Fall 2011 Will Mark the Beginning of the Greatest Evolutionary Advancement in Futbol
The 2011-2012 futbol seasons will mark the greatest advancement in the evolution of futbol since the Dutch forever changed the game with the introduction of off-sides trap and goalkeepers began using gloves.
The 2011 FC Barcelona squad, the greatest futbol club to EVER step on the pitch (field) will undoubtedly force the evolution of futbol to reach new heights across the globe! I know, it’s a bold statement, but after an incredible year of not only beating, but embarrassing and destroying some of the most pronounced clubs teams of the world, a game-wide shift is inevitable.
With 3 months to go until the start of the new seasons in Europe, coaches and team managers have a lot of tactical strategizing to discuss and implement in order to keep their jobs. Since the Barcelona lineup will be identical to what it was this past season, European clubs will face another challenging and embarrassing year unless they evolve their game. With so much on the line, a change of this magnitude is extremely likely, especially with teams like Real Madrid and Valencia of Spain and Man. U and Arsenal of England.
It was no fluke that Barcelona destroyed Real Madrid 5-0 during their first match of the Spanish league in 2010. After all, they went on to win the Spanish and Champions League titles. If you saw the Champions League final on May 28th, you noticed that after only 9 minutes of pushing towards the Barca goal, Manchester United was no longer able to respectfully compete against a squad led my Guardiola.
Remember the saying “If you can’t beat em, join em?” Well, teams have two choices, either implement a style of play that is very similar to that of Barcelona, OR, buy a couple terrific strikers capable of capitalizing on the counter attacks while the defense clogs their half of the field. Unfortunately, I can’t think of a single striker that could accomplish this task singlehandedly. It seems that teams have already developed this highly compartmentalized way of playing but lack the required offense for it to be effective. What I mean by that is, these defenders are expected to only defend, midfielders are expected to only transition the ball, and strikers have all the burden of scoring. Now, these teams are so frantic to score that they quickly launch every attack forward, consequently disregarding the remaining players behind them and isolating the forwards in the opponents territory.
Ever wonder why Barcelona is SO successful? That’s because of their utilization of EVERY man on the field! EVERY SINGLE PLAYER! Even Valdez, the goal keeper gets ball action.
A holistic team approach to futbol is much more fruitful than any individualistic or compartmentalized play. You can’t have 4 players sit back and just relax when you’re offense is attacking, or the strikers rest up top and wait for the ball. Also, it seems that each team has about 2 players that everyone is expected to get the ball to, ASAP, and I can’t tell if this is the result of arrogance or complete lack of self confidence on the other players. All of this has to change, otherwise the upcoming 2011-2012 seasons will be a repeat of this past year.
What needs to change?
As it was evident with one of the most expensive club teams in the world, Real Madrid, with its myriad of talented players with great skills, strength, and speed, expensive and talented individual players are absolutely NO match for a synchronized team, regardless of how much better the individual players might be.
1.) The first change that HAS to occur in order to keep up with the ever-evolving game is to increase the confidence of defenders to control the ball movement across the width of the field. Too often we see defenders simply kick that ball up the field for no reason.
2.) The second adaptive characteristic each team will have to implement is training the defenders to not only build the confidence but the skills necessary to move the ball up the wings and score! Dany Alves from Barca is a PERFECT example of how dynamic a successful defender has to play.
3.) Third, the ball movement has to be quick and CONSTANT! The ball CANNOT stop! The reality is that professional players, for the most part, are on a similar level of game. So, with that in mind, a player will rarely school the entire team and score. Move the ball around, no need to contain it, it destroys the teams momentum and allows the other team to man up.
4.) Finally, the most important change which HAS to occur, and will most likely happen, is that players will have to get over their egos and make those short passes, which to the untrained observer seem pointless but are in reality keeping the defensive side on their toes.
The clubs with a semi-intelligent management will realize that this is the inevitable evolution of the game, and will need to focus strategic training sessions for getting the players to play a tight-knit, fast paced, constant ball movement, field-wide game.
The typical “cross the ball to the strikers” mentality will have to disappear, otherwise the teams will disappear. Don’t get us wrong, there is the time and place for every style of play, but the majority of the game is still played in this primitive fashion.