If we look at this season’s soon to be crowned English Premier League champions, Chelsea, and the last two winners, Leicester City and Chelsea again, a couple things stand out that are pretty interesting when you consider the recent debates surrounding EPL teams and their showing in the Champions League.
First, two of those title winners benefitted from not having European commitments to stretch their squad. Second, and more importantly, there really isn’t anything tactically amazing about either of these teams. All employed straightforward, basic tactical principles and reaped the successes of those philosophies and systems.
The saying ‘football is a simple game’ has been around for as long as can be, but is the EPL now the breeding ground for the simple system and philosophy renaissance? When we look at Leicester City, here is a team that completed an unbelievable achievement utilizing a game plan that no one will be listing among the greatest ever, despite its achievements. Having lost N’Golo Kanté this season, then manager, Claudio Ranieri, employed small tactical tweaks to cover his loss that, in turn, destroyed the entire system. Craig Shakespeare’s reversion to what worked last season has seen an immediate upturn. Football, pretty simple eh?