An Exceptional Game Model (Including Generic Theory and Lessons)

On December 2nd, 2018, Holstein Kiel travelled to MSV Duisburg and convincingly won 4-0. Last season, under the command of Tim Walter (now the coach of VfB Stuttgart), Kiel gained popularity as a high-pressing, possession-hungry side, using a variety of unique actions and structures not used by other teams. Kiel were identified as promotion candidates, […]

Tactical Principles: Brief Overview

We examine the topic of tactical principles and the importance of understanding its different meanings and its use in coaching. Introduction The game of football can be approached as situations that continually unfold creating what we would call problems (Grehaigne et al., 2012) for teams and consequently the players that make decisions. This can be […]

Potential Strategic Consequences of Introducing Video Assistant Referees (VAR) in Top Level Professional Football Coaching

We discuss the potential strategic impacts of VAR on both player and coaching behavior in top level competition. Author’s Note: This paper is adapted from a term paper of a seminar I recently completed as part of my university studies. The course dealt with several sociological aspects of sport, and given the topic’s relevance to […]

USA win 4th Women’s World Cup

The United States women won their fourth World Cup title, defeating the Netherlands to defend their crown in Lyon. Entering the match, each of the two teams come from differing histories in relation to women’s football. For all of their folklore in men’s football, the Dutch have quite a recent history with success on the […]

Sweden advance to semi-finals

Germany faced Sweden in the World Cup quarter final on Saturday evening. Coming into the game, the two-time champions had won every game without conceding despite their underlying numbers telling a different story.Sweden’s results were similarly impressive, failing to win just once, in a match against favourites USA.  Germany’s build-up structure Against Germany’s deep build-up, Sweden […]

Cote d’Ivoire edge South Africa in scratchy opener

To kick off their 2019 AFCON campaign, South Africa took on traditional powerhouses Cote d’Ivoire in Cairo. Stuart Baxter’s charges lined up in a 4-4-2 shape with Percy Tau playing as a secondary striker/playmaker next to Racing Strasbourg’s Lebo Mothiba, who occupied a more traditional target striker role.  Cote d’Ivoire on the other hand lined […]

Tottenham-Liverpool: Champions League Final Preview

After the last years’ Spanish domination in the European Cup Finals, English football finally took over for this season, with 4 teams representing in this season’s 2 Cup finals. If you followed the development of the english football lately, the shift was quite predicted and inevitable. Both teams have an important thing in common: conscious […]

Leverkusen’s positional play approach – midfield-box concept

In the last games of the season, Leverkusen used an interesting approach in their positional play, creating a 3-2-2-3 (midfield-box) staggering from the initial 4-2-3-1 shape, which basically changed the whole dynamics of their positional play. From 4-2-3-1 to a 3-2-2-3 In order to keep the original rules of spacing & staggering (Juego de Posicion) […]

Video Analysis: The Tale of the Kwasniok Table

31 games in, Jena was 8 points away from safety.7 games later, they finish 1 point ahead of the relegation zone. Coach Lukas Kwasniok introduced his own table for these 7 games and put it in the change room. They won 6 of the games. But the story starts earlier. They used to operate in […]

Video Analysis: Eibar’s Defensive System

According to several statistics (expected goals against – xGA, shots allowed, passes allowed per defensive action – PPDA) Eibar is on the top of the rankings in the La Liga. Therefore I decided to take a look into their defensive organization, analyzing their main principles and movements in their main 4-4-2 system (in high-press/mid-block/deep-block, plus […]