Sunday, 16 June 2013

Training ground moves

It won't be long before AFCB are back on those training pitches. It's common for football teams to say that they learn some set moves on the training pitch to take into every game. If there is ever a good time to practise some new ones surely during pre-season would be a good time.

Of the AFCB special moves our corner set-pieces seem to fool quite a few teams. I can't believe teams don't watch the Football League show or Sky Sports or have videos of their opponents special free kicks. And yet, dopey defenders seem to consistently misread set plays. While I would not want set plays to distract from our coaching of the club's football principles and correct defending, it would give us a few more ways to score if we had more set moves. It would also give our defenders practise at defending against corners and free kicks. We are not the biggest of teams and I am hoping that Eddie and Jason can give the team the ability to be more resilient.

Eddie Howe said last week that he will not abandon his football principles and that way that AFCB plays, so it will be interesting to see how successful we are with teams knowing that we are going to come at them with our fast passing and moving game. "Being brave" is an interesting comment that Eddie makes. His choice of words would seem to say not reckless or gung-ho, but more progressive and having confidence in your ability to get the better of your opponent. Football is a team game but there are a lot of personal battles that have to be won all over the pitch and I'm sure Eddie encourages players to win those individual battles. We want defenders to be pushed back and our wingers trying to beat the full backs.

I would expect the defending to be better than League One in terms of defence, although Sheffield Utd and MK Dons managed more clean sheets than Cardiff in the Championship. I guess you have to say the level of attackers ability is also higher in the Championship, so perhaps it evens itself out. Certainly many of the goals that are scored come from set plays and as Eddie Howe said the quality of play in both boxes is just a step up on what we have been used to.

While we pride ourselves on great open play at AFCB, there is no shame in having a few special free kicks and corner routines to use in the Championship. We may not be able to steam roller teams like we did in League One and our possession is likely to be less in away games than it was last season. I expect defences to be on top and that is why AFCB must learn the lessons of last season and at times it is not so bad to win ugly.

A few 1:0 victories that come from a set play would be points earned on the training ground and executed on the pitch. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

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