Possession When Protecting a Result

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by Maximum Optimal, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    Decided to watch Germany's play vs Holland with this in mind.

    Schweinsteiger will drop back deep and collect short passes from from the German CBs, very much like MB does with the US. BUT, this happens much less often. The German CBs are quite comfortable on the ball and perfectly capable of passing the ball around, dribbling a bit, and threading medium distance passes farther up field.

    The CB situation definitely needs to be improved for the US. I'm really hoping Ream's development continues and he has a strong year with Bolton, even if it is in the Championship. It's not like Boca or Goodson are clearly playing in levels better than the Championship. And Cameron's appearance in the 2nd half is encouraging, both in that he played fine, but also that JK seems to be ready to trust him in a meaningful match.

    Ideally, I'd like to see Ream, Cameron, and at some point a healthy Gonzo, battle it out for starting spots with the US for 2014, with only one of the veteran CBs (Onyewu, Goodson, or even Boca) providing that experienced bench option (See Berhalter in 2002). And in a pinch, I'd still like to see Jones tested as a CB at some point.
    Pragidealist repped this.


  2. Spursfan1

    Spursfan1 Member+

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    i think ream could replace boca and actually the championship could help Ream more than the EPL because it is SO direct and so fast paced.

    he will be a better defender or not play in that division.
  3. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

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    Right. I didn't mean to imply that the better teams never do this. But they do it much less than we do. It really is a bad practice to have a mid frequently dropping back even with the backs to get the ball. What is the point of doing this. The mid has his back to the other team when coming to receive the ball, so he has less information than the defenders do in terms of where everyone is positioned. He has to take one or two touches to turn and get oriented. This gives the defense even more time to organize. He has one less forward passing option (himself) that he could pass the ball to. You really want to minimize that sort of activity. It is the kind of activity that reminds me of John Wooden's dictum: Never confuse activity for accomplishment.
  4. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Germany has Holger Badstuber, who's the best distributing central defender in the world.

    (of course, they also have Lucas Podolski, who has the dribbling/passing skills of an average League Two backup goalkeeper and that had the Germans constantly forfeiting the ball in the attacking third and subsequently caused the rest of the team to chase needlessly into the own half).

    But in general, the Germans do move the ball very well and, should Löw have made appropriate subs, they would have not only "possessed to victory", they would have also made the margin of that victory 2-3 goals higher.


  5. Dr Jay

    Dr Jay BigSoccer Supporter

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    We had over 60 % of the possession as the away team under fairly dire field conditions.

    At home, the two biggest benefits will be a ref who will card for persistent infringement and an opponent who will likely approach the game more passively.

    The only way we lose to those guys at home is of our finishing is monumentally poor.
  6. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

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    I think this is an extremely astute point. Probably the best post I've ever seen on BigSoccer this year. It might seem like something minor to the casual fan, but this is a huge, huge deal. We really limit ourselves offensively by having to take the time and extra effort to work the ball upfield as we do. Furthermore, the more time the ball is spent in our own end, the more likely we are to have a costly turnover that will result in a goal. If we are to progress as a footballing nation, we need to get this right. No, we don't have to do it the way you describe all of the time, but we should do it like that the majority of the time. Of course if there is no safe outlet for the defender, then he has no choice but to have someone come back in support.

    Another very astute point. Yes, our midfielders should move off the ball, but there is a limit to their energy. They are already moving so much in other situations throughout the game. Our defenders have definitely got to move more and contribute more to our offense. Your comment about midfield spacing is dead on. The transfer between defense and midfield is obviously a two-sided operation, but there needs to be a more equal distribution of movement between midfielders and defenders.
  7. az2004

    az2004 Member

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    i like cameron the more i see of him

    pair boca with cameron

    they play this round

    get ream into the mix at mexico and russia, and as the 3rd cb if needed or start when we wrap up advancing

    i can't seee boca in 2014, so ream needs hex play at some point

    onyewu, never again unless ream and cameron and goodson are gone

    goodson might well be the 4th cb
  8. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

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    There was some discussion during the Confederations Cup and World Cup about the fact that several of our midfielders were leading the pack in terms of distance covered during matches. Whether this was a good thing or bad thing. It is good that we have players who can do this. But I think it is also a symptom of the problems we have been talking about in terms of our defenders not contributing more toward moving the ball forward.

    It is interesting that there are different ways for defenders to be good distributors. Even within the US pool, we see that Cameron and Ream, while both capable distributors, do it in very different ways. Cameron, because of his athleticism and background as a mid, likes to push the ball at the other team and uses his ability to do that to create passing angles. Ream has this ability to wait and wait and wait (sometimes I think he waits too long!) for the mid or forward to get open. He never seems rushed even when on the verge of being closed down.

    I think a good index of how comfortable a defender is with the ball is how close he allows a player from the other team to get to him before he gets twitchy and has to get rid of it. Cameron and Ream let them get pretty darn close. Goodson from my observation is the one who wants as much space as possible. He wants to get rid of it before anyone gets within ten yards of him. Which creates all sorts of problems in terms of passing angles, giving teammates time to make a run, etc.
    SPA2TACU5 repped this.
  9. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg Member+

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    I remember when Susaeta initially brought this up. He compared where Jones received the ball vs. where Bradley received the ball. He pointed out that Jones' off the ball movement was much sharper, giving him more space to receive and turn, whereas Bradley tends to jog, forcing him to pick up the ball off defenders' feet in order to have any space. One of the single best observations I've seen here.

