I didn't think the football we played was too bad honestly. Really struggled early on, looked nervy and passes were often 3 yards away from where they should've been and took awhile to adjust to Korea's intensity.
When we settled I thought we knocked the ball around nicely, although the wide CBs lumping it down the line seemed a common out ball - often they got too wide and took away a passing option by cramping the wing back, but also credit to Korea who controlled us well in those areas for much of the game.
All in all, I think the comments accusing us of "Hay-ball" aren't overly justified, the errors for mine were more individual sloppiness than tactical mismanagement. There was clear intent to get it on the deck and play from the back - we just looked nervy about a) finally playing some international football and b) being at the motherfudgeing Olympics. I can forgive some initial shakiness in those circumstances, especially with how we kicked on.
Will be disappointed without 3 wins in the group now! Future of NZ Football continues to look brighter than ever.
Wasn't pretty and you'd have to hope we play better in a midfield way and footballing-wise against Romania and Honduras, but you can't discredit Hay for executing a game plan perfectly on Korea, and it's a great starting point for us.
Lets not forget Sth Korea were Asian U23 champions, with a popn of 52 million, and their own fully professional K League to draw players from. They are no mugs.
They also had the advantage of most of their players coming from the K League, so I imagine being able to regularly meet up for camps and the like through the pandemic. They also had a few more warmup games over the last month or so compared to the Oly Whites, who have come together from different parts of the globe. The Koreans were well drilled as you would expect. But we beat them, for our first men's win at an Olympics or senior World Cup, after 12 losses/draws.
They looked shocked to have lost. That kid refusing to shake the hand of EPL star Wood, was gold.
But yes expectation now is that Oly Whites, should be playing less route one against Honduras and Romania. Unfortunately I see both those matches are similar early kick off times, as Korea was. So playing in that heat & humidity, won't help with playing an up tempo game. Olyroos by contrast have 3 later kick offs in their pool.
I cannot recall seeing a Hay team play with a back five before. I remember 4-1-2-1-2 pre Declan at Easts, with Declan a 4-3-3, and the last All White games he used a 4-3-3.
I've seen his teams pass the ball sideways at the back for a while before lumping it to a big man (U17's, Mata), play through the thirds (Easts), play out from the back poorly and ridiculously (All Whites) and now go long from the keeper (last night).
So, what exactly is "Hay-ball"? I'm hoping that it is having a good plan for each occasion, whilst developing team cohesion.
Last night we saw wing backs defending inside as full backs, making a five man straight line. The sort of thing Burnley do with a back four to invite the crosses which they know they can easily repell. Doing it with a five was extreme and it hindered our ability to counter, but it worked against a team with a higher pedigree than us.
Hopefuly when needed our wing backs will play much higher up the field, meaning our auxlery attackers become more of a threat from forward, central positions.
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought Just was poor - air shots for goodness sake! Cacace also disappointing. There was one occasion when he was at full speed with the ball and instead of knocking it past the defender, he stopped and passed it back. That's not the Libby we saw with the Phoenix. Was that because of last night's game plan or playing too many games under Nosferatu? (tha's Muscat btw).
Perhaps several things are true. He didn’t get unlimited space. He wasn’t interchanging a lot of short passes with Singh or Davila or Ball. Perhaps the game plan was a little more defensive, especially early on. We didn’t do a lot of fast breaks. And I can confirm it is very hot and humid in Japan. You need to conserve energy. Maybe as well he’s warming into the tournament. We definitely know what he’s got in his locker. Not that worried though? Great to get a win and have several of our best players not get into top gear, in that hopefully they can at crunch points later in the tournament. Not a great one for the neutrals, but eh!
Stoked to get the win and glad it was televised here in straya! The first half was tough viewing but once we scored you could see the confidence levels go through the roof. Would love to see Stensness move into a holding mid role behind Bell and Lewis as that would encourage more interplay between them without the fear of being exposed if they turn it over which happened once or twice up high....the three of them are very good footballers and have the potential to control games through the middle which I have never seen from an all whites team
Legit if he shook nobody's greasy palm, but I thought I spied him shake the hand of another NZ player before turning down the Woodsman. Maybe he's a Blackburn fan. But who really cares we won, they lost.
I'd say he's the best. Intelligent, mobile and the strongest out there. His passing was 100% and won all duels bar a couple of headers with that freaky tall guy at the end. I was disappointed with Reid. He made a few individual mistakes but mostly seemed to lack leadership. I know the guys have not had much time together but quite a few chances for Korea in the first half came from players getting between our lines, unmarked. It was up to Reid to direct the traffic out there: midfield to get back or someone to go forward. It didn't happen. For me it appeared that very little leadership was forthcoming from the Captain. Overall the back line did well though, if the fullbacks were sometimes lacking. I thought Bell and Lewis were wanting. Yes they were pressed, but didn't own the ball at all. They were bossed. If our wide players can remember how to cross a ball we could do okay. It's been a great start though. Go Chris Wood!
Storm in a teacup. As everyone who has ever played at any level there are times when your head after a loss can be in all sorts of places. I watched it a couple of times, didnt look like any malice to me, the guy looked shell shocked to be honest.
I'm with you on Stensness, but the criticism of Reid (outside of a few rusty moments in opening 10 minutes) seems a bit left field. It's really hard to tell how less tangible aspects of the game such as leadership are playing out while watching on TV as the camera's follow the ball. Unless you were at the game, the only objective comment you can make was that he led the defense by example, and was absolutely immense (see highlights package for reference). Also you contradict yourself saying that he had no leadership but the backline did well, he was leading the backline.
Reid did do well in leading by example, no question. Overall he was top level. It's true also that the back line held together. It's just that there were times,especially in the first half, when the Koreans were getting between the lines in front of goal and neither midfielder was coming back to mark them, nor was a defender going forward to pick them up. I accept that the team hasn't played together much so would be unsure of whose role it was and things happen very quickly out there - South Korea are a high quality team. For me though, that is when the captain, who is the Central Centre Back, in the position to take command of proceedings, should be barking orders to sort the issue. It seems a lot was sorted at half time - credit to Danny Hay. I do think we were lucky not to be down a couple of goals by half time but, as it turned out, it was a great, historic win, and all credit to the lads for pulling it off.
Interestingly, I think the 'development' with Bozanic, comes from having to do a lot of covering for a fellow centre mid who is given a lot a freedom to wander, lead the troops, go forward etc. This means Stensness has to cover a lot of ground and position well, which he is capable of. This situation was the same in the U20 world cup when Stensness played the support role to Bell. Because Bell likes to get all over the place, (putting more work on his support) he needs a midfield partner who can cover for him. I'm not sure if the midfield worked so well with the Lewis partnership. Lewis, for me, seems to go better when we are in control of the ball.