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The Roar


Is it possible to coach 'football intelligence'?

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Roar Rookie
8th November, 2018

The realities of developing talent rather than blind spending on importing players make it a more friendly metric. It doesn’t require the large quantities of cash needed to refresh it.

One area that can improve reducing wasted resources on the wrong players is the identification of talent. Scouts need to have an idea of how a Pirlo, Iniesta, or Messi looked like when they were kids.

Development academies are filled with players loaded with athleticism and passion but bankrupt in football intelligence. It is this football intelligence, whether players get it or players don’t, that can have a profound impact whether a player will be successful.

Unless they are identified and given the training they need, the game will continue to populate athletic and passionate players who can’t play because they don’t think the game right.

Reducing the numbers game, putting 1000 kids through the academy for a return of one star, to a more rational process of efficiency that proves effective, will save a lot of kids the heartache of rejection. This is easier said than done because it’s hard to compete in a market where the worlds top players come from cultures that have big populations.

Mark Milligan and Mile Jedinak react after the Scceroos' loss to France

Are the Socceroos lacking in football intelligence? (SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Nobody knows 100 per cent what will transpire along the way, and it appears the mantra, “You’ve gotta buy a ticket to have a chance of winning the lottery,” still holds.

Decisions have to be made, and everyone has to live with the consequences. Decisions can be critical, fallible, humbling, and a reminder of the potential weight of their actions. The players and coaches perception, decision, and execution, are ingredients that define performance, and style ensures belonging and an identity people can connect with which has a lasting impression.

Players get defined with their positions and roles, and coaches get defined with their formations and tactics, which in football language translates to the colour and character of their team performance being described,


Quick, efficient and spectacular counter-attacks, which lead to goals being scored with few touches and passes.