Soccer Analysis

Lionel Messi Will Define La Liga's Season, Again

by Yu Miyagawa

Lionel Messi is staying, but the storylines, rumors and narratives aren't over. We'll go through the cycle again next summer as Messi's contract expires. Between now and then, we'll examine everything. Read more »
Shaped By 2020, Atalanta Gives Serie A The Blueprint For The Future

by Yu Miyagawa

Their 3-4-3 attacking style defied narratives of Serie A's defensive reputation. They’ve built further upon that excitement this season, straddling the gap between the mainstream and keeping their indie spark. Read more »
Thiago Or Nothing: The Midfielder Bridges Two Eras At Bayern Munich

by Yu Miyagawa

Even with the trophies and virality, are we right to believe that Thiago is still underrated? He's akin to a critically acclaimed indie movie or classic novel: we've heard of him, we've heard critics talk glowing about him, but have we really understood? Read more »
Lionel Messi's Patience With Barcelona Has Finally Run Out

by Colin McGowan

Lionel Messi is both demanding and passive-aggressive in the way that star athletes often are, and he's right to be upset about how Barcelona have wasted his unparalleled talents with squads that haven't worked or even made much sense. Read more »
Pep Guardiola Overthinks In Europe Again

by Yu Miyagawa

Several European clubs-turned-global brands who made the Champions League their obsession fall short every season. So why are we so fixated on Pep Guardiola, who at least won two titles with Barcelona last decade? Read more »
The MLS Is Back Tournament Discovers Itself

by Yu Miyagawa

More than a top-down branding exercise of the original MLS is Back Tournament name, the tournament found itself organically, through late-night matches, stoppage time goals, and young U.S. internationals showcasing themselves in front of a nationwide audience on television and social media. Read more »
Lazio, The Team 2020 Forgot

by Yu Miyagawa

In analyzing the what-ifs in not challenging Juventus for Serie A, as Simone Inzaghi states, you can never be truly disappointed if you didn't believe something was possible in the first place. Read more »
The 2020 Premier League Season: The Year Jets Entered The Race

by Yu Miyagawa

The regret for Leicester City must be in knowing how close they came to cracking the top four, and considering the economics of this summer, how far away a Champions League place now seems. Read more »
Karim Benzemia's Goals & Backheels Define The Post-Lockdown

by Yu Miyagawa

In studying the signature ways in which world class players create goals out of nothing, Karim Benzema is a combination of unhurried touches and balletic elegance. Read more »
This Champions League Will Be The Ultimate Spectrum Of Interpretation

by Colin McGowan

It's unclear what this particular title is going to mean. It is certainly something, upon which we will probably never totally agree. Read more »
Pique, Penalty Conspiracies & Building Narratives In The VAR Age

by Yu Miyagawa

Wouldn't we rather blame important losses on referee bias? Which side a supporter empathizes with becomes a footballing Rorschach test of how the world works, whether the smaller club always falling short, or the champion pulling every string to victory. Read more »
Diego Simeone, Marcos Llorente, And The Search For Another Griezmann

by Yu Miyagawa

In uncovering and refining Marcos Llorente's match-winning ability in the final third seemingly out of thin air, Diego Simeone attempted to remind critics that he too had an eye for attacking talent despite his defensive reputation. Read more »
12 Seconds Or Less: Julian Nagelsmann Adds Wrinkles To RB Leipzig

by Yu Miyagawa

The 32-year-old's first season with Leipzig was what we envisioned from a precocious, innovative manager when backed by a precocious, innovative footballing empire. Read more »
Four Years Of A Cycle Remaining: Liverpool Build For Future In Present

by Yu Miyagawa

With a core group currently in their late-20s prime, and already taking advantage of marginal gains from set pieces and throw-ins for a record points-per-game average, how does a team get better than historic? Read more »
32 Straight Days: La Liga Reinforces Its Structure To Finish Season

by Yu Miyagawa

Regardless of whether there are 32 straight days of matches in empty stadiums, or the slow drip of a season played out over nine months, the fundamental truths remain, of how clubs with the most resources somehow always find their way to the top. Read more »
Fake Noise, Fake Fans, Fake Normalcy

by Colin McGowan

Though the action resembles an intermittently buffering version of midseason soccer, the context in which that action takes place is noticeably strange. Read more »
Hansi Flick & Bayern Define Dominance In The Ghost Game Era

by Yu Miyagawa

Bayern's style feels aspirational within the context of post-pandemics and ghost games, that this is the level that a team can reach within the new normal. Read more »
All Eyes On The Bundesliga: Protest And Tribute Fill Silent Stadiums

by Yu Miyagawa

Maybe the emptiness within the stadiums has given the space for player tributes and protests to gain extra resonance. Will this moment continue to build momentum as other European leagues return in the upcoming weeks? Read more »
Better With Age, Aritz Aduriz Says Goodbye Before Our Dream Final

by Yu Miyagawa

Maybe Aritz Aduriz was never going to be what he became without a decade of struggle and study. And maybe his career unfolded exactly as it should have. Read more »
The Bundesliga Returns In Sportsmanship & Silence

by Yu Miyagawa

The Bundesliga may have been the perfect league to restart without supporters. Its frenetic, pressing energy translating through our televisions displays the players' commitment despite a lack of noise. Read more »

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