defending

Why is everyone suddenly so bad at defending? 39 goals in eight games this weekend

Fulham and Leeds United have both conceded seven goals already, while West Bromwich Albion have shipped eight. In total, Leeds’ opening two games have seen 14 goals, the most for any top-flight’s first two matches since 1962.

In the case of Southampton, Hasenhuttl has used the off-season to impose a new high defensive line on his players. It is part of the club’s tactical evolution under the Austrian, who has written a “Southampton playbook” for his intensive, high-pressing style. Evidently, his players need more time to adapt to their manager’s demands. 

It is certainly a risky time to try something new, from a tactical perspective. This is not just because of the lack of time on the training pitch, but also because many players are still working their way back to full fitness after such a short turnaround between seasons.

“Some players are still not 100 per cent fit,” said

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