Friday, 22 July 2016


sam allardyce was appointed the england football team manager and there were news about it before him becoming and after becoming it . there was a news which read that sam had to reinvent himself in form of gaurdiola to land the england job . now i wouldnt talk about man management because it is upto the coach and how he gets the best out of a player . big sam had been accused of playing long ball tactics all his life and i dont see any bad about it . now would any grandmaster change his opening for the sake that it is not pretty . i am sorry i dont agree .
now lets talk about the tactics . big sam is accused of playing long ball tactics . now what is wrong about that . first off he is getting the forward more into play and getting the offense to play around him . now if you had seen england in the euro's then you would had seen that england struggled to bring kane into the game . they had not been able to play around him . another thing is that when a long ball is played you stretch the play then spaces are created and then you can move the ball around and then sam has to show his coaching ability as to what they would do when they have the ball . i wouldnt mind the ball diretly played to kane but the trouble is that over the years the english forwards had been dab and didnt had good ball playing ability . instead when the ball is played to them they would keep the ball and pass the ball to the midfielder and slow down the game . i had never seen anybody who would take on the centre back or even a good passer who could pick up somebody who would make the run beyond him . wouldnt rashford or kane if teamed up together or given the chance to run on the centre back would absolutely love it . the thing is that untill now england never ever had the forwards who were good ball players .
if you look at the best teams then you too would see that they too use the long ball tactics often but they play more on the floor rather than in the air but then they too try to get the ball upfield as soon as possible .the trouble had been as i had pointed out is that these teams then try to play beyond the forward instead of bringing the ball back and trying to take it forward . everybody like to play gaurdiola esque football but to be honest you have to balance when to go for a press and when to sit back and hold your positions and maintain your shape and discipline . teams had adapted to playing high pressing and can now play around and get past that press easily . other than few good teams others will sit back and will ask england to open them up and that will be the big test for sam as to when they have the ball and have built up the offense and open teams up .
now the other thing is the players i was reading the guardian post about big sam and it said that he is good man manager but also can be ruthless to throw out the weed that is affecting the dressing room . i think with england he will have to be a bit more subtle but then can he really show the balls to drop big names and also get the team playing . in england the media gives too much importance to some players even they are techinically inept and can big sam show the balls to drop them .
 in all his coaching carrier big sam had coached teams who play counter attacking football and coaching an english team wouldnt be much more difficult since most of them are accustomed to play counter attacking football .
last but not the least but since he is the english coach he knows the quality of coaching and the way players are coached so he can asks the fa to change the style of coaching to the kids which would be beneficial to the future players . in  england players are coached a certain way and importance is given the physical side of the player than the technical side of the game . big sam must be aware of that and the fa should take inputs from him to change the coaching system as germany did and are benefitting from it . 

