Impression with Zak Whitbread

Discussion in 'Youth National Teams' started by Shaster, Sep 17, 2003.

  1. Shaster

    Shaster Member+

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    One of my co-worker is a hardcore Liverpool fan so he paid some money to have access to Liverpool game archives. Since I don't know which games Zak played so I just checked out the second half of Liverpool vs. Tailand when Zak made his first team debut.

    First impression, he always passed the ball to the midfielders--in this case either Gerrard or Murphe. Some times he passed to the one in front but his passing are very accurate. One good thing after seeing so many US young defenders just booting the ball.

    Second, he didn't show how fast he is. He is able to hold Tailand attackers on the check. In one case, he was left one-on-one with the attack but held his line. By comparision, the right side of Liverpool's defenders were run over by Tailand players few times--Tailand players are short, fast and have decent skills. Includes Hyypia and Biscan, but never happens on Whitbred. So he may have decent speed.

    I will find out more about the games he played.
  2. striker

    striker Member+

    Aug 4, 1999
    I am not sure that one can conclude too much from a match like this. If our U17 plays against inferior opponents in a friendly, my guess is that our defenders would try to play the ball out of the back field too. Yes, our defenders in general are not good (or are horrible) with the ball at their feet. However, a lot of the problem also has to do with our midfield players. If they don't show well for the ball, the safe thing for the defenders to do would be to boot it up the field. This is one aspect of the game that had not been discussed much when we bashed the booting tactics of our U17 defenders this past month. Of course, I hope that Zak is really a good passer of the ball.
  3. Shaster

    Shaster Member+

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    From the game I watched on U-17 vs. South Korea, our defenders did boot the ball even have plenty of spaces or someone they can pass too. In Zak's case, even with some pressure on him, he still can one kick a ball to his own teammates.
  4. ChrisE

    ChrisE Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    Nat'l Team:
    American Samoa
    Of course, Zak is a couple of years from being an U-17 (a few very important years, mind you). I don't think the fact that Whitbread was able to complete simple passes to his midfielders is really that impressive, regardless of our defense's failings in Finland. I'm sure that in two years, Spector, Valentin, Owens, et al. will be a good deal more comfortable on the ball as well.
  5. Shaster

    Shaster Member+

    Apr 13, 1999
    El Cerrito, CA, USA
    OK. Let me talk my word back. How about this? The last U-20 team I saw with Donovan in there, our defenders will kick the ball out of stadium when there is no opponent around in 10 yards. They are older than Zak at that time.

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