Sunday, February 22, 2009

Viva México!

So, I just got back from Mexico and, like an unbelievable geek, I spent a long time watching sports at the resort. You know, between drinking and sitting by pool/beach/bodies-of-water.

Anyways, Mexican football is something totally different. I've never watched Mexican football before, and the style is very different than the game I'm used to.

The central midfielder's role is very different than it is in the European game. Where in the game I'm used to the number 10 is a holding midfielder, responsible for the defensive and offensive side of the game, making runs, distributing passes, all that stuff. In the Mexican (or maybe South American, didn't watch enough of the rest) game, he's got a very different role. There, the number 10 has time to wait, see what happens, and distribute the ball more evenly. Also, he typically doesn't run, and doesn't find himself doing much in the defensive zone on a regular basis.

Also, they've (number 10s) figured out how to make defense unbelievably tricky. Long shots have far more importance. Smashing the ball from around 25 yards on a regular basis if there's no easy or obvious pass. I think it takes something away from the creativity of the game, but obviously it makes defending more difficult because you need to cover strikers, wingers and the long shot... which you typically don't see in the European game.

I say it wouldn't be a bad idea to implement the long shots into the English game - we pride ourselves on power and have been victim to a severe lack of creativity in the past 10-40 years. I say the hell with it, give the ball to Lampard/Gerrard/Carrick/whoever and let them smash the ball from 25 yards and confuse international defenses.

I'm not sure how coherent this post is, I haven't slept in a while - but yeah. Point being: Mexican football interesting, number 10 different role, long shots are awesome, defending is tough.

Last point: this picture is amazing, hopefully a sign of things to come? Mexico + Spurs = long shots and Giovani dos Santos being more used? I bloody hope so.


Andrew Bucholtz said...

Great photo. That looks like a horrid sunburn. On the long shots, United have been trying that a fair bit recently: Rooney, Scholes and Carrick especially like having a go from 25 yards or so, and it sometimes works.

Phil said...

Although the two great Mexicans of North London in Vela and Dos Santos play different roles, anyone who's ever seen Vela play for Arsenal wonders how the hell Dos Santos is perpetually on the Spurs bench.

The two are both rated equally highly by most observers of the Mexican game, one might add. Dos Santos is even half-Brazilian!

sa said...