Monday, 11 July 2016


yesterday france played portugal with the two teams playing most unattractive football in the tournament . both teams can be called playing buggy football a term being associated with teams playing under scolari . both teams had been lucky to be over here . both teams havent played any good football even when having a wealth of talent in their squad . team cohesion had been the major trouble with both the teams . at times both teams had been one dimensional in their approach but they had reached the finals .
france started the game with their 4-3-3 formation with the same squad that they had been using in the q/f and the semifinals . while portugal also had the same squad which had been used in the semis . the game started with potugals sitting deep with both the front players nani and ronaldo retreating into the midfield to congest the field of play for france . even though nani and ronaldo were dropping in the midfield they were not pressing france or trying to do mark somebody . instead they were just there . this is the lack of cohesion in the portugal squad . cohesion isnt just in offense . it is in defense too . when one starts to press it is cue for the others to do the same thing instead of just sitting back and watching the ball . even though portugal had three in the middle ( renato sanches coming inside to make it three in the middle ) there were enough gaps in the portugal  defense that france could work the ball upfield . france tried to play through giroud with him and griezman combining . at least for france these two had been in   good form with griezman getting space between lines and playing one two with giroud who is not given enough credit for his assists . portugal were playing deep and they had the best of the chances in the first half with patricio making a very good save from griezman but overall portugal were able to keep france at bay . both team and their formations
the main joy that france had in the first half or in the entire match was the running of sissoko with the ball when he would come deep collect the ball and run with it . the reason why sissoko could do that was because portugal even though had three in the middle. portgual used to play 4-1-3-2 with carvalaho in front of the back four . adrien and renato sanches were upfield compared to carvalaho and they formed a triangle in the middle . the trouble was with sissoko's positioning . he had a wide right position but would come inside to collect the ball to move it upfield . since his opposite number gurrero wouldnt be coming with him leaving his position he wouldnt have a direct opposite number . to be honest i would like to take a moment here but what was adrien's role in the team had baffled me the entire tournament . he is pushed up just behind ronaldo and nani but they dont  play through him . i havent seen him making any great defensive effort to man mark somebody out of the game . he is not a no.10 nor does he gets alongside carvalaho and protect the back four . there was space between adrien and sanches and sissoko was just using this space to start him run . sissoko is a strong runner and its not very easy to dislodge him off the ball . there were other's factor which were contributing to sissoko getting the space . carvalaho was playing in front of the back four when sisokko was coming in front of the back four or in the zone which was carvalaho's  he would get in two minds since he had griezman to look after and other sissoko coming marching on . i think france just couldnt take advantage of sisokko's run . first off they couldnt line up players around sissoko to whom he could slip the ball . secondly its the shortcoming in sissoko's game that when he had done the good work or taking the ball upfield and attracted the offense on him that he should now pass the ball to somebody in scoring position . france had the same joy with coman who came on in the second half for payet and was immediately troubling cedric and was a live wire but then again the lack of cohesion in the france team just couldnt use him to their advantage .
portugal even though had won the competetion had been very poor offensively they had been dependent on ronaldo's aerial powress and that been the main weapon offensively . whenever the ball would come near the box they would just try to whip it into the box trying to find ronaldo or nani into the box . they never ever tried to work the ball from wide areas to have deeper penetration . portugal had the major blow when their captain left the field through injury . santos was made to change the shape of the play where on he left nani upfront and bought quaresma wide and moved sanches behind nani . the trouble with this move was that portugal with style didnt had a target man in the box . so the two changes he made in the game were the game changers . first off he bought moutiniho who runs the game better than sanches or carvalaho and uses the ball pretty better . he gets the players around him ticking and secondly when he realized that he needs a target man in the box he bought eder and switched nani wide . this was a good move and one which bought him the title .
eder's winner can be contributed to some stupid defending by koscielny and umiti . first off was koscielny showing him the back . why did he let him off . he could have backed just a little bit but could had stayed with him . secondly umiti could had come fast forward and stopped the shot or even stood in front . in football the straight line is the shortest distance path . it is first taught to stop to the straight shot atleast make him work with the shot . eder should be lauded because he was showing the eagerness to have the ball and work it . in november he wasnt sure as to whether he would be in the portugal squad when i had heard from one of the commentators in the english premier league that his lack of game time wouldnt hamper his chances in the portugal team .
all and all the competetion was boring and the level of football compare to that in the copa america was quite substandard . expect for one or two teams all the other were just not upto the task . even when these two came against an organised defense they too folded . it would be better to have the original format of 16 teams since it would keep the games interesting and each game would have a meaning .
now many a players are in the transfer market . paul pogba is supposed to be a 100 mil plus player but i dont think so that he is that good . he is technically very good  and has the making of a good player but is not a finished product yet . mouriniho is known to work with finished product rather than just with developing a product . i dont think so that man utd should go and buy him for 100 mil instead if he is there for 50 mil then that too will be too much . i was impressed with jao mario of portugal and i think that kid has potential . he is good on the ball and strong too . technically good and most importantly i think he will develop better than pogba if man utd buy him . gurrero of portugal  is good and would have many suitors in the coming days .

i forgot to give names of the players in the first pic but then the back didnt change for france so it is there in the second diagram . 

