Blog: Zambia (U20) 2 – 1 Amajita…. A tactical view
By Coach Franklyn Malambo
For many individuals seeing the Zambia U20 team battle South Africa in a preparatory friendly match brought excitement as it brought forth further insight into the future of Zambian football.
On show was desire, will, skill, effort, bravery, gusto, verve and hunger especially for the hosts whilst the visitors also gave a good account of themselves.
The team looks good but here are few things that need polishing vis-a-vis the ”Three Main Moments (Own Possesion, Opposition Possesion and Transition).”
Looked very impressive on the ball and very forward thinking as evidenced by the multi forward forays.
However, we can still use the ball better for more chance creation.
After seeing the performance against the Amajita, it is easy to know why the team was low scoring during the spanish tour. The build up play is okay and the triangles were visible in the final third but the lads looked rushed and at times out of sorts.
More composure and self belief will be key. The boys are good with ball manipulation and should not feel inadequate when out of passing options. There is a good tempo about the team but more combinational play can help us in enemy territory.
More than 10 corners in one half is a positive sign, yet the conversion off the same is unimpressive largely due to poor delivery and lack of variety in the use of set plays. The ‘5Ws and H’ (What to do, When to, Where to, which one and How to) all seem answered when we had the ball except the front men can provide even better movement to aid chance creation.
It is better to create and miss than not create at all. At times its important to keep rotating the ball, let it do the work and make the opposition tire as doing such means you take long on the ball and reduces risk of turnover.
We can also work on overloads and release players like Sakulanda, Mwepu and Kalunga in issolated 1 V 1 against defenders
We looked exposed in the middle especially in the second half after our endurance got questioned hugely because of choice of fomation and system.
We have elected to use width and wing play which left us with only two central midfielders and lots of space for the opposition to exploit.
Attacking with full backs helps us maintain security as the wingerrs tuck in and narrow the angles. We kept our shape well and restricted them to long range shooting except at times our defenders didnt look convincing in isolated 1V1 or 2V1 situations as evidenced in the penalty conceded.
The press and counter pressing worked well and the boys will need constant reminders of knowing when to engage and when to hold especially against a possesion based opponent. The defensive basic principles of Concentration, Balance, Communication, Depth, Control and Restraint seem to have been taught well and must be upheld.
Probably the Most demanding as it requires and relies on all forms of speed i.e pure, tactical and techncal.
The first 6-10 seconds after losing or regaining possesion are critical. The ‘ 5Ws and H” are very critical here and players must always be switched on at high concentration levels.
Matches are lost and won on the transition which can either be a positive (win possesion and attack) or negative (lose and defend).
Finding the space when with the ball and closing the spaces without.
Conclusively a great job has been done so far but at this level, there is always room to get even better. A bit of polishing wouldnt go amiss.
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