Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

How Iceland defended England

I thought that Iceland played physical defense with a lot of man marking and zonal coverage. The other difference was the Icelanders' willingness to work and move. 

Look at the screen shot from above. Harry Kane finds three defenders in front of him. For much of the match, England could only fire from the outside because of the defensive wall in front of them.

His options?

Dele Alli is in an offside position. 

Wayne Rooney is open while Daniel Sturridge is on the right.

His option would be to pass to Rooney who can either dribble once then fire or make a quick pass to Sturridge who can shoot with either foot.

The thing for England is that they should pass a lot quicker to tear apart Iceland's marking. Excessive dribbling can be troublesome. There isn't anyone on England's team who can approximate the dribbling skills say of Luis Suarez so they should play faster and exploit the close marking.

Take a look at this. Iceland knows that England's players love to dribble the ball. Rooney would have been better served to pass this quickly to Sturridge. Wasted opportunity.

Iceland commits two defenders per England attacker. That means someone is bound to be free. Quick passing, quicker decision making. 

Look at the marking here. Iceland commits several defenders to an English player. Defense forms those triangles to mark attackers. How do you beat this? You need good field vision and an understanding with your teammates on how to beat this ball pressure. A sudden long ball, sprint. Break up those defensive formations. The thing is you have to attack en masse or else those defenders will converge on the few attackers.

Additional reading: Some suggestions for England in this time of soul searching. Yes, it is something I wrote.

No comments:

Post a Comment