Originally Posted by Vegas
I agree to an extent but, just as an example, look at Athletic Bilbao against United at Old Trafford - a high climate team playing in cold conditions. They played at a high pace but, because they were far superior technically, they looked much more comfortable. Even playing counter attacking football at times. The trick is improving the technical aspects sufficiently whilst maintaining some pace of football. No easy task.
I don't want us become a Spain lite. This current Spanish wankfest and the Sky driven obsession with statistics means that possession and number of passes are valued, when passing 100 times between your centre backs boosts both figures. It's the important passes that count but improved technical ability allows you to keep the ball until those passes can be made.
I agree totally. I remember football when I was young and when we could dominate many European sides with a high tempo game as they just couldn't cope. I also remember in the mid 90's being suprised at just how good the Juventus side during that period was when I think Man Utd tried to play that way against them. Rather than play a stereotypical Italian way and get men behind the ball and keep it tight they went like for like and although not being used to playing at that tempo, because they were firstly technically sound and then fitness, pace and strength had become more necessary and things had developed they were now much able to cope with the tempo and also play accurately with the ball theirselves.
The problem is we play that way all the time, so we put more emphasis on strength, pace and fitness, whereas their starting point tends to be more about technique.
+I always remember Juninho talking when he joined Boro and people were saying that Nick Barmby was too small, weak etc. He said that in South America they don't dismiss small players as easily as we do as they feel they can manipulate the ball better.