Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Bristol City, david James, England, goalkeeper, Portsmouth, sessions
Watching one of the Under-12s goalkeepers at my local club this week picking the ball out of the net seven times I was reminded me of an article I had read by David James, the former England stopper who is now at English Championship club Bristol City.
When the 41-year-old was playing in the Premier League with Portsmouth, he once suffered the humiliation of conceding 10 goals in two games. Recalling that and other similar events, he said: “I try to get on with it; I take the dogs out for a walk. I try to move on and prepare for the next game. I have a debrief with my psychologist…” Psychologist?
Now that is where the similarities end…!Coaches of youth teams don’t have psychologists at hand when they lose a game, and neither does the poor lad whose goal has been under constant bombardment. More likely is that said keeper will be in the car home getting a pasting from his dad, your words of comfort a distant and fading memory!
But that’s the problem for keepers… their errors are highlighted every time the ball goes in the net; they have nowhere to hide. That’s why you must not let your keeper take the blame because, trust me, if you do, he won’t be your keeper for much longer! Protect him and nurture him so he wants to play in goal no matter what the score is.
At training nights make sure he joins in with all the fun bits – the match, skills, fitness – before you move him between the sticks for some designated keeper practice. It is important for you and the team that he feels part of it all. You can also get him to be vocal at training – to shout at his defenders and order them around, if necessary. Not only will this give him a unique status, but it will cement his value to the rest of the team as a leader and organiser on match day – someone who can survey all that’s in front of him with ease.
And encouraging him when he makes a mistake rather than criticising means that most of his team mates will do likewise.
At the end of the day keepers are vital to your team and their influence is stronger than you may realise. Let’s make sure they don’t go home crying.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training, Uncategorized | Tags: central defender, defending, defensive shape, fast defender, Portsmouth, qpr
Twice my team broke clear of the defence at the weekend and twice a fast defender caught up and dispossed my attacker before he could shoot. Fast defenders are priceless in youth soccer, speed is something you cannot ignore when choosing the positions of your players in matches.
I was reminded of the Portsmouth v QPR game last month in the English Championship when Portsmouth should have taken all three points.
When the speedy John Utaka broke free at the end of the game the QPR fans must have been thinking that it was all over. 1-0 down in the 87th minute QPR’s unbeaten run was about to come to an end.
In an entertaining game the QPR defence were a man down after the dismissal of Matthew Connolly who conceded the penalty which had put Portsmouth ahead. Neil Warnock the QPR manager had thrown on all three substitutes in an attempt to save the game – the team had to keep their defensive shape though because Portsmouth were quick on the break.
On this occasion the defence was undone by a through ball from Liam Lawrence. Utaka ran past a turning Kyle Walker, a young defender onloan from Tottenham HOtspur. But Walker turned and accelerated, catching a surprised Utaka, and won the ball off the striker then played a lovely pass to a midfielder up the pitch.
It was a brilliant bit of defending and one which changed the game because QPR scored a late, late penalty to draw the game. Without that fantastic defensive run QPR would have tasted their first defeat of the season. Warnock’s team has been outstanding in defence with 10 clean sheets already this season and Walker is one of the reasons for that.
Filed under: Dave Clarke | Tags: abramovich, al-faraj, Chelsea, foreign owners, Portsmouth, southampton, Stamford Bridge
As more and more English Premier League teams fall under foreign ownership I have to wonder why are they doing it. Hardly any of these owners show up and when they do, like the owners of Liverpool, they look rather silly with new scarves and flags to wave. And, boy is it costing them a lot of money.
However I do think Roman Abramovich is beginning to behave like any football fan with a lot of money would. Go to every game, buy the best players in the world, sack the manager every time your team loses.
The latest Premier League owners are the billionaire Saudi Arabian oil-rich brothers Al-Faraj, led by Ali, who have completed the second takeover of Portsmouth inside 42 days.
It will be interesting to see if they act like Abramovich and take some time away from sailing the Med to have pie and chips at their local football ground. And how excited will they be if they draw Southampton in the cup?
