Thursday, December 13, 2007
Missing the Point - brief update
In the December edition of World Soccer, which I received in the mail yesterday, there's an analysis of the tactical schemes adopted by Arsenal's esteemed manager Arsène Wenger over the years, from his early days in France, through his time in Japan, to his many memorable Arsenal sides.
His first season as head coach was at Nancy, the modest French club which is, in fact, punching significantly above its weight in Ligue 1 this season. Wenger's basic team line-up for that 1984/85 campaign is listed as 4-4-2, but it's 4-4-2 with a twist, as the accompanying text explains:
In midfield, two workhorses supported two attack-minded players; Ivorian François Zahoui, who roamed wide and through the middle, and Uruguay's Ruben Umpierrez, both playmaker and top scorer. Up front, the small, lively Robert Jacques and Fabrice Picot were essentially wingers; the main goalscoring threat came from deep.
this would be a very interesting strategic twist for a team like the roar to try ... don`t have a natural goalscoring frontman? don`t use the position.
also interesting for maybe a sydney before bridges arrived. whilst brosque did his best as a front man, he ain`t didier drogba.
It is what the Brail NT tried at and failed at this year's world cup, with Kaka Ronaldinho as those midfielders.
The problem however is that they failed to separate the forwards. Ronaldo and Adriano aren't exactly the best out floating out wide and bringing their midfield counterparts in to the game, rather they are looking for their service. As a result when looking for width Kaka and Ronaldinho were forced out wide, or perhaps worse the fullbacks are forced far too high too often exposing the defence.
It's a great system, so far removed from what is the norm these days. I'd love to go to Brazil or such to see it done properly with proper players (though perhaps the re-emergence of Robinho this year may see him help Brazil do it?) even at a junior level somewhere.