Once your team has qualified for the World Cup, it’s harder to get excited about the international break (apologies to Egnland and Mexico). Fortunately, Zonal Marking’s Michael Cox released the second installment of his “New Managers” series on Tata Martino’s Barcelona yesterday to help fill the time. His first post in the series covered Jose Mourinho’s return to Chelsea, and he has promised reports on all of the major new managers at big clubs this season.
But while that’s as far as the official series has gotten, some of Cox’s peripheral articles give some good hints about later installments.
Here’s a piece on Rafa Benítez’s Napoli (particularly on Marek Hamsik’s role as a central creator); and here’s a pair of articles on Pellegrini’s Manchester City, one on Pellegrini’s general use of spacing and a more recent piece on their formation.
Interestingly, Cox has yet to write in detail about David Moyes, perhaps because the reintegration of Rooney puts everything back in flux (or perhaps Man U under Moyes isn’t actually that interesting). Finally, this reflection on Carlo Ancelotti’s selection headache gives some hints on Real Madrid.
Hopefully, this will give you something to chew over through the international break. I’m hoping to find time to get out an account of Aston Villa’s tactics in the absence of Christian Benteke early this coming week, just in time for his return to make it irrelevant.