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Football is saved by keeping each other, not by separating » Stadio Ennio Tardini Parma

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(Written by Filippo Galli, from – Technique versus tactics, individuals versus collectives, (supposed) tradition versus innovation are non-existent contradictions. Italian football does not help itself by continuing the mistake of separating what is united in practice: a continuous flow of actions and reactions that are trained in reality, not by isolating elements.

After the defeat of the senior team at Euro 2024, many are grappling with the topic of the day: How can Italian football resume? One of the answers, and perhaps the most obvious, is “From the youth sectors”I have read and listened a lot and I would like to try to make my modest contribution as a former footballer, as a former youth director of a big club, but above all as a passionate person who has also studied the phenomenon by closely observing, with open eyes and minds, the best international realities.

Technique vs Tactics?

“Too many tactics, let’s get back to technique,” This seems to be the new motto of the founders of football. A vision that repeatedly separates what is in fact united in a continuous flow of external stimuli to which the footballer responds (or even tries to anticipate). I will try to explain myself better: tactics allow the player to choose between different solutions available to him; and the choice made requires the application of one or more technical gestures – sometimes simultaneously -. In other words, technique in itself is neither an end nor a solution: it is a tool to solve game situations on the field. If we continue to separate technique from tactics, we will always return to the starting point, that is, to fall behind in the most virtuous footballing movements.

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Do you do the “simple things”?

I recently read that (it doesn’t matter who said it: I want to talk about ideas, not people). “There are no strikers because they have not learned to play as a nine, to shoot on goal, but to make the team move forward, to connect with the midfielder.”Are we sure? In football schools, in the youth sectors – professional and non-professional – there is still a proliferation of walls, walls, pitchforks and coaches who pass the ball with their hands to the player who must return it with the inside of his foot, the instep and so on. We are still in a mentality in which we believe that in order to learn a technical gesture you have to reproduce it endlessly outside the context of the game. Will training our children to shoot at goal outside the context of the game allow us to believe that the central strikers will become more productive? Once again, I invite you to think: football is a team sport, associative, not individual. And I strongly doubt that the great strikers of the past never thought about being part of a team.

The same argument applies to goalkeepers, who, according to some, are not named. “purity” From the role, they should return to blocking, not playing with their feet and even Set from below:In fact, the national team goalkeeper, who is our best goalkeeper and among the best ever, was trained at the Euro’24. Set from below Since 2013. Again: Why do we artificially separate what is from each point of view? Continuity?

collective feeling

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In short, it seems to me that despite the commendable search for solutions to the crisis that has exploded before our eyes, some misunderstandings persist. Let us remember that football is a team sport that is often commented on as if it were an individual sport; more than that, it is a sport “with open skills”that is to say, the footballer acts in a game context with multiple variations, given not only by the group (teammates), but also by the opponents and by the playing space itself: in all this, the individual and the organization, through technique and tactics, interact continuously. The individual (let us take Lamine Yamal, chosen as a reference model for his young age rather than for his great footballing maturity) is exalted because he has already practiced his technique, but he has always practiced it within a collective and exploits the organization to bring out his talents.

Some modest suggestions

the Methodological aspects The ones we have talked about so far are, in my opinion, fundamental: but equally important are other aspects related to them.‘organized And for Youth Sector ManagementI will try to list some of them.

  • need for assurance Professional dignity To youth workers. The advertiser does not comply with the procedure: When a club needs to cut costs it always starts with the youth sector because it is an activity that is considered a cost and not an investment. I have experienced first hand the project of creating a file. Team B In Milan, it was aborted for economic reasons: this was the right path and I am happy that today Milan, in a more solid financial situation, has returned to this project which – I believe – will achieve sporting and economic results.
  • In this regard, it is necessary to put in place a policy that tangibly rewards – making the investment sustainable – those clubs that do so. They invest in the area and try to increase the number of players who reach the first team, Put an end to the phenomenon Player trading Which mainly involves foreign players.
  • Finally, we need to try to address the mechanism through which artistic and other figures find space in the youth sectors. Agents and lawyers. This is not to question their qualities, but to put an end to dynamics that sometimes do not respect merit. Filippo Galli, In collaboration with Luca Villani da

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