First Touch

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First Touch

Postby SammyHughes » 03 Sep 2013, 07:24

First Touch

Now that the transfer window has closed can I ask for an opinion about our players abilities? Does anyone else get really frustrated at how many times one of our players' first touch is poor?

It seems to me that only Ross consistently has a good first touch - too often the rest of them make a bit of a hash of it and either lose the ball or have to scrap to retain it. Surely this is one of the absolute basics of professional football and enables you to put the other side under pressure quickly.

Maybe we're not that bad and I just notice it more because I'm hoping for quick, flowing movement but it really does seem to me to be the one major fault our players have. I'm happy with the commitment they show and just about everything else to do with Leeds at the moment, just this really frustrates me.

Should extra training be given to our players in ball control or is that the sort of thing you either have from a young age or never have?
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Re: First Touch

Postby Aces » 03 Sep 2013, 08:56

A good first touch and quick lay off to the next player is the hall mark of all the top sides, it is something that should be worked on tirelessly mate.
We are Leeds, we have to believe our new players are good enough, encourage and support them and help them grow in to a team to be reckoned with. MoT
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Re: First Touch

Postby SMorientes » 03 Sep 2013, 12:32

It is something that players should work on in training constantly, and can obviously be improved with practice, but some players just have a great touch and others don't. Compare Berbatov with Becchio. The former probably does work on his touch in training but he is just naturally very good at that aspect of the game. Becchio probably practices it as well but will never have a touch like Berbatov's.
Of our current squad, Diouf's first touch is usually very good, and I think Murphy shows signs of having a good touch, he looks comfortable on the ball and can find space as soon as he receives it, it was his passing that let him down on the weekend. I think it is something that needs work though, especially in a team that aspires to be a great passing team. I thought the thing that's been letting us down in that area is getting the ball from back to front on the ground. Our defenders are happy to knock it about with each other, until they get closed down and they have to give it to Kenny who hoofs it forward. Sometimes a midfielder drops deep and takes the ball, which should then enable us to move forward but he looks up and often only sees the option to hit it high. We need the midfield diamond to gel together and understand how to pass in little triangles to move forward through the opposition's midfield, mostly that involves a lot of work off the ball and a strong mutual understanding which will hopefully come from playing together, but from what I've seen in the first 5 games of the season, they don't seem to be willing to come short for each other and pass to feet and then move. This style does require a good first touch which, like you say, needs work throughout the team.
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Re: First Touch

Postby banksy » 03 Sep 2013, 13:23

SammyHughes wrote:First Touch

Now that the transfer window has closed can I ask for an opinion about our players abilities? Does anyone else get really frustrated at how many times one of our players' first touch is poor?

It seems to me that only Ross consistently has a good first touch - too often the rest of them make a bit of a hash of it and either lose the ball or have to scrap to retain it. Surely this is one of the absolute basics of professional football and enables you to put the other side under pressure quickly.

Maybe we're not that bad and I just notice it more because I'm hoping for quick, flowing movement but it really does seem to me to be the one major fault our players have. I'm happy with the commitment they show and just about everything else to do with Leeds at the moment, just this really frustrates me.

Should extra training be given to our players in ball control or is that the sort of thing you either have from a young age or never have?

Unfortunately there is still a massive gulf in class mate between the lower leagues and the prem.Another point is that we are not encouraged to develop first touch with any skill involved,only naturally gifted individuals don't have to think too long and hard about it,in other words they are born with a natural flair.
I have to agree that when i watch the championship it can become very frustrated to witness poor skills,for me it ruins the spectacle.
Weshould certainly work on close quarter skills alot more..give us something to marvel over :yawn:
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Re: First Touch

Postby Pecky10 » 03 Sep 2013, 13:24

SMorientes wrote:Compare Berbatov with Becchio.


:lol: Things you never expect to read... :wave:

It's a fair point though, some have better touch than others. I was watching a PL game the other day and in the warm ups they were doing drills of playing one touch pass and moving, then having to turn to receive a ball in the new position, play it off in another direction and move again. Some were better than others at it but it's obviously something they do a lot so even for those less gifted, the process of thought means the touch has to improve with practice; I thought it was a great drill incidentally, really fast paced. if you ever see clips of Arsenal training, they'll do the majority of it with a one-touch rule, even in mini game-play.

With our lot, there's an element of touch - as SM highlighted, Becchio's wasn't the best ;) but there's also an element of the quality of the ball that's played to you... if you're having to control a ball that's two feet away from you at thigh height, it's harder to get a good first touch than if the ball is played into feet or the space just in front of you.

In a way I'd love to see our lot have a go at the drill I've done a really bad job of describing above; in many ways, I'd really rather not :lol:
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Re: First Touch

Postby SMorientes » 03 Sep 2013, 13:51

Pecky10 wrote:
SMorientes wrote:Compare Berbatov with Becchio.


:lol: Things you never expect to read... :wave:


:D I thought it was quite fitting since we used to compare the two in a couple of other respects every week.

Agree about the quality of the pass as well. Little drills like the one you describe are ones that certain managers will spend the majority of training time on. From their style, I'd guess Brendan Rodgers, Wenger and Roberto Martinez spend hours on end on short one touch pass-and-move drills. I'd've thought BMcD would have them working on similar drills at times since he declared he wanted us to be a great passing side (which we've shown signs of in little flourishes), but he has to work with what there is and it's a philosophy that takes time to implement. What's more, he's probably had to spend more time than he may have wished sorting out our defensive frailties and whatnot.
I think Grayson emphasised players' first touch quite a bit, although we didn't play out from the back with neat little passes, we did attack with a lot of one and two touch pass and moves which was very pleasing on the eye.
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Re: First Touch

Postby birkybullufc » 03 Sep 2013, 14:21

It is all well and good having a good first touch and passing skills but the movement of your teammates needs to be there too. We don't seem to have great movement as a team so far this season. Things seem a little rigid. Midfielders seem unwilling to run past the forwards and the forwards just don't seem to move with the exception of Poleon.
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Re: First Touch

Postby SammyHughes » 03 Sep 2013, 14:37

Vaild points about movement off the ball and the quality of the pass received.

I just get the feeling that our opposition so far have been better with their first touch than us. It's the one thing that really worries me about how good our season will be.
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Re: First Touch

Postby johnh » 04 Sep 2013, 09:42

We can't be too harsh on criticising our players first touch, I mean, it runs through the England team too.
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Re: First Touch

Postby birkybullufc » 04 Sep 2013, 10:31

When it comes to the England team you would think there would be more emphasis from the manager on picking players with a good first touch. Everyone knows it is key to playing effective international football but doesn't appear key to picking players for England. It is same with passing ability. A lot of the top England players just don't pass the ball properly, making it harder to control for their team mates.
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