Behind Dead De Gea’s Step When Facing Xhaka’s Strange Kick

Xhaka’s Granite kick at the start of Arsenal’s match against Manchester United was the beginning of the Red Devils nightmare in the 30th week of the 2018/19 English Premier League on Sunday (10/3). Xhaka’s goal opened the Arsenal goal before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang locked London’s Cannon victory over United with a score of 2-0.

On the first goal, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea was in the spotlight because he seemed careless so Xhaka’s shot slid smoothly into the goal he was keeping. Repeat goals then showed that there was an oddity from Xhaka’s kick which made De Gea wrongly anticipate so that he didn’t seem to move.

Xhaka kicks using the left foot from outside the penalty box and the ball seems to be heading towards the left side of the goal. De Gea immediately reacts and moves to the left side of the goal to block the ball. But a split second after the ball is kicked, suddenly the direction of the ball changes towards the opposite direction. The ball actually turned towards the right goal and made De Gea die step.

Xhaka’s kick on goal David De Gea is a kick known as knuckle shoot. The effect of the kick seems to make the ball turn twice or come out suddenly, out of the initial archway.

There are many players who can do this kind of kick. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juninho Penambuchano, Hakan Calhanouglu, and several other players often do so through their free kicks.

The sudden and difficult change in the direction of the ball is thought to make knuckle shoot a very difficult kick for the goalkeeper to anticipate. Changes in direction that occur not only changes horizontally, but also changes vertically with a sudden dipping ball or floating in the air.

The player who does this kick actually doesn’t know when and where the kick ball turns or changes direction. The uncertainty of the speed of the ball makes the knuckle shoot kick very feared by any goalkeeper in the world.

But of course it’s not easy to release a knuckle shoot . Professional players also may not be able to do it at any time. Or even some knuckle shoot kicks accidentally by the kicker.

This kick difficulty level can be seen from how to do it where the ball must be kicked right in the middle. Slightly deviating from the center will make a kick into an ordinary kick or become a banana kick that curves towards one side, a kick that is also special but easier to do.

The kick right in the middle of the ball aims to make the ball slide without experiencing rotation at all. After sliding without a round, the ball will face air friction which at a certain point will make the ball begin to rotate / rotate. The rotation of the ball due to friction in the air then makes the ball change direction suddenly and make the goalkeeper go off.

The toe and foot shell are the most effective part of the foot used to do this kick. However, even contact between feet and balls cannot be done with mediocrity. Contact between feet and balls must be done in the shortest possible time. A very short contact time with large power will create great momentum for the ball so the ball will slide faster and turn suddenly too.

In addition, a short contact time will avoid additional contact that causes the ball to rotate. Cristiano Ronaldo often outsmarted this by stopping or stomping right after he kicked. Because of the complexity and high level of difficulty in doing this kick the risk of injury will be increased due to very sudden changes in movement.

On the other hand, some balls can easily experience the knuckle effect because of the shape of the seam. We still remember when the Jabulani ball was used at the 2010 World Cup, many goalkeepers complained that the ball easily floated in the air and changed direction erratically. In the end the air pressure in the field can affect the occurrence of the knuckle effect and make this kick more difficult to predict.

Therefore not De Gea who made a blunder or De Gea who was not focused on the situation. Xhaka’s knuckle kick is indeed a goal that is not easy to guess, especially the Swiss player has a hard left foot shot. The strength is accompanied by the right moment and time to release knuckle shoot , a kick that is feared by all goalkeepers around the world.


The first and most important point in match play is to know how to lose. Lose cheerfully, generously, and like a sportsman. This is the first great law of tennis, and the second is like unto it to win modestly, cheerfully, generously, and like a sportsman.

The object of match play is to win, but no credit goes to a man who does not win fairly and squarely. A victory is a defeat if it is other than fair. Yet again I say to win is the object, and to do so, one should play to the last ounce of his strength, the last gasp of his breath, and the last scrap of his nerve. If you do so and lose, the better man won. If you do not, you have robbed your opponent of his right of beating your best. Be fair to both him and yourself.

“The Play’s the thing,” and in match play a good defeat is far more creditable than a hollow victory. Play tennis for the game’s sake. Play it for the men you meet, the friends you make, and the pleasure you may give to the public by the hard working yet sporting game that is owed them by their presence at the match.

