Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Daniel Agger is my hero
Daniel Agger is fed up with Woy Hodgson's tactics. He's fed up with English tactics.
On a local television show in Denmark, the Liverpool center back unloaded on his manager:
"The manager has a philosophy that we're playing football further up the pitch and then you have to play a different kind of football at the back.
That's not my style. That's not the type of football player I am. I like to keep the ball on the ground. And I'm going to keep doing that. Whether he'll use me or not, time will tell."
Absolutely brilliant Danny boy. It's no secret how much I detest the English style of play - limited ability to possess for significant lengths of time, resulting in long balls and clearing lines without regard for the simple pass. Playing further up the pitch would be construed as an attacking mentality, and it is. However, it is far from efficient if play begins with a defenseman kicking the ball as far as he can. Why give yourself a 50% chance of winning possession when you can have 100% assurance from a timely, simple, well executed pass? Last time I checked, Barcelona's back line play at midfield and you'll never see a long ball.
I admire Agger for taking a stand. How could you not? A mainland European player, with an astute ability to hold possession with composure, speaking out against a system that neglects such individual ability. Yes, the pace of the English game is unlike any other and makes for exciting open play. But it is sloppy, rash, uncalculated, and outdated.
The current European Champion, the current World Cup champion, and the last five Champions League winners have played the non-English way (Manchester United is debatable). That is more than enough context to support Agger's complaint.
"I'll have to adjust a bit. But to be honest, I'm not going to adjust 100%. I'm a footballer who keeps the ball on the floor. I'm here to play, not to unload."
Don't adjust even 1%. Best case scenario, he gets sold to an Italian or Spanish club in January where his style of play is enforced and employed. England is no place for the beautiful game.
*On a side note - if you watched Liverpool lose to United over the weekend, you may be quick to chastise Torres for marooning himself as a lone striker. True, but also shortsighted. His teammates left him there on his own, as Mereiles and Gerrard sat too deep, Maxi Rodriguez showed little creativity, and Joe Cole, well, he's crap. Not to mention the fact that Liverpool had scored only two goals going into the weekend (and got two more on set pieces). You call that attacking football Roy? Perhaps you should listen to your center back. I think he's got a point...