Emilio Izaguirre

Celtic's XI for the opening day victory at Inverness.

Celtic are about to complete a £600,000 deal for 24-year-old left-back Emilio Izaguirre. The Honduran represented his country for two of their three World Cup 2010 games, thankless losses to Chile and Spain.

Superficially, the signing looks a bit pointless – Charlie Mulgrew recently completed his return to Parkhead on a free transfer, and started for Celtic at left-back in the opening day win at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

However, Neil Lennon seems to be aligning with supporter opinion that the freebie from Aberdeen isn’t of the calibre required for first-team duties at the Glasgow club.

Left-back has proved a troublesome role to fill and perform over the past year at Celtic. 2009/10 saw six different players take on the mantle, and now, better late than never, chairman John Reid & co. are finally reacting – a deal with Izaguirre’s club C.D. Motagua is now imminent.

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Thirty-two tastes of tactics

Marcelo Bielsa, Chile coach at World Cup 2010

Listing catch-all formations runs the risk of disengaging the context in which they were used.

Nevertheless, this is generally more applicable to the club game, but international managers must foist an unconditional style upon their sides.

Infrequent contact and matches mean training camps focus upon reacclimatising to the coach’s methods: there’s just too little time before games to adequately prepare new, finicky masterplans.

The World Cup, where opponents are often discovered several days before the encounter itself, illustrates the difference between the international and club game.

Based on World Cup 2010, I’ve captured the essence of each national team’s current tactics and formation. Here are my attempts to encapsulate the findings in browser-friendly pen profiles. Continue reading