Filed under: Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills, Soccer Training, Soccer News, Soccer Fitness, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Refereeing, Dave Clarke | Tags: Football, Soccer, World Cup, messi, maradona, japan, youth, development, coerver, galustian, alf, Ardiles, ossie
As a young player Ossie Ardiles was smaller than the other boys around him so he wouldn’t pass the ball much – he would just dribble and dribble and dribble. Much like Maradona and Lionel Messi. His brother called him Piton, the snake. In this exclusive interview Soccer Coach Weekly’s David Clarke spoke to him about youth soccer, Argentina legends and Japanese success
Most recently Ossie Ardiles was the coach of Machida Zelvia in the second tier of the Japanese J-League, but a 23-year coaching career has taken the Argentinian World Cup winner around the world. As player-manager he introduced a flamboyant style of football to Swindon Town in his first coaching job, achieving promotion to the top flight in 1990 (only for the FA to strip the club of this honour for off-the-field irregularities).
Three years later he took West Brom to Division One and later made headlines in the Premier League with a cavalier Spurs side notable for fielding five forwards. After relocating to Japan he was named J-League Manager Of The Year in 1998 for his work with Shimizu S-Pulse. He won the first stage of the J-League with Yokohama F Marinos in 2000 and the Emperor’s Cup with Tokyo Verdy five years later.
He has also enjoyed spells managing clubs in Mexico, Argentina, Paraguay, Croatia, Israel and Saudi Arabia, giving him a truly global view of the game – but wherever he has coached, he has always brought a certain Ossie style to the job.
DAVID Having coached four clubs in England, is the Premier League the best in the world?
OSSIE“The Premier League is certainly the most watched and the richest – and it attracts the best players in the world because of these reasons. Yes, I would imagine it’s the best league in the world.”
You have enjoyed several stints in Japan. What is it about the Japanese game that attracts you?
“The J-League started in 1993 and I came soon after. I think the J-League is and was the model of how professional football should be marketed for the fans. In Japan I have won the League and The Emperors Cup and I have been told that I also have more victories than any other foreign coach in the league’s history.”
Who have been the coaches that have impressed you the most in Japan?
“There have been some great coaches in Japan: the Brazilian legend Zico, Hans Ooft from Holland, and of course Arsene Wenger. Wenger to me was special – you knew his teams would play football, the beautiful game as Pelé called it. I know his time in Japan influenced him and like me he loved the culture. Since leaving Japan I am not surprised to see he stuck with all his beliefs about the way the game should be played and the way to behave civilly and with respect – the Japanese way.”
Japanese women are world champs and the men are champions of Asia. Why has their game been so successful?
“You need to understand the Japanese culture. Like every aspect of their lives, great attention and care is spent on detail, studying whatever they want to establish and then replicating and improving it. Football was no different. The professional league was marketed to perfection, so the fans supported the game. The Japanese also think long term so youth development was always a priority for the Japanese Football Association. The success of Japanese players and teams today is a result of their youth development programmes.”
As a long-standing champion of youth development and the education of coaches, what programmes have impressed you in Japan?
“In my 17 years here, the programme that has impressed me most, and the one that has dominated nationally, has been the Coerver programme. I remember in the early years they started with a few schools and today they have over 100 schools all over the country. I am a close friend with Alf Galustian, who is a co-founder of the programme and the driving force behind it, so I have always kept a close interest.”
What is so special about the contribution of Alf Galustian and Coerver to football in Japan?
“Alf is without doubt a global pioneer in youth coaching. I am still amazed with the new drills, games and concepts he continually comes up with. His contribution to Japanese football development is without question. “Over these past 20 years he has influenced the way football is taught in Japan and the subsequent success of the game here. “Currently more than 17,000 young players go through the Coerver programme each week, and in the past 20 years over 300 players have gone into J-League clubs and some to the various national teams – that’s an amazing contribution to the game in Japan.”
After winning the 1978 World Cup, was it difficult to adjust to playing your football in England?
“It took me a while. In those days the long ball game – getting the ball into opposition’s third, often bypassing midfield – was strange to me. But at Spurs we had Glenn Hoddle, and Ricky Villa came with me too, so Spurs always tried to play passing football and that suited me.”
Would you say there is an Ossie Ardiles way of playing soccer?
“Yes. I have always believed in the passing game. My style is about possession but also always trying for the forward pass. I have always believed in attacking, as a player and as a manager – I have often been sacked for these beliefs but I will never change. Football is a technical game and that’s where its beauty is.”
Ossie’s Verdict Maradona or Messi?
“It’s very close and they’re both fellow Argentinians. I think it would be Messi, but I have to qualify that. Maradona was the best player I played with by a mile. I have never seen such a skilled player. He could control the ball on any surface, in any space, and whatever the pressure he was put under. But Messi is playing in an era when there is improved knowledge in sports science about what you eat, drink, and how you prepare. Today the boots and the ball are superior. Today the fields are all unbelievable. So when people speak about comparisons between players like Maradona and Messi, all these factors should be taken into consideration.”
Ossie’s Coaching Career
1989–91: Swindon Town (England)
1991–92: Newcastle United (England)
1992–93: West Brom (England)
1993–94: Tottenham Hotspur (England)
1995: Guadalajara (Mexico)
1996–98: Shimizu S-Pulse (Japan)
1999: Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia)
2000–01: Yokohama F Marinos (Japan)
2001: Al-Ittihad (Saudi Arabia)
2002–03: Racing Club (Argentina)
2003–05: Tokyo Verdy (Japan)
2006–07: Beitar Jerusalem (Israel)
2007: Huracán (Argentina)
2008: Cerro Porteño (Paraguay)
2012: Machida Zelvia (Japan)
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: AC Milan, brazil, hulk, Inter Milan, Jairzinho, lucas moura, Manchester United, pato, World Cup, youtube
Brazil have a team that could win the next world cup not just because it’s on home soil but because they are beginning to put together a fabulous young team that will give Spain and Germany a run for their money.
