Minor Rant On Football Intelligence

Discussion in 'Korea' started by skimmilk, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    I didnt want to pollute the KKJ thread because this isn't isolated to him.

    I dunno whats the source, whether it be PJS or Barca or what, but many people on this forum totally overvalue intelligence. Would I prefer our guys to be super smart on and off the ball? Sure. But there are a lot of players for lots of good teams who aren't the brightest tool in the shed. And lots of teams who are successful who don't play flowing football. Best teams in the world? No. But we're talking about a KNT which doesn't even have established starters for many positions, or EPL clubs which seem to be doing fine playing one grade better than kick n rush football, etc. United did pretty fine last year in the EPL playing rigid, at times unimaginative football even if they didn't compare vs Barca in the CL finals.

    Having football brains isn't a prerequisite to becoming a very successful player. Your goal is to get the ball in the net, and if you can use superior speed, physical force, or ball skills to get it in there, so be it.

    This is not to say I don't value intelligence. It frustrates the crap out of me when I see players miss the pass that will unlock the defense, or stand around when they should be stretching the line or whatever. But its just one piece of the pie.


  2. gambeta

    gambeta Member

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    I don't remember seeing a team full of unintelligent athletic freaks succeeding. Again, like in that other thread where we had a similar discussion, I would use national teams in Africa as my examples to prove this. Top notch African teams may have better individual players, but their teams overall aren't much better than ours.

    I would agree that there are successful players out there who have solely relied on their inherent abilities such as athleticism, pace and strength, but most, if not all of them have freak of nature physical/athletic attributes which even our biggest and the most athletic players can't match. Whilst the likes of Kim Kyung-jung and Kim Shin-wook are athletic when compared to other Korean players, they're average at best when compared to the world's best. We need to play intelligently to win games at the World Cup, like we did against Greece in 2010.

    Also, speaking of last season's Man United, sure, they played some dull and unimaginative football, but there were more than just a few genuinely smart players in their squad. Being intelligent doesn't necessarily equate to Barcelona-like football. It means knowing what to do to win games. Uruguay aren't the most creative team in the world and are notorious for playing defensively, but they sure do have A LOT of brainy players.
  3. koreansock

    koreansock Red Card

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    Skim - I don't think you are in a full understanding as to what intelligence is. Go play more Football Manager.
  4. jsk14

    jsk14 Member+

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    i view intelligence like any other skill. others have it more but might lack in other areas. some people develop game intelligence earlier on but like most things in life a balance is ideal. people can overcome a lack of intelligence with experience. certain positions require greater intelligence than others mostly those in the middle of the pitch.

    i agree with skim its only a certain attribute which in most cases outside creative midfielders and central defenders doesnt require excessive amounts.


  5. koreansock

    koreansock Red Card

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    On a more serious note, intelligence is a loosely defined term and everyone has their own definition. Therefore, to some, it's an important asset, to some, it's not.

    To me, just as when someone is academically intelligent, a player is intelligent when he learns 10 things from being taught 1. It's the player's ability to imitate plays and movements he witnessed from videos or set examples. It's also on how well the player makes uses of his skills and how long the skill lasts with the player after it's been obtained.

    After a couple of years into the professional career, all of these become a drill, but just as it is in a business setting, there will always be someone who's able to envision better and know when to mix and match different skill sets instead of approaching all situations the same way. This, in the footballing world, is the ability to distribute passes to players without looking and the ability to notice a lobbying or through ball opportunities--or if you are someone who's used to doing lobs and through balls, the ability to know when to take the different route.

    Basically, intelligence is what makes a player a brighter player. It doesn't always have to be about creativity and it is not necessary required to be a good player.
  6. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    Last I checked, most of our players abroad were among if not the absolute fastest on their team regardless of ethnicity. CDR relies purely on his athleticism to get him through the day, cause he's a pretty poor defender IMO and quite often out of position. I dunno how fast/slow you were, but most athletic koreans that I know are about as strong per pound / inch and explosive as anyone I know.

    Obviously, a team full of athletes without a brain has no chance. But to say that EVERY player on our team needs to be intelligent is absurd. First, we can produce athletes who can rely on speed and ball skills if they don't have the strength (which frankly is something that is fixable on our team).

    Second, a good manager can utilize tactics that reduce the responsibilities of a less intelligent player. An intelligent central playmaker can similarly offset less intelligent players.

    Lol. Full disclosure. I've never played a second of football manager. I played Fifa for a short stretch around WC94 on the PC, a very small amount in college against buddies usually after large amounts of alcohol (I was more of a NHL 95 guy), and a short stretch last year. (EDIT: I do play FIFA on the iphone occasionally on the crapper but I doubt that counts for much).

