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US-Honduras, the coaching and the subs (R)

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by superdave, Feb 6, 2013.

Moderators: dark knight
  1. MtMike

    MtMike Member+

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    You're right, of course. However, the basic point is still the same. If we don't get 3 against CR in the next game, it's still a very long hard uphill road to the WC.
     


  2. Arisrules

    Arisrules Member

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    I want to preface this rant, with the fact that I believe we will make the WC, despite, not because of JK. I think we have enough talent, and that because of the absurd 3+1 qualification of CONCACAF that even Mo Johnston could coach this team, and we would still make it.

    In actual games that matter, JK is a disaster. Yes I know he's won in Azteca, and had that Italian friendly, but those were just that, FRIENDLIES. They are supposed to be opportunities to fine tune your team in order to be able to play well during the matches that matter, you know, the qualifiers. The other element has been the almost disastrous management. He doesn't bring in Jozy for qualifiers. He starts an untested backline. He calls plaeyrs out. He doesn't share the burden of the horrible showing in Honduras. What Alexi Lalas (who I think is a superb commentator and analyst) was to being a GM, is what Klinsmann is to coaching a team. It's all big ideas and hot air, without any substance.

    For me this team is a mess primarily because of the midfield. I know some people have tried the argument that the 3-man d-mid has not been that bad, but it's the main reason why we don't score goals, and have the look of a disjointed high school team. Of course, by having three d-mids, you paper up the backline, which is what a lot of analysts focused on. Look! He's fixed the defense! Well yes, until we get into matches that matter, and teams expose our absurd lack of width, and pin back our fullbacks.

    Obviously the formation has changed a bit from when JK first started (by that I mean the absurd Danny Williams on right wing debacle), but the focus should remain on the midfield, and then I think all other issues will begin to be solved.

    The thing that immediately strikes me about the JK teams so far is the lack of athleticism and explosiveness. I really think that is something that we need to regain, and I really think the following lineup may be best suited to regain some of that:

    ---------------EJ----------Jozy------------------
    --------Clint--------------------------------Chandler----
    --------------------------MB---------------------------
    --------------------Jones-------------------------------
    Johnson----Boca--------Cameron---------Cherundulo--
    --------------------Howard-------------------------------

    I know people will fixate on Chandler, but he has played in the midfield for us before, and we need pace coming out of the midfield. Outside of Donovan, we just do not have that right now in the midfield. MB plays higher up the pitch, and is essentially a one-man press. Plus he's one of our better passers, and it'll allow him to find Chandler on the runs, or Cherundulo coming up on the rush, or find Clint in dangerous spots. Clint will be given a freer role, and be allowed to move in and out.

    I think EJ up top also allows us to have some pace, as he works very very hard (what has gotten into GAM??), and will partner well with Jozy. Jozy isn't McBride, and really can't play that sole striker alone. He's become much better at it, but we need to feed him and work off of him.

    Boca needs to start in the back. He's lost a step, and I think by the WC Gonzalez or Besler will be starting there. But in the qualifiers right now, we need somebody who will push us to excel.

    And of course at RB, our best defender of the 2000's arguably, Cherundulo. I really do believe if he didn't get subbed out in the ifnals of the Gold Cup, we woudln't have collapsed. He is the main outlet of passes from the back, and is the guy who we go to to spring attacks. I really hope he's back for Costa Rica.

    Anyway, those are my thoughts. Obviously it's all silly to be writing from my bed on what I think we should be doing, but I really am not a fan of what JK has done. For me, because of the flaws in our player pool, what this team really needed was a coach who had mastery over the tactics of the game in order to be able to cover our weaknesses. JK is not that.
     
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  3. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    What if he doesn't believe he did anything wrong?
     
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  4. MtMike

    MtMike Member+

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    The more I learn about Klinsmann, the more I'm convinced that he is the US Soccer version of Jerry Jones.
     


  5. Susaeta

    Susaeta BigSoccer Supporter

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    All good points. The design of Klinsmann's system seems to be clog the middle and force the play wide. But there are two problems

    1. The US lacks width.
    2. The 3 headed central midfield lacks the creative punch to make up for a lack of attacking ability elsewhere.

    So the US is under more pressure because it cannot hold the ball. And unlike Bradley's system, they are not keeping opponents honest with a dangerous counter scheme.

    This all wreaks to me of Vazquez stubbornness. Believing that if they just tell players enough what they want them to do, eventually players will deliver the magical ability to do it. Jones is not a creator on the ball. His creativity is through destroying what the opponent wants to do and quickly getting the ball to more dangerous Schalke teammates.

    As Zonal Marking broke down recently, Bradley is similar. He creates through disruption. ZM calls them "drivers" rather than creators. I think it is a pretty apt term for both Jones and Bradley.

