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The unknown truth about ‘Maximized’ possession football

Written By Themba Khumalo on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 | Wednesday, February 19, 2014

We don't expect football commentators and self-proclaimed experts to know what can happen in an important match when, for example, a team imposes on its opposition 140 passes in the first 12 minutes of the game - as it was the case of Barcelona's ball possession factor against Manchester City last night.

The multi-side effects of forcing the opposition to chase the ball for long periods is not generally known thus the true value of 'maximized' possession in modern football is still ignored.

The truth is that when a technically and tactically intelligent team enforces sustained possession on its opposition it also inflicts PSYCHOLOGICAL damages. 'Ball deprivation' - especially when the opponents are used to enjoy their own possession game, e.g., Manchester City – leads the respective players to frustration, anxiety and errors.

These negative effects on performance are the result of sudden changes in the brain chemistry and NOT because of 'wrong tactics' as Robert Marawa's panel of experts would wrongly insist.

This is an essential aspect of modern football and it is expected that professional coaches and technicians to have full knowledge of it. Apparently, they don't. 'Maximized' possession football has far more benefits than we are prepared to accept.

Fortunately, superiorly developed players - particularly the new generation of young talent coming from elite programs, e.g. Barcelona and Manchester City – will continue to prove and perfect the trend. South Africa can do it too!

By Ted Dumitru
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