The Gift of Stoppage Time author analyzes why you don't have a striker mark a striker.
There is a good reason that you don't let your best striker mark their best striker. It's because your best striker is NOT going to be as interested in defending their best striker as he is in attacking...period.
So it was mind-boggling that Sweden let Ibrahimovic mark (or at least TRY to mark) Shevchenko on the game-winning goal. Shevchenko did the old "loop around" (it has never worked so well) run and it left Ibra grasping at air as Shevchenko knocked home a brilliant near-post flashing header to give the Ukraine a massive 2-1 victory on their home turf.
Leave the defending to the defenders. It was a tactical blunder by Sweden and it cost them huge points. But on the day, Ukraine looked the better side and the 35 year old veteran knocked home two goals to give his team three critical points in their opening match.
There's a reason proven goalscorers are given the big bucks and it's not to defend corner kicks. Unfortunately, Sweden learned that the hard way today.
In the earlier match, a bull-headed England side hung in there with France to take home a point in a rather stale 1-1 affair. Both teams looked happy to cancel one another's strenghs out for most of the match. But it was France's failure to put more in the net that led to the draw. Lescott scored a great header with his face (that's how I scored some of my best goals!) and Samir Nasri answered for France with a crushing striker that uncharacteristically beat Joe Hart at the near post.
Some questionable moves for England left me quite baffled...Milner instead of Walcott? Ashley Young up top? He is sooo much more effective as a winger. Welbeck instead of Defoe? Welbeck was awful. I am not happy that Frank Lampard is hurt, but it does allow Hodson to play somebody else in the midfield with Steve Gerrard. For all their global talents, Gerrrard and Lampard have never been a match made in heaven in the middle of the park.
Parker is such a work horse that he compliments Gerrrard very well in there, though I would have liked to have seen Steve more involved today. England will change drastically once Rooney is back, but until then, the above recommendations have to be in place from the first whislte.
Who would you rather have on your team...Ibrahimovic or Shevchenko?
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