Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Alf Galustian, Barcelona, camacho, coerver, ian rush, lionel messi, manchester city, scotland, skills, spain, tactics, willie donachie
I firmly believe that if you want to develop the skills of individual players you need to start young and you need to do so at grassroots level. So this summer I decided to attend a number of courses based on skills coaching and individual excellence that would add to my knowledge of youth coaching. And this was the pick of the bunch.
Coerver Coaching’s Alf Galustian was the star skills educator at his Play Like Spain course at the London Soccer Dome – and it was like being in Spain on one of the hottest weekends of the year.
Coerver’s course is based on the Spain national side and the success they have had playing with Spanish style and the phases of play that make up that style. Alf coached sessions where the emphasis was on individual ball mastery and how the development of the individual creates a winning team.
Alf said: “I have worked in Spain as a coach educator several times throughout my career. It is common knowledge that Spain are the current leading developers of football talent and they have implemented a style of play that is the envy of world football”.
I found it very interesting because last year I spent a lot of time working on the phases of play used by Barcelona and why they have had so much success in the last few years with their style of possession play – I broke Barcelona style down to Possession/Patience/Penetration and did a presentation for the NSCAA on the Barcelona phases of play.
Alf broke down the Spain style into four phases of play
Protecting the ball individually by coaching shielding techniques and as a group moving the ball quickly to keep it away from opponents.
Individually and as a team. This is the Spanish way, lose the ball win it back by pressing high up the pitch giving teams no time to settle on the ball.
Running with the ball into space or finding the killer pass, with drills to develop individual and team skills
The creative end product from the combination of the other three parts of the course – including creativity in the final third (the one thing English players find hard to do).
Coerver have been over in Spain recently and Scott Wright the UK director of Coerver told me: “We have had coaches from all levels attend our courses in Spain including La Liga clubs Real Madrid, Getafe, Real Mallorca and Rayo Vallacano as well as other coaches and ex-players from across Spain and Europe.”
So I felt I was in good company on the course and that there was a real Spanish aspect to the sessions. Added to that Coerver had brought former Athletico Madrid youngster Manuel Ojalvo, and former professional Diego Camacho, who has amassed more than 400 appearances in La Liga.
Manuel has a background in youth coaching and gave some great insights into what it was like to be a youth player in Spain. Diego doesn’t have the command of the English language that Manuel has but he managed to get across the frustrations of being coached in one position for all his time in youth football – defensive midfield. He has played against the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Lionel Messi, asked how he stopped Messi he shrugged and gave a chopping motion… it was fascinating stuff.
Both players are convinced the Coerver system can help grassroots in Spain – and of course in England.
Diego said (with Manuel acting as interpreter): “Every ex-professional player, no matter the level, who is thinking about moving into coaching should definitely study the Coerver System; I wish it had been available to me when I was a young, it would have made me a better player”.
Alf also introduced former ManchesterCity and Scotland defender Willie Donachie who is now development coach at Newcastle United. Again the advice was very interesting because Coerver are very much an attack minded in their tactics. Willie talks defence and used the example of Ian Rush the former Liverpool and Wales striker as an example of a forward whose first thought on losing the ball was to win it back. Alf too had praise for an attacker who likes to win the ball back – Lionel Messi “he is the best defender in the world”, said Alf.
Some great course material to take away in the form of a book that included the sessions Alf had put on during the weekend added to the overall success of the course.
It was a great way to spend a weekend in the summer and a very valuable one for my own personal development adding to my knowledge of Spanish football, giving me lots to take back to the teams that I coach. I suggest if you get the chance you should go on the course – it is a great learning experience.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: ballon d'or, Barcelona, FIFA, lionel messi, Wayne Rooney, xavi, youtube
No fewer than eight of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona players have made this year’s 23-man group for the FIFA Ballon d’Or, and leading the octet is a man bidding to win football’s top individual honour for the third year in succession.
Lionel Messi is on a hat-trick of wins and having already scored 45 times in 47 competitive appearances in 2011 should be favourite to win again. Cesc Fabregas, whose transfer has taken the shortlist’s Camp Nou contingent from six to eight, agrees with that: “I would put my hand in fire that Messi will win the Ballon d’Or,” said the former Arsenal captain. “He is a natural winner and a motivated fighter. What he has done we won’t see again. He gives everything and scores goals.”
Neymar’s inclusion is of interest, he is only 19 and plays for Santos in Brazil. Since the shortlist system was introduced by FIFA in 2004, only one player based outside of Europe has ever featured, and that was Boca Juniors’ Juan Roman Riquelme.
Neymar said. “There is no need to leave Brazil in order for the world to see us anymore,” he said after learning of his nomination. “It is a big happiness to be on a list like this. I have everyone to thank.”
2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or shortlist
Eric Abidal (FRA), Sergio Aguero (ARG), Xabi Alonso (ESP), Dani Alves (BRA), Karim Benzema (FRA), Iker Casillas (ESP), Samuel Eto’o (CMR), Cesc Fabregas (ESP), Diego Forlan (URU), Andres Iniesta (ESP), Lionel Messi (ARG), Thomas Muller (GER), Nani (POR), Neymar (BRA), Mesut Ozil (GER), Gerard Pique (ESP), Cristiano Ronaldo (POR), Wayne Rooney (ENG), Bastian Schweinsteiger (GER), Wesley Sneijder (NED), Luis Suarez (URU) David Villa (ESP), Xavi (ESP)
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Skills | Tags: Barcelona, dribble, Kaka, lionel messi
I think in the future when they talk about the greatest players in the world they will talk about Lionel Messi at Barcelona.
At the moment the world has gone mad for Kaka with cash in the region of €130m being spoken of. But what about Messi. He is outstanding and when you look at the clip below you will see what I mean. So what is he worth?
Messi attacks the space that opens up around him. He drives into it with the ball at his mercy. He is all power and skill bursting into areas that defenders cannot protect.
If you want to create the next Messi your players must have the ball stuck to their feet for every waking hour.
They need to dribble the ball with each step of the foot when you’re walking, jogging, or sprinting with the ball. This way they develop close control and can cut the ball away from defenders when you need to.
His change of pace is outstanding. And that is one of his secrets, he starts slowly and then he bursts past them with speed. And he will cut the ball in either direction, to the inside or to the outside.
To get your players like Messi you have to get them to:
Run and run with the ball in the garden, the park, on the way to school or along the pavement when they are going to the shops.
Touch the ball with each step when they dribble.
Practice changing pace from slow to quick and back to slow.
Play one and two touch they don’t always need to dribble.
Keep their body between the ball and opponent.
Don’t give up if they lose the ball – win it back.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Skills | Tags: best goals, eidur gudjohnsen, football misses, goal misses, goals, kieron dyer, lionel messi, missed chances, soccer misses
Here’s something to watch when your team has missed chances… it won’t change what happened in your game but it might bring a smile to your face.