All Whites tweak 3-4-3 formation
Sun, 09 Sep 2012 6:46p.m.
By Andrew Gourdie
The All Whites host the Solomon Islands on Tuesday night, when a win would leave them on top of Oceania's World Cup qualifying group.
An inter-continental playoff for a place in Brazil beckons, but do they have the team and the tactics to reach another World Cup?
The All Whites ran their eye over some potential future teammates today, with locals invited to impress the pros in a streetball competition.
While it was three-on-three on the streets of Auckland, the All Whites believe their three-four-three formation can take them all the way to Brazil.
“Nine times out of 10 it's been working, so we showed again that it worked on the weekend,” says Shane Smeltz.
Ricki Herbert used the system with great success at the 2010 World Cup and plans to stick with it on the All Whites' road to Brazil. Three of the team's best players – Ryan Nelsen, Winston Reid and Tommy Smith are all central defenders.
But the formation came under heavy criticism when the team, minus Reid and Nelsen, were knocked out of the Oceania Nations Cup.
“I think the result wasn't good and the performance wasn't good so criticism is justified,” says All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen. “What we have to do as a team is learn the mistakes that were made in that formation.”
Nelsen says even though the team's used the system since 2009, they're still learning the variables which contribute to its success.
He understands Herbert's logic behind sticking with it.
“You can't put squares into holes,” says Nelsen. “We don't probably have an out-and-out right back that's consistently playing at a high level, so that obviously comes into the factor with Ricki's thinking.”
There's no question the three-four-three formation works well under Nelsen's leadership, but at 34, this campaign's sure to be his last. He's already seeing a shift in responsibility within the side.
“My goal is that when I leave the team eventually it doesn't really matter. It's just that someone else slips in and job done.”
First he's charged with driving the team all the way to Brazil.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
The first of two All Black training camps is underway in Mou...
Cronulla surged back into the NRL top eight on Sunday with a...
Auckland City have held off a gallant finish by 10-man Waita...
Fresh from the heaviest defeat in their history, the Warrior...
Atletico Madrid had endured a miserable 14-year wait for vic...
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.