Premier League: Three tactical talking points from Matchday 16

Alan O’Brien 

1) Hard-running Hammers consign sluggish Slaven days to memory

If Slaven Bilic’s West Ham United had greeted the champions in this manner, claret (and blue) would surely have spilled. Continue reading

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Premier League: Two tactical talking points from Matchday 10

Alan O’Brien 

1) 5-3-2, the counter-attacking formation-du-jour

Ever the tactical trendsetter, Chelsea’s Antonio Conte has done it again. Last season’s switch to 3-4-2-1, that inspired a title-grabbing 13-game winning run, was shamelessly copycatted across the Premier Division; most notably by London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Continue reading

Premier League: Five tactical talking points from Matchweek 9

Alan O’Brien 

1) Klopp suffers the fate of his former employers

Wembley has witnessed Mauricio Pochettino’s counter-attacking 5-3-1-1 system before. On September 13 of this year, Tottenham Hotspur, configured in that very shape, absolutely destroyed Peter Bosz’s gung-ho Borussia Dortmund in the channels. On Sunday, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, once of the Dortmund parish, met the very same fate. Continue reading

Bournemouth 3-3 Arsenal: Second-half Cherries retreat tempts Giroud sting of the tail

High-pressing, right-wing overloads, and quick balls in behind the Arsenal defence put Eddie Howe’s side firmly in the driving side, but a second-half retreat played into Olivier Giroud’s hands, costing Bournemouth all three points in dramatic fashion. Continue reading

Bournemouth 0-0 Tottenham Hotspur: Congested Spurs attack plays into Howe’s hands

Mauricio Pochettino’s obsession with controlling the central midfield battle against fellow pressers Bournemouth rendered his attack completely toothless and cost Tottenham Hotspur the opportunity to top the Premier League. Continue reading

Bournemouth 2-1 Manchester United: Hapless Van Gaal Upstaged By Clever Howe In Latest United Reverse

Louis van Gaal’s second defeat in five days had a lot in common with the first. Two concessions from set-pieces prompted the Dutchman to turn to Nick Powell – who made his last Premier League appearance over three years ago – as an unlikely emergency target man. Continue reading