breve, per i compagni di reparto Kurtic e Karim Laribi.

Tom Huddlestone's early impact

Since Hull City were promoted into the EPL, all the talk was about how they could compete with the best. Sure, bigger teams are far from Tigers level, but Steve Bruce’side showed they can cope with the rest of the bunch, as games against Cardiff, Norwich, and Newcastle testified. Team is never about a single player or about a lone performance. But the fact that Tom Huddlestone added top class quality in their ranks is out of question. The former Tottenham midfielder is the player charged with the duty to pick the ball up from defenders in the buildup. A commanding figure with the ball at his feet, he added power and pace to his new side. He’s confident holding on the ball and helping the team to retain possession. Against Newcastle, Huddlestone recorded 87% of passing accuracy. Manchester City game aside, his passing accuracy were ever above the 80%. The 6'2" midfielder is precise both on the short and long range, playing 5.8 accurate long balls per game. Huddlestone is an accurate passer all over the field with 3 total through balls played and a total of 8 goal scoring chances created. But Huddlestone was also particularly good defending, as he nullified Newcastle's Yohan Cabaye and Vurnon Anita in the middle of the park. He had 2.2 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game during this first five games of the season and an average clearance of 2.8. Closed by  Sandro, Paulinho, and Moussa Dembele in the Spurs’ 4-3-3 midfield, he could flourish in a formation like Hull City, where he’s the main playmaker. If he will be able to continue with such impressive stats Roy Hodgson could take a look to Huddlestone for a come back to the international fold for next World Cup.