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Creative play and finishing moves

dave clarkeThere will not be much New Year optimism around for the coaches of some clubs. While you and I look forward to the tussles ahead and the development of our young players coaches like Chris Hughton once of Newcastle United and Rafa Benitez at Inter Milan will likely be looking for new jobs.

In the run up to Christmas Benítez was described by Italian newspaper La Stampa as a man, “walking with a pistol at his temple”. I’m glad I don’t work under those conditions!

Everything a professional coach does is linked to a winning team. Lose and you’re out is basically the message for the top coaches around the world. How different then is this message to the one we preach for young teams and their coaches “winning doesn’t matter”. Everything I am focused on is the development of each young individual that comes my way.

And that should be at the heart of everything we do – playing the game the right way, and that goes hand in hand with winning. Jose Mourinho is seen as a winning coach, but his Real Madrid team got played off the pitch by a team that just passed the ball around them – Barcelona.

The message here is: play the right way and you’ll be a winner.

When I watch these professional games there are two things that stand out in winning teams – creative play and finishing moves.In an attacking sense creative play is vital to give attackers goalscoring chances. And finishing into the net makes the move complete.

Watch the two goals scored by Real Madrid in their match against Valencia. Both goals are excellent examples of playing the game the right way. The first one is a wonderful turn and finish and the second a great move and finish.

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