Defending the objective

All footballers have different tastes and priorities or philosophies. The school of thought you subscribe to,  will affect your point of view and what you value in each and every match. Here, the key is to understand the point system in place when you are playing league matches. Long ago, victories used to be awarded two points and a draw for one with none for losses.

The concept of three points for a win and one for a draw has made the share of spoils less attractive. One thing that remains is the vitality of the single point, if push comes to shove. To a radical view, it becomes an all or nothing affair, but to me, that is fatal.

The best and only approach for me is to understand that at kick off, the result is 0-0. It remains that way until a resultant force tips the balance of scales. The question of which way the favour goes will illustrate my point. If you are the one calling the shots, praise God, but if not, then we can not overemphasize the trouble of trying to come out of that pit.

As the whistle blows for kick-off, take that 0-0 as a point in the pocket. As the match wears on, think  of how much you are doing to keep that point. By the same token, keep in mind that while we have it on hand, it is not going to fee our families. This mindset sets you in a tactical platform even as you set up your team for the match.

It is a tug of war whereby you are sticking to your guns while trying to gain ground. Always make sure you end up with at least what you started with and even more at the final whistle. This thinking will make you think of building your team from the back going forward. It will make your training start at looking at closing the doors before probing.

Loosely, at first glance, it looks like a defensive philosophy, but then, you do not attack naked. Dressing up forms part of your defensive mechanism as you prepare to go out and fight.

The same can be said in Cup matches, but then, you may just end up with that 0-0 score line while you do not have a penalty kick saving machine or a dead ball specialist. You may be pressed to avoid tha scenario at all cost. The other team may also have the same concerns and that situation will present you with loopholes to exploit as the concerns are going on.

At the end of the day, the approaches differ as a result. You will realise that the idea of being the co-Cup holders at kick-off is real. It will be either letting go of your end or getting the other hand to hoist the shield. You do not want a pound for pound boxing match. You just want to clobber the guy and walk away.

Tournaments will present the best of both world if there is a round robin arrangement. You want to get points. You begin with half the deal that you do not want to give away and eventual deliver a knockout blow. You are still mindful of the knockout blow that may end your dream.

Depending on the outcome of the first few matches, you may play for points as if there were a Cup final. Everything is thrown into the match and you know there will not be a second chance to be in the same tournament for ages to come.

It is vital to note that big teams will field reserve team players in the early stages of the Cups and tournaments. This serves two things. The level of professionalism due to lower division team involvement may mess up the first team players and they may not cope. You do not want them to lose to bad playing armature teams. Of course there may be injuries.

The other reason is that the fringe players will always through their all into the game as this represents an opportunity into forts team football. They also may be at the same level as the smaller teams they play, but they have the advantage of the brand they represent. It boils down in reading the situation well and make prudent decision, which may not always carry the day for you. ]

After all is said and done, you must always have the pride of knowing you planned well and did the best there is and still failed. It is very easy to see if you have been beaten in mind games,and in that case, you cannot wait for revenge, either to the same team or whoever comes next.


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