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How we should play (6)

May 09, 2016

"This is the last column in these series, in which I wanted to make clear how I would like to see how we should play at top level", Johan Cruyff wrote in his column in De Telegraaf. "I thought it was a good opportunity to do this and in the meantime to respond to criticism that I am always complaining about things, but never come up with solutions."

"That is why I thought it was not a bad idea to repeat the ground rules of our football. You all know now even better how I think about football."

"I especially hope that my message has come across that football is about thinking logically and keeping it simple. Unfortunately in Holland we have let this slip away. By making it more and more complicated we have lost track of the basics. The most important thing for a player is that he knows how to do the simple actions. I mean the passing, receiving, controlling the ball with his chest, being able to use his wrong foot and heading. In short, the basic techniques. These are all parts that can be trained by everyone."

"Take the correct passing of the ball. That is a matter of repeating it over and over. This might be boring, but you are training the most essential aspect of the game. The same goes for receiving the ball. It is boring to train this, but you make quick progress."

"Then you have to combine these basic techniques with positional play, with six against four the most efficient practice. As long as you keep the pitch between the penalty area and the goal area. With such a small pitch and with our players in the middle you are forced to play each ball quickly, with the right speed and simple. But when you have the ball, you need to have one player in the centre, one at each side of the short outside line, two on one long outside line and one on the other outside line."

"This is why I have introduced six against six in street football tournaments in Amsterdam and Volendam, while it will also be used in street football events that will be played on Cruyff Courts. And the four against four, seven versus seven and 15 against 15 then? As long as it is used to get people and especially children to play football, it is all good."

"But as soon as we are 'developing' talent, then only six against six will work. Because boys and girls will then learn the ground rules of the 'real' football without realising it."

"First, there are a goalkeeper and five outfield players so that you can play with three lines. These lines are so compact that you need to pass the ball correct to allow a teammate to make an action. There is no libero, because everyone is forced to play one-on-one, in attack and in defense.

"In this situation a player automatically will learn to keep an eye on his opponent and to cover for his teammate. Without telling him to do so, he is already learning positional play. This also applies for the goalkeeper. He not only has to stop the ball, but he also has to cover and sometimes has to contribute in playing."

"For street football tournaments this is perfect for kids 12 years or younger. And after that age you can always use it as a training exercise. Because it forces you to play in small spaces, one-on-one and use simple technique. You can forget about easily playing the ball around in defense. Just like passing the ball to the player next to you. So it learns you to avoid making the mistakes that many Dutch players currently make."

"The past six weeks I have mainly talked about the bigger picture. Situations that involves two or three players at the maximum. Because you play with 11, it shows how many possibilities there are in football. But it makes little sense to start about that when already the basics are wrong."


May 09, 2016

How we should play (6)

"This is the last column in these series, in which I wanted to make clear how I would like to see how we should play at top level", Johan Cruyff wrote in his column in De Telegraaf. "I thought it was a good opportunity to do this and in the meantime to respond to criticism that I am always complaining about things, but never come up with solutions."

May 02, 2016

How we should play (5)

"After the set-pieces and build-up, I want to talk about situations in which you can influence the game without having the ball", Johan Cruyff wrote in his column in De Telegraaf. "But first this: you can help a teammate by passing the ball onto his good foot. This might seem simple, but how often don't you see a left-footed player receiving the ball onto his right foot."

Apr 25, 2016

How we should play (4)

"Last week I wrote about how I think that Dutch teams should play and I went into more detail on set-pieces. This week I will focus on setting up a decisive play," Johan Cruyff wrote in 'De Telegraaf'.