They play a fast passing game 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 and at the top of the formation is a young striker called Lucas Moura – and finally it seems Brazil have a player to match the Brazil great Jairzinho.
Like Jairzinho, Lucas, aged 19, can play as a quick forward or winger and will hope to emulate his fellow countryman. Jairzinho was part of the legendary Brazil team that won the 1970 World Cup – he became one of only three players to have scored in every game his team played in the tournament.
Lucas has a low centre of gravity and runs with speed at defenders, dribbling past them or using skills to beat them. He has also been compared with Porto’s Hulk and AC Milan’s Alexandre Pato, but I like to think of him as Jairzinho.
He’s being chased by Inter Milan and Manchester United both of whom hope to prise him away from Sao Paulo but it’ll take a lot of Euros.
Lucas also wears Jairzinho’s number seven shirt for the national team.
Watch him in action in the clip below:
See also The English playmaker
See also The German defender
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Bayer leverkusen, david platt, England, euros, Holland, ibrahimovic, joe cole, Real Madrid, russia, van basten, World Cup, youtube
My top five cup volleys
Marco van Basten: Holland v USSR Euro 1988 final
David Platt: England v Belgium World Cup 1990
Zinedine Zidane: Real Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen 2002 Champions League final
Joe Cole: England v Sweden World Cup 2006
Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Sweden v France Euro 2012
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: brazil, legend, socrates, World Cup, youtube
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills | Tags: Crouch, Italy, south africa, Tardelli, World Cup
Goal celebrations are one of the fun elements in the serious business of any World Cup. I can see when my players have been watching the games on TV because they suddenly have new very eleborate goal celebrations and the rest of the team tend to join in.
I like goal celebrations as long as they don’t show any disrespect to the opponents. In fact I have a theory that the best goal scorers have the best celebrations _ in other words don’t do the Peter Crouch robot.
The World Cup final usually has a great goal celebration, but the one that always stands out for me is Marco Tardelli – for Italy against West Germany in 1982
When my teams score a goal I want them to celebrate it like this – but my young players like something a bit more gimmicky.
There were no gimmicks for Tardelli when he put Italy 2-0 up against the Germans, just a show of pure, unadulterated joy. Typically Italian, very classy.
My players prefer ones like the South African team at this year’s tournament when Siphiwe Tshabalala fired the World Cup hosts ahead ten minutes after half-time against Mexico.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer News, Uncategorized | Tags: Adidas, jabulani, Kalou, World Cup, World Cup football
The World Cup ball for South Africa is called Jabulani,which means Be Happy, but there’s more to it than that as Chelsea’s Salomon Kalou points out…
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer News, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: aston villa, Eddie Gray, England squad, England U21, leeds, milner, peter taylor, World Cup
He is someone all young players can take inspiration from. Before the English Carling Cup final where his team Aston Villa play Manchester United, Milner spoke about playing for Leeds United U11s when beating Manchester United was the highlight of his young career. He made the first team at Leeds when he was just 16. Now the 24-year-old has the manager of England singing his praises.
Milner’s story is one of hard work and hours spent on the training ground. According to Eddie Gray who was Milner’s coach at Leeds, “his one aim in life has always been to be the best footballer he can. His right foot was initially stronger but he just worked hard on his left and made himself two-footed.”
By working on his weaknesses he has made himself a player who can play in any position, winger, midfield and he has even played at left back for his club, which has seen some experts suggest he could solve the problem caused by Ashley Cole’s injury.
His manager at England U21 level, Peter Taylor saw Milner as his favourite player. “If all players were like him the job would be pure joy!”
“James listened to my advice and acted on it. His crossing improved immensely.”
He can also read the game better as he has played more games, constantly improving his technique. He is now the penalty taker at Aston Villa opening the scoring in the match with a penalty in the first few minutes.
When he goes home to his family he goes down to the local park and plays with the kids there, challenging them to a game of keepy-uppy.
A young man truly in love with the game and someone for all young players to aspire to be like.
Watch these two clips of Milner, one at the start of his career at Leeds aged 16 and now at Aston Villa aged 24:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer News, Soccer Skills, Soccer Training | Tags: brazil, robinho, Ronaldinho, Ronaldo, skills, step-overs, stepovers, World Cup
This summer you can be sure that you will see a lot of step-overs. The 2010 World Cup will be a showcase for all the skills you coach to your players and the step-over is likely to be one of the main ones. So you can be sure they are going to want to do them when they see them in action.
Stepovers like any soccer skill need a lot of practice so if your players are going to do them make sure they go home and have a ball stuck to their foot all week.
Done properly they can send an opponent in the opposite direction, immediately producing two precious assets – space and time.
Coach your players to begin with the simplest step over. Tell them to shape as if they are going to strike the ball, but lift that foot over the top of the ball instead.
1. Make sure the ball is moving so start dribbling slowly.
2. Circle the left foot anti-clockwise by bringing the left foot across the right foot and around the ball without touching the ball.
3. Dip the left shoulder to angle the body so it looks like the player will move that way.
4. Use the outside of the right foot to take the ball past the defender on the other side.
Once you can do one then practice bringing your right foot around the ball clockwise, and build up to do two or three in a row.
Watch this video which shows in slow motion how to do the step-over with Robinho. Then watch the other clip of the step-over kings in action, Ronaldo and Robinho.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: England, south africa, usa, World Cup
Me, I just can’t wait for the game. England v USA, bring it on!