Great article about “the most effect player in the EPL.” http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/22/football/kante-chelsea-roi-football-stats-win-percentage/
Love this article because of the point it makes. Alex Ferguson said this player was the best in the EPL last season. He is the best this season. He is not a forward. He is not a #10. He is not a flashy winger. He is a center midfielder! He is known for interceptions and tackles and high work rate. Love it!
Cant makes the players around him better. That is why he is the most effective player in the EPL and regarding by Sir Alex as the most valuable. Yet, coaches at all levels, particularly youth coaches, fail to recognize these traits in players.
I can watch a game with another coach – see a player disrupting play form the other team, cutting out passing angles, intercepting, tackling, and be amazed. I then ask the coach what he sees – he doesn’t even notice the CM. He sees the fast kid up front or the big kid at back. It is embarrassingly poor observation.
So, for all of you, read this article and ask yourself, “why does Sir Alex say what he does about Kante?” And, “what can I do or say to reward these types of behaviors on my team?”
- Track interceptions made at center mid or back line. I like to give those players a target when they walk on the field – specific – “I am looking for 5 interceptions.” I love doing this – gives them a target to aim for and accountability. Lets them know also what I am looking for.
- Track tackles made at center and back. Again, I like to give players a target – “5 tackles” – this does not mean that they win the ball, it could mean turning a player around, shoving them off a run, etc. Same as above – helps with accountability as they know what my expectations are.
- Track connected passes or turnovers. Either one. If your team is struggling to connect, track turnovers. For youth players, here is my standard: “If you have the ball with little or no pressure (like, say, after an interception), I expect you to make a connection (which may require some dribbling and looking). I count turnovers. I have yet to have a player I coach tell me that any coach has ever done that for them. Sad.
That being said, I do not mind turnovers if they are risking something. That is different. If they are trying to play through or over, fine. I am talking about turning the ball over when they have time and space to find the next pass.