Guest column by by Yogesh Maurya (Football coach). Today he deconstructs Bengaluru FC’s match against United SC and talks about Why Ashley Westwood Got It Right!
United SC enjoyed majority of the possession in the second half and Bengaluru FC continued to fall back and get numbers behind the ball much to the frustration of many in the crowd, as BFC’s hard work defensively was often wasted with rapid turnovers in transition. Someone in the crowd asked inquisitively, as if there was no explanation, “what the !)(#%} is wrong with them?” The answer in football is not as complicated as many tactical pundits would like fans to believe. “They are tired” I let him know.
And herein lies the difference between a smart manager and a casual fan. When you have a 1-0 lead at home with the top of the table on the line, your central striker has had an off day missing two fairly easy chances by his standards which could have made the game a 3-0 washout, and the team is still getting into peak physical condition, you dig in, get numbers back and grind out a victory. Job well done.
One never had the feeling that United SC had that little bit of creativity, momentary brilliance, or cold blooded finishing prowess to ever really threaten. Even late in the game, they managed a free header after some impressive build-up play but again, their lack of killer instinct was all too obvious on a soft header hit to the goalkeeper.
The first half was a tell tale sign of how BFC would triumph despite on what could be termed an off day for quite a few of the players. United SC had lost their attacking lines, with the play-making “false 9” Eric Brown dropping very deep to receive the ball. The issue was no midfielders pushed forward leaving deep space between United SC’s midfield line and forward line…instead of checking back, the forwards (now 2 against 4) pushed the line, hence, the end of the false 9 and the emergence of playing right into BFC’s hands…long balls against Johnson and Osano…need we say more!
The second half saw a much more effective United SC as they played through the industrious, gifted No. 7 Jayanta Sen. Sen did what he was unable to do in the first half, showing his comfort on the ball while maintaining possession and playing others into space. Eric Brown finally pushed further up the pitch and began playing much more as a false 9 but without a strike force that could capitalize on his play-making abilities. He was left trying to create his own shots, settling many times for strikes from distance. Had BFC pressed further up the pitch with the way Sen was playing, United SC would most certainly have broken BFC down and been given far easier chances at goal.
Bengaluru FC is a start-up. Building a team takes time and is a process. And this process already has them at the top of the table.
Man of the Match BFC – John Jhonson
For my ticket, John Johnson and not because of the goal, but because of everything he did after the goal. The organiser, the leader, the courageous defender who along with Osano took everything United SC threw at them.
Man of the Match United SC
Jayanta Sen. Clearly a player to watch…terrific on the ball technically, has that photographic lens that the best playmakers have to see all of their options, and often chooses the best option
Indian strikers – Sunil Chhetri & Robin Singh
Robin – A player with a lot of pace that is quite anxious to show his worth and in that anxiousness, we see a player that is slightly off in knocking balls without lifting his head, losing the off-side line too easily. Just needs to relax so that his pace becomes an advantage and not a detriment
Sunil – Chhetri showed his class with the volley from the top of the 18 yard box late in the game that was on target. He is a player that thrives on the ball on the counter. Out on the wing, it is challenging at times to await the ball, and I would expect him somewhere down the line to start pinching inside more. There will come a time where he will get a freer role and can play more interchangeably with Hangal and Beingaicho when the team has matured enough to handle it.
Yogesh Maurya :
Was a United States High School All-American football player and represented the State of New Jersey as a player in the US Olympic Development Program throughout his teenage years. He has worked with some of the top coaches in US football like former US National Coach Bob Bradley, former US International Dieter Ficken and corever youth coach Tom Reilly