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Author Archive for Jonathan Wilson

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Brazil break free from the Neymar imbalance to win Copa América | Jonathan Wilson

The Brazil coach, Tite, was finally able to play his form of pressing game without the PSG forward and it led to a first major trophy in 12 yearsBrazil winning a Copa América at home cannot be said to be a surprise. They have hosted the tournament five…

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Ricardo Gareca bids to join rare group by leading Peru to Copa América title | Jonathan Wilson

Peru were well beaten by Brazil in the group stage but victory over them at the Maracanã would give them a third triumph Related: Peru set up Brazil clash in Copa América final after resounding win over Chile Jack Greenwell was born in Crook in the Dur…

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What is a foul? Lionel Messi’s anger highlights controversy surrounding VAR | Jonathan Wilson

The thought that VAR may end dispute over decisions has proved laughably misguided, if anything football is more controversial than everThere was a time before VAR. There may be a time after VAR. But this is the age of VAR and nothing can ever happen b…

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England crash out after shift in tactics and failure to fix defensive flaws | Jonathan Wilson

USA capitalised on cracks that had been papered over earlier in the World Cup and on Phil Neville’s switch to 4-4-2One of the great puzzles of the World Cup was that England had managed to get through the first five games conceding only one goal. Fluen…

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Brazil and Argentina should fear Copa América giantkillings | Jonathan Wilson

Brazil face their old enemies Paraguay in the quarter-finals and Argentina have no cause for confidence against VenezuelaHello nemesis, old friend. For Brazil and Argentina, the Copa América quarter-finals feel as if they are playing out of a series of…

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Argentina are floundering and the Messi problem is not the biggest one

Copa América struggles demonstrate that more important are a lack of leadership and shrinking pool of high-class talentThe only positive for Argentina, and it is a dubious one, is that it could have been worse. A draw against Paraguay means they will p…

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Argentina’s chaotic Copa América planning puts Brazil in driving seat | Jonathan Wilson

The hosts are tipped to win the tournament but, as we saw in 2014, the pressure of the home crowd can cause them problemsThe good news for Argentina is that Conmebol have handily arranged another Copa América for next year, one they will co-host with C…

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Argentina’s chaotic Copa América planning puts Brazil in driving seat | Jonathan Wilson

The hosts are tipped to win the tournament but, as we saw in 2014, the pressure of the home crowd can cause them problemsThe good news for Argentina is that Conmebol have handily arranged another Copa América for next year, one they will co-host with C…

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Klopp and Pochettino go back to English basics in final that fails to fire | Jonathan Wilson

The Champions League final carried echoes of the scrappy showpieces at which English teams triumphed in 70s and 80sFor Liverpool this has been a season of two extraordinary statistics: 11.7mm and 64%. It was the former that denied them a goal (albeit a…

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Klopp and Pochettino go back to English basics in final that fails to fire | Jonathan Wilson

The Champions League final carried echoes of the scrappy showpieces at which English teams triumphed in 70s and 80sFor Liverpool this has been a season of two extraordinary statistics: 11.7mm and 64%. It was the former that denied them a goal (albeit a…

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Champions League final battle on flanks will underline importance of full-backs | Jonathan Wilson

Liverpool and Spurs rely on the role to wreak havoc in attack and Saturday’s game will show how the position has evolvedIt is quarter of a century since Jack Charlton observed after the 1994 World Cup that full-back had become tactically the most impor…

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Would letting Maurizio Sarri leave really be sensible for Chelsea? | Jonathan Wilson

The manager could go after a trophy and top-three finish. Eden Hazard is on his way. It sums up the modern ChelseaYou hope Maurizio Sarri enjoyed his first trophy in professional football – but this, surely, was not how he imagined it as he whiled away…

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Arsenal’s win over Chelsea in January can be Europa League blueprint | Jonathan Wilson

Unai Emery has proved a master of two-leg ties but also has the wherewithal to impose his gameplan in a one-off finalTransition is often a useful excuse for football clubs but in the case of Arsenal and Chelsea it happens to be true. The Europa League …

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Manchester City’s sky blue smashing of Watford proves football is broken

Watching Pep Guardiola’s side dismantle their opponents in the FA Cup final was gruesome and reflective of a trend across Europe that suggests the time has come for a super leagueGoals! Goals! Goals! Trophies everywhere. Manchester City were brilliant …

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Manchester City’s sky blue smashing of Watford proves football is broken

Watching Pep Guardiola’s side dismantle their opponents in the FA Cup final was gruesome and reflective of a trend across Europe that suggests the time has come for a super leagueGoals! Goals! Goals! Trophies everywhere. Manchester City were brilliant …

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Premier League 2018-19 review: what we learned tactically from the season | Jonathan Wilson

For the elite clubs press-and-possess remains the dominant mode and the league’s less wealthy simply cannot competeOnce upon a time, not so very long ago, football was a game in which two teams battled for the ball and, when they had it, tried to score…

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How Manchester City tweaked their tactics to counter Liverpool threat | Jonathan Wilson

Pep Guardiola adopted a more pragmatic approach in some games, including at Anfield, and while their football was maybe less exciting their season was hugely impressiveFootball changed in 2008: Pep Guardiola became manager of Barcelona. Football had be…

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Premier League’s freakish finale leaves no margin for error | Jonathan Wilson

Consistent Liverpool or implacable City? Regardless of the title’s destiny, the chasing pack must fear two clubs so far aheadAfter Tuesday at Anfield and Wednesday in Amsterdam, perhaps nothing will ever seem impossible again. Nonetheless, it remains e…

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Belief fuels era of remarkable Champions League comebacks | Jonathan Wilson

Liverpool and Tottenham recovered from seemingly impossible situations to show that, in the Champions League, anything is possible these daysYes, yes, very good, but does the Champions League have any other tricks? It has become like Jed Mercurio killi…

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Liverpool’s power shows Barcelona that passing alone is not enough | Jonathan Wilson

Technique must now be matched by physique and Klopp’s side used old English virtues to blow away a decadent BarcelonaTalk all you want about great European nights. Talk of the swell of the crowd, the roaring emotion inside Anfield. Talk of St-Étienne a…