How we should play (5)May 02, 2016
"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."
"The same applies when you play against your opponent. When you know that your opponent's preferred move is to go around you, you can position yourself in a way that forces him to try to go the other way and make him use his bad foot."
"This all seems like 'a-b-c', but unfortunately even at the highest level you see that players hardly think about this."
"Just like I have noticed how bad players in attacking minded teams are with heading. In my days Sjaak Swart scored an unusual high amount of goals for a winger, because as a right winger he could head the ball over his right shoulder. A necessary skill when the left winger crosses the ball and the forward moves to the first post and the right winger comes in at the far post."
"This is why in these situations you often see forwards missing simple chances, because they can't produce a header to their good side, instead of heading it to the other side - a right winger heading the ball towards goal over his right shoulder. The same goes for defenders, who often score own goals in these situations."
"As a footballer you always to look for things that can hurt your opponent. But this is also the other way around. As soon as you know that your opponent is trying to take advantage of your weak spot, you have to be able to make a counter move."
"In my playing days at Ajax, when we wanted to put more pressure, we often substituted the left back for an extra forward, so that I played more in a deep-lying role from the left. My opponent knew that my left foot was not as good as my right foot, so he tried to force me to go around him on the outside and cross with my left foot."
"Eventually this disadvantage became an advantage, because I started training more on using the outside of my right foot in order to give a cross with the ball turning away from goal. An extra advantage was that I had to shoot the ball at the halfway point of my step, which was just a bit quicker than usually. This often surprised my opponent and resulted in big chances or goals."
"This was not a circus-act but a functional, useful action. Just like functional football can create beautiful movements. The best example is the turnover after you have lost the ball. Especially when you as an attack-minded team know that you are less good in defending. When the attackers can defend pushing forward in order to force the opponent's defenders to move more quickly, it gives a better chance of a bad pass. So the attackers initiate a defending action by moving only four or five meters."
'Just like I discussed the corner situations, the examples I mentioned here are about reducing problems. It is not about difficult tactical movements, but only about thinking logically."