Previously, I looked at the 2010 FIFA World Cup report with a little disappointment. At least as far as formations are concerned, the reports correctly notes that a lot of teams played first round matches not to lose. A few varieties of formations from match to match was observed. Some of these were a variation of the same formation depending on individuals, coach tactics, and the stage of the World Cup.
Brazil, Germany, Netherlands and Spain played with 2 anchor men, or defensive midfielders who fortified the defence and helped their teams unfold forward to beef attacks. It notes that there were traditional 1-4-4 2 and 1-4-3-3 was played with essential variations. The modern 1-4-2-3-1 was used by a few team with different interpretation. Less goals were scored. Personally, formations are over-rated, especially by those who know little about the game.
All coaches have a taste of how to play different players depending on their qualities, who in turn will react depending on the situation. The truth about any situation is, teams build around defensively sound tactics that give players freedom to express themselves. This was a little successful given that the finalist, Spain and Holland used these tactics throughout. Brazil were the other team which was not smart enough to use this fruitfully against Holland in the quarter-final. The report says there were teams that used 4 defenders, except Algeria, New Zealand and Chile who used 3.
There is a look at the confederations performances Of note is the progress of Asian football. There were 2 Asian teams for 2nd round matches, Japan and Korea Republic. This was seen as a big way forward as it was a first, disregarding the Korea/Japan 2002. While the report does not highlight good youth development as responsible, but surely, the J-League has been serious in getting youths to Brazil and bringing coaches for their development. Asia went a step up as 3 out of 4 of their teams had home-grown coaches.
An obvious fact that was never going to escape any analysis, that is, how amid pregnant expectation, Africa disappointed. Ghana youth development came tops and 5 players came from Under 20 FIFA World Cup winners of 2009. All African nations, except for Algeria, had foreign coaches. Most of these had no clue about the African culture and ways of football and hired on short notice. Some were brought in just for the World Cup. African teams have something to learn from Asian teams.
The other points of note was that 85% of African footballers in the 2010 FIFA World Cup were contracted to Europeans clubs. One point I liked is the inclusion of the fact of 2 major tournaments in a row, AFCON and the World Cup. This weighed heavily against players and a burn-out both physically and psychologically. There were a good this of note, especially with the fact of few injuries and even less injuries with less severity.
Does the 15% locally based African players justify the bad performance of African teams in the World Cup?