Marcelo Bielsa, let me save your staff some time

Pretty much everyone in the soccer/football world has heard by now that Marcelo Bielsa sent staff to spy on the training sessions of all of Leeds United’s opponents, that he admitted as much in a press conference, and that he then unveiled a substantial amount of his opposition analysis on Derby County. He also revealed that as many as 20 other people work on opposition analysis at Leeds United, and they spent 360 hours analyzing old Derby matches. And this is where I think I can save them some time. In his own words, here are the key points that…
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A tribute to Sigi Schmid

Last week the soccer world lost Sigi Schmid, the German-American coach who did so much to enhance Major League Soccer and the sport in general across the United States. I’m not a great historian, so I won’t dwell on Schmid’s less measurable contributions. I want to pay tribute to his acumen in ways I can quantify. Readers of this blog will already be familiar with the NYA method for rating coaching skill, i.e. whether a coach can make the whole of his squad perform better than the sum of its parts. By this metric, the quality of coaching in MLS…
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Stop sacking managers

Sacking managers is expensive – just ask the folks over at Manchester United, who have reportedly paid at least £12 million to be rid of José Mourinho. Now that the dust has cleared a bit, I want to make a somewhat unpopular point: sacking Mourinho was a mistake. Here’s why. Hiring a top manager in soccer is never easy for a big club. Once the executives think they know the person they want, they lose all their bargaining power. That’s because a top manager usually doesn’t mind too much where he coaches. Mourinho has been happy in Portugal, Italy, Spain, England… next he could go to…
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