Many tennis players feel they owe the public nothing, and are granting a favour by playing. It is my belief that when the public so honours a player that they attend matches, that player is in duty bound to give of his best, freely, willingly, and cheerfully, for only by so doing can he repay the honour paid him. The tennis star of today owes his public as much as the actor owes the audience, and only by meeting his obligations can tennis be retained in public favour. The players get their reward in the personal popularity they gain by their conscientious work.

There is another factor that is even stronger than this, that will always produce fine tennis in championship events. It is the competitive spirit that is the breath of life to every true sportsman: the desire to prove to himself he can beat the best of the other man; the real regret that comes when he wins, and feels the loser was not at his best.

The keen competitive spirit that stimulates a match player also increases the nervous strain. This should be recognized by tournament committees, and the conditions of play should be as nearly standardized as weather permits.

The first thing to fix firmly in your mind in playing a match, is never to allow your opponent to play a shot he likes if it is possible to force him to make one he does not. Study your opponent both on and off the court. Look for a weakness, and, once finding it, pound it without mercy. Remember that you do not decide your mode of attack. It is decided for you by the weakness of your opponent. If he dislikes to meet a netman, go to the net. If he wants you at the net, stay back and force him to come in. If he attacks viciously, meet his attack with an equally strong offensive.

Remember that the strongest defence is to attack, for if the other man is occupied in meeting your attack, he will have less time to formulate his own system.

If you are playing a very steady man, do not strive to beat him at his own game. He is better at it than you in many cases, so go in and hit to win. On the other hand, if you find that your opponent is wild and prone to miss, play safe and reap the full crop of his errors. It saves you trouble and takes his confidence.

Above all, never change a winning game.

Always change a losing game, since, as you are getting beaten that way, you are no worse off and may be better with a new style.

The question of changing a losing game is a very serious thing. It is hard to say just when you are really beaten. If you feel you are playing well yet have lost the first set about 3-6 or 4-6, with the loss of only one service, you should not change. Your game is not really a losing game. It is simply a case of one break of service, and might well win the next set. If, however, you have dropped the first set in a 2 out of 3 match with but one or two games, now you are outclassed and should try something else.

Take chances when you are behind, never when ahead. Risks are only worth while when you have everything to win and nothing to lose. It may spell victory, and at least will not hasten defeat. Above all, never lose your nerve or confidence in a match. By so doing you have handed your opponent about two points a game a rather hard handicap to beat at your best.

Never let your opponent know you are worried. Never show fatigue or pain if it is possible to avoid, since it will only give him confidence. Remember that he feels just as bad as you, and any sign of weakening on your part encourages him to go on. In other words, keep your teeth always in the match.

Don’t worry. Don’t fuss. Luck evens up in the long run, and to worry only upsets your own game without affecting your opponent. A smile wins a lot of points because it gives the impression of confidence on your part that shakes that of the other man. Fight all the time. The harder the strain the harder you should fight, but do it easily, happily, and enjoy it.

One-round matches for Everton and Chelsea

helsea’s hopes of equaling Arsenal’s points in the Premier League standings fourth place had to run aground after the Blues lost 0-2 to Everton at Goodison Park in Sunday night’s match (17/03). Richarlison and Gylfi Sigursson’s goals in the second half also led Everton to win against Big Six in the Premier League for the first time in the last two years.

Before this match, Chelsea had just won 5-0 at Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Europa League in the middle of last week. Meanwhile Everton were beaten by hosts Newcastle United 2-3 at the end of last week. The first round match at least reflects this condition.

Chelsea was so dominant with 67.5% possession and recorded 10 shots (three on target) during the first half. The Toffees can only record three shots (one on target) in a similar time frame. But everything changed in the second half.

Despite still losing possession, Marco Silva’s men were able to record 12 shots (7 on target) in the second half, while Chelsea could only add six shots (two on target). What makes Everton much better in the second half?

Chelsea played well in the first round, but not clinically

The game Maurizio Sarri – Sarrismo – is identical with the dominance of the game, possession and attacking football. Despite being in sixth position in the standings, statistics show that Sarrismo is really as mentioned above.

Chelsea became the second highest team after Manchester City in the number of successful passes, which was 18176 successful passes with an accuracy of 87.9%. Even if the final third pass counts only, Chelsea (84.9%) becomes the top, slightly superior to Man City (84.8%).

