Podcast number 8, also known as the one where Ben says mean things about most of your teams. He loves hatemail, so feel free to bombard him with it.


  • DFFF

    Great podcast again, guys, keep them coming.

    In regard to Tottenham not getting in good shooting positions enough, this is what Villas-Boas apparently said in the press conference after the Fulham game: “When teams drop back against us, goals need to come from outside the box.”

    Wait, what? Is he saying what I think he’s saying? He actually wants his players to shoot from just anywhere? Crikey. I was thinking more in the line of: through balls, players interchanging positions and dragging defenses out of shape, overlapping fullbacks, high-tempo passing… but what do I know.

    Then I remembered those months Sturridge played at Chelsea under AVB, and basically he just did everything Townsend was doing: cut inside from the right, do lots of speculative shots, not pass to anybody ever. I’m not sure about Porto (although Guarin has always been keen on letting one fly from wherever) but this is apparently how he wants his sides to play. Guess he wasn’t trying to deceive anybody when he said he never uses stats…

  • Steve

    DFFF: cutting in and shooting was a massive part of that Porto team. HULK.

    Regarding Liverpool: Agree that Gerrard’s positioning is a major problem. Another problem (that I think has been somewhat underrecognized) is the sheer physical decline. He can still run some in a straight line, but he changes directions like Per Mertesacker. It was sad to see him try to cope with Arsenal’s midfield.

    One thing I expected you to mention about Liverpool’s defense is the turnover in CBs. Agger and Sakho, their two best center backs, haven’t played together, seemingly because they’re both left-footed. But Skrtel and Toure (both right-footers) played together on the weekend. In general, Rodgers doesn’t seem to be managing his four options well, as I think CB’s a position where “chemistry” between duos actually does matter quite a bit. (The failed three-CB experiment plays into it here, as well.) I think they have the talent at the position to create a more settled CB duo who could improve their defense considerably. Arsenal midway through last year, of course, being the obvious precedent for change in CB duo -> substantial improvement in defensive performance.

Improve Performance and Productivity in Your Club:
State-of-the-art Football Analytics