    My disagreement with Jones + Bradley has long been that they are redundant, not complimentary. Sacha looks to play off of other midfielders. At Anderlecht, he plays off Biglia. He finds space and keeps things moving. He does not need to be nor should he be the central focus. His work is to create through movement and combination.

    I would be far more open to a 3 man midfield of Bradley-Kljestan-Williams because the three would compliment each other.

    Agreed. And he fits in Bruce Arena's scheme, where LA's midfield compacts and begs opponents to play over the top or long balls through.

    I have been a somewhat vocal skeptic of Gonzalez for a while precisely because of what happened in Honduras. Challenge his footwork, force him to keep his head on a swivel instead of keeping the game in front of him, and he breaks down defensively. And his distribution is poor.

    Like I said, I think Besler projects better at an international level. He reads better, he responds more quickly, and he is a better soccer player.
     
  6. deuteronomy

    deuteronomy Member+

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    Why play Omar behind a three man midfield? It minimizes his strengths.
     
  7. lurking

    lurking Member+

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    Doesnt it make you want to weep that Holden isnt healthy and available there? Such an amazing player, hopefully he can come back from injury.

    I think there are teams and matchups where i can see using Omar over Besler, but I generally agree. Given the system Besler is a much better option for the US at this time.
     
  8. Erlking

    Erlking Member

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    These items have been apparent for awhile. I think the better question is: why can't he adapt when things go awry?
     
  9. Clenbuterol

    Clenbuterol Red Card

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    I think it needs to be said Luis Suarez is a great coach. This is not his first rodeo either. HE had Ecuador playing well in the 2006 World Cup.

    Tip of the cap to him on Wednesday. He out-coached Klinsmann.
     
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  10. sportingswan

    sportingswan Member

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    I was having this discussion with my host brother in Guatemala during the game. He was arguing that Bradley should still be coach, and what had Klinsmann done to get the job? The more I see of Klinsmann, the more I'm convinced that that World Cup German team was a bit of lightning in a bottle, but I realize the true water mark will be Brazil next year.
     
  11. deuteronomy

    deuteronomy Member+

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    Truth be known, Colin Miller, Canada's interim coach also outcoached him.
     
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  12. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

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    You are one of my favorite posters, but with all due respect, when is the last time you have seen Sacha play well for the Nats, and why would you expect that to suddenly change??
     
  13. TheLostUniversity

    TheLostUniversity Member+

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    The list of managers who outcoach JK on game day is becoming quite impressive.
     
  14. KALM

    KALM Member+

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    Well he hasn't started a single game at CM in the past two years. In that period, he's started two games as an attacking midfielder, one of which he played very well (against Jamaica in the Gold Cup), and one of which was largely forgettable. He also started one game on the wing, against Spain, where he and the rest of the team looked very poor.

    He's had several substitute appearances in that period but many of them on the wing, and many of them for under 20 minutes. My vague recollection is that the two or so extended substitute appearances in the center went okay for him.
     
  15. Lloyd Heilbrunn

    Lloyd Heilbrunn Member+

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    His biggest weakness has always been hospital balls or getting his passes cut out for fast breaks.I'm not convinced less space by being in the middle is an answer for that...

    He had a decent game as a sub years ago vs Argentina, I believe, I've not thought he's had one since.
     
  16. KALM

    KALM Member+

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    Well no he's definitely had a number of strong performances since then. He had a couple good games starting in 2008 qualifiers, scored a hat trick at the 2009 January camp, and had a strong performance in our 2009 Hex win against Mexico. And again, he had a well regarded performance against Jamaica in the Gold Cup in 2011.

    And CM is where he plays for his club, which is why I generally think it's fairer to judge him by his performances in the center of the field rather than wide. The same goes with Daniel Williams.
     
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  17. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

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    I think you could take a group of posters here, pick one out of a hat and get Germany to a semifinal in Germany. They didn't play anyone good, they were at home, and even a transitional Germany is still flipping Germany. By rights, they should have been knocked out by Argentina in the QF; the Argentine coach blew that game, along with a keeper injury.
     
  18. KALM

    KALM Member+

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    My recollection is that most German fans at the time did not feel that way going into the tournament.
     
  19. sidefootsitter

    sidefootsitter Member+

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    Klinsmann was indeed much better than his old pal Rudi Völler ... but not quite as good as his other old pal Jogi Löw.

    At the end of Rudi's reign, culminating with the failure to progress from the Euro04 group stage, Germany was rated 16th (!!!!!) by Elo with 1826 pts.

    At the end of the WC'06, it was 8th with 1930.

    Now, it's #2 with 2,034.

    Just out of curiosity.

    Euro'12 qualifiers.

    Group A : six teams, winner Germany 30 pts (10 out of 10), 3rd place Belgium 15 pts, 4th place Austria 12.

    One dominating squad, not too analogous to the Hex.

