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29 Sep 2020 23:13:16
hi ed01 hope you're well mate, slightly off topic and in keeping with the internationals coming up, do you think English football suffers through the obsession of picking players whose greatest attributes are their physical abilities as opposed to their technical skills and most importantly their football brain? all i seem to see in the PL is athletes, who are quick, strong, big etc but with no football intellect? (i do also recognise that england doesn't appear to be blessed with great coaches in comparison to other countries) Love to hear your thoughts.

{Ed001's Note - very much so. They have started to obsess over technique as well now, but they never have cared about brains, which is bizarre. Having players who are intelligent can make the world of difference.}

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30 Sep 2020 06:58:17
It was interesting your article on Bruce-Pallister, Bruce is the example for this scenario - as an athlete with his injuries he may not have made it as a pro, certainly not at the top level. His greatest asset was his brain, I can think of similar type players who now just don't seen to exist. Perhaps that's why defending generally is awful. For example Arsenal's insistence on playing from 6 yards was bizarre especially having seen Mane score the week before. Maybe managers don't have brains either.

{Ed001's Note - Bruce was also slow, so you are right he would have struggled to make it through the youth ranks in the modern era. Players are overcoached from the start now, rather than learning the game just by playing and getting an instinctive understanding.}

30 Sep 2020 07:32:55
Ed001 have you seen Bergkamps article on the BBC football page. Mentions everything you always say how youth coaches no longer let a player think for themselves and that is what cryuff taught him. Essentially creating robots who struggle in matches when something goes wrong and have to look over at the bench for help.

{Ed001's Note - I haven't read the article, but you see it all the time, young players not figuring out how to fix things for themselves. That is one of the differences with Klopp's system over Pep. Klopp gives players freedom to think for themselves, hence why they get given so much freedom to roam about. Pep wants 11 robots doing exactly what they do in practice, repetitive tactical plays that have to be done exactly right or he is in their ear.}

30 Sep 2020 17:50:48
Spot on, Ed> France had this very same problem regarding always prioritizing size, pace and physical strength over brains and football IQ. They got this notion from their France '98 team with physical specimens like Thuram, Vieira, Desailly, Karembeau etc. This went on for years until now when they have an actual generation of skillful players coming thru hence, they had to change.

This is why I love the Dutch and Spanish way of developing talent. They prioritize football intelligence and over physical attributes. I mean, check out the likes of Bergkamp, Edgar Davids or even our Gini. Supremely intelligent players with great skill yet with physical ability.



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