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Barcelona team playing basketball at training on Saturday



The greatest one-touch, two-touch passing moves.. at Under-11
July 11, 2012, 3:50 pm
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David ClarkeIt has been discussed for years and finally the FA are doing something about it.Englandare pushing to close the gap at youth level withSpainandGermany. Doing that should boost the futureEnglandteam…

Well we may be finally putting things in place to do it but I was surprised by how advanced some teams are across the pond inAmerica. They sure are building for the future.

An U11 team inCaliforniahas created its own little area ofSpaintaking their inpiration from the masters of tiki taka,Barcelona. They’ve called their team Barcelona-USA, and play in the same strips as the Catalan giants.

The video that got everyone purring was Barcelona-USA’s U11 Cal South State Cup semi-final against Arsenal FC – no slouches themselves at this level.

But in an epic 13 minutes of football, these young players executed some of the greatest one-touch, two-touch passing moves that you’ll see anywhere, anytime.

According to their coach: “These performances are no accident. It takes meticulous training, studying, and artistry — a craftsman. You can not just throw 11 players on the field and ‘talk’ about possession. That’s just talking. And anybody can do that… you should be asking yourself: ‘Do I really care, or am I just a talker?'”

Are you watching England?

See the video everyone’s talking about below:



The German defender

David ClarkeZinedine Zidane was asked which player caught his eye at Euro 2012. Zlatan Ibrahimovic? Andrea Pirlo? Mesut Ozil? Iniesta? Ronaldo? No. The player he picked him out above any more offensive options was German centre back Mats Hummels.

“To me he is the only player to make a difference,” Zidane said.

It is rare that central defenders get the kind of plaudits like the one dished out by Zidane. But Hummels isn’t a typical defender, having been given the liberty to venture forward by coach Joachim Loew, an opportunity he has eagerly snapped up – but that hasn’t made him forget his responsibilities to the team.

“It is nice to go forwards and to be recognised for that, but I am prepared to be a wall if I need to be,” says Hummels.

Hummels was part of the class of 2009 in Germany that won the Under-21 European Championship in Sweden in rampaging style. The team included Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Sami Khedira and Ozil all in today’s national team.

“It’s good that we have grown up together,” says Hummels. “You know how they are on the field and off it. It feels more like a family.”

He has many admirers in Europe but is happy at his club Borussia Dortmund. “It’s a special feeling at Dortmund. We have the freedom to do whatever we want. I can be creative and that’s how I love to play. It’s a status I have worked long and hard for and I did not want to give it up,” Hummels said.

But it won’t be long before the big guns in England and Spain realise he could be the key to winning the Champions League.

Watch his passing, attacking and defending skills below, he’s a young man with a great future:



Olé, Olé, Olé

David ClarkeBy David Clarke

Spain can keep hold of the ball with passing and movement almost at will – and it is something youth teams can strive to emulate. But it’s not just Spain that are showing how player technique and fast passing can result in huge success for the team. Fast passing is a key element of Euro 2012.

But it’s not just a case of telling players to pass they need to practice until they have the technique, touch and composure to make it work.

Try this session to help create a good passing team.

Key factors:

  1. In order to be composed on the ball, players need to have a good first touch and passing ability.
  2.  When keeping the ball, communication is vital and helps make up the mind of the player in possession.
  3.  Passing the ball is not enough. Players need to follow this up by moving off to receive again or to create space for the player on the ball.

 

How to set it up

  • Use a 40 yards long by 30 yards wide area for the session.
  • Use a pitch 60 yards by 40 yards for the development.

How to play it

  • Split the group into two teams.
  • You pass to the black team and call the name of a white player to run into the other half to win the ball.
  • If the white player wins the ball, play transfers to the white team’s half and the black player who gave the ball away tries to win the ball back.
  • If a team makes five passes another opponent runs in to help his team mate.
  • If another five passes are completed, another opponent runs in to help and so the exercise continues.
  • The winning team is the one which forces the opposition to commit the most players into their half during 15 minutes.

