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Coaches lack tatics, vision

Opinions / Analysis

IF soccer is a game of passing and possession is a measure of dominance, then the two teams have mastered the art of the beautiful sport.

The 2020 Battle of Giants winner, Rewa and Ba, who finished third after beating Nadi 2-1 have grasped the tiki taka style of football in the country.

Rewa lucked out 8-7 against Ba in their semifinal shootout win to feature in the grand finale.

They went on to win their 9th BOG, championship with a 1-0 win over Suva last Sunday.

Both, Rewa and Ba are excellent sides that play with a lot of confidence, find space in the tightest of situations.

While Rewa have had the experience riding on their backs, Ba with a pool of tournament debutants passed in triangle formation and hit neat swivels with soft feet much like seasoned caps.

These teams have displayed quality football during the Punjas Battle of the Giants.

The rest of the premier teams’ lag in connecting a string of passes, cohesion, worse they look to the only option that is to launch a long ball looking for men up the top.

That is with a hope the strikers use their strength, hold it up and then smash the ball, and that without a target.

Unless Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa, Nasinu, Suva and Navua improve on the technical and tactical know how of the game, much of what was seen during the Battle of the Giants, will be replicated in the tournaments ahead.

It is though the coaches’ job to find the technical and tactical mix for the greater good of the game.

Great coaches have the knowledge to identify technical players and team’s ability to perform on the field.

And they read the games, use the tactics and act accordingly.

Most football coaches in the country are’ game watches’, Nadi coach Kamal Swamy and Lautoka’s Ravinesh Kumar being the senior most coaches failed to strategize.

Labasa’s Ronil Lal is another who rides on the players’ back for his success more than what he knows about the sport.

Their level of organization, formation, vision, spatial awareness, and effectiveness comes into question, they are their district’s B.O.G failures.

For coaches to be successful, they must understand essentials of the tactical and technical mix for the game.

The terms “technical” and “tactical” are opposite but when both done well, makes a team near impossible to beat.

Brazil’s 2002, World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari writes in his 2004 biography, ‘My Tactical and Technical Win’, to win football games, he said play smart, read the game and do not be a fan.

“There are many tactics teams have to use, tiki-taka (passing and exploiting space), and “parking the bus” (all-out defense), the Brazilian style”.

“It all comes down to chemistry, but without technique, it is almost impossible for tactics to work efficiently”.

But how often coaches in the country relate to Scolari’s and other great coaches’ tips.

For the standard of football to improve in the country, it is essential for coaches to improve in the technical and tactical areas, only then the sport will be labelled as the beautiful game.

For now, for flair and verve Rewa and Ba are country’s two best footballing districts.

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