Apr 18, 2016 How we should play (3)
Apr 11, 2016 How we should play (2)
Apr 04, 2016 How we should play
Mar 28, 2016 Farewell for colleagues and friends
Mar 26, 2016 In Memoriam
Mar 25, 2016 Thank you
Mar 21, 2016 Compliments for PSV and Ajax
Mar 14, 2016 Parents more important than agents
Mar 07, 2016 Max Verstappen in safe hands
Feb 29, 2016 Dutch football is stuck
Feb 22, 2016 "PSV have to think ahead"
Feb 15, 2016 'Coaches have work to do'
Feb 13, 2016 "Tengo la sensación de ir ganando 2-0"
Feb 13, 2016 "I am 2-0 up"
Feb 08, 2016 Much of the same, but seldom any good
Feb 01, 2016 'Everyone freaks out again'
Jan 25, 2016 'Technique determines position in team'
Jan 18, 2016 Using chaos to your advantage
Jan 11, 2016 'The problem of a different mind'
Jan 04, 2016 'Only the best is good enough'
Dec 28, 2015 Time to look back and reflect
Dec 21, 2015 Football can learn from other sports
Dec 14, 2015 Ajax belong to their fans
Dec 07, 2015 Watch more, walk less
Nov 30, 2015 'I think I'm being deceived'
Nov 23, 2015 Reactions give me lot of energy
Nov 16, 2015 I quit
Nov 09, 2015 No one takes care of business
Nov 02, 2015 Attacking football needs good technical skills
Oct 26, 2015 'Emotional and heartwarming'
Oct 22, 2015 Anuncio oficial de la Dirección de Johan Cruyff
Oct 22, 2015 Press Announcement from the Management of Johan Cruyff
Oct 19, 2015 'Don't analyse the result but look at the play'
Oct 12, 2015 "Not a matter of talent"
Oct 05, 2015 "Limit number of foreign players in starting line-up"
Sep 28, 2015 The misuse of the 'number 10'
Sep 21, 2015 "We don't learn from mistakes"
Sep 14, 2015 Future of Ajax at stake
Sep 07, 2015 "You do not defend like that"
Aug 31, 2015 'Proud of Jordi'
Aug 24, 2015 Goal Memphis could have been avoided
Aug 17, 2015 Barcelona show two sides against Sevilla
Aug 10, 2015 Ajax are ignoring basic principles
Aug 03, 2015 Transfer market surprises me at times
Jul 02, 2015 Joan Laporta has my full support
Jul 02, 2015 Joan Laporta tiene todo mi apoyo
Jun 15, 2015 Look at quality in transferwindow
Jun 08, 2015 Messi example for Holland
Jun 01, 2015 'Blatter should have stepped down'
May 26, 2015 Wonderful events in May
May 18, 2015 Juve's policy pays off
May 11, 2015 'You never know with Bayern'
May 04, 2015 Barcelona-Bayern an interesting benchmark
Apr 27, 2015 You play football with your head
Apr 20, 2015 'Ajax should be alert'
Apr 13, 2015 Cruyff not worried about Ajax
Apr 09, 2015 Ajax have to take next step
Mar 30, 2015 'Football that hurts your eyes'
Mar 23, 2015 No good use of the backs
Mar 16, 2015 A supporter of the Bayern-method
Mar 09, 2015 'Lack of logical thinking'
Mar 02, 2015 Bad week for Dutch football
Feb 23, 2015 "Too much walking"
Feb 16, 2015 "Ajax has experience"
Feb 09, 2015 PSV making progress
Feb 02, 2015 Cruyff supports Van Praag
Jan 26, 2015 "Africa Cup is not getting any more fun"
Jan 19, 2015 Cruyff criticizes Ballon d'Or election
Jan 12, 2015 Parents and agents must not get carried away
Jan 05, 2015 'I support 'our' time off around Christmas'
Dec 29, 2014 'Robben right choice'
Dec 22, 2014 Spaces, techniques and backs: Cruyff talks football at KNVB meeting
Dec 22, 2014 "We are living in the era Cruyff invented"
Dec 08, 2014 ''Offence is the best defence''
Dec 01, 2014 Johan Cruyff's vision
Nov 24, 2014 How not to play
Nov 17, 2014 ''Satisfied, but not blind''
Nov 10, 2014 The typical Dutch problem
Nov 03, 2014 Clubs do not know how to handle advantage
Oct 27, 2014 Kroos is the example
Oct 20, 2014 'Our midfield is getting weaker and weaker'
Oct 13, 2014 'An unwelcome surprise'
Oct 06, 2014 Limit number of foreign players in PL
Sep 29, 2014 ''A good feeling about Feyenoord''
Sep 22, 2014 APOEL can cause upset
Sep 15, 2014 ''I see a lot of strange things''
Sep 08, 2014 Children transfers
Sep 01, 2014 Poor results in Europa League affect Eredivisie
Aug 25, 2014 Learning from defeat
Aug 18, 2014 Cruijff worried about technical abilities
Aug 11, 2014 'Focus on development'
Jul 14, 2014 "Germany ambassador for football"
Jul 07, 2014 "I loved goalkeeper substitution"
Jun 30, 2014 Cruyff praises Dutch, criticizes Brazil
Jun 24, 2014 'Now we need good football'
Jun 16, 2014 Only the first step for Holland
Jun 10, 2014 Brazil favourites to win world cup
Jun 03, 2014 'Klaassen would be useful at world cup'
May 26, 2014 Compliments to Ancelotti and Atlético
May 19, 2014 "I feel sorry for Messi"
May 13, 2014 The puzzle that is preparing for the world cup
May 05, 2014 Bayern playing most beautiful tactic and most difficult
May 05, 2014 Two-striped shirt is my identity
Apr 28, 2014 Ajax deserve to win championship
Apr 22, 2014 Gift from heaven above
Apr 15, 2014 'Club's organisation to blame for Barcelona's decline'
Apr 09, 2014 Cruyff criticizes Mourinho
Apr 02, 2014 'Bayern as example for Ajax'
Mar 28, 2014 'Pep and Bayern almost perfect match'
Feb 25, 2014 Cruyff meets with Israeli president
Feb 14, 2014 Cruyff receives UEFA President's Award
Jan 28, 2014 Bartomeu wants Cruyff back at Barça
Oct 28, 2013 “Problems in Dutch football academies”
Oct 01, 2013 "Barça's new style of play is normal"
Sep 14, 2013 Cruyff will not attend Barça – Ajax
Sep 11, 2013 "Lack of experience can haunt Netherlands"
Sep 02, 2013 Cruyff positive about Eriksen and Alderweireld transfers
Aug 29, 2013 UEFA donates one million euros to Cruyff Foundation
Aug 15, 2013 "The current transfer window system is flawed"
Aug 12, 2013 "Devastating effect of duo Messi-Neymar to be seen"
Jul 28, 2013 Ajax win Johan Cruyff Schaal
Jul 24, 2013 Cruyff has faith in new Barça coach
Jul 06, 2013 Crisis at Cruyff's former employer Chivas
Jul 06, 2013 Cruyff selected in all-time World XI
Jun 16, 2013 Laporta wants to run for re-election at Barça
May 22, 2013 Marco van Ginkel wins Johan Cruyff Award
May 21, 2013 Cruyff: "Ajax need to improve on all levels"
May 14, 2013 Barcelona claim 22nd La Liga title
May 06, 2013 Cruyff celebrates Ajax title in Israel
May 02, 2013 Guardiola:"Cruyff made Barça the club it is today"
Apr 25, 2013 Jordi Cruyff champion of Israel