When will the UK and America start playing more technically?

As a child I was at a disadvantage when it came to being chosen to play. It could be blamed on me not being tall or strong enough or me not having a powerful shot like everyone else. That would be too easy of an excuse though. The real reason why was because I played a different game entirely. Instead, I played by using quick and intelligent passes, dribbling my opponent in 1 on 1 situations, using close control to dictate what went on around me, and using through balls to split the defense. I only ever aired my passes when it wasn't possible to play it on the ground. Unfortunately I was always overlooked because how I played the game wasn't what the coaches ever wanted. When I went abroad however, I was always able to blend in with the players there because their focus was similar to mine. When my peers saw me play here, they all said I should play for one of the Iron-bound teams (Iron-bound is the Portuguese and Brazilian district of Newark where ironically enough, the teams there win all the competitions). What I realized was that when it comes to America and England, what coaches look for, whether grade school coaches or Premier League ones, are the most physically robust players. They want the players who are able to blast the ball far up the field or into the goal from 30 yards. They want players who can run the fastest while out muscling their opponents. Teams such as Stoke (who epitomize the physical focus in football) or the national teams of the aforementioned countries in the title constantly rely on these tactics hoping it will lead to success. I believe without the ability and the vision on the ball that their Latin American and Southern European counterparts have, success will always be out of their grasp. I am not trying to say physical skill is bad and technical skill is good, the best players always excel at both, but in order for greatness to happen for these teams, a change in philosophy is needed and technical skills need much more focus when teaching kids the beautiful game. The goal of Stoke is to bully the opponent off the ball, hoof the ball up the field and chase it, and focus on hurling the ball from throw-ins. This also was how the high-schools, colleges, and MLS teams generally play here in America. This makes for dull, uninteresting, and unsuccessful play. Perhaps soccer will become a bigger sport in the states if we stop doing this? Compare this to the technical version of football seen in the current Spanish national team, the Total Football oriented Dutch of the 70's, the Brazilian national team of the not so distant past, and the up and coming Germany squad. Not only does the brilliance of their game make you get out of your seat but it also brings in trophies. Barcelona have perfected this technical system and they are arguably the greatest club team of all time. Sorry for ranting for a bit there and bringing my own personal history into account but I wanted to let the readers know where I come from. I think this is an issue that needs to be addressed that never has been. If us English speaking countries want a taste of national glory we need to make players more so in the mold of Mesut Ozil and Lionel Messi instead of Peter Crouch and Michael Bradley.

8 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I can't believe I actually read all that, was quite a bit.

    I have to say I disagree completley. What you said was true only in parts. Generally in the sense of a majority of the teams throughout the world, what you say doesn't represent the big picture.

    There are so many small players in the world who excell and there has been for years. But there has also been a lot of big players who excell. The game football can't have a solo approach to it. If the game was strictly technical we would've seen teams in Brazil excell to be the best in the world, but when they start hitting the Europe stage, they are easily outclassed.

    You use the example of Stoke City playing a physical game and implying the "hoofball" tactic. That's an unfair justification as they are the only club in the EPL who really play that way. That's why their style of play is famous in the league.

    Now going to your experience in South America. The approach to the game of a lot of those players isn't as sterotyped as you're making it. Look at players like Lucas, Felepe Melo, Adriano, Lucio, Luis Fabiano etc. Not the most technically gifted players and imply a more physical approach to the game yet they've still seen success for the National Team.

    As for the type of players you take preference and thinking there needs to be more of an inclusion on them in the UK, there already are and there has been for a long time. Look at Paul Scholes. One of the best passers of the last 20 years. Small player too. But was a key figure to United's success stories. Michael Owen is another example, mainly from his Liverpool days. A small striker, not the strongest foot in the game, but still proved to be the best player in the world at a point of his career. Similar to guys like Defoe, Modric, Lennon, Silva, Walcott, Nasri etc all of which play the type of game you prefer and are successful at doing so in the EPL.

    Fact is, when you were a kid and not chosen to play, it probably was because you weren't good enough at the time. If you could pass well, dribble your way past opponents and be a successful playmaker overall, then there is no doubt you would've been chosen to play. Every coach knows how important a player like that is for a midfield. But if a player can't do all of those things successfully and is small and just gets pushed off the ball, then he's not up to standard.

    As for the MLS, it's an average league anyway so it can't be compared to the big boys. But the best player in that league is probably Landon Donavon I'm guessing, he's proven to be a top talent who's small and relies on technical skills over physical stature. Another is Dempsey who even though isn't a small player, relies on his technical and playmaking game to be his best player. That's all worked out for the States, so you can't complain about them taking another approach to bringing in different players if those players already exist.

  • 8 years ago

    Wow, long question.

    I'll start with the US because it's easier.

    USA- The viewership amongst Americans is split in two. Hispanics enjoy watching the Mexican league which is flamboyant. But the rest watch the English Premier League, and that's where they learn their trade.

    UK- England, you're right, isn't learning. The focus when training younsters is still on winning at all costs, and when you beat that into children they're not going to focus on improving technically.

    However in Wales there has been a revolution. Swansea have been playing technical, beautiful, continental football for the last 5 years, under three different managers. Swansea's total football has been very successful and it's surprised many old-school thinkers that dismissed it out of hand. These days children are growing up in Swansea, playing passing football instead of English style hoofball.

    Wales have also started playing a posession-based game. James Collins has been dropped because his long-balls aren't wecome. The cultured midfield of Ramsey, Allen and Crofts know how to pass the ball, and wingers Bellamy and Bales add pace to catch out opponents. It's working very well so far and with Wales' team so young, it looks set to continue for a few years.

  • 8 years ago

    Years ago footballing philosophy was a national identity. In 2011 with globalization, it is a completely different game in the professional level. Almost every league has a team that plays a posession style football, Barcelona isn't the only club that does so. People commonly mistaken that the Blaugrana success is the product of their possession football alone. The fact is their success is the result of the familiarity of their players with each other that makes them so good as a team. This is complemented by transfers like Dani Alves, arguably the 2nd best player in the world, David Villa, Spain's best striker. You take a team like Napoli who play fantastic counter attacking football and develop the same tactics in their youth for years, give them the same economic freedom and strength as Barcelona and they'll have the foundation for being the best team in the world. I bet you there are kids who cannot crack Barcelona B even though they have the potential to be the next Zlatan.... And it's because they play like Zlatan. Grassroots football may never.change in UK or US but if you keep playing your style and contributing to your team's success a smart coach will notice. A team with 11 Ronaldos or 11 Xavis will never win anything. It needs different types of players to contribute and a coach to use their individual strengths to converge on the collective strength of the team. That's what builds champions, not just style alone.

    Source(s): Me
  • 8 years ago

    Excelent insight, I had not thought about Stoke in that way before. I believe that the Usa and Uk will play more technically if they ever get a south-american or western european coach (excluding the United Kingdom and Ireland). That, in my opinion, is the only way

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    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    America now are more technical if you watch the usa team play they try to gather the ball tight to their own players.

  • 3 years ago


  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    You sound like you used to be amazing, why don't you give man utd or Barcelona a ring and ask to be signed. I'm sure they'd want you.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    why bother....

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