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Re: Football thread another new one
Posted by: adelaide
Date: 13/01/2017 11:12
Cockram more or less blamed Taylor himself for introducing the way of playing, so regards it as reaping what he had sown. If a less able manager had introduced it and it had fallen flat on its face, that would have been it, so in a sense that is blaming Taylor for being a very good coach (of a dodgy style). And a coach who recognised and accommodated the skill of John Barnes, even though he was not obviously suited to the style.

Cockram's particular gripe was that when Phil Holder took over from Steve Perryman at Brentford, midfield just got bypassed every time, which basically froze him out. He claimed it got so bad that players were actually getting applauded for putting the ball into touch near the corner flag because it was the most difficult spot to escape.

Statistics apparently showed that the majority of goals were scored through moves involving three or fewer passes (not sure of the number). The misinterpretation is to jump from that to replacing "passes" with "hoofs" and that it was right to try nothing else. Many such two or three pass goals would have arise surely from the expectation that something more complex was likely, or from pressures and distortions of the defence arising from the previous move. Unsubtle (and misguided) statistical interpretation led to unsubtle football.

American football provides some insight, because plays are selected before they happen. Some teams have a poor running game, but they still run the ball more often than its success rate would indicate. Why? To keep the opposition honest, so they have to maintain defence against the run and thus open up more space for the pass.

When Spurs first played Wimbledon, I went with an open mind. Plucky little Wimbledon, more than one way of playing etc etc. It was a truly horrible and intimidatory game, with Sanchez and Roberts sent off near the end (Roberts on a stretcher having been kicked on the knee as retaliation). Taylor's teams never did that but if you had no interest in style what Wimbledon did was a logical extension of his philosophy. Most teams had some filth playing for them (Roberts and Paul Miller could be pretty gruesome) but they did not embody the philosophy of the team.


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