Football | Opinion

Our Coaches Lack Tactics, Vision

Most football coaches in the country are game watchers. Nadi’s Kamal Swamy and Lautoka’s Ravinesh Kumar being the senior most coaches failed to strategize. For now, for flair and verve, Rewa and Ba are the country’s two best footballing districts.
20 Aug 2020 10:31
Our Coaches Lack Tactics, Vision
Rewa players, officials and fans celebrate their Punjas Battle of the Giants tournament victory at Churchill Park, Lautoka, on August 16, 2020. Photo: Fiji FA Media


If football is a game of passing and possession and is a measure of dominance, then two teams have learned best the art of the beautiful sport.

The 2020 Punjas Battle of Giants winner, Rewa and Ba, who finished third after beating Nadi 2-1 have grasped the tiki taka style of football in the country.

Rewa lucked out 8-7 against Ba in their semifinal shootout win to feature in the grand finale.

They went on to win their 9th B.O.G, championship with a 1-0 win over Suva last Sunday.

Both, Rewa and Ba are excellent sides that play with a lot of confidence, finding space in the tightest of situations.

While Rewa have had the experience riding on their backs, Ba with a pool of tournament debutants passed in triangle formation and hit neat swivels with soft feet much like seasoned caps.

These teams have displayed quality football during the Punjas B.O.G.

The rest of the premier teams’ lagged in connecting a string of passes, cohesion. What’s worse is they looked to the only option that was to launch a long ball looking for men up the top.

That is with a hope the strikers use their strength, hold it up and then smash the ball.

Unless Nadi, Lautoka, Labasa, Nasinu, Suva and Navua improve on the technical and tactical know-how of the game, much of what was seen during the B.O.G, will be replicated in the tournaments ahead.

It is, though the coaches’ job to find the technical and tactical mix for the greater good of the game.

Great coaches have the knowledge to identify technical players and a team’s ability to perform on the field.

And they read the games, use the tactics and act accordingly.

Most football coaches in the country are’ game watches’, Nadi coach Kamal Swamy and Lautoka’s Ravinesh Kumar being the senior most coaches failed to strategise.

Labasa’s Ronil Kumar is another who rides on the players’ back for his success more than what he knows about the sport.

Their level of organisation, formation, vision, spatial awareness, and effectiveness comes into question, they are their district’s B.O.G run failures.

For coaches to be successful, they must understand essentials of the tactical and technical mix for the game.

The terms ‘technical’ and ‘tactical’ are opposite but when both are done well, it makes a team nearly impossible to beat.

Brazil’s 2002, World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari writes in his 2004 biography, ‘My Tactical and Technical Win’, he said play smart, read the game and do not be a fan.

“There are many tactics teams have to use, tiki-taka (passing and exploiting space), and “parking the bus” (all-out defence), the Brazilian style.’

“It all comes down to chemistry, but without technique, it is almost impossible for tactics to work efficiently”.

But how often coaches in the country relate to Scolari’s and other great coaches’ tips.

For the standard of football to improve in the country, it is essential for coaches to improve in the technical and tactical areas. Only then the sport will be labeled as the beautiful game.

For now, for flair and verve, Rewa and Ba are the country’s two best footballing districts.



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