Saturday, 10 July 2010

A Complicated Game Simplified By Fools

Mark's recent post on technique raises lots of interesting questions, not least why the England team's is so poor. Is England's 'problem' then an inability to conceive of the game as anything other than essentially simple, not an absence of technique so much as too narrow a definition of what it involves?

England's basic inability to keep possession is routinely cited, for sure, (not least by the players themselves) as is limited time spent training together and therefore their lack of mutual tactical understanding. But the analysis of their technical deficiencies is still conducted within the confined tactical space of the English game, with no sense of the more complex spatial, tactical, geometric movements of players, of bodies in space, and how this relates to the ineffable qualities that make a great football team.

Does an overiding sense of pragmatism, of wanting to call a spade a spade, drive the team to conflate technique into a simplistic idea of 'skill', of being able to play keep ball, or that bending a free kick is the very height of technical sophistication?

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