Author Archives: santapelota

Barcelona oscillate between verticality and ball-retention in a post-Xavi world

The Club World Cup has come to represent a watermark for Barcelona teams in different phases of their sporting shelf-lives. In 2006, Ronaldinho was anonymous, as he had been since the team’s Champions’ League-and-Liga winning heights a few months previously, … Continue reading

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Pellegrini’s Málaga continues to surprise

Málaga’s midfield diamond one of the tactical surprises of 2012-13 Rebirth of Joaquin in a forward role A deeper role and increased responsibility for Lucas Piazon Pellegrini disproves the notion that a narrow midfield is necessarily vulnerable to width. We’re … Continue reading

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Corinthians: brilliance in solidity

Corinthians truly are the sum of their parts but they will need to buy themselves time inside Chelsea’s half to do justice to the nature of their football Incision, precision and an ability to maintain shape both when attacking and … Continue reading

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Positional Play in the Premier League: thoughts ahead of the new season 2012-13

In the absence of a free role, how will Steven Gerrard fit into Brendan Rodgers’ strict template of positional play? Will Andre Villas Boas assign to Gareth Bale an advanced wide role or  is the Welshman better suited as an … Continue reading

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Napoli: allaying weaknesses or restraining strengths?

Napoli’s limitations were exposed on two fronts at the hands of a Chelsea team that itself is no great shakes. One aspect of this clearly has to do with the quality of personnel spread throughout the team. Another has to … Continue reading

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Busquets as an advanced midfielder?

The last thing that footballing parlance needs right now is another epithet with the ubiquitous ‘false’ pretext. But the question remains: what to do when you have a holding midfielder who performs the role adequately if not naturally and who … Continue reading

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Santos in Japan: What to expect of the ‘Peixe’

Borges (above) plays a vital ‘pivotal’ role for the Santos attack.     While far from being an encyclopaedic examination of this current Santos side who take on Barcelona for the World Club Championship prize, hopefully this will serve as … Continue reading

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Del Bosque is getting it wrong

The title of this post is perhaps an example of what can be alluded to in Spanish as palabras mayores; ‘strong words’, ‘big statement’. And it is with regret that anyone throws criticism at the man of integrity that is … Continue reading

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Menezes’ Options Represent Fusion of Brazilian and European Styles

When it comes to the Brazil team’s shape, Mano Menezes essentially has two preferences in mind, and both revolve around the advanced playmaking figure of Paulo Henrique ‘Ganso’. With the exception of Carlos Alberto Parreira’s 1994 World Cup-winning side, most Brazil … Continue reading

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