Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Lone Rangers - update
Shane Davis of Australian Football Review, the best independent football analyst in the country for my money, pointed to a recent article by the always perceptive Tim Vickery as an antidote to Foster's starry-eyed, out-of-date take on Brazilian football. Tell a modern-day Brazilian coach that "football is about the ball, not the effort", and you'd never get into his team.
One aspect of Foster's article that is particularly ironic is his criticism of the lone striker approach.
Of course, on this point I completely agree with him, and believe that the dogged persistence in using one man up front has been a blight on the Socceroos for quite some time. In Gosford on Sunday, too, two sides with lone strikers and packed midfields cancelled each other out, and the result was not pleasing to the eye.
Here's the irony, though:
At a time when tactical trends mean packed midfields and caution before flamboyance, it is the Brazils and Barcelonas of the world that keep the flame of attacking football alive.
They are tactics Australia must resist, to overload midfields and play one up front...
Does the man actually watch any football at all?
Does he know, for instance, that Barcelona's recent dip in form has been largely attributed to their use of Eidur Gudjohnsen in a lone striker role, which suited the injured Samuel Eto'o down to the ground, but is alien to Gudjohnsen, a "second striker" if ever there was one?
Does he remember that Brazil's limp exit from the World Cup coincided with their decision to pack their midfield, which was already starved of genuine width, while leaving...erm...a lone striker up front?
The supreme irony, however, is that Foster has long worshipped at the altar of Saint Guus, and sees the Dutchman's general approach as an unimpeachable template upon which to build the future of Australian football.
How did Hiddink's Australia typically set out their stall at the World Cup?
You guessed it. With a packed midfield, and...a lone striker. Even against a ten-man Italy.
I never made the leap of logic from Foster's rhetoric and the real world use of his examples and he comes up looking pretty foolish.
Vickery's article is interesting. I always wondered why Foster has chosen Brazil as the country to emulate... surely putting Australian players into a Brazilian system is like square pegs into round holes?
If they have to be South American, surely Argentina is a better system for Australia (Jose Pekerman is still available Mr's Lowy and Buckley). Why not a Latin system like Mexico? At least surely a European system is a better fit for us? Obviously an experienced Dutch coach did wonders for our less skilled but very athletic, eclectic group of players.
It is a good thing Foster is so inept his opinions are simply ignored by footballing decision-makers.
Maybe so, but from all appearances he still has something of a following among casual fans (hence my persistence in pointing out the various holes in his ridiculous diatribes).
Incidentally, we've appointed a technical director today - a Dutchman, with quite an impressive CV. Wonder what (a) his remuneration, (b) his day-to-day remit will be.
Shhh don't pre-empt the well-informed covite.. ;)
Personally I am very much pro-Technical Director. I think its a great move by the FFA especially leading up to the next World Cup.. be interesting to see how it plays out.
I'm sure he'll comment at length anyway. ;-)
...Personally I am very much pro-Technical Director. I think its a great move by the FFA especially leading up to the next World Cup.. be interesting to see how it plays out....
Yeah, will be interesting. I'm not exactly pro- or anti- a TD, but I just wish someone would explain in concrete terms what he will do, without resorting to cliches like "liaising"/"overseeing"/developing a philosophy".
They are all things that take us nowhere."
I believe picking up second balls were major factors in getting us over japan and croatia
You're not wrong.
As I've said before, our excellent physical preparation was far more of a factor in our WC successes than any tactical 'n' technical innovations, IMO.
Always been rather pro the idea. Just always wanted more then, 'we need one'.
Agree with Argentina. I want Peckerman. Thou I'm not really sure why. Just want him. Maybe because he's good and not from Foster's parthenon of greatness.
btw, I just read The Coaching Philophosies (sp?) Of Louis Van Gaal and the Ajax Coaches.
I'm now more qualified then Foster. :D