Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

Coaches are taking the show from the game

César Luis Menotti feared coaches were not taking risks in order to conform to the modernization of football as it became more positional. His concern was that ‘coaches do not assume the right to take the show from the game.’ He might have been right.

The former 1978 World Cup winning Argentina manager spoke at the 6th Congreso Nacional de Directores Tecnicos de Futbol in 1995:

The fear that I go through in recent times is that the player loses his nature as a player. That in favor of modernism, and tactics, the tactics is nothing more than the geographical location of a team on the pitch to recover the ball, and the geographical location to then play with the ball. That it is just trying to now allow the rivals score goals, and we to score goals.

So my concern is that coaches do not assume the right to take the show from the game.

With the excuse of a philosophical reasoning that has no basis, which is to “avoid risks”. I do not know of any system that avoids risks. The risks are there, as in life. If one wanted to avoid risks, we would never fall in love for fear of being betrayed, or one would not have friends for fear of being disappointed. So the risks in football are always there. The only way that there are no risks in any game is by not playing the game.

So that’s my concern.

Juan Lillo has the same concern now, but he has hindsight and the ability to use that hindsight to better form his opinion for the future.

The fear remains the same but the positive is that managers are beginning to take risks.

I see with what disrespect they have been incorporated into the media, because of the great business that football is, I see with what difficulty a coach has to manage in the middle of a terrible struggle, between television rights, for the great business. I also see with great fear, the lack of protection of the player’s development.

Think of all the managers that struggled this season under the pressure of congested schedules, constant press conferences, constant questions.

My concern is the lack of training between matches. Pep Guardiola put it plainly when he said “we do not train”. You can’t when you have a game every three days.

Think of all the exciting ideas managers could develop and implement if they could actually work with their players between matches. The training happens during games between the eleven players and five substitutes.

Thank you to Juani Jimena for the translation. You can view his entire talk with English subtitles here. César Luis Menotti sadly passed away on May 5th and his passing resurfaced this great presentation. Rest in peace.

Back to top Share on Twitter Email this post Copy link