Likewise with chances created , Chelsea are ranked second with a total of 374 opportunities, behind 20 opportunities from The Citizens . About the game, statistics really consistently show the Sarrismo effect. That was reflected in the first half when Chelsea faced host Everton.

In addition to Jordan Pickford who played brilliantly with his 5 saves, the weakness of the Blues which made them unable to score at half-time (despite getting many chances) was because they were less clinical in front of goal.

One of the players highlighted for this is Gonzalo Higuaín, who should have memorized Sarri’s scheme out of his head. The Argentine striker had at least three shots (two in the first round), but only one was on target (in the second half, pushed over by Jordan Pickford).

In the last night Higuain looked isolated. That makes it can only touch the ball twice in the opponent’s penalty box. In fact, he moved back and forth several times to get involved in the game.

Then when Chelsea needed to pursue a one-goal deficit, Higuain was pulled out in the 66th minute to be replaced by Olivier Giroud.

“We played our best 45 minutes of the season,” Sarri said after the match, trying to give understanding. “Then at the start of the second half, we stopped playing. I don’t know why. ”

Everton pressed high in the second half

Sarri should know why in the second half Chelsea “stopped playing”. Since the second half whistle sounded, Everton started the game very quickly and pressed high tempo. Chelsea’s dominance is really confused by this pressing .

Pressing is the key that differentiates the first half with the second round. Without pressing , Chelsea are free to play Sarriball in the first round. Everton played too deep in the first half, so they had difficulty grabbing the ball from Chelsea.

On the contrary, Chelsea, who looked more pressing in the first half when Everton tried to start building attacks from behind.

In the second half, Everton pressed higher and more aggressively. When the ball was still in the fourth Blues defender, the Everton attackers immediately pressed them, forcing Chelsea to play the ball back to back or launch a long ball forward.

The long balls sent by David Luiz et al proved to be ineffective through the Everton defense. The majority of the 13 interceptions Everton did in the second half (a total of 18 interceptions throughout the match) came from Chelsea’s long ball . Idrissa Gana Gueye became a star by registering 5 interceptions, all of which were listed in the second round.

Everton’s high pressing illustration can be seen from JJ Bull’s analysis of the following Telegraph . He saw changes in Everton and Chelsea’s heat map in the first and second round.

In the end, this pressing could not only interfere with Sarriball’s game, but also could make Everton get a chance. The result, the second half has been running for 30 seconds, Everton immediately managed to make a shot on the target from André Gomes.

Three minutes later, Everton got a corner by starting pressing too. This corner produced Everton’s first goal. Likewise, the second goal which was started throwing into the Everton press again. Marcos Alonso then violated Richarlison in the penalty box with the start of this situation. Really effective.

“It will be easier for me to talk about the second half. We weren’t there in the first minute [first half], “Marco Silva said after the match. “You can let them (Chelsea) play easily if you don’t press hard.”

Sarriball Will Always Have Difficulties When Pressing

The inflexibility of Sarriball’s tactics was shown at last night’s match. When Chelsea missed, Maurizio Sarri included Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Olivier Giroud, and Callum Hudson-Odoi, three of their “secret weapons” when they slaughtered Dynamo Kyiv in the Europa League. The three cannot do much at Goodison Park.

With this defeat to Everton, the Champions League may be further away from Chelsea’s grip even though the English Premier League still leaves eight weeks left. Even though last week they were able to win against Wolverhampton Wanderers and also won last night, Chelsea were above Arsenal now.

Things to remember, in the 17 previous teams, Sarri had not even won the title. Roman Abramovich should have realized from the start if the reason for Sarri’s appointment was not because he could bring Chelsea champions, but because of his entertaining way of playing Sarriball.

Unfortunately entertaining just can’t make a team win a match, let alone win the league. Time and time again “entertaining game” Chelsea was bothered by his opponent’s high pressing .

Especially last night, Chelsea played well only in the first round, while Everton were only in the second round. In one round matches for each of these teams, Everton were the winners because they were more clinical in front of goal.

Nine players absent, what can Man United do?

We know this is difficult,” Ole Gunnar Solskjær replied when asked by reporters about the many players who missed the game against Paris Saint-Germain in the second leg of the last 16 of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League.

Manchester United are facing a hurricane injury problem. Eight registered players must enter the treatment room. Alexis Sanchez who was prepared ahead of the second leg match against PSG suffered an injury when Man United won dramatically over Southampton at the weekend in the 29th week of the English Premier League.

