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Old player, 1953: Bloomer's shot and forward play

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2023-02-02 16:09:31

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
— Old player | 17/12/1953 —

At last professional footballers are learning to practise control of the ball which is their profession. Jugglers, musicians and other artists practise for hours; why not the footballer?
It may interest your readers to be reminded how Steve Bloomer was trained by John Goodall. As a boy I sometimes visited the old ground at the Racecourse. I saw John Goodall put a stick in the ground and place an old hat on it. Steve would stand about 20 yards away, and John would send him quick passes from varying directions, while Steve would hit the ball first time, either as a ground pass or a rapid shot at the stick.
All his passes were kept on the ground, and his foot carried through with the toe pointed downwards like a ballet dancer's. Steve was a master of the half-volley. Even when the ball was travelling with small bounces he chose the point of contact with the ground. How rarely to-day do we see a forward who dares to take a shot at goal from this, although he gains tremendous pace by doing so.
As to tactics, for how long are we to continue the absurd method of trying to initiate an attack by sending a high ball for the centre-forward, whose only chance is to head it back to an inside man 20 yards behind him?
The attack is held up while this ground is recovered, and the opposing defence gets into position. It is now obvious that the positions should be reversed as shown by the Hungarians, and I think the answer will be by the attacking centre-half.
Above all, when will most of our forwards perceive the open space in front of a colleague, and put their pass there, instead of direct to the latter's feet?