Guest Session – Playing thru Midfield by Wayne Burnet – Dagenham & Redbridge Ast Manager

GUEST SESSION BY,  WAYNE BURNET –  DAGENHAM & REDBRIDGE ASSISTANT MANAGER

Wayne has over 350 league games and a career spanning more than 16 years and 7 clubs. Including Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Huddersfield Town and Leyton Orient playing in all 4 english leagues and representing England at youth level. Wayne holds the UEFA ‘A’ License. He has coached and managed at both Semi-Pro and Professional level as well as a wealth of knowledge in youth football. He is currently the Assistant Manager at Dagenham and Redbridge.

SESSION – PLAYING THRU MIDFIELD

 

LIVERPOOL 1 Vs 2 MANCHESTER UNITED ANALYSIS

Premier League Analysis

Liverpool Vs Manchester United Analysis: ‘Liverpool Crying out for striker or was it typical UTD’

A liverpool Vs Manchester United derby has always created an interesting game and this game was just that. Liverpool however dominated the game for long periods creating more chances than Manchester United throughout.

Line Ups:

1st Half:

Both teams had chances but it was Liverpool that had more. Young Raheem Sterling is a shining light in the liverpool side, full of confidence wanting to run at players and combining with Suarez well. This happened a few times in the first half as he caused Evra Problems. Suarez’s movement is always a handful as he checks short and peels into space behind defenders always looking to make runs in behind from passes from wide or from Gerrard. He is an intelligent player that creates so much with his movement creating space for himself or others.

The Sending Off…..Liverpool down to 10 men

It was a bad mistake by JonJo Shelvey to lunge in on Jonny Evans as he had a ‘rush of blood to the head’. Yes the ball was there to be one but he didn’t need to lunge in but he merely just needed to stay on his feet. Yes both went with both feet but Shelvey’s dramatic lunge got him sent off. Right decision!

2nd Half

Liverpools Goal…

Liverpool goal was a piece of great overlapping movement from Johnson and Suso but also Bad defending from Manchester United. Johnson and Suso worked it well down the left and play a ball into the box. To get the cross in Scholes made it very easy for Suso by diving in (typical Scholes challenge). As Suso was driving at Scholes, Gerrard was driving into the box with Carrick Tracking his run. The ball was deflected into the box into Gerrard after Johnson’s run. As this was happening Carrick pushes up and leaves Gerrard with to much space and time to finish. Carrick went to early and should have denied Gerrad the space. Because he pushes up he is now the wrong side and consequently watches Gerrard chest and volley into the bottom right hand corner.

Manchester UTD’s 1st Goal….

Just before the goal Scholes came on for United. His Defensively ability is his weakness but his passing and his ability to dictate the play is his major strong point. Scholes gets on the ball and starts to distribute. He plays it wide to Rafael who runs into the attacking third. Sisou makes it easy for him to cut inside and draw a defender. Sisou should have stood his ground and made it difficult for him to penetrate. Rafael immediately gets pressed and plays to Valencia who delivers a great ball in. As Rafael plays wide he does not get tracked and is allowed to run into the box and receive the knock down by Kagawa. Rafael’s finish was excellent and was a shock to Liverpool’s GK Reina.


Manchester UTD’S 2nd Goal…

The goal was caused by Liverpool giving the ball away in a dangerous area in the field with a sloppy square ball across the pitch. The weight and accuracy of the pass wasn’t good enough and was intercepted by the speedy Valencia. This allowed Valencia lots of space to break into on the counter and hurt Liverpool with a number’s up (3v2) situation. The desperate Johnson who was in the collision when Valencia stole the ball came in a tried to make a challenge from behind. Valenci went down pretty easy and the Referee pointed to the spot. Johnson didn’t need to make the challenge as it seemed valencia had ran out of ideas and space but it was too late for Johnson. Robin Van Persie consequently stepped up to take the penalty and scored.


10 men Liverpool still created chances and pushed for an equalizer but it was to be.

Rogers is yet to spark liverpool with that cutting edge, as chances are created but they still lack the goals. With a 4-3-3 system it is clear Liverpool will always create chances and possibly dominate possession with the likes of Joe Allen providing the distribution (Stat 57 complete passes out of 65) however it seems the way Liverpool play it is Suarez that is the player producing the movement and assists rather than the finish. For me it shows they are crying out a ‘Natural’ goalscorer. It was typical UTD winning a game that really this time they didn’t deserve. However they have mastered the art of the counter attack and have been doing it for years in the Premier League. They score against the run of play with their pace and when Liverpool got sloppy they capitalized.

Liverpool deserved more even with 10 men for long periods but Man UTD took all 3 points.

Why the role of the Defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3 is so Important & the Comparison of Busquets & Song

Here is a diagram of the 4-3-3 (4-1-2-3) and its passing options. There are many teams that use this formation across the world. FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal just to name a few. Each team has a Defensive Midfielder which is vital for the team to function. In this case the Defensive Midfielder is the number 6.

The Role of the Defensive midfielder in a 4-3-3 (4-1-2-3) is vital. They are the catalyst of of the speed of the play either slow (retaining possession) or fast (to penetrate). Their awareness of pressure and to play out of tight spaces is vital to keep the ball to manipulate the play. Their range of passing needs to be excellent and their distance and angles of support are important. They need to have the ability to run with the ball to penetrate the play. They are the link between the back four and the 2 central (attacking) midfielders in front of them. To play the role effectively they need to technically efficient.

Here is a diagram of the defensive midfielders passing options in a 4-3-3:

Defensively the need to be able to read the game to break the opponent down. Forcing opposing players towards pressure are out of play is vital. There energy levels need to be managed effectively to produce this kind of pressure on opponents all game. The have to maintain their positioning and sacrifice themselves for the team. They need to be a leader and communicate throughout.

The physical attributes a Defensive Midfielder needs to have are:

1/ Very Athletic (quick over 5-20 yds)

2/ Strong –  Individual battles and To hold players off the ball to protect.

3/ Aerial ability – Powerful in the air

4/ Agile- To react to the game

Two of the best Defensive Midfielders: Sergio Busquets & Alex Song

Sergio Busquets is regarded as one of the spanish greats. His vision, technical ability, awareness is phenomenal however what Sergio does not have Alex Song Does. Alex Song is in my opinion has been very underrated for what he has done in the 3 years at Arsenal. His awareness, vision, technical ability is up their with the best.

To compare Busquets to Song technically Busquets would win however Song is not that far behind. What makes Alex Song stand out is his ability physically to dominate opponents. He is quick, agile, strong in the tackle, and can read the game. Busquets reads the game very well however he is not quick. Barcelona have lately struggled with pace at the back and in the Defensive Central Midfield Role against Madrid. Song could be that player. Song is good enough technically to be able to posses and penetrate the Barcelona style of play. Barcelona already have Xavi and Iniesta or fabregas to orchestrate the play and maybe they need that bit of physical dominance and speed to support the team defensively?

You cannot take away the brilliance of Busquets and his footballing mind though. He has been one of the main reasons behind Barcelona’s success. Maybe Song will be his cover when Busquets is injured but i believe Song has all the attributes to fill the position and maybe give Barca another option. Both players are versatile (and can play Central Defender) and can fit into Barcelona’s 4-3-3 style of play very easily. Alex song was a great purchase by Barcelona as i feel they need a little more pace when defending against teams like Madrid on the counter attack.

Thanks for reading, you can follow me on twitter: @JHarvCoach