I think Roman will enjoy these highlights more than Ali…
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer Skills, Soccer Training, Uncategorized | Tags: david James, England, Goalkeeper training, goalkeeping bloopers, goalkeeping blunders, goalkeeping errors, goalkeeping mistakes, Portsmouth, what to do with your goalkeeper
They are different to all your other players… goalkeepers are a law unto themselves. I was reading the reports on England goalkeeper David James who has let 10 goals in, in just two games for English premiership team Portsmouth. He says in the past he would have been unable to speak to anyone for days. I can sympathise with that – if any of my teams lost two games in a row badly then I was like a bear with a sore head.
But now James says “I try to get on with it, i take the dogs out for a walk and try to move and prepare for the next game. I have a debrief with my psychologist…” PSYCHOLOGIST… now that is where the similarities end.
Coaches of youth teams don’t have psychologists to hand when they lose a game and neither does the under 12 goalkeeper. The goalkeeper will be in the car getting a pasting from dad while your in the bar bemoaning your luck.
But that’s the problem for goalkeepers… their errors are highlighted every time the ball goes in the net, they have nowhere to hide. You cannot let your goalkeeper take the blame or he won’t be your goalkeeper much longer. Protect him and nuture him so that he wants to play in goal no matter what the score is.
At training nights make sure he joins in with all the fun bits – the match, skills, fitness – before you send him into the goal for some goalkeeper practice. It is important for you and the team that he feels part of it all.
You can also get him to be vocal at training to shout at his defenders so in matches you can hear him bossing everyone around.
If you encourage him when he makes a mistake rather than criticise most of the players will pat him on the back and support him… have a go and they will crucify him.
Goalkeepers are vital to your team let’s make sure they don’t go home crying.
Here’s a few goalkeeping errors to show that it happens to even the very best…
Filed under: Dwyer Scullion, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Uncategorized | Tags: Arsenal, Cardiff City, Chelsea, Dave Jones, FA Cup Final, Harry Redknapp, Liverpool, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Portsmouth, Wembley
I love the FA Cup Final. For me it is, and always will be, the most enjoyable day in the English soccer calendar. I fell in love with the game on Cup Final day in 1974 when Liverpool beat Newcastle United 3-0 at the old Wembley. I remember watching it on TV with my father and his friends. It was the first game I had watched all the way through as there was very little live soccer on TV in those days.
On Friday night I heard a radio pundit bemoan the lack of interest in the Cup Final. There’s little doubt that it no longer grips the nation in the way that it once did. In the old days it seemed as if the country came to a standstill on Cup Final day and everybody – men, women and children – set aside the day to watch it together.
It’s different now. There is so much live soccer on TV these days that it’s just less of a special event. Unless of course you are a Portsmouth or Cardiff City supporter. And for me, that is the true magic of the Cup.
I’m absolutely delighted that none of the Big 4 teams were involved. Manchester United and Chelsea would probably have cancelled each other out and the game would have dragged on for ages. What we got instead was a free-flowing, open and unpredictable game. I don’t care if the Big 4 don’t take it as seriously as they used to. There are over 100 other clubs who do and the FA Cup is as much about them as it is Arsenal and Liverpool. There wasn’t a lot of “beautiful” play but there was no lack of passion and commitment.
And what of the coaches? What do they bring to the party? Never having been in a competition final I can only guess. But I suspect you don’t need to do much in the way of motivating your players. What greater motivation is there than playing in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. Tactically, I guess Dave Jones, the Cardiff City manager, will have identified certain players and aspects of the Portsmouth play that he would look to have neutralised. Harry Redknapp, on the other hand, would probably have told his players just to play their own game.
The other major telling factor in these games is fitness. Cup Finals are notoriously hard work for players. I guess that’s a combination of the intensity of the situation, the determination to fight for every ball from kick-off, the size and nature of the Wembley playing surface, and the level of professionalism of the players. I’ve seen every Cup Final since the age of 8 and what they all have in common is that one team will run out of energy towards the end of the game. If they’re trailing, they just can’t seem to get back into it (as was the case with Cardiff). If they’re winning, they run out of steam trying to protect their lead (West Ham United two seasons ago).
So that’s it for another season. I’m looking forward to the next Cup campaign already. Round 3 in January is where the fun really starts. Let’s see if Havant and Waterlooville can get drawn against Liverpool again and finish the job off this time.
Dwyer Scullion, Publisher, Better Soccer Coaching