Before Sanchez, there were seven players who entered the treatment room, namely Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Anthony Martial, Matteo Darmian, and Antonio Valencia. You could say the injured players are important players who always enter the composition of the eleven main players each time. Man United’s burden increased where Paul Pogba, the creator of midfield, had to miss due to serving a red card he got in the first leg.

With conditions like this, then what can Ole do to overcome PSG at the Parc de Princes?

Midfield is an important concern that must be overcome, especially when it is positioned there will be Marco Verrati and Marquinhos who appeared so extraordinary in the first leg . Regarding the scheme, Ole didn’t have many choices. Ole is likely to use the scheme he used in Man United’s last few matches in the Premier League and FA Cup. Matic’s absence position will be filled by Scott McTominay who appeared quite nicely in that position.

The 22-year-old young player had gotten praise from Ole who said that McTominay was so confident. How to play McTominay reminded Ole of how Darren Fletcher was when he was in uniform for Man United. Meanwhile, to replace Herrera’s position, Ole will maximize Fred’s accompanying McTominay in midfield. Although actually Fred hasn’t appeared so convincing even though in the game against Southampton the Brazilian gave an assist for the creation of Romelu Lukaku’s goal.

The next position that can be given more attention is the position of Pogba. Andreas Perreira is likely to fill the position. Ole had prepared Perreira to replace Pogba’s role when Man United in the match faced Soton on week 29.

In the first half, Perreira was played a little behind Pogba, but his contribution was not seen in that position. In the second half, Ole changed the position of Perreira to be an attacking midfielder where it was the position of a Pogba. Evidently when he got the assignment in that position, Perreira immediately contributed by scoring one goal and one assistant. Therefore, with the current squad, Perreira is the right player to replace Pogba in the match against PSG.

Next is to determine which players are worthy to replace the positions that Lingard and Mata often play. Ole used to play both players in the right attacker’s position in the 4-2-3-1 scheme. Diego Dalot is likely to be used to fill the position left by Lingard and Mata who are injured.

Dalot has been played twice in the position of the right attacker by Ole. First, Dalot was played in the position of the right striker when Man United traveled to Crystal Palace’s headquarters in Week 28. United at that time won 3-2. Then, Dalot was again played in the same position on week 29.

Dalot came in to replace Sanchez, who suffered an injury, did not need long, direct cross to bear fruit opportunities for Marcus Rashford. A few minutes later, through an attack built from the right side, Dalot immediately provided assistance for the creation of Perrera’s goal in the second half and made Man United’s right side back alive and ended the match with a victory. In this position, later Dalot will try to help Ashley Young to keep Angel Di Maria so troublesome United in the first leg .

For defense, Ole seems to be still entrusting Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Ashley Young, and Luke Shaw. While Rashford and Lukaku will continue to do their job to attack and score goals. Especially Lukaku is in high self-confidence because in the last two matches he was able to score four goals.

With the scheme above, a quick counter-attack is likely to be used again by Ole. As he once said when facing Arsenal in the FA Cup last month, that he wanted to make Man United again play a quick counterattack scheme that was often applied when he was still playing a Man United player, let alone seeing PSG who has such good possession.

It is worth looking forward to whether Ole was able to make a surprise in Paris later with a not-so-good squad, especially PSG unbeaten in the last five matches after winning 2-0 in the first leg at Old Trafford. They won three victories at home.

Although not in a complete squad, Ole still has confidence in this match. Ole said that everything could happen in football. Man United could win the Champions League in just three minutes against Bayern München in the 1998/99 Champions League Final, and now he says he has 90 minutes in Paris and many things Man United can do.

The second leg match between PSG and Man United will take place early on Thursday (7/3/2019) later. It is worth looking forward to whether there will be a miracle in Paris, as a miracle happened at the Santiago Bernabeu when Ajax managed to get rid of the defending Champions League champions, Real Madrid.

Important Role of Giroud in French Tactics

rance won the 2018 World Cup. Olivier Giroud was part of the success of Les Bleus . But even though Giroud was always a major player, many people doubted his greatness. Because Giroud did not score in the 2018 World Cup.

Giroud played in all of France’s matches at this 2018 World Cup. Only in the first match did he not play since kick-off . In other matches, Giroud always relied on Didier Deschamps. The Chelsea striker became the player with the fifth most playing minutes of France – only losing to Raphael Varane, N’Golo Kante, Lucas Hernandez and Antoine Griezmann.