    I fully understand what football intelligence is, or frankly what any athletic intelligence is. But my point is summarized by this:

    1. Football intelligence is not a prerequisite to "making" it as a football player. Because KKJ may be making many mental mistakes on the pitch doesn't mean that he can't succeed.... just ask Walcott. Now KKJ may have other issues that prevent him from succeeding, but insistence that they're lacking intelligence ergo they will not make it rings so hollow.

    2. Even great teams can have numerous critical players who don't have much football intelligence. Just as they can "make" it, without the best footballing brain, they can also contribute to our team. We are a team with lots of holes and no depth. We can use talent of any sort.

    Now the level of discourse on this forum is better than most of what I read out in the universe, but I also think this forum not only has a bias towards certain TYPES of players, but also over-denigrates players who don't have certain qualities.
  7. gambeta

    gambeta Member

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    I'm assuming you're referring to Park Ju-young and Lee Chung-yong. Ironically, they are two of the smartest players we have.

    I never said that every player should be required to intelligent, but dumb athletes always be secondary choices. We simply can't have dumb players play for us in big matches. Cha Du-ri is hands down our best athlete, but he shouldn't be anywhere near the starting lineup when we play against world class opponents.

    I don't have much to ask him. He sucks and so does Arsenal and England.
  8. gambeta

    gambeta Member

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    It's a huge part of becoming a quality player, especially when your skills and athleticism are only average when compared to the world's best (e.g. Kim Kyung-jung).
  9. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    SHM, NTH, CDR,... go on down the line. We have ample speed to burn. Koreans are pretty athletically gifted IMO.

    I'll take CDR's athleticism over similarly crappy skills and inferior athleticism from what I've seen on the right and left.


    My point is that one of the least intelligent players on the planet can start for one of the biggest clubs in the world. YOU may not rate such players but SOME people do.

    So I don't think KKJ will amount to anything on the order of our top players, but a lack of footballing intelligence doesn't prevent them from achieving one of the goals all of our players want... to play for a huge club on the biggest stages.
  10. dudedudedude

    dudedudedude Member+

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    High intelligence can get you so far. Play any sport you'll realize you are limited by your own athleticism/skill. if you play someone of similar athleticism/skill then intelligence becomes the deciding factor. whether it's speed, power or technique, a fitter opponent will get the best of you at some point in the game. You can be the smartest player on pitch but it won't matter if your opponent can force you to err 1 out of 10 times. You' will be always be playing at a disadvantage.

    Think of a player like Robben. He will always zoom past you at one point in the game. Dudes fast and agile w/ the ball. If you want to defend agiainst Robben consistently you'd need to be fast and agile to some degree. Then you could block his shots.
    If your not fast or agile enough then, you'll have to force Robben to the wings where he's more predictable. aka forcing a cross. less threatening. Better then Robben in the center where he can shoot or pass.

    Your athleticism or skills are the most important traits in any sport. High intelligence will allow you to maximize on your athleticism and footballing skills. If your dumb and super fast then you'll have a higher chance of mistiming your runs. Also, you are slower to learn from your mistakes.
  11. gambeta

    gambeta Member

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    Both Son Heung-min and Nam Tae-hee are clever players.

    That proves nothing. What's important for me is that Arsenal will be shite as long as they put faith in players like Walcott. Same with England.
  12. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    Doesn't defeat the point that we're a fast country which offsets lots of weaknesses on other sorts on many clubs. And technically skilled to boot. Intelligence is a bonus for many clubs.

    And if Walcott were Korean, I wouldn't like him much more as a player or want him on the knt but he'd still be pretty f'n successful.

    Of course footballing intelligence is a very important asset but I do think that there's an expectation here that if they don't have the awareness of PJS that they're $hit and doomed to failure and not worth having on the nt. I disagree and that's that.

    Anyways I've said my 2c and the responses don't even make much sense so I'm moving on.
  13. K:thecore

    K:thecore BigSoccer Supporter

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    I think that looking at players like Park JS and Theo Walcott tells you all you need to know. Park isn't an especially athletic player, relatively speaking. But his intelligence really takes him to another level. Contrast Theo, who has a ton of natural ability and athleticism but couldn't find his way out of a round room if forced to. If he had an ounce of Park's positioning and foresight ability, he'd be an absolute beast. But he fails primarily because he's reallllly dumb.
  14. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    Obviously I think Walcott is terrible. But on the other hand, I do think he's a good comparable because he isn't a hulking brute style player.

