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Decisions Players Make

Port Said Red

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I found this article very interesting.


I found myself wondering what extra decisions SO'D is asking the players to make over and above those you would imagine they have to make during the 90+ minutes.

Is it just a question of when to keep possession and when to try a more attacking ball, or is it tactical decisions like, how deep to defend, when to tuck in/ play wider?

If it is the latter, then I can see why it would take players longer to get used to that added responsibility and as Baldock says, to develop the level of trust needed to go along with that decision when made by a fellow player.

People on here have talked about "getting rid of deadwood" and the change in personnel under SO'D, but I wonder if the biggest change he has made within the squad is to add more "intelligent" players who can cope with this change in philosophy?

This may also explain why some of the youth players, who appear talented, have not made the step up that JB and BR have?

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It's probably both, but certainly choosing the right ball to play at the right time is crucial.

Sean O'Driscoll has a reputation for passing football but it seems to be assumed that means only ever playing short passes. Sometimes, though, the long pass will be the right option and sometimes, though hopefully infrequently, the hoof into row z is the right option.

Whichever style you favour, an uninspired side will simply stick to it with no variation and limited results. It could be the pointless hoofing of a Pulis team, or the equally pointless endless passing between the back 4 of a Wilson team. The trick is to get the players to mix the two styles up and to know when each is appropriate. To do that the players need confidence and the belief that it won't be the end of the world if they get it wrong. That is what O'Driscoll has been instilling.

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I'm sure that at the start of the season I read where SOD said that he was asking players not just to make to make the right decision (about pass selection I think) but to make the decision quicker.

I think the speed of decision making is the one that takes players the longest to adapt to, and this was evidenced by Pack in the Rovers game. Any number of times he made a poor pass/lost possession because he allowed himself to be put under pressure in the wrong part of the pitch because he didn't move the ball on quickly enough. By comparison, Shorey rarely looked under pressure, because it seemed as though he knew the pass he was going to play even before he received the ball because he is sued to playing at a standard where the quickness of players thinking is on a different level than we see.

In the first half, apart from Rovers being dire, you could see that we moved the ball very quickly and this didn't allow Rovers to get at us, so probably helped make them look so poor.

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