Jonathan Wilson

Author's posts

Will a World Cup hangover spark an unpredictable Premier League season?

Fatigue from Russia could be a factor in the title race as Manchester City bid to retain the title for the first timeSo, we go again – and perhaps this season with an even greater sense of disbelief than usual that it’s back already. It won’t be long b…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/aug/04/premier-league-manchester-city-pep-guardiola-liverpool-tottenham

Forget artist v mechanic: Mourinho and Conte’s midfield duel holds key | Jonathan Wilson

José Mourinho’s dig at Antonio Conte has diverted attention from the FA Cup final’s pivotal confrontation in which Chelsea’s midfield could be overrun by Manchester United“I’m not,” José Mourinho said after Manchester United’s home win over Liverpool i…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/may/18/mourinho-conte-manchester-united-chelsea-midfield-fa-cup-final

Marseille’s misfits shape up in the face of Atlético and a Europa League final | Jonathan Wilson

Modern economics decree that the 1993 European champions are serious underdogs for a challenge they face against Diego Simeone’s highly efficient Madrid sideOne photograph encapsulated Florian Thauvin’s time at Newcastle. It captures him, cheeks plump …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/may/15/marseille-misfits-atletico-madrid-europa-league-final-lyon

Premier League 2017-18 review: what we learned tactically from the season | Jonathan Wilson

As the gulf grows between rich and poor clubs so, too, does a culture in which some teams enter games accepting the only way they can compete is by not competingTactics are always contingent, never discreet. No manager can ever casually decide how he w…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/may/15/swansea-could-saved-themselves-premier-league-possession

Only one thing seems certain for Real Madrid v Liverpool – it will be chaos | Jonathan Wilson

There is a sense Real Madrid could be sleepwalking towards a hammering in the Champions League final but Liverpool showed against Roma they cannot be trusted eitherThere was a point on Tuesday night when the thought occurred that this Real Madrid are l…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/may/03/real-madrid-liverpool-champions-league-final-chaos

Roma must avoid slipping into bunker mentality in face of Liverpool storm | Jonathan Wilson

Liverpool’s physicality and ferocious pressing mean the tactics that served Roma against Barcelona will have to be redesigned for the Champions League semi-final first legTwo problems dominate all others before Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final at …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/apr/24/roma-bunker-liverpool-storm-champions-league-semi-final

Barcelona showed they cannot really defend – but can anyone? | Jonathan Wilson

The Champions League is full of sides losing by three goals or more – and that includes the latter stages. Even domestically dominant sides can be found wantingExplain this: Juventus, top of Serie A, having kept clean sheets in 21 of their previous 25 …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/apr/11/barcelona-defending-champions-league

Pep Guardiola’s tactical gamble with Raheem Sterling goes belly-up | Jonathan Wilson

Manchester City manager’s attempt to calm Liverpool’s fury by starting with Ilkay Gündoğan contributed to his Champions League first-leg downfall at AnfieldThirteen games played, seven won, one drawn. No other manager has a record against Pep Guardiola…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/apr/05/pep-guardiola-gamble-raheem-sterling-manchester-city-liverpool

Manchester City title stroll should not distract from strength of competition | Jonathan Wilson

There has not been a tight championship race since 2013-14 but the Premier League is still more competitive than its rivalsThe title race was in effect over about four months before the final snows of winter. Even if Manchester City do not wrap up the …

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/mar/23/manchester-city-title-stroll-competition-premier-league

Champions League quarter-finals: tie-by-tie analysis

We run the rule over the last-eight matches, including the all-Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City, and predict who will triumphWednesday 4 April, the Camp Nou, and Tuesday 10 April, Stadio Olimpico Related: Liverpool draw Manche…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/mar/16/champions-league-quarter-finals-tie-by-tie-analysis-liverpool-manchester-city

José Mourinho v Jürgen Klopp and the question of football aesthetics | Jonathan Wilson

There are several reasons why there is gloom at Manchester United while Liverpool, two points behind, are borne on a swirl of positivity – but entertainment is a fundamental oneThe Premier League table does not lie but the truths it offers can sometime…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/mar/08/jose-mourinho-jurgen-klopp-football-aesthetics-manchester-united-liverpool

Disjointed, vulnerable and slow: Barça exposed by Chelsea’s tactical rigour | Jonathan Wilson

Chelsea stifled Barcelona’s key players, proving the Spanish side should not be so feared as they once wereThe first leg, you suspect, went just as Antonio Conte would have wanted it to go – apart from the bit about not playing a square ball across you…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/feb/21/barcelona-chelsea-champions-league-tactics

Neymar wilts in Madrid as superclub tie descends into Disneyfied dystopia | Jonathan Wilson

The Brazilian repeatedly ran down blind alleys as PSG appeared incoherent in the face of Real and Cristiano Ronaldo’s efficiencyTwo super-clubs! The most successful club in European history! The other a club that has just arranged the two most expensiv…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/feb/15/neymar-cristiano-ronaldo-psg-real-madrid-champions-league-super-clubs

Mourinho’s Pogba problem grows after Benítez overcomes his old foe | Jonathan Wilson

The Manchester United manager’s talk of luck held no weight on a day when his clumsily assembled attack were again lifelessThe end was chaotic, Newcastle camped in their box with every block and clearance being roared to the rafters, but the tension of…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/feb/12/jose-mourinho-rafael-benitez-manchester-united-newcastle

Ferocious Liverpool press home advantage over panicking Manchester City | Jonathan Wilson

The pressing by Jürgen Klopp’s side was so disciplined that it forced a collective loss of control in the visitors’ backlineIt turns out, then, that the formula was simple. All anybody had to do to beat Manchester City was to match them shape for shape…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/jan/15/ferocious-liverpool-press-home-advantage-over-panicking-manchester-city

Tottenham are the latest challengers floored by the Manchester City problem | Jonathan Wilson

Spurs pressed Pep Guardiola’s side high up the pitch but were undone by Ederson’s distribution as Manchester City adjusted their gameplan to extend their winning runThe title race is done, Manchester City’s excellence beyond all previous experience. Th…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/dec/17/tottenham-floored-by-manchester-city-problem-pochettino-guardiola