Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: bench, goal, Inter Milan, Juventus, neri, quagliarella, striker, substitutes
A friend of mine was thrilled this week. His son had scored the winner in an U14s match against a team at the top of the league. It gave the team a huge boost because they hadn’t scored a lot of goals recently.
But even more important to my friends son was that he had actually played. The team normally has the manager’s son playing up front, and although he is a good player no one else got to play in that position – my friends son was limited to bit part substitute roles.
The fact that without his son up front the team still played well and his “reserve” striker had scored the winning goal hopefully made its mark on the manager. Players must be allowed to play games or you cannot see how much they have developed from week to week.
It reminded me of the recent Juventus v Inter Milan game. “It’s hard to score goals without any attackers,” Said Juventus manager Gigi Del Neri in January when they won just two of seven league games after losing top scorer Fabio Quagliarella to injury.
He went out and bought Alessandro Matri from Cagliari on the last day of the transfer window which didn’t impress everyone.
Former Juventus great Franco Causio was not impressed: “Matri? He won’t make the difference.”
But just like my friends son he has. He scored the winner against hated rivals Inter.
“Matri is already a legend,” said the Turin-based newspaper La Stampa. Gazzetta dello Sport is even more enthusiastic. “Do you realise what you have done,” it declares. “That was not a goal. That was a howl of liberation, a declaration of love, an act of desire, a black-and-white orgasm.”
You’ll never know how good a player is until you see them playing in your team each week. Don’t have bench warmers in your team.
Watch Matri’s goal below:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training, Uncategorized | Tags: figo, managing subs, Rooney, substitutes
Substitutes seem to be causing a lot of trouble to the coaches I have spoken to during our recent monthly meetings. What I hope to see is that every player starts a certain number of games and that it is not the same few players who start on the subs bench every match.
At my club we have worked it so that we have three teams in our age groups with one team playing friendlies and the other two teams matches. In this way we can spread players out and make sure everyone is starting matches to give each player a chance of developing during the season.
The problem is however much we try to make sure players are not always made sub there are still some players (and their parents) who do not like being substituted during the game.
This week we were playing on a heavy pitch and I wanted to change players as they got tired. So at half time I explain to one of our more advanced dribblers that I wanted him to sit out for the first five minutes of the second half and to watch how the defenders were sitting deep. I wanted him to work out for himself how he could exploit that situation.
“That’s a strange decision,” I heard his dad say. The player himself responding to his father’s sentiments threw himself to the floor in a big sulk. Not helping the team at all as the other players went over to see what was wrong. Players must realise from an early age that they must learn to accept substitutions with good spirit. So I kept him off for 10 minutes and explained to him and his father that the team is important and each individual player must help their team mates.
Managing substitutes is hard, and managing parents harder, but if you are fair with players over the course of a season then everyone should be more than happy.
If you go to my blog you can see an example of Wayne Rooney being taken off and his reaction to it. You can also see the substitution of Luis Figo when he played his last game for Inter Milan.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Team Management | Tags: cold substitutes, match day tactics, soccer tactics, substitutes
I was talking to one of the parents of my team at the weekend and he was furious that his younger son, who plays for a different club, had been made to sit on the bench for the whole of the first half in a match earlier that day.
It was a cold day on Sunday, with a fierce wind making it seem even colder. His son had been playing away at a rather bleak spot. He got there half an hour early so his son could warm up, but no only did he have to go through the 30 minute warm up he then had to sit around with the other substitutes for another 40 minutes. Boy was he cold.
According to the manager it was “his turn” to sit out the half. In my opinion the coach was being lazy, he didn’t have to make a decision on who was or wasn’t playing well and shuffle his players around accordingly.
The substitutes are roll on roll off so they can go on for 15 or 20 minutes and take it in turns to stand for short spells.
It isn’t fair to your players to make them turn up early then stand around in the cold for 40 minutes all it takes is a game plan which you can put into action the minute you arrive at the match.