    If wenger were to fall in love with a korean player who is similarly gifted AND flawed, and start him every week scoring handful of goals despite mental ineptitude would we consider him a failure?
  15. K:thecore

    K:thecore BigSoccer Supporter

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    You mean you don't think Theo is terrible because he makes poor decisions and runs with the ball with his head down most of the time?


    His suckiness can be actually measured because most of the time he sucks, it's usually because he's off on some lone tangent that's probably low percentage.
  16. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    No, I think he's terrible for the reasons you describe among others. But my point is that as we get more and more players into Europe, we'll might get more variety in the types of skills and weaknesses that our players have. And some less intelligent players may go onto greater successes on a personal basis than even our smartest players.

    In summary, less writing off of players because of intelligence alone because wo knows if they'll become the next Walcott. You can write em off the NT if you want though I perosnally don't think we're good enough to throw away slightly less moronic players.
  17. gambeta

    gambeta Member

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    It's because you really aren't going anywhere with the point you've made. No one said that unintelligent players are doomed for failure. I'm saying that players who solely rely on pace and strength must be secondary choices unless their inherent abilities are completely off the charts (even then, we should still try to minimize their responsibilities) which usually isn't the case with most of our players. Honestly, how many world class players (or players who are even close to that) can you name who doesn't have a high football IQ?
  18. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    Which is why you're proving my point. I never mentioned world class players and its always very binary here with a very high threshold for minimum intelligence... world class or walcott.

    My whole point was that its very frustrating in these forums due to this binary and absolute judgements on players.

    This was intended to be a rant and discussing this point is just as frustrating as the source problem.
  19. koreansock

    koreansock Red Card

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    If you aren't 'intelligent'--using your definition of intelligence here--you don't bode well with other more intelligent players, especially when you are either a forward or a midfielder. It's not that hard to understand.
  20. gambeta

    gambeta Member

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    I have no problem with making absolute judgment on players who can't rely on anything else but their athleticism, especially when their athleticism itself isn't even good enough to negate their lack of intelligence. Players with low football IQ don't have the projectable attributes to give themselves room for growth. But in Kim Kyung-jung's case, it isn't even about him lacking intelligence, because he lacks basic "skills." I've yet to see him do anything else other than running with the ball. He can't pass, cross or even shoot.

    You also brought up last season's Man United as your example to suggest that unimaginative teams can still be successful which is a moot point, because being unimaginative doesn't mean you're unintelligent. Man United may not be entertaining to watch, but they're studded with intelligent players (Rooney, Giggs, Park JS, Chicharito, etc) and so are Uruguay which is another team that rely far more on solidity at the defensive end than creativity going forward, but they're still up there with the best of them when it comes to playing smart football.

    Bringing up Walcott would be making another moot point, because when everyone is healthy and available to play, he wouldn't start for Korea.
  21. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    Of course its not hard to understand. Again, I'm not saying its an important aspect to the game if you read any of my repetitions of the fact.
  22. Tomzep

    Tomzep New Member

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    So I just caught up on this thread and I think its important to remember that its important to have both a sporting ability and in game intelligence. Without intelligence players cant exploit their advantages which I think is often the case in Korean football. I live in Daejeon and write for a british site as well as keeping a tactical blog about Daejeon Citizen, and its a lack of in game ideas that means Korean sides dont exploit their skills to the maximum.

    For Korean sides to do better internationally they need to understand how to dictate games and ensure they are set up to get the most out their physical and tehnical abilities. Thats what Hiddink did so well
  23. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    While I think any manager would love to have guys who have tons of both, the reality is that you can get by with a handful of very intelligent players, a bunch of smart enough players and one or two who get by with physical talent. But you need a good manager to build tactics and chemistry to exploit / manage it.

    As for Korean football, I think knt wise we have plenty of bright footballers right now but ckr didn't leverage that and fostered a lot of indecision instead. Combine that with an excess of youthful mistakes and you get the mess we've had

    And of what I've seen so far of the defense, a bit lacking in both attributes.
  24. olijolly

    olijolly Member+

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    Your comment on our defense... idk. Hong Jeong Ho seems to have both actually. He's fast and stout and can read the game well. However, he seems to have lapses in concentration which is more due to inexperience. Another attribute I saw in Yoon Suk Young. He's really a complete fullback but seems to lack experience.
  25. skimmilk

    skimmilk Member+

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    I have to say the past few rounds have been harder to gauge against the level of competition we faced. I hope what you say is true. Perhaps I'll fire up the YouTube time machine and revisit the problem on my next slow work day. Oftentimes I have a hard time gauging these things on individual vs the qualities of the entire back four in aggregate (ie the mistake of one defender makes the other guy look retarded)

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