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totally innocent
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All the members who know me from the days of CNN know that I have been an ardent campaigner for the switching of the NT's formation to 5-3-2 wingbacks.

The problem with Saudi boils down to the following:

1. The full backs: They are better going forward than defending. They leave gaping holes in the defense when they go forward.

2. We're crap at defending. The positioning is dreadful, and there is a tendency to ball watch. We're great ball winners, but in this day and age, this takes second place in terms of importance compared to positional and covering play. The only way we defend effectively is by numbers: tuck in the 2 d. midfielders just in front of the defence to make sure there are a lot of bodies to beat towards goal.

Those two problems cause the following:

a) We're poor at defending set plays and crosses: If you look at the goals conceded in the last few years, especially against the teams who beat us badly, a significant proportion (the majority) of them were either from crosses or set plays.

b) When we attack, we leave gaping holes at the flanks: It's ridiculous, all you need to do is play the ball over Abdelghani's or Doukhi's head (They're slow on the turn) and hey presto, you have acres of space to play in.

The only way to prevent these problems when playing 4-4-2 is to get the 2 defensive midfield players to play very deep (as Parriera did) but what that effectively does is make you play with only 2 "real" midfield players, and so we suffer offensively.

As far as I'm concerned, that's papering over the cracks. The real solution is to switch to 5-3-2 wingbacks. To that end I was dissappointed that Maccala, when he tried to do just that, was attacked so viciously that he lost the players trust and was subsequently sacked. But the fact is, sooner or later we have to wake up to the fact that way we play now is desperate defending with individual attacking play, and that to progress (and more importantly not to be left behind by the other Asian front runners) serious changes in style of play need to be made.

Anyway, now I have something to back up my argument. Just look what the first observation from german scout is.

Germany are now coached by Rudi Voeller. One of Voeller's assistants, Erich Rutemoeller, also watched the Saudis play Kuwait and said he had discovered some weaknesses in their system.

"Their back four is quite extraordinary. The men on the flanks like to go forward, often leaving the central defenders exposed. That could be an opening for us," he said.
The same quote is found in many articles. It's taken straight from the AP wire report.
 

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i argree with bruv. We should play with 3 central defenders and two defensive middlefieder and giving our two wingback abdulgani and Shelia (dukhi is lame) a bit more freedom pushing up. What do u think of these formation.

Al Dayeya

Suliman Khlewi Khalil
Al Shilia Abdulgani
Al Wakad Khamis

Nawaf Al Temyat
Al Sheehan Al Jaber
 
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Our defensive problems as a football nation stems from the fact defenders; the duties and characteristics they possess are not highly regarded nor rated here. It's been the policy for years to make the most talented players play attack and the mediocre ones do the defending. And this is why we have sucked at the back from the beginning of time. I agree the only way we can stop conceeding so much is if we defend in numbers.

I think we should use a sweeper formation (1-4-3-2) . Have 5 defenders; 1 sweeper, 2 central defenders in front of him and the 2 wingbacks on each flank. 3 midfielders; 2 defensive and a playmaker. Plus the perennial 2 strikers.

This way, we have more than enough defensive cover (provided the wingbacks actually track back) when we don't have possession and the other team is creating opportunities.
 

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Saudi Soccer Writer Needed

Hi...my name is John McGee, an Irish based publisher, and I am publishing a guide to the forthcoming World Cup. I need a writer/journalist who can write an 800 word article on the Saudi Arabian national team for publication in the guide. Payment for this will be $150. Anybody interested ? If so please contact me at [email protected]
Thanks
 
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