Thursday, August 16, 2007

Here we go again. Is there no creativity left in soccer?

I have talked about negating, or at least reducing the threat posed by dominant players on the other side of the ball. In this video of David Beckham's first MLS goal (1 minute), the defense puts up the standard defensive wall, he shoots around it into the upper left corner of the goal. These guys on defense act like they are actually helping. They aren't.

The best part of the video is the shot of David's wife: she has seen this so many times that she isn't even impressed. So why don't teams try something different? I guess they haven't heard what Einstein said about trying the same failed solution over and over again: It indicates that you're crazy.

I only have some radically crazy solutions to creating a different defense for this kind of Beckham free kick. I won't share any here, because the specifics of the solution to great players isn't actually that important: the key to successfully defending great players is in having confidence to attempt that which others might consider folly.

If you think a defensive move or team defense plan will work and once it is clear that the normal plan won't work (it is quite clear in the Beck's case) then, by all means possible, try the new plan. The worst is having a little fun, showing you have guts and still getting scored on. And just imagine if your scheme were to actually work.

A wall 10 yards out in this video is just useless, so try something else.

In your own play, if you keep getting hurt by an offensive player, think as quickly as you can of some other play, some other way of conceiving your job, and then try it out.

The nice thing is that the worst you will get is the same poor result that no one will hold against you. And, .... it might just work.

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