    Group B - six teams, winner Russia - 23 pts, 3rd Armenia 17, 4th Slovakia 15, last Andorra 0 .

    One extreme weakling. The same as above, although one could be tempted by the garbage-in-garbage-out math. Subtract 3 pts for Andorra, add 1-2 pts for Germany.

    Group C - six teams, Italy 26 pts, 3rd Serbia 15, 4th Slovenia 14

    Group D - six teams - winner France 21 pts, 3rd Romania 14, 4th Belarus 13th.

    A reasonable scenario for this Hex.

    Group E - six teams Netherlands 27 point first, San Marino last 0 - skip.

    Group F - six teams - winner Greece 24 pts, 3rd place Israel 16th, 4th place, Latvia 11 . Malta last with 1 pt, so one can make an adjustment there and take a point or two from the 3rd and 4th place teams.

    Group G, H and I - five teams - skip.

    (In 2008, groups had 7 teams each)

    Under these scenarios, 12-13 pts can get you in the playoffs vs. NZ.
     
  20. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

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    So what? Home teams always get a massive lift. They played Costa Rica, Poland and Ecuador in a group stage they were always going to get out of. They played Sweden. Should have lost to Argentina, and lost to Italy. Not exactly murderers row prior to the QF. Those first two teams suck. Ecuador got steamrolled. Sweden was put away easy.

    Plus, the German fanbase was all wound up by Bild and the Bayern idiots about how terrible a coach JK was and how disaster was looming. And then they ended up at about the same damn level they always end up at, because they're Germany and have really good players all over the field, all the time. A trained ape could coach Germany to a QF with that group.
     
  21. icebreaker

    icebreaker Member

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    Germany had crashed out both in the group stages of Euro 2000 and Euro 2004. We got to the final of WC 2002 by crappy 1-0 victories while having what must have been one of the easiest routes to a final ever. We got taken apart 4-1 by Italy in a friendly just before the WC. Of course people were worried, and it was not unreasonable.

    During the 1998- 2006 period Germany had a lot of really average outfield players, and games were awful to watch. (Oliver Kahn was the one that basically dragged German through matches). Which was why we had to completely overhaul our youth structure in 2000.
     
  22. SPA2TACU5

    SPA2TACU5 Member+

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    Not to mention Theo Whitmore.
     
  23. deuteronomy

    deuteronomy Member+

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    Jurgen + Joichim Loew >>>>>>>>>Jurgen+Martin Vasquez.

    Both at Bayern Munich and today.

    Sometimes, I wonder if the extra fitness, diet and motivational talks etc. are going overboard as a reaction/response to the BM firing.
     
  24. Mr Martin

    Mr Martin Member+

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    I think the extra focus on fitness and motivation are due to a few things. 1) these aspects are certainly important for any professional, and Klinsi lived that importance during his own playing career; 2) German teams, somewhat stereotypically, do require player to be very fit and to be assertive and win the mental game and the 1v1 battles (Zweikampf) and Klinsi is obviously German; 3) Klinsi has been questioned in the past about his tactical knowledge, so it probably isn't a strong suit of his and so he emphasizes those things he understands and relates to best.

    So, he trains the team with a focus on those aspects that he relates to best. And this also impacts his player selections -- he really understands and appreciates those players who are mentally tough and have a relentless work rate. Players who are a bit weaker in those attributes, even if they offer other skills, don't usually make the cut. So Klinsi has a rather 1-dimensional squad with lots of worker-bees but few, if any, change-of-pace bench players.

    Loew probably offset/balanced some of Klinsi's strengths (or biases if you like). Vasquez probably only reinforces Klinsi's proclivities.
     
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  25. TheHoustonHoyaFan

    TheHoustonHoyaFan Member+

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    Good analysis.

    Very good analysis.

    You lost me on this one. Your solution to the problems you outlined above is to replace the one player who is always looking to attack, with another ball circulator?

    Maybe you did not notice that the 2 best field chances to score in the match came from plays initiated by Jones. Re-watch the sequence starting at 28:00 that ends with EJ's cross to Jozy across the face of goal;
    1. Bradley picks up the Gonzo header outside the 18, dribbles up field while holding off a challenge
    2. Bradley slots a nice 15 yd pass into space to Deuce at around midfield.
    3. Deuce receives if he looks up and chips he can send Jozy 1v1 in against the CB instead he continues diagonally left to right and back passes to JJ right of the kick off circle.
    4. JJ receives the pass and 1 touch hits it 30 yds switch-field to a streaking EJ wide open
    5. EJ dribbles and crosses to Jozy who is well defended preventing a US goal.
    We don't need another ball circulator (unless you want to replace MB). We need more and better transition initiation and attackers who can, well attack, not receive the ball 4 times 1v1 wide and not win any of those duels!
     
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