Games in soccer have distinct names portraying different style of play. We have the world well known style of play from Barcelona called Tiki-Taka which is a style of play characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession.
We had shoe shine and piano style of play from Mamelodi Sundowns during the era of Zola Mahobe which later becomes carpet football under Ted Dumitru. We also have German tactician Ernst Middendorp well known for ultra-defensive techniques of parking the bus to avoid defeat. Ernst Middendraw enjoys draws than victory or defeat
Now there is a new style of play emerged in South Africa called ‘’Champagne’’ football under Coach Roger de Sa at Orlando Pirates. The emphasis of champagne football is starting the attacking movement of the ball at either left or right back. Offensive moves are initiated at the back by either right or left full back whilst the central defender is responsible to cover up for the left or right back in attack whilst the libero (sweeper) will be giving instruction regarding where to close down at the back.
This system allows left and right full backs an opportunity to attack the opposition team. Right and Left full back spent a lot of the time in the opposition half than defending but the weakness of champagne football is that any effective counter attack by an opponent can resulted in a goal due to thin defence. Any left or right back without pace, skills and good eye for goals can’t fit into champagne football.
In the midfield, champagne football is characterised by two anchor-man with balance offensive and defensive techniques and two effective wingers with blistering pace to penetrate the opponent. The two anchor-men are responsible to dictate terms on the opponent and also keep shape of the team going forward and also defending. The two anchor-men must possessed skills and good attacking and defending techniques. Champagne football also has a free role player behind the striker to confuse the opponent. The free man always joins up in attacks and also in defending which resulted in dominance in the middle of park.
Champagne football can be easily stopped by dismantling the anchor-man in the engine room and also closing down the effective wing play to limit adequate supply of the balls to the striker. Champagne football doesn’t work by attacking from within. It is very effective by attacking from the wings with both left and right backs joining in attack to add more pressure on the opponent.
Champagne football always uses the lone striker tactic but the beauty of this football is that any player is a potential goal-scorer. However, its attacking weakness is that it doesn’t produce avalanches of goals. A striker in a champagne football will never be league leading goal-scorer as this style of play is all about dominating the game by maintaining the possession.
By Owen Mundalamo
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