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No good use of the backs

Mar 23, 2015

"It strikes me that more and more goals are scored from a loss of possession instead of creativity in the Eredivisie", Johan Cruyff writes in his weekly column in Dutch newspaper 'De Telegraaf'. "Like I see too often, many players are forced into situations which do not bring the best, but the worst out of them."

"I often hear that Dutch football players are not capable of defending, but how can a back play a good game while having to play as a winger? Take the way in which I once defended with Barcelona. The two backs were former wingers, small and fast. In the middle was Ronald Koeman, not fast, but someone with an excellent overview."

"Pep Guardiola, also not a real defender, was in the back close to Koeman, because of our diamond formation on the midfield. Together they possessed an outstanding short (Guardiola) and long ball (Koeman). The only assignment Guardiola had was to make sure the two outmost midfielders were no more than 15 metres apart."

"Furthermore, in this formation it was essential to play far in front of the goal. When a long ball was played over Koeman, the goalkeeper gave support in the back and with a long cross ball we trusted the speed of our backs. While the two backs and the two central players were no real defenders, our defence was as solid as a rock."

"This is what is lacking at Dutch teams. By letting the backs take part in the build-up instead of the attack itself, the midfielders and wingers on their side will be in an offside position. This will stimulate a wide pass, while the only free player in this situation will be the central defender. A huge gap will arise on the midfield and all positions on the field will break down. It is a domino effect."

NEWS

Mar 23, 2015

No good use of the backs

"It strikes me that more and more goals are scored from a loss of possession instead of creativity in the Eredivisie", Johan Cruyff writes in his weekly column in Dutch newspaper 'De Telegraaf'. "Like I see too often, many players are forced into situations which do not bring the best, but the worst out of them."

MORE
Mar 16, 2015

A supporter of the Bayern-method

''Obviously I am a supporter of the Bayern-method'', says Johan Cruyff in his weekly column in Dutch newspaper 'De Telegraaf' discussing the different ways Bayern München and Chelsea played in the Champions League while being in almost an identical situation. "I want to determine what happens on the court and not wait and see what the opponent brings.''

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Mar 09, 2015

'Lack of logical thinking'

"I am surprised how many times possession of the ball ends up at the goalkeeper", Johan Cruyff writes in his weekly column in 'De Telegraaf'. "Football is a game of mistakes, so the risk of conceding a goal when a mistake is made by the attackers is less than when the goalie makes an error. That mistake can have a big impact."

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Archive

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