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World Cup 2010

Here are all the articles published before, during and after the World Cup.

World Cup Previews

The Anatomy of an Underdog: Serbia at the World Cup 2010
A look at Serbia under Radomir Antić, my predictions were all misguided

Uruguay’s 3-4-1-2: Will attacking promise overcome?
A post by James Gillespie looking at Uruguay’s unconventional system

The General: Hitzfeld’s Switzerland and the crucial 4-2-3-1
How the Ottmar Hitzfeld’s small tactical change might have influenced their qualification past the group stages of this year’s World Cup

Ivory Coast: Plugging ‘Leeks’ with a Swede’s 4-3-3?
James Gillespie looks at the Ivory Coast under Sven-Göran Eriksson, examining their defence in particular

High Hopes for Löw & His Young Talent: Germany 2010
James Gillespie examines Germany’s chances at this year’s World Cup, his examination was very accurate given the successful run to the semi-finals

Lippi’s Lack of System Worrying: However, Defensive Frailties More Worrying
Lippi’s indecision regarding a system to play was worrying beforehand and it was one of the problems Italy faced in South Africa

Who cares about ultimate failure? van Marwijk’s 4-2-3-1 allows for the best of Dutch individualism
The most popular article about the World Cup, this was an examination of the Dutch system and its attacking talents. It also examined the Dutch defence, in particular Gregory van der Wiel, whose attacking promise may have led to a leaky defence.

What is the benefit of moving from 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1? Demonstrated by Spain from the 34th minute of the Euro 2008 semi-final
Part preview, part tactical analysis – this piece showed how improved Spain’s play was after David Villa left the field in Euro 2008. It looks at the benefits of playing a 4-2-3-1 compared to a 4-4-2 system.

During the World Cup

On the first day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: Three-man defences
A look into the use of three-man defences on the first day of the World Cup. Mexico were particularly innovative and interesting to look at.

England v USA: Deja Vu?
Nick Robbins looks at the problems England had against USA, which should have set alarm bells ringing.

On the second Day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: Maradona’s 4-3-3
Examining the use of Lionel Messi who looked like he was told to play in the same position as he was for Barcelona in the latter stages of the season. When attacking, the 4-3-3 turned into an offensive 4-2-4.

On the third day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: 4-2-3-1 prevails
Examining various 4-2-3-1′s on show during the day. Contains a detailed look at Germany’s interpretation of the ‘doble pivot’ system.

On the fourth day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: a lesson on how to defend against the Dutch
The Danish showed how defend against the Dutch (for the first-half anyway), then proceeded to get ill-disciplined and they conceded two goals.

New Zealand v Slovakia: Wingbacks, wingers and last gasp equalisers
Nick Robbins looks at his favourite formation, an old-fashioned wing-back system. A really entertaining read.

On the fifth day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: Maicon proves Jonathon Wilson’s prediction to be true
An examination of Jonathon Wilson’s prediction that the full-back position will become the most important position on the pitch. A look at Maicon.

Chile: For such a narrow country they do like to spread it wide
Nick Robbins examines the most innovative system on show at the World Cup. A really detailed look.

On the sixth day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: A strong Swiss defence & a system change for Uruguay
The Swiss show how to defend against the spanish and Uruguay go against my predictions and change system

On the seventh day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: Maradona’s subtle change to a Diamond 4-4-2.
Maradona shows his tactical flexibility by changing to a diamond 4-4-2 system, Mascherano’s isolation later proved to be problematic.

On the eighth day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: Half-time system change & substitutes change the game for the USA.
Bob Bradley’s half-time change to a 4-2-3-1 reaps dividends against Slovakia. In the same vein as the piece on Spain’s movement to a 4-2-3-1, it really changed the course of the game.

On the tenth day of World Cup, South Africa gave to me: Brazil’s 4-2-3-1: What makes it different?
An examination of Brazil’s 4-2-3-1 compared to Germany’s. Also another look at Maicon and his importance.

Japanese efficiency trumps disorganised Danes: World Cup 2010
James Gillespie looks at Japan’s counter-attacking system against Denmark (with only a few national stereotypes included)

Lippi’s indecision hindered Italy’s World Cup progression
As predicted before the World Cup, Lippi’s lack of system proves to be their downfall.

Suárez, Cavani and Forlán: Uruguay’s unwieldy trio
A look at the impressive forward line of Suárez, Cavani and Forlán. An examination of how their movement can create different opportunities

Joachim Löw plans his way to beat England
A look at how Germany beat England given Joachim Löw’s post-match interview. My favourite piece during the World Cup.

Another tactical display from Löw shows Maradona what he’s lacking.
The German coaching staff show their tactical acumen, this time to Maradona’s Argentina.

Uruguay’s system undone by van Bronckhorst and van Marwijk’s half time change
Examining how the Netherlands beat Uruguay, the introduction of van der Vaart into the game really messed with Uruguay’s central midfield.

Spain v Germany – A draw in all but the result
Nick Robbins examines the disappointing semi-final between Spain and Germany

Spain’s system review and a look at the importance of Robin van Persie
Previewing the World Cup final, specifically looking at Spain’s choice of systems enroute to the final. Also includes an examination of Robin van Persie and the importance of his movement.

The Dutch turn to their National Anthem for their World Cup final strategy
A detailed look at the World Cup Final. It examines the Dutch pressing game, which was ruined after the Dutch red card.

After the World Cup

World Cup 2010 Tactical Review for Back Page football
A brief once-over of the tactics of the World Cup, looking at the prevalence of the 4-2-3-1, the necessity of a holding midfielder as well as looking at Chile and Mexico.

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