Blog #2, 22.9.2015
What follows is just one of many blog posts I will be dedicating to my goal of becoming an expert in football tactics. I know, becoming a new Jose, Carlo or Pep is not an option, nor is that my wish actually, but I write these posts with intention to gradually improve my understanding of the game and to be able to see the genuine cause and effect behind a specific football action in the end. You can read more about my project here, but don’t forget about content in other sub-menu’s either as I believe they contain cleverly written descriptions of interesting books, podcasts and websites about football I came across in my pursuit.
Today, when you can watch almost every major football competition on your telly, it is sometimes easy to forget that there were times, where only matches from domestic football competitions were broadcasted. With the occurrence of TV channels dedicated solely to sport, football being the most common sport televised, this has changed dramatically, as even the most exotic leagues are really just a click away, be it on my TV or on my computer. But as mentioned, this wasn’t so self-evident when I was growing up – I still remember that special feeling, when that one Seria A match which got picked by Croatian National TV channel and televised on Saturday or Sunday evening night. Yeah, I agree, crazy – if you don’t count Champions league, there was only one match per week televised back in the day.!
Being born close to Italian border it was logical that I got familiar with Italian football first, but this changed in the late nineties’ when I saw my first English Premier League and got hooked immediately. It was a combination of ‘’play hard to the whistle’’ football and the closeness to the action, as there is no athletic track between supporters and the field, that fascinated me the most. Since then, the English Premier League has grown substantially in its attraction, worldwide audience, money coming in, so considering all, it comes as no surprise that I choose an English club for the first use of my handmade customized Tally Sheet. However I didn’t pick Manchester City’s game as a Citizens’ supporter, it was rather out of convenience as I was free on that Saturday afternoon when their match against Everton was broadcasted.
Everton vs. Manchester City
As announced in my first blog post (you can read more here), this one is about the first use of my handmade Tally sheet. You are probably wondering how it went, aren’t you? Well, not very good if I put it mildly.
As you can see for yourself (see picture below), I only managed to observe and fill the side of attack column while all the others are pretty much empty. This was mostly due to the fact I didn’t do a post-match analysis but was making sketches for a specific football action while the match was happening. With my ‘’tactically’’ inexperienced eye and the lightning speed one football action follows another, this turned out to be almost a Herculean task.
However, I did draw some conclusions that would help me in my next analyses with the use of my Tally Sheet. Let me point them out in the following paragraphs:
Do a post-match analysis: It was obvious right from the start of Everton vs. Manchester City match, that doing my analyses during (only) live matches was not possible and I would need to rely more heavily on technology. It will come down mostly on taping the game and rewinding a specific football action backwards, so I will be able to categorize it correctly and see patterns sooner.
- Observe only one team: I took this one into account immediately and it turned out to be a good decision as it would be impossible to observe two teams during the match without the use of technology.
- Observe the same team: The plan was to observe different teams every time I use my tally sheet, but for starters, it will be easier to focus only on one team. This way I will be able to get more familiar with their style of play and since it all started with Manchester City, I will be sticking with this team for a couple of rounds.
- Preliminary preparations: Probably the most important realization. Preliminary preparations about the team I will be observing and their style of play will offer me a better insight before the match. By reading the basics about the team’s formation I will, to some extent, get familiar with players’ movements, types of passing and much more.
- Columns should be defined more specifically: I had a little problem categorizing some of the attacks as some of them could easily fit into several categories. However, for now, I will be leaving this one as it is and give it another try later. I have a feeling that it will be different when I have a pause and rewind button, thus having time to think about a specific attack.
- Concentration and time: Due to the level of details I had to focus on and the speed of the game I only managed to analyse the first half of the game. As it turned out analyzing matches is much more difficult as I anticipated.
- Press the pause button and think: Another important By pressing the pause button and analyzing players’ positions at that time, I will be given the opportunity to think about what should have been done differently. I expect that my observations will be more and more detailed over time in correlation with the work on my project.
Since my first experiment with the Tally Sheet didn’t go as planned I will end this blog post at this point. But before saying goodbye, let me just mention that I have already analysed the match between Manchester City vs. Watford which took place on August 29 and the feeling afterwards is excellent. Abiding some of the conclusions mentioned above my Tally Sheet was much fuller. But more about that game in blog post #3.
- DEVINEMAN (online article). Football Tactics For Beginners: How to watch Football – Part 1. Link: http://thefalse9.com/2013/12/football-tactics-for-beginners-how-to-watch-football-part-1.html (sourced from Reddit/soccer).
- MERIAN, Jonas (online picture). Old TV digital picture Frame. 2011. Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/photography_and_design/6311450890/in/photolist-aBHQsN-RUz7D-9ugnAK-55CEFd-9ujpJ7-Uu7pV-CW9YR-5BuAes-aBF9WF-aBHQDC-aBHPCS-pwPcuS-fheMo4-9ujo6J-9ujoyN-egEyMY-9ugoZe-9yEa22-rvfPcw-6oQGb9-6bbPGd-9ugpDn-9ujoHJ-eBBDm-6Gd6jF-2E7FV-261VR4-9ugpun-6SuPKz-okwq6-46nA59-9ujpp7-4qJurk-9ujpYy-58dyo7-QFzc6-bRVr4B-osFso-dk2S53-5v4f6V-fuLn4-52B9jG-46nwzS-6b7Ec6-46iWjM-9y7iuB-7wRdiC-9ugnJx-c5oQcs-c5oJGN