Italy vs. USA 2/29 - the midfield

Discussion in 'USA Men: News & Analysis' started by schrutebuck, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    I wonder if the Edu and Bradley just sunk back to help cover the backline as a result of the building pressure and one of them (Edu, nominally as the #8) was supposed to have been a little further upfield in that space.

    If the tactical plan was to have only Clint mark Pirlo, or cover that space, than it's both a stupid plan and Clint executed it poorly, as he was often hovering right behind where Pirlo was, and you don't task your withdrawn forward with marking the deep lying mid when his primary function is to be an offensive weapon.

    I think Clint was staying there to provide an outlet so we didn't just completely put 11 behind the ball. Thankfully, this isn't an issue we'll have to revisit, as there's not a ton of Pirlo's around.
     
  2. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    It isn't unusual to have this sort of plan. The attacking mid/second forward is the logical guy to ask to put pressure on the other team's deep-lying mid(s). I do agree that Clint's attention to Pirlo was only intermittent. Btw this is why a deep-lying mid who is a good playmaker is such a valuable commodity. First, he can playmake while helping to maintain good defensive shape. Second, if he is a really dangerous passer, the other team has to peel off one of its attacking players and ask him to defend more than is usually the case.
     
  3. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

    May 21, 2010
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    It's actually pretty common, especially when dealing with someone like Pirlo.

    The thing is, Pirlo's not like any kind of great marker, so if Clint moves around on offense, Pirlo will have a tough time tracking him.

    Whereas the nature of Pirlo's role, the deepest player in the midfield, means that if HE moves around too much on offense, it leaves the defense more exposed than they were when they had an attacking midfielder guarding them...
     
  4. Editor In Chimp

    Editor In Chimp Member+

    Sep 7, 2008
    I know it's not uncommon; I guess I just think there were better options around minute 60 than to have a tired goal scorer try and check Pirlo. Like pulling Jozy, moving Clint up top and having Sacha try and mark Pirlo with fresher legs.

    But like we've all said, its not a tactical issue we're likely to deal with.

    And MO, I agree. When a team is sinking back like we were, a deep lying playmaker is incredibly valuable. That's the kind of tactical situation where Torres comes in handy as an option.
     
  5. TheNearPost

    TheNearPost Member+

    May 21, 2010
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    That's understandable, and I think that was one small tactical slip up that Juergen had which could have come back to bite us but didn't.
     
  6. Bob Morocco

    Bob Morocco Member+

    Aug 11, 2003
    Billings, MT
    Pirlo being a tough, offensively self-defeating mark for Dempsey is almost the entire raison d'etre of the deep lying playmaker. If the attacker in the hole doesn't collapse Pirlo's space there is no natural counterweight.

    When PSV played all those great ties against Milan in the Champions League Hiddink solved this by having Beasley slide inside from his RW spot and man-mark Pirlo for the majority of the game. When, a couple months later, we played Italy in the World Cup, Donovan was in the hole and he spent a lot of energy harassing him.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Pirlo completed 91 out of 106 passes. According to Zonal Marking "usually he plays 81 passes per game with 85.4% completion ratio."

    To apply an effective press on Pirlo someone else would have been needed in the 10 spot. An Energetic center forward who could play two positions might have sufficed.

    Of the four front runners Dempsey, Williams, Altidore, and Shea only Dempsey was ever going to offer anything going forward. Williams deployed on the left is a runner who provides strong defensive work. Shea doesn't belong at this level. Altidore occupies space by default through the dearth decent center forwards.

    Playing Dempsey in the 10 spot against Italy and Pirlo represented certain compromises. Looks like Klinsmann and co recognized this and had the team thoroughly prepared. 9 offsides and Howard didn't have to stand on his head.
     
  8. Maximum Optimal

    Maximum Optimal Member+

    Jul 10, 2001
    We did see Boyd run around quite a bit and at one point he tried to yank Pirlo's arm off. That's one approach. Pirlo didn't look too pleased with that.
     
  9. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    Yep. He harried the man and won as many headers as Altidore. Provided pre-injury Davies like energy. Looks really raw though...

    But that type of center forward who can when the team is not possession alternate with dempsey in covering the a Pirlo type player and then once the ball is won get forward into the attack is ideal.
     
  10. Dirt McGirt

    Dirt McGirt Member+

    Jun 20, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Club:
    Seattle Sounders
    Country:
    United States
  11. IndividualEleven

    Mar 16, 2006
    91 out of 106 passes. Pirlo had a field day working the quarterback position. Bradley and Edu and Boca and Goodson were however excellent shutting things down over the middle with Bradley and Boca being particularly brilliant in the 2nd half. The flankers were stout defenders.

    Unlike Spain in '09 who for some reason didn't attack the flanks and at pace Italy did what it wanted and needed to do tactically. US had a sweet plan and better execution especially given the constraints imposed by all the injuries.
     

Share This Page