Thursday, February 5, 2015

Oh boy, here we go....

We could get into a variety of topics based on Jurgen Klinsmann's interview with Fox Soccer the other night (and with the reaction from Alexi Lalas, for that matter). I am not quite ready to pick apart the coach's various remarks at this time, but I will say that it has become routine to hear him tell everyone how any problem issues with US results came via some outside factor he can't control (such as a lack of knowledge in his critics). Alrighty then, but it might be a good idea to lay off telling people they don't understand what he's doing until he can concede when glaringly obvious coaching errors occur.

And by the way... experimenting with tactics while you experiment with personnel is fairly useless. You experiment with tactics when you have the true first team or close to it, coach. Otherwise, you've instituted tactics with a group of players that won't be there when the chips are actually down. The original tactics helped the team excel in World Cup, but were obviously yet to be perfected. Frankly, I am not even sure why these other two experiment sessions and the increased position shuffling have taken place.

Anyway, have a look and have at it in the comments. I'll just go make some popcorn.

Klinsmann talks stars returning to MLS, team... by FOX_Sports_Interactive

- Greg Seltzer


dikranovich said...

that was certainly close to the first team against chile.

no, this shift in tactics is just about exactly what is needed.

if Marcelo bielsa was the manager we would be employing a similar set up.

if Louis van gaal was manager, he too would use something like what we saw the other night.

so basically two of the most progressive, bestest coaches in the world would have the USA playing similar formations and tactics as our national team coach.

im sure both of these managers would expect players at the highest level of fitness.

coach klinsmann has this summers gold cup, and next summers copa America to prove his worth, and that is called accountability.

dikranovich said...

its clear to me, Copa America next summer was not about throwing the USA a bone on south Americas 100 anniversary. it was an acknowledgement that, an alliance between north and south America is needed, and wanted.

an American team not winning the world cup on American soil should only help to strengthen that resolve.

Tony M said...

Thank you, Alexi. To quote My Cousin Vinnie, 100% dead on balls accurate. To summarize:

- He's wrong
- Even if he's right, it happened under his watch
- It's what coaches say when they run out of ideas.

dik: I was going to ignore you, but your ability to miss the point is so breathtaking that I can only imagine you do this on purpose.

Pragmatic Idealist said...

I don't think adding the 3 5 2 is about adding a tool in the tool box. I think JK is spinning that a bit. I am not really sure why. I can think of two reasons.

One- his players are revolting about it. Jozy and Jones both complained to the media about the system.

Two- he doesn't want to over commit to it yet, as he is still trying it out.

I do think the intention was and perhaps is to find the right system for the player pool. I think the 3 5 2 fits well WITH JJ at CB. It doesnt fit with many others there.

IT allows JJ to get up into the midfield from CB and it gets the winger players more actively involved.

So I am curious to see if he sticks with it. I liked it. I thought they looked better in possession and working out of the back in the first half against a high pressuring team than in a long while.

I like three central mids with two forwards. Its not that different than the 442 diamond in some ways... It provides three central mids.. keeps two forwards while still maintaining the width... so it corrects that weakness of the diamond.

So I would like to see it continue. I agree that you don't learn much one half of experimentation. But who knows..

brian said...

the sky is falling! the coach is experimenting with formations 3 yrs out from the next WC...AHHHHH

Tony M said...

Trolling nonsense

dikranovich said...

Tony M, come off it, please. Alexi can say anything he likes, that doesn't make him right. Alexi in one breathe is saying the coach is out of ideas, and that's while we are discussing new ideas and tactics, and not just discussing them, but also implementing them.

Actually what he said was coaches point to conditioning as the culprit, when they run out of ideas, and he is saying this in the face of a tactical change.

A segment of the fans are almost always going to have it in for the national team coach, for one reason or another.

Tony M, I think you should be on record as stating what coach Klinsmann needs to do in the gold cup and copa America, in your eyes, in order for him to retain his job. This way, if he meets those goals, you can't just mouth off, like the whiny little Californian you act like.

Brad said...

I counter Alexi's claim that you can't question American fitness level, with Brek Shea. That guy was gassed by the 60th minute v. Chile.

brian said...

