Monday, April 18, 2005

Season Review - Winning Eleven

We had a good start to the season - sitting on top of the league after 3 games and were looking invincible. Then a slip in the mid-season pushed us down the table but we managed a draw against Euphoria in the last game to secure a much respectable place - 5th out of 12.

If we look at the league table, the problem with Winning Eleven was the inability to pick up any points against all the teams placed above us, despite playing well and leading against Freshers. Of course the other side of the coin saw us beat all the teams placed below us apart from Wu Dang and Euphoria.

The fitness of the team as a whole has not been good and we generally slowed down in the 2nd half and that was when we conceded probably 80% of the goals. It was particularly difficult if you have to chase a game when you concede an early goal. Only in the game against Fortune had seen us win a game after going a goal down.

One of the biggest improvements is the organisation of the team. From organising (thanks to Kenward and Raymond for sending the evites) and gathering (meeting 15 minutes before kickoff) to positioning (everyone knows their positions and adapts to the role) and playing (having some sort of tactics - the kickoff routine, the long throw in etc), the team has been playing much better than last season.

It would be a hard battle to keep up the standard next season and the imminent departure of our goalie means a capable replacement needs to be found.

On a personal front, I am finding it increasingly difficult to find the extra yard of pace. If you lose pace, it is very difficult to get away from the defenders. It looks like that I have to play like Teddy Sheringham (the extra yards are in his head). But I am happy with my goal return this season - 10 goals in 11 games. I am 1 goal short of winning the Golden Boot Award for the 2nd season running, but I know I should have walked away with it but for the eventual winner scoring 5 goals in a game where the opponent played with 8 men only. There is always next season...

I am pleased with the varieties of my goals - 2 freekicks, 1 acrobatic volley, 3 headers (!), 2 penalties and 3 other which I have forgotten how I scored. That acrobatic volley (half overhead kick) must rank as one of best goals I have ever scored! :-)

See the League Table here
See the Winning Eleven results here
See my goal history here

As usual, you are welcome to leave your comments here.


Anonymous Kenward Ma said...


Said the other way, we beat teams that play physical style (the young Paul Smith to the long-ball Fortune United and J-Hill), but could not manage to beat any team that pass the ball well, including Freshers. We have to understand that we are getting older and are no longer able to play like 10 years ago when I loved to sprint half a field with Ah Sing playing sweeper. If we are to survive, we MUST change our playing style.

As a forward for many matches, I found it frustrating and tiring to sprint all the time to chase a ball when there are at least two defenders waiting for me, or most of the time sprinting much to free up space and received no passes. Therefore, it's about the mindset of not hoping to score by speed. 90% of the goals the team scored came from rare team work and not by high speed counter-attacking, so we can probably deduce that hoping to beat the opponent by speed has never been an option indeed.

I hate Chelsea for the way they play, but they do have a lot of one-touch passes that can tear up the opponent easily. I don't think we can't pass; just that we don't have passing as the first priority. Top teams seldom rely on their forwards to beat the defenders; instead, the forwards usually wait for the midfielders to come up and create chances for them. I am sure we can also do the same because a lot of players on this team can score when at good positions.

Anyway, good luck for the Challenge Cup and I'll see you all next season.

- Pegasus

3:42 AM  
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