Weekly Review 23rd – 29th January 2012 “Football in Thailand”

29 January 2012

It’s 2am and I’m in Sydney. We arrived here yesterday morning and it’s been 24 hours of erratic short sleeps and sleeplessness. Being in Thailand was fun, but glad I’m here now and can’t wait to get properly settled down for a bit in Canberra, and try live a stable life for a few months, get a girlfriend, etc. But this blog is about football, and I honestly don’t have much to report.. I just did my thing trying to keep up with the 20 hour week improvement schedule bracing midday, 30+ degree humid weather on a dirt field, practicing my dribbling on the beach (I would run along the shoreline and pretended that the whitewash was the defender chasing me) or in the long corridors of the high rise hotel in Bangkok ((was expecting security would come but they never did!), or running in my flip flops , finding cheap gyms, keeping my eyes peeled for nice football pitches, and more. Alternatively I could of sat on the beach and had thai massages all day, but I’ll save that for that when I’ve made it.. until then it’s all about the focus and no excuses. And that’s why holidays sometimes don’t really feel like a holiday to me. But I did ride an elephant.

Through all my game analysis this week, which was crap to do because the Internet was shite and I had to watch repeats 🙁 I’m going to share some of the notes I take when I’m watching these games, unedited.

– there are lots of times when players do a one two around another player, like in the centre of the park.. if you see that coming then act on it by blocking that second pass or closing attacker down quickly when they receive the one two. man utd blackpool.
– carrick tries to take a quick first touch past chamberlain as carrick thinks chamberlain is running full pelt at him about to put in a tackle, but chamberlain smartly stops two yards before carrick and carrick touches the ball straight to him
– gerrard sees space for maxi to shoot in, so before he passes, he dribbles close to scholes who is nearest to maxi, passes the ball to maxi and blocks scholes immediately after he gives the pass so scholes cant tackle maxi. The end result is maxi has a lot of time to pick his shot.
– gerrard is a SMART player, he’s on the counter attack with the ball and there are three liver players who are making runs ahead of him. but Gerrard goes to the right because evra will chase the run of downing and therefore he has the space to take the shot. on the left there were two red shirts and four blue shirts.
– the best players are not afraid to take people on, there not hiding and hurriedly looking to keep ball possession, they’re trying to make things happen.

So this probably doesn’t make sense to you, but The last thing I said was about the best players not being afraid. I do/did have a characteristic that I play cautiously and not try to make mistakes, and while I think that’s changing now, I now see it and understand when people like Moses say to me “don’t be afraid to take players on”.

It’s one of those things that are said to me repeatedly, and I listen, but It still doesn’t break my fear about taking players on and fearing the coach will mark me down. At the end of the day, coaches want game changers. When I see the top players play, I see that alot of the time, their little moves, passes, dribbles don’t work out, but when they do, they create a great chance or perhaps set something up for themselves and that’s what will stick in the minds of people. So that’s why now I’m getting confident about taking players on, trying things and not being dissapointed if I screw up like I used to, and that adds to the fun of the game and in the end, confidence. Coaches will see that and talent + confidence is going to get them interested.

Next Week
So this week it was 18/20 hours, but reasonable I was with family, another country, traveling, etc. Next week is 15 hours because of all the moving back to Canberra. If I wasn’t setting this weekly task for myself, I would of probably spent only a few hours on football in the last two weeks, and this is why sitting down, reviewing, and setting this goal for yourself every week is so damn valuable.

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In 2009, I was an average soccer player with a dream. I started this blog to document my journey from local underdog to getting offered over $100,000 in soccer scholarships, a contract to play professionally and the experience of playing in Europe.
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