Lexi got little too carried away IMO. Sure americans are known for there fitness, but that doesn't mean this group of guys, in January, are where they should be. That dude just likes to hear himself talk.

brian said...

DIK - you think there is a chance JK doesn't lead the Americans into Russia in 2018? He can flop in gold cup and copa (which i don't think will happen) and i think he still has reign.

Unknown said...


Traditionally the US has been a fit team. Yes Brek has not played a full 90 in a long time. Yes the MLS players have been in off season. So they all didn't look too sharp against Chile. But I don't think Alexi is making this call based off one game. Either JK is not focusing on fitness or he is over doing fitness training. Both can leave players tired after 60 so minutes

dikranovich said...

Brian, I don't think coach klinsmann can faulter at the gold cup, and follow that up with a group stage exit from copa America, and still expect to keep his job. If he won the confederation cup play in game, after losing this summer, and started off strong in qualifing for 2018, he could still keep his job also, maybe.

the real point at this time is for USA to build up and win this summer at our confederations main event.

We have to many fans in this country who insist on looking past the immediate competition as it is.

Tony M said...

dik: How about this. He should be held to EXACTLY the same standard as his predecessor. Bradley had exactly the same world cup result - better, actually, since he won his group - and was fired for not winning the Gold Cup. So - he's gone unless he wins the Gold Cup. Which buys him the COPA America... which buys him the WC. He says players shouldn't be comfortable - so why should he be?

Everyone: the fitness issue is classic misdirection. He wants us talking about anything but his tactics. But, go back to what Lalas said.

IF fitness is a problem, then this is a problem THREE years into his reign. (And by the way, it was always the one thing that never was a problem with American players before.) Doesn't he have some responsibility for this?

Unknown said...

Quick aside -> AJ put AZ ahead of Ajax. Ajax is down to 10 men and its 90'. If the result holds it'd be huge!

dikranovich said...

well tony, how about the gold cup playoff? I mean, say he makes the finals of gold cup, but loses, but then gets the win in the playoff, which I presume will be before the copa America.

so essentially you are saying he needs to qualify for confederation cup, then what about copa America? is advancing to the finals of this event good enough to keep him in the post?

no doubt coach klinsmann has a bit of a gauntlet to run between now and 2018.

Greg Seltzer said...

Quick question: do you ever hold the coach accountable? Is there anything to ever criticize for legitimately?

And what Van Gaal would do with Oranje or ManU is hardly relevant because he would not have their rosters as a US coach. I have no idea how you think you know for sure what either would do with this team.

As for so-called fitness issues, if it was such a great concern, then why did he only use four subs? And if he wants them to arrive to January camp more fit, then he should call them up sooner. Anyway you slice up the excuse, it comes out rather thin.

dikranovich said...

tony, our coach is german, not Russian. his comments are not a form of maskirovka. if anything, it is brutal honesty, at least as he sees it.

tony, ill tell you who doesn't want to talk about tactics, is greg seltzer.

he wants to tell us that man united and Holland are so special, its his form of brutal honesty as he sees it.

he will not include beilsa in this because he knows beilsa does not coach world class teams, but whatever.... just forget that. its not like a formation with three center halves has won every game in which it has been used anyway, and we know it hasn't lost every game either, because it was the USA formation at the most important dos a cero game to date.

tony, what does the freaking score need to be on sunday for you to not be so critical of our national team coach for like ten minutes? what god dang score would placate you? 3nil, 4nil? give me a score for sunday, please...

you to tsar gregor.

starting today, im holding the fans and the media accountable!!!

dikranovich said...

you know, I cant believe, by inference, I just referred to Holland, who have never won a world cup, as world class. I stand corrected on that point.

Holland are not world class, but they do have some world class players.

Greg Seltzer said...

That is wonderful, but nobody suggested they were world class. I did say they had a stronger roster, which means you managed to cram a strawman and a goalpost move into the same remark. Kudos.

dikranovich said...

dingleberry, I suggested they were world class, but then corrected myself.

dikranovich said...

and give me the freaking score for sunday, please. I want accountability from the both of you.

tony USA___ v panama____

gregor USA____ v panama____

fill in the blanks. no pun intended.

dikranovich said...

this is not your guess at the score. this is for the score that will satisfy your quench for blood.

