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Prof. Schmieger, 1923: The "One-back"-system
Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-01-09 18:41:48
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Wilhelm Schmieger | 01/12/1923
The "One-back"-system recently used by some Viennese teams with greater or lesser skill has led to lively discussions in the press, most of which have been of a disagreement. But it is certainly worth it to detach the whole system from the understandable antipathy of almost the entire press towards a certain club and to examine it for its advantages and disadvantages. Football is certainly a first-rate public sport, but that does not mean that all sorts of concessions must be made to the liking or displeasing of a poorly understanding public. Let's hear what the two well-known sports people Max Leuthe and Felix Schmal write about the one-back system in their booklet "The modern football game" (Rikola-Verlag):
The application of this tactic lives or falls with the referee; it is by no means risky to use this fighting method, which consists in the defenders taking up staggered positions, if the referee has a keen eye and an understanding of the offside rule. However, the pursuit of this system can turn into a catastrophe if the referee is not familiar with offside matters. It must be said in advance that the use of this type of combat is absolutely fair and does not contradict the game laws any more than the offside of the striker, so that only the completely uninitiated can believe that they are reluctant to criticize such defense measures. The offside rule is conceived as a protective law for the defenders. As a rule, they only use the one-back-system if they feel that they are able to irritate the opponent by doing so, and this then falls under the tactical tricks of the game as well as any other. It would be unwise to give up such advantages. There are other weighty grinds that can induce a crew to resort to this system. First and foremost, when a team has been weakened by the sentt off of one or more players and when it is important to retain the advantage gained. When is it advisable to use the one-back system? Above all, you have to keep your own defenders in check, you need a good tackler and a player who has running ability and understanding of placement. The tackler is allowed to operate in the foreground, the faster defender occupies the back line, he must be prepared at any time to be engaged in a running duel with a striker. Against every opponent, however, this method cannot be used successfully, it will certainly prove itself against rabid-hearted strikers who do not take the risk to advance against a single man. But if people with penetrating power and urge to move forward are to be found on the side of the adversary, this method can be dangerous: it is down to built so that the striker who is in possession of the ball is usually reluctant to cover the last piece to the opposing goal on his own. One reckons that in this case he, feeling literally relieved, will pass the leather to the next best colleague who appears next to him, but who is in an offside position — that is the trap.
If there is a very good runner among the defenders, then the one-back system is certainly advisable: this defender will not have much to fear even if the other side has energetic blows in your ranks. In a one-on-one situation between defender and striker, the defensive player always has the easier task; he only needs to push the ball out of the direction of his opponent and the attack plan is often completely disturbed, whereas the striker has to "keep direction", direct the ball and finally make a well-aimed shot. For nimble runners in defense, it is generally advisable to provoke individual fights as often as possible in order to destroy the combination. As long as the entire attack group is spinning its threads, it is difficult to get along with them.
This detachment from the working group can be achieved very easily by letting one of the enemy strikers over you and granting them a small head start — of course not in the immediate vicinity of the goal. This man, who now sees the way to the goal clear, will immediately forget his teammates and the combination and drive the leather in front of him in blind zeal, thinking that it will always be in his power. The moment has now come to counterattack — provided that the defender is a good runner.
So you can see that even these two experts do not simply break the baton with the "One-back"-system. It is a tactic like any other, but fighting it requires attention and intelligence from the opposing style.
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