    Then yesterday he points out that our midfielders don't work out of even simple presses. Meaning we see a back pass, then clear the puck pattern like we saw against Guatemala. I bet opponents press us knowing that our midfield isn't going to burn them for it.

    We've blamed our defenders for a long time, myself included, for us not keeping possession. The midfield shares a lot of responsibility.
  10. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

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    There is a quote from Klinsmann in another thread (which unfortunately I can't find) to the effect that he wants the defenders to make passes to teammates further up the field. I have some vague recollection to the effect he said Dempsey was the only one doing a good job making himself available for those kinds of passes. So JK does seem to believe that this problem is a shared responsibility of the defenders and mids. To me it does sometimes seem that Bradley comes back just because he wants the ball. He has been leading the team in touches by a fair margin in most our recent matches. I think the coaching staff needs to have a discussion with him about where he is getting the ball. Fewer touches but in better parts of the field is the message he needs to hear.
  11. Pragidealist

    Pragidealist Member

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    What's the basis for this conclusion? Just curious how you determined that...
  12. EvanJ

    EvanJ Member

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    Gold Cups 2005 and 2009 included CONCACAF's team in the Confederations Cup. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013_CONCACAF_Gold_Cup says Mexico will play in Gold Cup 2013. Do you have a source stating otherwise?
  13. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

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    Well...I'm guilty of playing mind-reader here. But several times in recent matches I've seen Michael drop way back when a defender has the ball with virtually no pressure from the other team. Usually the back involved is Bocanegra. Michael will come so close to him that it would seem almost rude for him not to give Michael the ball.
  14. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

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    I think it's a carryover from how Chievo builds up, generally he does it when Edu is cut off from receiving the ball off the backline. From the chalkboard it looks like it happened more against Antigua than Guatemala.
  15. MarioKempes

    MarioKempes Member+

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    Oops I missed that. This is the first time I've seen this kind of discussion.

    No doubt. We need to see all kinds of improvement in both defense and midfield on these more subtle points of the game. Bradley still has a lot to learn before he's ready for a big club like Milan. I'm glad he can learn in a lower pressure environment like Chievo.
  16. Spursfan1

    Spursfan1 Member+

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    No I mean we competed in 2009 too but with a B team due to confederations cup competition.

    I suppose mexico might field an A team for both. We shall see.
  17. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Roy Hodgson's 4-4-2 truly played like an Empty Bucket today with his central mids Gerrard and Parker sitting very deep in front of the defense and also "picking up balls off their feet".

    That may have negatively influenced England's fairly lackluster possession but it did what Roy wanted to accomplish, which is to unbalance the Swedish defense, which did not know where to press and where to back off.

    When Sweden pressed, England just went for a home run ball.

    Apparently, it can still be done, if one has players for it.
  18. deuteronomy

    deuteronomy Member+

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    wow, who'd a thunk it.

    The best match, from my perspective, to this point . .
  19. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Another point off the Euros - possession to protect is good ... a goal off a counter is better.

    The best counters so far were Lars Bender's goal vs. Denmark, CRonaldo's vs. the Netherlands, Jesus Navas vs. Croatia.

    An honorary mention to Steven Gerrard's run resulting in a save and a bunch of Russian counters that led to Alexander Kerzhakov (12 shots, none on target, no goals, no saves forced) blowing chances as if they were going out of style.
  20. comoesa

    comoesa Member+

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    We have a bunch of DM and Box to box mids but no guys who can open up for the ball. The closes is Torres. Anyway, It doesn't matter. Howard nor any our current starting CB's can hit an open man in midfield with even little pressure. Ream and Camseron are the only CB's I have seen do it. I thought Bradley was surprised he was getting the ball at his feet the first few times he played with Ream.
  21. chalaron

    chalaron Member+

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    Why Bedoya? He basically was unable to get on the field for Rangers which isn't saying much. At this point I'd rather see Gatt in that spot if we're going with your hypothetical lineup.
  22. DaNnYsOl09

    DaNnYsOl09 Member

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    IMO, I think Bedoya not being able to get a starting role at Rangers was due somewhat to a mid-season transfer. At that, the last four games he did start and showed well notching a goal and assist. Also the last time he actually played for the US he showed well playing on both wings, one touch passes, running at defenders, making great runs to creat chances or just open up space for Lichaj and Dolo. Gatt is very promising, no doubt and if he's turns out to be the next big thing then great but he is still relatively young, he could make the squad but more as a sub for experience. Bedoya should be coming up on his prime as a winger, so hypothetically speaking I'd give Bedoya the nod over Gatt until after 2014.
  23. ArsenalMetro

    ArsenalMetro Member+

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    Bedoya is simply not a good player right now. He shouldn't even be in consideration for a call-up, much less the starting XI. Get him some time in a real league, and then we can talk.
    RevPOWA and chalaron repped this.

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