One More on Chelsea’s Tactical Setup Against Atlético Madrid

tamojitc at Soccerlens:

As the above snap shows, Chelsea maintained a narrow backline allowing Ramires and Willian to double team with the fullbacks while David Luiz, Lampard and Mikel effectively sat in bank of three. Thus what looked like a 4-3-3 at the beginning turned to a false 6-3-1 while Chelsea were out of possession.

It’s a fine post with images to illustrate Chelsea’s tactical setup.

Not That Interesting

Michael Cox at Zonal Marking, on Chelsea’s approach and the result:

In truth, this wasn’t a particularly interesting game. Defensive, cautious matches can be interesting in a tactical sense – in fact, they can be amongst the most tactical games you see – but they generally need either side to do something particularly interesting, or for there to be one obvious key zone, or for the sides to be completely contrasting in one respect. This was just a defensive game throughout, with no progression.

Atlético Madrid 0-0 Chelsea

Henry Winter, reporting for The Telegraph:

This was another reminder of Jose Mourinho’s knack of strangling the life out of opponents.

The game was not fun for anyone but Chelsea fans.

Dismissed but Classy

David Moyes’s statement, reported in The Independent:

In my short time at the club I have learnt what special places Old Trafford and Carrington are. I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of the United family from my first day. And of course thank you to those fans who have supported me throughout the season. I wish you and the club all the best for the future.

Moyes’s Reign

Gianni Verschueren, writing for Bleacher Report, on possibly the worst part of Moyes’s legacy at Manchester United:

The seemingly untouchable position the club once held as the shining example of British football will be his biggest victim though, and it is very likely the club’s new standing as one of the top clubs will be reflected in whoever takes over the reigns from Moyes.

Could United realistically have continued with Moyes at the helm? Anything is possible. But looking at the overall decline the club has suffered in his short period in charge, pulling the plug now was the only thing the Glazers could do.

Moyes Let Go Because of Results

Richard Jolly, for ESPN FC, on why Moyes was dismissed:

United were willing to grant Moyes a summer transfer budget of at least 100 million pounds and his dismissal had nothing to do with his transfer-market record, according to reports.

Instead, performances and results, rather than the additions of Marouane Fellaini and Juan Mata, accounted for his dismissal.

Moyes’ capacity to get the most out of his players at Everton formed part of his appeal to United when he was appointed last summer, but influential figures at Old Trafford became convinced he was not having the same effect with a different group of footballers.

David Moyes the Scapegoat

Gary Neville for Sky Sports:

“The players have to take massive responsibility,” he told Sky Sports News.

“They’re the ones out on the football pitch. I never once during my 17, 18 year career at United turned around after a game and thought ‘you lost us that game, boss’. It’s always the players.

“Players have to take responsibility and accountability in football but the fact of the matter is you don’t go and sack 24 players.

“Those players are not as bad as they’ve been showing. They’ve got great care for United, they love the club – the ones I know – they’re desperate to do well for the club but they’ve completely lost confidence and belief. That’s ultimately what’s cost David Moyes.

Woodward and Ferguson to Blame?

Owen Gibson, writing for The Guardian feels Ed Woodward and Alex Ferguson should shoulder much of the blame for appointing David Moyes and executing poorly in the summer transfer window:

Sitting in his Mayfair office, Woodward once gave assurances that there was a well-considered plan tucked away in his desk drawer for when Ferguson’s departure came. If that was ever the case, its execution left much to be desired.

And, of course, there is Ferguson himself. For all that the Glazers and the board erred in allowing him to effectively choose his own successor – a situation it is hard to imagine arising in any other major business – Moyes will go down in history as Ferguson’s short lived “chosen one”.

Moyes Adapted Too Slowly

Jonathan Wilson, for Sports Illustrated, echoes my point about Moyes not being the man United wanted to spend this summer’s transfer “kitty”:

There will be significant rebuilding this summer, with some reports suggesting a kitty of £200 million being made available. And that’s the question that seems most pertinent: Is there anything Moyes has done this season to suggest he’s the person you want wielding that sort of budget? Anything to suggest he is capable of overseeing the rebuilding work that began with the signing of Juan Mata in January?

The brutal truth is probably not.

Moyes’s Performance Simply Wasn’t Good Enough

Paul Hayward, writing for The Telegraph:

As the fog starts to clear it is easy to enumerate all the things United will be glad to see the back of now: ponderous football, deferential language in media conferences, players effectively leaving halfway through the season (Nemanja Vidic), 51 different starting line-ups, the Robin van Persie problem, planes dragging protest banners across the Manchester skies, doomed transfer pursuits and close-in shots of Ferguson in the directors’ box. This can end now as he is no longer the previous manager. He is previous to the previous manager.

Can’t be argued. Whatever the reasons, United’s performances were his downfall.