Monday, 4 July 2016


on saturday gemany played italy in the quarterfinal of the euro 2016 . i had been reading about the game and some of the headlines had been that it was a chess game . i dont think so . i think it was just an average with both teams trying to cancel each other out but on the offensive front both the team were lacking the cohesion and the crisp passing that was needed . germany rightfully played the same formation trying to nullify the advantage that italy were having with their formation . this formation was giving italy a very good advantage which i thought that they never ever fully exploited . they always had an extra man in zone and if they had tried then they could have taken a bit more deeper in opposition half and created more chances for themselves but conte is more of a defensive coach than the offensive one and he had set that up with the idea of stopping opposition and denying them space on offense . this thing will interest michael cox of zonal marking because he likes to talk about formations and gives  upto most importance to the formation than the style of play the cohesion in the team and the players who make it happen . but italian formation had created headache for the oppostion they were not able to find any space in their half unless finding a italian player in front of them . conte had made sure that he would have a player on every 10 yards  in his half on defense . he was atleast not ready to let opposition have space in the middle of the park . he was ready to give space on the wings but not ready to let the ball being worked out inside . they were comfortable with the crosses since they had three big men at the back who had all the years doing and dealing this . germany had to nullify italy's formation and they just didnt wanted to get their flanks overloaded and give a chance to italians on offense . he played the same formation with same idea of denying the space to the italians . both the teams had the overall same size of player all over the pitch but the difference was with the ball playing ability of these players with the germans far too comfortable with their superior technical skill set . while the italians had the front two in very good form with both combining each other very nicely but the rest of the cast hadnt been able to get on the same page with these two .all and all both teams trying to play a very cagey game where on they tried to deny any spaces to each other and never tried to over commit so as that they dont get exposed . they worked very hard to close the gaps 
the game started with both the team playing safe game with teams not trying to over press . they waited for the ball to come into the midfield and then press . the midfield was a very congested zone so the game was played more on the flanks than in the middle of the park . the germans have the ball playing capability but were not able to work the ball inside to cause any trouble to buffon . both the teams tried to play out from the back and both didnt tried to press things and why the game was cagey can be revealed by the fact from the statistics of the number of touches that the centre backs had of both teams . the english commentators are far better than the english team and their knowledge of the game is far better than roy hodgson . when they germany had the ball they wanted germany to mix it up . they wanted germany to cross the ball into the box atleast when the ball was on the left side they wanted it cross which was correct to create the impression that they are there to cross it and mix it up by working the ball in but keeping the option of cross open. that is why germany had more threat from the right side because kimmich was ready to cross and then  they mixed it . the trouble with germany was that both muller and gomez were not on same page like eder and pelle who would find his partner any where on the pitch . kroos and ozil were criticized for not having enough influence on  the game but if you had seen carefully then pelle and eder both dropped into the midfied to deny kroos any time on the ball and tried to mark him .
there are two important things that i need to write and that is why i said that the players make the formation tick . sturaro started in front of the back three while porolo started on right of sturaro which had been his position throughout the tournament . de rossi was injured that is why sturaro got the chance . why de rossi is import to this formation and what was his importance . first off sturaro  got himself carded unnecessarily so  conte had to switch between him and porolo . porolo was bought in front of the back four while sturaro went into porolo's position .
now the importance of the players can be justified during germany's first goal .gomez started in the centre but shifted onto left so brazagli went with him . if you had looked at the diagram then ( video embedded too ) there is a considerable space between brazagli and bonucci who should had come a little bit closer to deny that space which was there between these two . secondly muller started from the midfield so it was porolo's responsibility to go on with him and close him down but he didnt . what i want to say is that had de rossi been there then he would had given bonucci the shout to come closer and narrow the space . secondly he would had gone with muller . thirdly there two player marking gomez and gomez is not known for his dribbling ability  so giacherenni should had gone closer to him and closed him down . he had cover from brazagli . this is the kind of personal decisions which make the team tick and loose the game .
all and all not a very good game and germany will have to do much better if they have to beat france who are not that organised but have good individual quality. italians raised their own expectation because they beat spain but then other than having a good front partnership italians didnt had any other player who would change the game for them .