Holy Shit balls New Zealand got a point!!!

16 Jun

The Result

In case you have been dead or don’t care about New Zealand football, the All Whites drew 1-1 with Slovakia last night. This is a historic moment for New Zealand football as it is our first point ever at a world cup tournament.

In the dying minutes of the game, central defender Winston Reid scored a header from a Shane Smeltz cross in open play to equalise (striker crossing to a central defender…). This guy only started playing for New Zealand this year after previously playing for Danish youth teams, yet he will now be immortalised in New Zealand football folklore. As you can see below he was a very happy camper and quite aware of how much his goal meant.

ZOMG, I just made history!

Reid arguably was at fault for Slovakia’s goal so he will be even more happy that he will be remembered as the hero from this game.

I’m very sleep deprived and have already had my first of many coffees for the day, I wonder how long the euphoria of last night’s result will stave off exhaustion??

NZ formation/Tactics

Note: the following is my attempt at discussing tactics and therefore is likely an utter load of crap. You probably shouldn’t even read this…

On a more serious note, I do worry about the tactical rigidity of Ricki Herbert. The Slovakians were running circles around us in midfield which is unsurprising given our formation is effectively a 5-2-3. This leaves a black hole in the mid field (It bothers me that the NZ press like to call it a 3-4-3). In the second half the Slovakians were quite content to sit back which forced us to try to play a passing game and have a more patient build up (as opposed to our usual counter attack/bang it up field strategy). Pretty much every time we got the ball in midfield, we were isolated and didn’t know what to do with the ball so we ended up passing it backwards all the time. The same thing happened against Australia in the second half. This was frustrating to watch, and even more frustrating that when Ricki did make substitutions they were simply like for like swaps.

I worry that a better side will expose us tactically….then again we did score, so Ricki is probably a tactical genius, lol.

UPDATE: Winston Reid was not under orders to get forward which confirms my suspicion that the goal was not a result of Herbert’s tactical genius. From this article about the Reid:

He admitted that it was not a tactical ploy to join Rory Fallon in the frontline for the final minutes, but that he just happened to be lingering. ”I was going up for a free-kick but the ball was going back and forward so I just decided to stay up there.” With devastating results.

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3 Responses to “Holy Shit balls New Zealand got a point!!!”

  1. nolan83 June 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    “the following is my attempt at discussing tactics and therefore is likely an utter load of crap. You probably shouldn’t even read this”

    LOL

    “The Slovakians were running circles around us in midfield which is unsurprising given our formation is effectively a 5-2-3”

    We seemed to start with a 4-3-3 IMO, as Vicelich dropped back and Bertos and Lochead were playing pretty high. However, after about 10mins that was over 😛

    “Pretty much every time we got the ball in midfield, we were isolated and didn’t know what to do with the ball so we ended up passing it backwards all the time”

    I agree.

    We were pinned back, and they were able to play a high defensive line as a result. It would have been nice to just see some actual long balls to stretch them out a bit – but we are determined to play across the field even by our own damn goal line!!!

    I’m not convinced that starting Vicelich was a good idea, especially with Elliot playing so deep. We do need someone in midfield who can link up play – hopefully Brown will be back soon …

    • agnitio June 17, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

      Needs more Wee Mac IMO. McGlinchey apears to be the forgotten man at the moment. We were screaming out for someone who could pass in the second half and we brought on Christie….I would have preferred Clapham even.

      • nolan83 June 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

        Agreed regarding the passing. The BIG issue for me was, we would have Bertos run down the flank, get marked by two players, have three players in the box but having that option blocked off – we needed a midfielder on the inside he could pass to in order to change the angles!!!

        Seriously, if we had a CM in there instead of a second DM (in the case of Vicelich it felt like he was playing all the way down as an anchorman – never saw him push into the attack at all) it would be a whole different story …

        Ricki has seen them at training, and so I’ll trust him that Clapham and McGlinchey don’t look ready quite yet.

        If that is the case we are in a really tough bind …

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