Monday, 4 July 2016


on saturday gemany played italy in the quarterfinal of the euro 2016 . i had been reading about the game and some of the headlines had been that it was a chess game . i dont think so . i think it was just an average with both teams trying to cancel each other out but on the offensive front both the team were lacking the cohesion and the crisp passing that was needed . germany rightfully played the same formation trying to nullify the advantage that italy were having with their formation . this formation was giving italy a very good advantage which i thought that they never ever fully exploited . they always had an extra man in zone and if they had tried then they could have taken a bit more deeper in opposition half and created more chances for themselves but conte is more of a defensive coach than the offensive one and he had set that up with the idea of stopping opposition and denying them space on offense . this thing will interest michael cox of zonal marking because he likes to talk about formations and gives  upto most importance to the formation than the style of play the cohesion in the team and the players who make it happen . but italian formation had created headache for the oppostion they were not able to find any space in their half unless finding a italian player in front of them . conte had made sure that he would have a player on every 10 yards  in his half on defense . he was atleast not ready to let opposition have space in the middle of the park . he was ready to give space on the wings but not ready to let the ball being worked out inside . they were comfortable with the crosses since they had three big men at the back who had all the years doing and dealing this . germany had to nullify italy's formation and they just didnt wanted to get their flanks overloaded and give a chance to italians on offense . he played the same formation with same idea of denying the space to the italians . both the teams had the overall same size of player all over the pitch but the difference was with the ball playing ability of these players with the germans far too comfortable with their superior technical skill set . while the italians had the front two in very good form with both combining each other very nicely but the rest of the cast hadnt been able to get on the same page with these two .all and all both teams trying to play a very cagey game where on they tried to deny any spaces to each other and never tried to over commit so as that they dont get exposed . they worked very hard to close the gaps 
the game started with both the team playing safe game with teams not trying to over press . they waited for the ball to come into the midfield and then press . the midfield was a very congested zone so the game was played more on the flanks than in the middle of the park . the germans have the ball playing capability but were not able to work the ball inside to cause any trouble to buffon . both the teams tried to play out from the back and both didnt tried to press things and why the game was cagey can be revealed by the fact from the statistics of the number of touches that the centre backs had of both teams . the english commentators are far better than the english team and their knowledge of the game is far better than roy hodgson . when they germany had the ball they wanted germany to mix it up . they wanted germany to cross the ball into the box atleast when the ball was on the left side they wanted it cross which was correct to create the impression that they are there to cross it and mix it up by working the ball in but keeping the option of cross open. that is why germany had more threat from the right side because kimmich was ready to cross and then  they mixed it . the trouble with germany was that both muller and gomez were not on same page like eder and pelle who would find his partner any where on the pitch . kroos and ozil were criticized for not having enough influence on  the game but if you had seen carefully then pelle and eder both dropped into the midfied to deny kroos any time on the ball and tried to mark him .
there are two important things that i need to write and that is why i said that the players make the formation tick . sturaro started in front of the back three while porolo started on right of sturaro which had been his position throughout the tournament . de rossi was injured that is why sturaro got the chance . why de rossi is import to this formation and what was his importance . first off sturaro  got himself carded unnecessarily so  conte had to switch between him and porolo . porolo was bought in front of the back four while sturaro went into porolo's position .
now the importance of the players can be justified during germany's first goal .gomez started in the centre but shifted onto left so brazagli went with him . if you had looked at the diagram then ( video embedded too ) there is a considerable space between brazagli and bonucci who should had come a little bit closer to deny that space which was there between these two . secondly muller started from the midfield so it was porolo's responsibility to go on with him and close him down but he didnt . what i want to say is that had de rossi been there then he would had given bonucci the shout to come closer and narrow the space . secondly he would had gone with muller . thirdly there two player marking gomez and gomez is not known for his dribbling ability  so giacherenni should had gone closer to him and closed him down . he had cover from brazagli . this is the kind of personal decisions which make the team tick and loose the game .
all and all not a very good game and germany will have to do much better if they have to beat france who are not that organised but have good individual quality. italians raised their own expectation because they beat spain but then other than having a good front partnership italians didnt had any other player who would change the game for them . 

