Entries by Charlie Carmichael

La Duodécima: a different kind of success

Last night saw Real Madrid’s coronation as unprecedented twelve-time European champions. La Duodécima was the culmination of 18-months arduous and meticulous work by manager Zinedine Zidane and his staff. What it has showed however, is the change in philosophy Real as a whole have undertaken. Once lambasted for their cut-throat policies, Madrid’s recent success has […]

Mindgames, mavericks and a clash of tactics

It was late summer on the coast of Catalonia, 1996. Englishman Sir Bobby Robson had just taken the reins at F.C Barcelona, bringing with him a young Portuguese translator. Standing at just over 5 ft 9”, the diminutive figure of one José Mourinho cast a stern expression over a room filled with Spanish journalists, who […]

The divergent path and uncertain future of the Ox

The 2nd March 2010 marked the professional debut of a baby-faced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Having broken onto the scene at the tender age of 16, one may assume this was a footballer destined for stardom. But it had not been a simple journey. Schooled in Portsmouth, Chamberlain’s first big decision was whether he even wanted to […]

Why the target man will always have a place to thrive in modern football

Football is a game forever in a state of flux. Methods are under constant scrutiny from its foremost pioneers as they exasperatedly analyse copious patterns of play in order to concoct some form of innovation. Whether it be Herbert Chapman’s W-M formation, Helenio Herrera’s Catenaccio, or Johan Cruyff’s Total Football, the sport owes such great thinkers […]

Blood, War and Total Football

“Professional football is something like war. Whoever behaves too properly, is lost.” It was a poignant remark by Rinus Michels, aptly named ‘The General’ but one that all too well encapsulated the national abhorrence between two of the beautiful game’s greatest dynasties. West Germany and the Netherlands. The birth of the rivalry from a sporting […]