Greg Seltzer said...

Okay, it is time for you to stow the delusions of grandeur and let other people participate in the discussion. Stop taking up nine comments to say nothing.

Joe Bailey said...

I personally like the 3-5-2 formation. things went bad or worse when we went back to a 4-4-2. I would put a real wingback on the left and make it a 5-3-2. AND, if players gotta play out of position, then I'd have Brek shea up front with Altidore. Please stop the Jermaine Jones experiment (Let's Get Serious!) I'm willing to let a couple of games go by to see how we look. I can't stand Klinsmann, but so far in the major tournaments he's led the Nats in, he's solid.

Pragmatic Idealist said...

Ppl are complaining a lot about just at CB but in the first half the US possessed a great deal better due to his movement out of the back.

I can see how it can work. I can not see Omar that active and with composure under pressure. I don't know many US CB's thst are.

There were still obviously mistakes and things to fix but I thought there were flashes that showed how it could work.

Greg Seltzer said...

Actually, no. Not only are you forgetting that horrid turnovers in front of your own area are included in the category of possession, but the US had 44% of the ball in the first half. They had 47% by FT.

dikranovich said...

Hey kids, the USA had 44 % possession in the first half, and where 47 at full time, so what was their possession in just the second half? Yes, exactly, 50%. Real good little Johnny. Would you like to tell us how you came up with that. 44 + x / 2 = 47. Good job

1st half score 2-1. USA

final score 2-3 chile

So how many goals did the USA score in the 2nd? None, right. Chile: 3-1=2

Side bar: I was playing FIFA last night and had a similar possession breakdown. But on the newest fifa version, it breaks possession down into thirds. so you get the total number, but then also where on the field was the possession. Lo and behold, I was behind three points in overall possession, but in the attacking third, I was up 6 points, yes, that means I was down 9 points in the defensive and middle thirds. And I was up 1 nil. It was Sunderland v palace. Black cats won 3 nil

Greg Seltzer said...

What exactly is your confusion? He said the US possessed better in the first half, I simply informed him that was not so.

Please say something relevant in the discussion or I delete the clutter. No talking about others, no wild misrepresentations, no repeating the same thing you already said 412 times. You are not the only person here.

dikranovich said...

No he didn't, he said the USA possessed a great deal better, and that was only part of a larger quote, which you neglected to mention. You have not given possession numbers over the entire field. They will show USA possessed much better in the first half, in the attacking third, and got paid off to the tune of two goals.

Greg Seltzer said...

Exact comment I replied to:

"Ppl are complaining a lot about just at CB but in the first half the US possessed a great deal better due to his movement out of the back."

So yeah, I am not sure how you suppose to fool people with overt falsehoods when they can simply scroll up two posts. Nobody said anything about final third passing or finishing or scoring.

Seriously, cut the act. Everyone is tired of you Godzilla-crushing discussion around here.

Pragmatic Idealist said...

Greg- Where can I find those stats? I googled but I can't see them.

I watched the game twice and the first half they seemed to a lot more of the ball that led to more scoring opportunities.

JJ in was doing a great job of off the ball movement from the back. I can think of a particular sequence on the right where he even made a diagonal run and cut a pass back.. the result was the US holding the ball through possession all the way to the attackign third.

That type of possession is what I would like to see more of and that type of off the ball movement where players are not being static in their positioning.

I am not doubting your numbers. They just don't jive with what I remember seeing, what I've read from other analysts or the scoring trends.

No doubt, he had one really bad give away but I don't mind that too much at this experimentation stage. They need to get that confidence. One of the largest problems the US had in teh world Cup is that didn't seem to have the on the ball confidence to possess the ball calmly against the big teams. They were playing too fast and were trying to play everything on the counter. JK said something similar and its what I saw.

One reason I like Besler so much is he seems to have that composure. WE miss that in most our CBS. JJ does bring that... he also brings over confidence and risk taking... which are not good.

I am not sure which is a more reasonable expectation... on the ball composure and mobility from guys like Omar or more conservative play from JJ.

Anyway- I think ppl are getting so wrapped up into what JJ is doing badly that they are not seeing what he is doing well at the position.

He does bring strengths to the position.