Saturday, 2 July 2016


yesterday wales played belgium . it was like david played against goliath with belgium having better players all over the pitch compared to wales but the one thing that wales had and belgium didnt was a good coach and that was the main difference . the game really showed as to how a good coach makes a difference to all the things that happen on the pitch . the coach gives an ordinary players the confidence the belief the understanding and the most importantly the game plan which is the most important part of the game . the makes them understand the game and the things they need to do when they are on the pitch . their positional understanding and their on the ball and off the ball movement are all the decisions made by the coach . he is the one who has to make crucial decisions regarding changing the game and its style or formation . most importantly a good coach always stays in the game he keep a bird eye view of the game and has to continously improvise the game and try to outwit the opponent with the resources on hand . what belgium didnt had was what wales had and that is the a good coach . he didnt let his team heads get down when they went behind and went for a hara kiri mode . instead they went to play a good passing game and went to dominate the game and win it . i think this win goes to chris coleman more than anything . the confidence that he has shown in his players and the belief that he had shown and the hard work  that he had taken on them . their ability can be seen not only in passing but when keeping the ball in one on one conditions when pressed and working hard for each other . i think he has improved the team very good and deserves the plaudits that come his way .
belgium started the game with 4-4-1-1 formation . while walses started with 3-5-2 formation .belgium started the game very strongly and it looked like as if that they would wash away wales with the speed of their counter attack . it was looking as if wales were playing into belgium hands and what happened with hungary was going to happen with wales . the reason why belgium dominated was because wales had sent both their fullbacks high up the pitch . secondly beligum were allowed to counter and most importantly they were able to play through lukaku was able to release hazard,de bruyne and carrasco behind the back three which were getting stretched because of lukaku's movement . that is why wales had all their centre backs carded inside 15 min and belgium were enjoying a very good healthy counter attacking session with lukaku  in the main role . belgium went ahead through a naingollan shot . i think the change in the game came when wales had their first shot on goal and courtious saved and that gave the belief to wales that they are in the game . then they started to move ball around and started to use the width of the pitch and it was made easy because atleast on the right side of wales because hazard doesnt like to come deep and do his duties on defending and that meant that witsel had to come  on the flank and help his fullback. that meant that wales had numbers in the middle of the park and they just had to choose a zone which they wanted to open or work .
there were two or three factors that led to wales dominating the game . first off their ability to play out from the back . not many give importance to this but if your centre back can play out good balls from the back to the players on the front then the offense becomes that much quicker and  the midfield can move the ball better and get more time on the ball . secondly belgium may have good players but the midfield and the back two are not that mobile . naingolan is decent player but he is the one who can control  tempo of the game nor is he that mobile . he is more or less like english midfielder but with better technical ability  . the same can be said about witsel . compared to belgium midfielders  the welsh midfielders are quite mobile . they pass and move and that makes it more difficult to close them down . third and the most important factor was that after 20 min belgium were not able to bring into the game and their direction got lost and wilmots wasnt able to guide as to what they need to do . the reason wales won because they were to dominate the midfield and congest it . bale would drop into the midfield and help both on defense and moving the ball . this is the main reason as to why wales dominated the possession and the game .
in the second half belgium tried to change the game by bringing fellaini in place of carrasco and getting de bruyne wide while naingolan was sent forward in the no.10 role . but the game continued with same script of wales dominating and taking lead through robson- kanu who fooled the centre back with his movement . the centre back denayer became presumptious with kanu's movement and prayed the price for it . belgium were never in the game and the game went towards conclusion they becaume that much more impatient . i think the win goes to show the work rate of welsh players like allen ,ledley and ramsey who kept their team ticking and are the clear heroes of the game .

