Tag Archives: gifs

Chris Smalling (over 6 games, 2015/16 season)

Chris Smalling (over 6 games, 2015/16 season)
Games: vs Newcastle (27/08/15); at Arsenal (04/10/15); vs Man City (25/10/15); at Newcastle (12/01/16); at Liverpool (17/01/16); at West Brom (06/03/16). There’s also a decent sized conclusion at the bottom if you just want to skip down to that.

If you’ve not read one of these before, I look at a centre-back through the broad categories: ball-playing; positioning; awareness; decision-making; speed/strength. These (more here, including ones on Laporte and Alderweireld) are generally over just a single game, but over six here for a more in-depth look.


Smalling is a very bizarre player when looking at his ball-playing. Continue reading


Toby Alderweireld (vs Manchester City 14/02/16)

Toby Alderweireld (vs Manchester City 14/02/16)



A fair amount of Alderweireld’s first half was spent in positions ready to receive the ball, as opposed to having to do much defending. During this time he executed several decent passes – through the opposition midfield or cross-field to Danny Rose, one of which forced Sergio Aguero back to head it away – though he wasn’t particularly under much pressure when on the ball. Continue reading

What could he have done? – John Stones vs Tottenham Hotspur (03/01/16)

What could he have done? – John Stones (vs Tottenham Hotspur 03/01/16)

NB: The gifs in this may take a while to load, apologies, I’m working on editing them to reduce the size and loading time

[This is a more ‘coaching focused’ (I say this though have never coached in my life) piece; instead of just drawing attention to good or bad parts of a player’s game, I’ll try to suggest how they could change in future to improve. This sounds pompous already.]

Coincidentally, one of the first instances of room for improvement also features one of the tendencies of Stones which my gut has a sincere problem with. Continue reading

Andreas Christesen (vs Dortmund 23/01/16)

Andreas Christensen (vs Borussia Dortmund, 23/01/16)

(Ball-playing; positioning; awareness; decision-making/fundamental errors; speed/strength (/how to overcome them))


There were a couple of moments when team-mates on the ball around him seemed to think about passing to him and then decide against it, which can sometimes give you an idea of their skill on the ball, an spectre of an absence of trust. There was once instance where he took a heavy touch which led on to a bad pass, though for the rest of the match he was largely average; nothing special, nothing bad. He did manage a midfield splitting pass which set up a good Mönchengladbach attack though, which hints at an ability that perhaps just needs to be refined. Continue reading

Sam Byram (vs Manchester City 23/01/2016)

Sam Byram (vs Manchester City 23/01/16)

For those who haven’t come across one of these before, this is a kind of scouting report, looking at one player in one match. I normally focus on centre-backs, but it’s always good to branch out. The categories are what I think you should look at for defenders, though there is of course crossover between them.


There was a sense that some of Byram’s team-mates preferred not to pass the ball to him, which is perfectly understandable given that it was his debut against Manchester City, and isn’t the same type of low-level criticism of him as it is when it happens with other players. He was, in fact, largely calm on the ball, including a lovely long pass which would have been called a hoof had it not been so graceful which got onto Match of the Day.


There were a few iffy moments, Continue reading

Aymeric Laporte vs Barcelona (en français)

[NB: La français est ma deuxième langue donc je sais pas comment bien la traduction est, en particulier plusieurs des termes specifique au foot.]

Aymeric Laporte (contre Barcelona, 17/01/16, 1e mi-temps)

J’ai décidé seulement de faire le première mi-temps pour ce regard à Laporte parce que, franchement, pour jouer 45 minutes contre Barcelona (en particulier quand votre gardien de but est exclu dans les premières quelques minutes) est le même que joue au moins un jeu complet contre la plupart des autres équipes.




Laporte n’a pas eu beaucoup du temps d’habiter sur le ballon dans ce mi-temps, pour les raisons compréhensibles. Il y avait une passe déplacée en particulier qui donné à Barcelona une attaque vite et une bonne chance. Continue reading