How to develop it

  • Play a small-sided game with four neutral players playing outside the pitch as full backs and wide players.
  • Outside players are limited to two touches and cannot pass to each other (use cones to block the channels). T
  • he team in possession tries to build an attack and score by using the outside players.
  • This game ensures the team in possession is spreading out and using the whole of the wide pitch.


Let your players showboat to win the 1v1s

davidscwnewI know it can be irritating sometimes when your team is playing well but everything is undone by a player who tries something different and ends up losing the ball – a backheel for instance.

However, you should let your players try out these little acts of showboating because if they can use them at the right time it could be the thing that lets them win the 1v1s.

This is all about the player making the right decision when to use a clever bit of skill, but with some players the only way they will learn when to do it and when not to do it, is to get it wrong during a game.

So if a player tries to dribble out of their own penalty area rather than pass it out and they lose the ball the team suffers and what seemed like a good idea to the player is clearly seen to have been a bad idea.

Let the players try out skills they have learnt at home from watching the professionals on TV and don’t be cross when they make the wrong decisions. Players who learn when the right time to use clever skills is will probably end up being match winners for your team.

In the clip below watch Gotze, Alves, Bale and Lewandowski use showboating skills to win the 1v1s.



Why thinking you can win against the odds isn’t madness

Nelson Antonio Haedo Valdez went from Werder Bremen’s youth team to the first team, winning the league in 2003-04, and was chosen to play for his country Paraguay. He went from Borussia Dortmund to Spain this summer, becoming the most expensive player in Hercules’ history, at €3.8m.

He doesn’t score that many goals, he creates space and opportunities for team mates by running through from deep and dropping off the front.

But when he went to the Nou Camp with newly promoted Hercules he scored two goals, goals that were big in the history of his club. Goals that sunk the great Barcelona – Xavi, Pique, Iniesta and Villa.

Herculés coach, Esteban “Sardine” Vigo, a former Barcelona player, predicted that his side would win 2-0 – was he mad? Barcelona had not been beaten by a newly promoted side for a decade.

Barcelona had won 17 out of 18 at home last season, drawing the other. They had not lost a league game at home for 16 games. Since Pep Guardiola made his managerial debut in La Liga they have not once been beaten by two goals in the league. Madness.

“See,” said Vigo, “I’m not mad after all.”

“They played brilliantly. All I can do is congratulate them,” said Guardiola, Valdez said: “The key was solidarity and sacrifice. This is a dream come true.”



You can play like Iniesta if you practice this…

Who is Andres Iniesta?

I reckon Iniesta first exploded on the scene on Wednesday 6 May 2009, when he smashed a 20-yard right-foot shot into the top corner of the Chelsea net to send Barcelona into the Champions League final.

Then was instrumental when Barcelona easily beat Manchester Utd in the Rome final – Wayne Rooney told his team mates – including Cristiano Ronaldo – that Iniesta was the best player in the world.

Playing in a midfield three at Barcelona in tandem with Yaya Toure and Xavi, Iniesta’s is an outstanding player in a team of outstanding players. He is the essence of the ‘tiki-taki’ style that typifies Barcelona and Spain. His lightning-quick feet and ability to dribble past people were at times similar to his team-mate further up the pitch, Lionel Messi.

Like fellow Barca graduate Cesc Fàbregas, Iniesta originally started as a defensive midfielder but his balance, close control and skill on the ball saw him make progress as an attacking midfielder.

His willingness to play anywhere on the pitch, coupled with a natural humility, has earned him the sobriquet El Ilusionista (The Illusionist), El Anti-Galáctico (The Anti-Galáctico), Cerebro (The Brain) and most recently Don Andrés from the Spanish press.

He scored the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup Final against Holland in the 116th minute, removing his jersey during his celebration to reveal an inscription on his undershirt reading “Dani Jarque – Siempre con nosotros”, which translates to “Dani Jarque is always with us,” in tribute to former Spain youth teammate and RCD Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque, who passed away in 2009.

After the World Cup Final he was interviewed – “I simply made a small contribution to my team,” he said.

If you want to play like Iniesta check out the video below or get your players doing it.




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