The English Premier League this year is proving to be one of the better ones of the past decade. Traditionally, we have a better idea as to who will win the EPL by this point in the season but not this year. Fortunately for Manchester United, they have a history under Sir Alex Ferguson to hit their stride just after the Christmas break and their recent game versus Sunderland was an indication of some great football to come.
I recently came across the video series “Code Red” on Manchester United. The series discusses the various exercises and training routines that Manchester United uses. In truth, there is much more preparation involved behind the scenes that most fans never see or learn about. Fortunately though, these brief videos provide an inside glimpse as to how they break down the various aspects of their training routine.
When two teams that have the calibre of Manchester United and Tottenham of the English Premier League meet, there is bound to be some controversy. This passed weekend (Oct 30, 2010), the two sides met in what proved to be a very good, but dramatic, game. While Manchester United was leading 1-0, this following incident occurred:
Each of us has our own ideas as to what a good captain is and how he should behave. The ideal captain for me is someone who can inspire his entire team. He puts everything out on the field and works for the greater goal rather than any individual accolades. He sticks up for any one of his teammates when necessary. He is a vocal leader but can also lead by example on the pitch. Not only that but he is a great player, plays consistently at a high level and can even win big games.
It’s obvious that the soccer fan from professional team are passionate but check out the fans in the video below in the under 11 the Lech Cup. The video starts out with simple chanting but quickly escalates into something much more. Remember, we are talking about under 11 boys. This is not the senior teams of Manchester United versus Liverpool or Inter versus AC Milan.
The intention of a corner kick is to score off of a header or rebound. However, often times though the ball is cleared out to the top of the 18-yard box. The offensive player standing there is now able to have a direct shot on net. These shots should almost always result in a goal. Take advantage of these opportunities and make the best of them.
You never know when if you’ll be coaching one day. If so, wouldn’t it be great to have a binder full of exercises and training sessions already prepared? If you don’t plan on coaching, it still wouldn’t hurt to take notes of what you did as this is a great way to continually learn about the game of soccer. You’ll also be able to track your progress more accurately.
Do you think you’re in good shape? Good enough shape to run 12km in a 90 minute soccer game if you play center midfield? If you play the wing, are you ready to make fifty 35-yard sprints up and down the field? These are some of the distances and speeds professional soccer players will run.
To be the best you have to learn from the best. One of the main reasons soccer in North America – but more specifically Canada – cannot develop into a world class program is because the right people are not at the pinnacle of the soccer pyramid. We desperately need the best people for the job to be in charge because they act as magnets for the best.
To better demonstrate my point, I will use one of the best soccer organizations in the world: Manchester United. The owners of Manchester United have appointed arguably the best manager in the world, Sir Alex Ferguson, as the head of the program. Sir Alex Ferguson sets high standards for his coaching staff, for his team, for his players and for the program as a whole. He has worked very hard to morph the program into one of the — if not the — best . As a result, the best trainers, players and management are all drawn to Manchester United. The program has become immaculate and it can largely be attributed to Sir Alex Ferguson. What should we be learning from this, above all else? Put the right people in charge and everything else will fall into place.
North America has been very slow in accepting that the best need to be at the head of our soccer programs in order for it to grow. The “best” is a wide-open term that can refer to a lot of different things, so by best I mean we must find coaches, managers and trainers with world class knowledge to lead our programs. Once these types of figures are in place, a trickle down effect will occur where soccer as a whole in North America will become increasingly better because we have the best leading us. Although these types of leaders are currently not abundant in North America, there is a handfull of cases where we begin to see the right people taking the right positions. Here is a perfect example: his name is Jose Bento Vieira.
A brazilian star who has been through the ups and downs as a soccer player, coach, manager and leader, but who has co-existed with the best. I have had the priviledge of training in numerous sessions he has held and it is evident he has the capacity to change soccer in North America. Although it isn’t mentioned in his blog, he has embarked on a mission to create a soccer academy in Canada. His intent is to develop true soccer in this country and eventually abroad. Read his blog (click on his name above) and admire what he’s been through and where he aspires to go.
I recently came across this goal from Portuguese side Vitoria de Guimaraes. Many soccer players in North America haven’t even heard of this club. When I heard Manchester United signed one of their strikers, Bebé, I had to look them up. Scoring a goal like the one below is extremely difficult and requires much practice but there are a few things one can learn from watching it over and over again that will help you perfect scoring a goal like this.
Many teams in North America have developed a bad habit of playing the long ball. From a young age players think that it is acceptable for their first choice of attack, counter attack and defensive clearances to simply kick the ball down the field, battle for the next possession and hope to come out on top. It’s similar to the “dump and chase” style that some hockey teams will play. Growing up, I played on a couple teams whose coaches taught this style of play. And those that did actually tell us to play this way certainly did not speak against it. This whole style of play needs to change.