Saturday, April 16, 2011

No New Coach Luck For Newell's

Usually in Argentina when a new coach takes over a club they win his first match. Not so for Newell's Old Boys. Their poor play continued yesterday to Quilmes. Before the match Quilmes were in last place, two points below Newell's, having failed to gain a single win in nine Clausura games.

One could blame Ricardo Johanssen and his decision to play three young defenders who had no previous experience with the senior side, but they made no more mistakes than had been made during any of the other Clausura match up.

No, the real problem is in midfield, in my opinion. Quilmes midfield out played Newell's at every turn, did a far better job of anticipating while defending, and their passing game was far superior as well.

The final score was 3-1. Newell's goal was scored by Mauricio Sperdutti off a Claudio Bieler cross that was deflected an went into an open space that El Gordo was able to run onto and take his shot. This brings me to the problem with Newell's passing game. Too many passes going directly to the player they were intended for, and those that were placed into open space were slotted to close to the opposing players to be effective. When you play like that it makes it easy for the opposing team to predict, and gives them more than good chance to intercept the play before you can develop anything that looks threatening.

Do I expect anyone to listen to this? No. I have been preaching the same thing about the US National team for years now, and they still send pass after pass directly to the feet of there intended target. Against weaker opponents, you can win this way. Sadly, even lowly Quilmes are better than Newell's these days.

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