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Oct 30 5 tweets 2 min read
Stones inverting yesterday, allied to Leicester’s extremely defensive set up, saw Rodri regularly unleashed into City’s attacks while the score remained level
1/ Here Laporte passes into Stones who has inverted in next to Rodri. With Maddison and Vardy Leicester’s furthest men forward, the pass into Stones is the trigger for Rodri to head up the pitch towards the front line. City still have 3 back to deal with transitions 2/
Oct 9 6 tweets 3 min read
Creating numerical parity with Ederson in the initial phase of the build up and the knock-on effect

1/ Image City utilised Ederson to build in a 4-2 at times yesterday. It frees up Cancelo to play high whilst maintaining an initial 4 in the build up, matching Southampton’s initial press.

*this isn’t from a goal kick, it’s open play.

2/ ImageImage
Sep 13 25 tweets 12 min read
Playing out under pressure. Why City are so good at it and what’s been missing so far this season 1/ You often hear rival fans denounce City’s opponents lack of pressing. But City’s goalkeeper and back 4 are so good at playing out around their own box that what often happens is teams press City but quickly lose interest once the press has been beaten a couple of times 2/
Aug 29 11 tweets 4 min read
Julian Alvarez. Aggression, intensity and chaos 1/ Alvarez impressed in his cameo on Saturday. It’s fair to say he’s high energy and all action. His movement off the ball is no different but it’s unrestrained impulsiveness is striking in this City team 2/
Aug 7 7 tweets 3 min read
We saw a very pronounced version of the 2-3 build up from City today. The full backs played narrow and saw plenty of ball, sometimes taking up very high positions. It gives City’s 8s the opportunity to play in different areas 1/ Pep knew West Ham would likely sit deep and hope to catch City on counters. Gundogan was preferred to Bernardo, probably in the knowledge that Bernardo’s excellence in the build up wouldn’t be so important against a team sat deep. Gundogan offers more threat further forward 2/
Aug 7 8 tweets 2 min read
West Ham away in May was tough. They were happy to sit in deep, compact and cause City issues over the top. It’s the sort of match I think Haaland can have a big impact on for City 1/ West Ham targeted City’s high line in May. With Fernandinho starting at cb it was an approach that seemed sensible and it paid dividends for them. 2-0 up at half time with both goals coming from the ball over the top 2/
Jun 9 23 tweets 10 min read
Our centre backs are good on the ball.
But how good?
And who’s the best?
1/ City are blessed with 3 centre backs who can be considered in the top bracket of world football. Ake has also had a good season and will hope to push on in the next campaign 2/
May 9 14 tweets 8 min read
How City could use Haaland 1/ There are lots of ways City could set up with Haaland. But I think the most obvious takes into account the strengths of others around him and the make-up of the current squad, with a heavy focus on De Bruyne and Bernardo 2/
Mar 7 16 tweets 13 min read
How Pep exposed United’s back 4 by picking holes in their press
1/ United came and pressed City in a 4-2-4 yesterday. For the first 2/3rds of the match their press was decent enough 2/
Feb 21 10 tweets 6 min read
Defeats are usually easy to write about. They tend to throw up more unusual and interesting themes. There were areas of City’s performance I wanted to focus on but I’ve struggled to articulate them in thread form so far. So here’s a little bit on Tottenham’s set up 1/ It’s safe to say that Spurs/Conte are a match made in heaven when facing up to City. I’ve focused on how 3-4-3 can cause City a numbers problem in the past, mainly with Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Using Kane in that set up as a creator dropping deep from 9 was very effective 2/
Dec 3, 2021 10 tweets 8 min read
City defied the set up on paper, creating two triangles to counter Gerrard’s defensive plan 1/ The way Gerrard sets his teams up is to be very compact centrally in a 4-3-3. They defend the central areas and try to force teams wide 2/
Nov 8, 2021 19 tweets 15 min read
Guardiola ‘They play 5-3-2. When you are in the second part of the build up, the 3 cannot control the width of the pitch’.
How Pep took United apart
1/ Pep gave a little bit of insight into City’s plan after the match on Saturday. Pin their full backs with high wide wingers forcing them into a back 5 and use switches to play in the wide spaces in midfield 2/
Nov 1, 2021 15 tweets 10 min read
City’s left side is the busiest area of any Premier League pitch this season. But is it working? 1/ This season City have focussed more attacks down the left, as opposed to the right or centre, in every single Premier League match. It was the same on Saturday vs Palace 2/
Jul 12, 2021 9 tweets 9 min read
How Mancini solved his midfield numbers problem to dominate England 1/ Italy struggled to get a strangle hold on the match last night. In the build up Kane sat on Jorginho. The dms looked after Veratti and Barella, the wing backs stopped any threat from the full backs and England’s back 3 could concentrate on stopping Italy’s front 3
2/
Jul 11, 2021 9 tweets 6 min read
2 big reasons why football has the chance to come home today
1/ Image 1.) England players are more comfortable taking possession under pressure. The penny finally dropped during Barcelona and Spain’s domination. Since then kids have been trained differently in England 2/
May 30, 2021 24 tweets 11 min read
Fernandinho or Rodri might have made a difference last night but there was a fundamental issue they wouldn’t have solved 1/ If we’d have started one of our regular dms last night we might have picked off more second balls in midfield (especially Fernandinho) and played a bit slower with more control (especially Rodri) 2/
May 26, 2021 21 tweets 12 min read
The European Cup Final:
Chelsea’s shape vs City’s press.
A tricky conundrum for Pep 1/ Image Tuchel’s Chelsea set up in a 3-4-2-1.
3 centre backs across the back line play behind a midfield 2 of Kante and Jorginho with wing backs wide and Mount, Havertz and Werner up top 2/ Image
Feb 22, 2021 8 tweets 7 min read
De Bruyne creating from False 9.
Opposition centre backs beware 1/ When KDB plays False 9 he tends to be the F9 option who wanders furthest from the forward position for City. This can create problems for opposition centre backs who are being asked unusual new questions 2/
Feb 21, 2021 9 tweets 7 min read
Arsenal today.
The home match was significant and unique from a tactical perspective 1/ The match was pre @city_tactics but was one of the most interesting of the season. City set up with Ake and Cancelo nominally as full backs and Walker and Dias at centre back.
Rodri and Bernardo in midfield supported Mahrez and Foden wide and Sterling playing off Aguero 2/
Feb 7, 2021 12 tweets 9 min read
How Pep changed it to combat Alexander Arnold whilst breathing life into City’s attack 1/ Pep mentioned in his post match interview that he changed the formation at half time in part to combat the threat from Liverpool’s full backs. In a quiet first half Alexander Arnold looked like Liverpool’s main attacking weapon. Both full backs stayed wide and were given space 2/
Feb 7, 2021 12 tweets 9 min read
The challenge Liverpool’s press could pose and how City might try to overcome it 1/ Many previous Liverpool vs City encounters have been noted for their frantic pace, often set by the pressing game of Liverpool’s front 3.
City’s current set up at the back in possession - in a 3, rather than the 4 - could be a big difference this time 2/