Friday, 1 July 2016


i hope there is an end to ronaldo vs messi debate because ronaldo is just too ordinary to be comapared to messi .
yesterday polanad played portugal in the first q/f of the tournament . should these two teams be in the q/f is the first question . the football played by these teams had been poor and to be honest i dont know about poland but after the euros even if portugal go on to win the competetion i dont see no reason why they should keep fernanado santos in the job . if there is another team which is fighting english team with no clear direction then it would be portugal . portugal do have some of the finest players in the competetion like sanches, jao mario and queresma but there is no direction as to what they need to do . the only thing that they do is that whenever the ball comes in and around the box then they tend to cross it in the box trying to find ronaldo without having a proper thought in the mind as to where should he be or where should they place the ball or whether the ball should be a low cross or a high cross . at times i found portugal to be too reckeless about the ball . they seemed to be too eager to cross the ball rather than trying to have more penetration in the opposition's box .
the game started with poland playing 4-4-1-1 formation while portugal started with playing 4-4-2 formation . the game started with poland scoring  fastest goal of the tournament . the thing is cedric misjudged the bounce of the ball and Grosicki was able to find lewandowski in the box . the thing with lewandowski nowadays is that he leads the line but he likes to come deep and collect the posssession and move the ball up . nowadays instead of leading the line on the offense he lets somebody get beyond him while he arrives late or stays just off the six yard box in the hole . the success that he has got this season is because of that only where on muller would go beyond him while lewandowski would stay just behind muller so that muller would keep the centre backs busy while lewandowski would find the space in front of the defenders . after the goal poland just slowed down the game they knew they had the advantage and they wanted to draw out portugal forward and then hit them fast but the thing about poland was that they didnt had a no.10 . milik was playing in the no.10 position but he was just happy to get beyond lewandowski or shoot the ball at the slightest encouragement . another thing that was bad about poland was that they passed the ball poorly . at times when the ball needed to passed quickly they held it and when they could have held it and choose better options to pass the ball they tried to move the ball and lost it . i was disappointed by Blaszczykowski and  Grosicki. first thing was that they didnt cross the ball and instead tried to move the ball and have deeper penetration . they should had realised that portugal were quicker than them in the foot race . secondly they should keep the opposition guessing as whether he is going to cross the ball or going to come inside ( how many times do i write this ) . both the polish wingers at times over played it and when they could have had crossed it and tried to test portuguese back two in the air they tried to open them on the floor . poland failed to take advantage of one thing and that is that had they moved the ball quicker then you could see that there was a lot of space in and around william carvalaho because both sanches and adrien silva were going high up the pitch and poland did had some joy of moving the ball through that space but failed to create a clear cut opening . third thing is that italy had already shown as to how players hunt in pairs and how eder and pelle are doing it . milik and lewandowski didnt had any cohesion .
before i write about portugal let me tell you that comparing messi with ronaldo is nonsense . yes ronaldo can beat messi in only one that is header because of his height but footballing wise ronaldo is just another ordinary player . now portugal started the game with 4-4-2 formation . the first mistake that carvalaho did was that when portugal lost the ball he should had strided to come to his position which is front of the back four . if you see then he is seen striding back which he should had done earlier when he had seen that they had lost the ball . portugal are one of the worst side in the tournament . they just aim to cross the ball in the box . the players seem to be lost and dont know as to what they should do when they have the ball . to be honest poland were too open and there were lot of spaces to exploit had portugal wanted to exploit it . the polish first target was that to deal with crosses in the box and stop ronaldo from getting at the end of it . if you see then there was quite a lot space between the polish players where on had the ball moved crisply and quickly then portugal could had opened poland . Maczynski and Krychowiak are not the most mobile player and the equaliser proved that . i was confused by adrien silva's role he comes up the pitch but isnt much involved in offense . he doesnt stays besided carvalaho and provide the cover leaving him exposed . so when he brought moutiniho instead of him who made quite the difference and portugal started to assert themselves more .