We all remember this one game where a certain team was thought out to win the game so easily, but tables turn and the game “slips” within an inch.
In the last decade we’ve seen the rise of new materials tending to control the margin of unpredictability in football such as heat maps, statistical analysis, video analysis, methodological coaching programs, injury preventions, fitness interventions and so on. Yet we haven’t been able to control what happens on the field.
What every football coach, player and fan should know is that football is unpredictable and you can’t control everything that happens on the pitch due to the dynamic and ever changing nature of the game.
Football is a game of constant situational decision making, on-the-spot errors and a game of receiving continual stimuli from teammates and opponents. There’s no dictating plan of action, that is to say there is no from “A to B” in the game.
The main role of a coach should be trying to minimize and cut down the uncontrolled occurrences inside a game. An example could be, a team, in advance of the game, attempting to counter the opposing team’s possession play with emphasis on pressing in the middle of the field. However, with little consideration that the other team’s whole tactical shape has been altered amidst the chaos of uncertainty in football.
This encounter between two random uncontrolled phenomena is what results in the beautiful nature of the game where the ability to apply technical and tactical flexibility, with discipline and swiftness decide the outcome of the game.
The coach’s role to control the unpredictable events (usually in half-time break or post-game video analysis) is to introduce an element or maybe a reshape in the grid or the module of the team to allow the odds (amongst the chaos) to return to the team’s favor.
N.b., Both managers/coaches seeking to change will be exposing two teams to new stimuli/intentions thereby bringing us back to the unpredictable essence of the game where other internal/external factors are decisive in seizing the match.
Today’s takeaway for the fans, is not to over analyze every game and blame wins or losses on the coaches and players, but to realize the very incalculable events that make football so beautiful. So sit back and embrace the unforeseeable.
Gautier Strangret in his book said “LE FOOTBALL EST UNE SCIENCE (IN)EXACTE” and he was absolutely right.