Archive. Football. Statistic & History
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Column #17

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-10-04 17:23:21

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Alex James was a master of tactical and technical knowledge, he was hailed by many as not only the best schemer of all time, but he was often referred to as the best player of all time. The truth is that Wee Alec belongs to the highest levels in the history of football, one of the first, without a doubt. Well, following his teachings, there are certain aspects that diverge from the current condition of football.
In regular time, a football match has ninety minutes, but everyone knows that the battle is not played for ninety minutes inside the four lines. In fact, the ball rolling time is much shorter than that, therefore you have to be in a hurry to carry out individual and collective actions. If the time to score goals is less than it appears to be, the path must be carried out with more speed, more incisiveness and more risk.
Alex James has always said something very interesting about effectiveness. Out of ten attempts to assist a teammate, a player hits just one assist, automatically it was worth the effort, as the team's own marker was changed.
What he meant by that is that the problem is not to miss passes, but not to attempt them. There are good days and there are bad days, therefore it is the obligation of a schemer to always try more incisive and risky plays during the course of the game — something that happens very little compared to the old days. 'U' FORMATION
If it was over a hundred years ago, I would have thought this was an offensive formation, but that's not the case with football today. I once read an article commenting on this 'U' of teams considered keepers of the ball. However, what's the point of having the ball and not being able to produce situations that are at least dangerous for the opponent's goal?
What would that 'U' be?
In this case, the ball would go from a winger to a midfielder or defender, therefore passing to them on the opposite side until it reaches the opposite winger. In other words, waste of time. Space should not to be found; must be forced. From what I've seen in teams with higher possession, they often tend to perform that 'U', without even trying something more incisive often. The area entrance axis should be further explored to the point where quick combinations, with advanced tactical and technical knowledge, were performed frequently, thus causing damage to the opponent's defensive system. Consequently — statistically speaking — the number of effectiveness of passes would drop, in addition to other issues such as ball loss and others. However, making incisive passes is always better than making multiple passes back and to the side.
Friedrich Gschweidl always said that excellent attackers play forward — and the same can be applied to modern central midfielders. After all, terms such as offensiveness, direct and risky passes are always charged to these midfilders. What's the point of having playmakers who only know how to pass the ball to the side or backwards? What is productive about this team? Ball possession is not the same thing as dominance.