The U17 Euro ended the 16th May with the Final victory of the Netherlands beating the German team. Those where the two best teams of the tournament. I watched two games (France-Iceland and Germany-France) and I must say that I was impressed by both the individual and collective quality of the Germans. Also disappointed by the poor performance of France since they are known for their competence in developing future soccer stars.
First of all, let’s present the 10 most talented players of the tournament. This is the selection of the UEFA’s team of reporters.
Oliver Schnitzler (goalkeeper, Germany)
Hjörtur Hermannsson (defender, Iceland)
Gracjan Horoszkiewicz (defender, Poland)
Sébastien Locigno (defender, Belgium)
Otar Kakabadze (defender, Georgia)
Nathan Ake (midfielder, Netherlands)
Dino Hotič (midfielder, Slovenia)
Thom Haye (midfielder, Netherlands)
Mohamed Chemlal (midfielder, France)
Max Meyer (forward, Germany) Personal favorite, here’s a video:
To this list, I would add Oliver Sigurjónsson from Iceland, great midfielder who can both defend and engage offensive actions.
As I mentioned, I watched France over two games and I will present here generalities about their concept of playing. This is the analysis of the game they played against Iceland (2-2). After leading 2-0, their focus dropped down and Iceland levels the score with two set pieces.
+Effective actions in the last 1/3 of the pitch
- No winning mentality. If things go wrong, they let go, they don’t fight
-Lack in physical aptitudes (height especially)
- Bad defence on set pieces
- Lose control over possession if strong pressure
-A Lot of lost balls in middle (too much touches from number 18 and 10)
-Defensive line very high, problem with deep ball if the opponent penetrates.
- Focus on ball possession thanks to high technical abilities. Defensive line (players number 13, 4, 5 and 2) and number 3 prepare the attack. 10 and 18 come to take the ball lower if necessary, otherwise one of them tries to position himself in the space just behind the central striker. Defensive midfielder (number 3) is very mobile and always offers a solution. The goalkeeper plays an active role in retaining possession.
- Use of all the width of the pitch, both wide attackers stay on the lines. They run inside if the ball can’t come to them (especially left attacker), liberating space for the right and left back (both starting to come up in second period)
- Use of long diagonal balls from the middle of the pitch directly towards the wide attackers to create 1on1 situations on the side
- From right side of the pitch, they try to find directly the striker number 9 with a ball on the ground or low aerial ball.This player has the ability to keep the ball.Right midfielder comes in support.
- Their are most dangerous when they find the wide forwards in movement. Crossings mainly with cut backs towards penalty point.
- Wide forwards can change position during the game
DEFENSIVE KEY POINTS:
- High defensive line. They don’t like to defend deep in their own half.
- Number 9, 11 and 7 put pressure on opponent’s defensive line. They get the help of number 10, who runs out towards the central defender to complete the pressure. They recover possession a lot of times through this method.
- Lot of work of the defensive midfielder number 3. Wins a lot of balls, stop opponent’s counter attacks.
- If one the backs runs up in offense, the opposite one remains with the central defenders to prevent being outnumbered in the case of a counter attack.