38 episodes

The Athletic’s Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell break down the tactical & technical details of football past & present, focusing on a single subject each episode with the help of expert guests.

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Zonal Marking - A show about football tactics The Athletic

    • Soccer
    • 5.0, 1 Rating

The Athletic’s Michael Cox & Ali Maxwell break down the tactical & technical details of football past & present, focusing on a single subject each episode with the help of expert guests.

Subscribe to The Athletic using the special promo code zonalmarking  and receive 40% off! Also, subscribers will have access to exclusive episodes.

SIGN UP NOW: http://theathletic.com/zonalmarking

    The Big Champions League & Europa League Preview

    The Big Champions League & Europa League Preview

    The Athletic's Raphael Honigstein, James Horncastle and Dermot Corrigan join Ali Maxwell for a comprehensive look ahead to the return of the Champions League - looking at every single game on the schedule and all the potential storylines that could emerge from this truncated single-leg knockout format. It promises to be a furious festival of elite football and we've got every angle covered.

    We also dive into the Europa League with teams like Manchester United, Wolves, Inter, Roma, Sevilla, Getafe and Leverkusen all still in the mix there is plenty to look forward to in that competition too.

    • 56 min
    Evaluating the managerial changes in the Premier League last season

    Evaluating the managerial changes in the Premier League last season

    There were seven managerial changes in the Premier League last season, three of them at Watford, but did Tottenham, Arsenal, West Ham, Everton and the Hornets make the right calls in sacking their managers?

    The Athletic's Michael Cox joins Ali Maxwell to evaluate those decisions, to look at what's happened since the likes of Mourinho, Arteta, Moyes and Ancelotti took over at their respective clubs, and also to look at what lead to the departures of Pochettino, Emery, Pellegrini and Marco Silva.

    We're also joined by The Athletic's Watford correspondent Adam Leventhal to examine the chaotic season at Vicarage Road which started with Javi Gracia in the dugout, saw Quique Sanchez Flores return, only for him to be replaced by Nigel Pearson who then himself got the boot with two games still to play.

    • 55 min
    The resurgence of the three-man defence

    The resurgence of the three-man defence

    The Athletic's Michael Cox joins Ali Maxwell for a look at the tactical increasingly fashionable trend of playing a back three this season after Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea all used the system last weekend in the FA Cup semi-finals.

    13 of the 20 Premier League sides have tried a three-man defence at some point this season, some like Sheffield Utd and Wolves have used it in different ways but to great success, and others like West Ham and Southampton found it more difficult, so we examine the philosophy, the type of players and the tactics required to make a back three work.

    Elsewhere Ali takes us down into the EFL with details of a spectacularly successful 3-6-1 system at Coventry and a League Two which is overflowing with three-man defences.

    • 39 min
    Judging Sarri's impact on Juventus and Ronaldo

    Judging Sarri's impact on Juventus and Ronaldo

    The Athletic's Michael Cox and James Horncastle join Ali Maxwell to assess Maurizio Sarri's first season at Juventus. On the verge of leading Juve to their ninth straight Serie A title, we look at how Sarri has measured up to expectations in Turin, how he has impressed his tactical philosophy on the squad, as well as how he's used key individuals like Cristiano Ronaldo, Aaron Ramsey, Matthijs de Ligt and Miralem Pjanic.

    • 40 min
    The tactics behind Manchester United's resurgence

    The tactics behind Manchester United's resurgence

    The Athletic's Michael Cox & Laurie Whitwell join Ali Maxwell to look at Manchester United's recent transformation from a struggling mid-table outfit into the Premier League's form side with attacking options aplenty.

    They look at how Solskjaer has managed to fit Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba into the same side, and how the individual roles they are all playing all knit together so well

    Elsewhere we study the re-emergence of Nemanja Matic as a crucial part of the team, plus the role of the full-backs, the Maguire-Lindelof axis at the back, the form of David De Gea and also how the rumoured pursuit of Jadon Sancho and a new striker could affect the squad next season.

    • 41 min
    Liverpool's underappreciated passing game

    Liverpool's underappreciated passing game

    The Athletic's Michael Cox & Tom Worville join Ali Maxwell to look at a perhaps underappreciated aspect of this all conquering Liverpool side - their possession game.

    We dive into the data to analyse how Liverpool use the ball and the passing combinations they most rely upon.

    Looking at how crucial Alisson is to starting the moves, how Van Dijk's passing differs from Matip & Gomez, how Trent Alexander-Arnold is able to dictate the play from right-back, the changing role of Henderson, the importance of Fabinho, the calmness of Wijnaldum and the creative skills of Salah, Mane and Firmino.

    • 30 min

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