Friday, October 20, 2017

Now’s not the time, Juergen…

January 9, 2012 by  
Filed under US National Teams, US Soccer

I can’t really deny that I was excited by the hiring of Juergen Klinsmann. The idea that the USA had a coach willing to play a different style. One more proactive, involving more possession and more patient passing in the build up play

USA - Honduras 18

Image via Wikipedia

And honestly, that sort of thing is still achievable. The process will take a while, but it’s possible.

What frustrates me is not so much that it will take so long. What frustrates me is that Juergen Klinsmann is either shoving this style of play down the throats of players who aren’t suited to it, or bringing in players who are suited to that style, but are lesser players than the ones who aren’t.

Yes, it’s going to take some time to get the national team to play this style, but the development of this style shouldn’t really be happing to a great extent at the senior level. The development of this style should be happening at the youth level, in development academies, maybe even in colleges. The senior level of the U.S. National team doesn’t have nearly enough time in practice or games throughout the year to spend time training players into a style. They need to be accustomed to it by the time they reach the senior team.

A team should always play a style that suits it’s best players. The fact that Juergen Klinsmann is so commited to playing a certain way instead of worrying about the way his team plays best concerns me, and is an attitude that I’ve seen become more prevalant. Is playing more attacking, attractive, possession soccer really worth it? Does it really matter what kind of soccer you play so long as it suits your team, or the kind of situation you’re in?

Right now, I think Juergen needs to play the style that Bob Bradley used and make some tactical tweaks. Bob Bradley’s tactics weren’t perfect, but the style he had us playing suited us, and still does for the moment. The 2011 Gold Cup final against Mexico was a great example of some of Bob Bradley’s problems, and strengths. Offensively, the USA were pretty good. A lot better than they’re given credit for. The problem wasn’t so much how the USA attacked as how they managed the game and that it didn’t suit the side.

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