In seven matches, Giroud did not score one goal. In 546 minutes of play, he only released 13 shots; meaning that if averaged, Giroud releases at most one shot per round. Of all the shots, none was on target. No wonder he is leaving at the 2018 World Cup.

For an attacker in football, goals are the most important benchmark. That’s why Giroud was ridiculed. His abilities and prowess are questionable.

But what needs to be known is that modern football has changed many things, one of which is the function of an attacker. Giroud is one of many attackers who are able to adapt to changes in football tactics. That was what Deschamps tried to maximize during the tournament.

Not all attackers deserve to be judged by their contribution to the number of goals they have scored. Because now, not all attackers are functioned as the main goalscorers. That role was played by Giroud with the current French national team.

Deschamps’s France has experienced a change in playing scheme after failing to win the 2016 European Cup. France has begun to prioritize defense strength rather than attack aggressiveness. This was acknowledged by Blaise Matuidi, the French midfielder who was part of the French squad in the 2016 European Cup and 2018 World Cup.

“The cries of the 2016 European Cup have dried up, but there are still a few others in mind,” Matuidi told NDTV. “That defeat will be useful for Sunday [against Croatia], even though I don’t want to bring the past. But we know what it must be like to play in the final. We will play differently and hope we play well and win it.”

Griezmann, like Matuidi, honestly said that he had changed his playing style to win. “I was a top scorer [in the European Cup 2016] but we lost in the final. So I said to myself: ‘I will rarely score to make France win’.”

Many goals are not France’s main goal. They don’t have the problem of “playing bad” in order to win. No wonder throughout the group phase the French appearance is less convincing. France who won two wins and one draw only scored three goals.

In the French 4-2-3-1 system (played since the second match against Peru), the defense system is the main one. In this change, there were two players who began to consistently inhabit the composition of the main French players: Blaise Matuidi and Giroud.

Matuidi, as discussed in the previous article, acts as a defensive winger . How about Giroud?

Giroud also has an important role in the defense of France. He will be the first player to launch pressing . In fact, he was also assigned as a ball contender. Giroud became the seventh most French player in a tackle effort (14 times, 9 successes).

Giroud is in charge of suppressing and disturbing defenders who want to build attacks. Unfortunately there are no statistics showing this. Even if the player presses but the new ball is obtained by other players, efforts to pressing players who fail first still contribute to the struggle for the ball. For example Giroud when facing Belgium.

When attacking, Giroud functions as a reflector, wall, retaining ball, suppressing the opponent’s defense line, and a player who initiates a French attack on the opponent’s defense area through his ability in aerial duels. The latter is quite important, as in the final match against Croatia. France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris became the second most player to release the bait. Of the 34 passes (only lost to Pogba), 29 are far passes.

Having a height of 193 cm, the highest among other French attackers, Giroud played his role to receive a long pass from Lloris. As a result throughout the tournament, Giroud was superior to 24 aerial duels from 44 trials. The record is one of the best in the French national team, along with Varane and Pogba.

In this 2018 World Cup there are quite a lot of teams who rely on tall players to perfect the direct football scheme. Russia with Artem Dzyuba, Serbia along with Aleksandar Mitrovic, Denmark with Andreas Cornelius, Croatia with Mario Mandzukic, and many more.

Giroud himself said that he felt he had performed optimally even though he didn’t score. He even exemplified the former French striker who also didn’t score but became a squad part of the 1998 World Cup champion, Stephane Guivarch.

“I think, I have performed quite well at the 2018 World Cup. Indeed, there have been no goals that I can create, but I have given three assists, and I do not care about that,” said Giroud as quoted by FourFourTwo before the final. “Stephane Guivarch also played nicely at the 1998 World Cup even though he didn’t contribute a goal.”

Deschamps defended Giroud. He even said that Giroud was an important player for him. “He is important for our style of play and we need his support. It’s good if he scores, but Olivier is a generous player and doesn’t mind being told to work hard. The team still needs it even though he doesn’t score.”

Deschamps’ statement emphasizes that Giroud does not have the main task of scoring goals. So if Deschamps alone does not dispute the former Arsenal striker did not score a goal, moreover France eventually won, without Giroud’s goal should not be something to criticize, even to discredit Giroud’s ability as a great attacker.