Football Tactics for Beginners- The False Winger

A relatively new one to the lexicon of the footballing world, the false winger is often associated with players that drift inside to make...
Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9.

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A Cold December Night In Stoke

The Premier League is the best league in the world.Of Course it is! Stoke City are playing in it.So what if the La Liga has got the world’s best two players(Actually they have got about 8 in the top 10) they cant do ‘it’ on a cold December night in Stoke.

What does Wayne Rooney say of Lionel Messi after the Argentine destroys Manchester United on a relatively warm night in London?

I’d like to see Messi try that stuff on a cold December night at the Britannia ...

So why couldn’t the Premier League Champions play like Stoke,and then Rooney could have known whether Messi can do his stuff.
What do Premier League pundits say when a young teenage star from the beautiful shores of Brazil displays footballing ability which make the English stars look like school boys.

Stoke will kick the [email protected]#t out of him

What if Messi can leave you dazed,what if Xavi can pass the ball into the net?.Ronaldo can score a freekick from anywhere,so what?

No defence in the world can handle those rocket like throws from Delap 

See,the numerous examples which are offered when one questions whether the Premier League is the best or not,all end up somehow connected with Stoke City.
So the reasons which make English Premier League the best in the world is not the clubs like Manchester United,Chelsea,Liverpool,Arsenal nor players like Rooney,Torres,Bale nor the thrilling 4-4 draws nor the fact that the last weekend itself featured 14 changes to the 3 Relegation spots during the 90 minutes.
The reasons are
  • The Chilly Weather In England
  • The Month of December
  • Stoke City
  • Britannia Stadium
  • Rory Delap’s arms
  • Ryan Shawcross’s tackles
  • Tony Pulis’s Cap(Heard my friend saying that it may disrupt Xavi’s passing)

What is it about this cold December night at the Britannia which makes it the toughest test to pass? Is Stoke really that tough to beat on a December night at the Britannia. So let us take a look at the stats.

Stoke this season have played just two home games in December,against Fulham and Blackpool.They arent exactly Barcelona and Inter but atleast one of them have got a Michael Jackson Statue.Shockingly and i got a mini-heart attack when i got to know Stoke lost both these matches.So Blackpool(who by the way are relegated) who are the mini-Barcelona or rather Barcelona*10^(-2300) could beat Stoke on a cold chilly night at the Britannia why cant the real Barcelona do the same.
Lets look deeper and see why Stoke lost these two matches.
What happened to Rory Delap’s throws?
As you can see most of the bullet-like throws failed to reach their target,none in fact from the right hand side.So when people like Cathcart can comfortably deal with Delap throws why cant Pique and Puyol?
So what about Shawcross,didnt he manage to break anybody’s legs?
In the above graphic,the blue dots are the successful tackles and the red dots are the unsuccessful ones.As Shawcross has a strike rate of about 1 leg break per 243 unsuccessful tackles,the three red dots are disappointing and will realistically never lead to a leg break.
So what was the problem,was the weather not bad?
The weather in England as Carlos Tevez will testify is always bad.So the great English notion that Stoke City at Britannia on a chilly December night is a fallacy.
Also there is one more case to study,Tony Pulis’s cap.Well it couldnt disrupt Clint Dempsey or Charlie Adam’s passing,so what effect would it have on Xavi’s?

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