Tuesday, July 25, 2017

How to defend

(Mourinho's tactical thinking)
Defending is the first point of preparation and building a team. Defence is the best form of defending. Saying defending is the best form of attack is an insult to the game.

It means the progress of the attack of the opposition must be halted, usually as far away from the goal as possible.

This is not always possible. Just as well, it may not be necessary to commit high up the field if the opponent is in full control of possession.

This is due to easy creating of distances between the defending team players and spaces between units (defence, midfield, and attackers).

When the opponents reach the midfield third, spaces between defenders and units must be reduced, and the angles must be narrow and correct, and the distances between defenders must be shorter.

It can never be over-emphasised, the necessity and urgency of this scenario once the attack is increased and enters the final third.

At this point, regardless of the defending tactics, man-to-man marking is mandatory, no matter the level of the game or professionalism.

At all times, defending must begin with an individual, usually one nearest the ball. Supporting defending players must anticipate the ball movement.

For a technically superior team, it may be hard to choose the moment to engage in a defending action such as a tackle or cover. This is because of the unpredictability and quick decision making of top professionals.

However, if the opponents are of inferior technical ability, all pressure, anywhere and anytime will lead to a series of errors.

The higher up the field the errors occur, the better. This is due to the fact that the next attack can be initiated closer to the target.

As a general rule, up the field, marking is zonal, meaning that the players close the spaces and do not mark man-to-man.

In the defending third, it must always be man-to-man, while in midfield, it can be a mixture of the two tactics.

In summary, the principles of defending are; deny space and time, cover your team mate, anticipate the thinking of the attacker and their movement and the movement of the ball,
intercept the ball and support among others.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Highlanders played Jomo Cosmos

(Bosso rumoured to visit RSA  soon)
Few weeks after the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Highlanders Football Club, the team known as Amahlolanyama of the Mantengwane fame traveled to Johannesburg by road to play the then First Division side, Jomo Cosmos.

The trip was Bosso’s first in more than 25 years. The match took place at the Johannesburg Stadium attracting 20 000 spectators and ending 0-0.

The match raised awareness of Xenophobia attacks and money for the victims of hate crime that began to spread in informal settlements of South Africa.

The noble cause of the organizers was overshadowed by the rousing welcome the team received by those who relived the glory of yesteryears.

The anti-climax of the display on the pitch epitomized what many shuddered to think about, that their beloved Highlanders had become a toothless bulldog.

Zimbabweans in Bulawayo knew how badly the team had deteriorated, but for everyone else, the state of denial never left until the fateful afternoon.

The once mighty team of the nation were indeed the weeping boys of the game they owned. Prior to the trip, the club faced disciplinary action and the magistrates’ courts for different reasons.

Fans had rioted at matches and the several debtors attached club equipment and property. The coach was Mohammed Fathi of Egypt, and a few months later, he took the club to the labor court to demand his payments. 

In short, the club had no money but plenty of debts.

Many people could not believe how average a team like Highlanders can become. You may have thought Bosso players had an opportunity to display their skills.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How to counter the start/restart strategy

(Strategise as a coach -  Plan to plan)
We discussed how the start/restart has changed in recent months and how it is used. There was a brief look at how one can take advantage of the situation, but usually, you may be the small team and you face the similar situation.

How then, do you counter the long diagonal ball across, when playing against a technically superior team?

If you are the weak team playing against a team that will do that, then you need a counter strategy. 

Your wing defenders and wingers need to drop a little in anticipation of the long diagonal ball and runners. 

This ensures that the ball gets to them first or it falls in front of them without having to turn and face their goalkeeper from the onset.

In case the ball falls in front of them, and taken by an opponent, the wing players will have to use the touch line as a team mate and shuttle the opponent across the field or to play back. Then the objective is achieved.

No player wants to be tackled in the first minute or before the whole team has touched the ball. The other necessary thought to bank on is that the whole defense has time to shift while the ball is in the air. 

So, either way, use the tactic to intimidate a small team, and if you are small, do not be intimidated. Be prepared. Start at training.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Highlanders; Did you know?

Highlanders Football Club was the first club to undertake a European tour in 1986 when the team toured Germany.

The successful trip profited the team as they had two luxury buses donated by their hosts. Willard Mashinkila Khumalo ?(mhsrip) and Madinda Ndlovu secured contracts that kept them there until the twilight of their careers.

Bosso had also achieved a first in becoming the first football club in Zimbabwe to engage the services of a foreign coach. Bobby Clark became responsible for the well-oiled development programs and coach education.

Years after he left, training sessions still dwelt on his imaginative physical sequential warm–up routine named after him.

The Bobby Circuit was a complete dynamic wholesome and rhythmic group exercise that catered well for a huge number of people.

Paired according to size, stamina, and speed, players would jog thrice or so around the pitch in two rows. 

The leading pair would sprint for about 10 meters and then revert to the jog, and then the next two would do the same overtaking the leaders, and keep a 10-metre distance ahead of the leaders and so forth until the leaders were in their initial leading position.

Next, in a similar fashion, it would develop into a zig-zag sprint until, again, the leaders were ahead of the pack and every pair had their turn. The leaders determined what came next and they would wait until all had their turn.

Those in front would then bend over, feet astride for the next pair to jump over them. The third pair would jump over the first and crawl under the next two, all at very high pace.