The Lob: The art and science of player development and coaching

How do the professionals go about their business in the areas of analysis, scouting, coaching and player development? We find out by speaking to Jed Davies (consultant to an international head coach), Kevin Nicholson (Cardiff City under-21 manager), Johnny McKinstry (Rwanda national team manager) and Joey Lombardi (regional talent manager for the Canadian Soccer Association).…

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The reawakening of Borussia Mönchengladbach

IT IS PROBABLY FAIR TO SAY that wealthy Bayern Munich’s recent, all-encompassing domination of German football has wrongly eclipsed the achievements of some of the Bundesliga’s other, less well-known sides. Indeed, over the course of the 2014-15 season, the likes of Bavarian side Augsburg and former heavyweights Borussia Mönchengladbach both experienced levels of success that may,…

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Kevin Nicholson: geared to coach

IT’S JUST AFTER LUNCHTIME WHEN WE FINALLY GET CHATTING, and Kevin Nicholson seems eager to get stuck in. Intelligent, assertive and approachable – three traits that have helped him become one of the top young minds in the modern British game – the 28-year-old manager knows what he wants, and his story so far proves he’s…

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So you want to be a football coach?

DURING THE LAST FEW WEEKS, I have delivered coaching development lectures to students at Penn State University and at a small club in south-western Ontario, Canada.  The students at Penn State University were a young, aspiring group of coaches hoping to graduate from college and pursue a professional career in the game. The group of…

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The Icelandic football model

In global football the narrative never stays the same. Success on the pitch is not defined by population density and landmass. Footballing excellence does not grow from dry, unfilled fields left stagnate with fodder crops. Iceland, an actively volcanic island nestled in the North Atlantic Ocean with a population of around 325,000 people has an overabundance…

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The Liverpool FC Academy Way

This feature is part of The Academy Way THE TRULY ICONIC FOOTBALL CLUBS ARE DEFINED BY THEIR ABILITY to dominate on and off the pitch. Perhaps no other enterprise is as results-driven as football and Liverpool Football Club, long the goliaths of English and European football, boast one of the most recognisable brands in the…

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How to coach possession football

OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS, elite teams, ordinary fans and youth coaches have become obsessed with possession style football and the notion of dominating the ball. After the success of teams like Barcelona, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Spain, it’s understandable that youth coaches would want to implement this style. The big question for me is: do…

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