By chance today I came across two different articles that addressed the theme of presenting game plan information to football (soccer) players. The first was an report about Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager. Some of his thoughts on the topic…
“I tend to concentrate on one or two players of my opponents – the ones that are the most influential. Who’s the guy who is taking all the free-kicks? Who’s the guy who’s on the ball all the time? Who’s the one urging everyone on? The rest of the time I concentrate on our own team. On Friday we take our players through a video analysis of our opponents: their strengths, their weaknesses, their set pieces, what their team is likely to be, and so on. Then on Saturday, we might give them another, shorter version – just a recap of the previous day.”
He further talked about talking to the team at half time.
“There are maybe eight minutes between you coming up through the tunnel and the referees calling you up on the pitch again, so it is vital to use the time well. Everything is easier when you are winning: you talk about concentrating, not getting complacent, and small things you can address. But when you are losing, you know that you are going to have to make an impact.”
A follow up article appeared today where some of his statements were analysed by experts from non sporting fields.
The second article was less of an article than an expose, in classic British tabloid style. But they did publish the game plans that Chelsea received before their recent World Club Cup final, which they lost against Corinthians for Brazil. Here they are. I like the use of faces instead of names, but otherwise the technology is a little disappointing.
Read about the great new Vyacheslav Platonov coaching book here.