July 02, 2004

A truly Canadian look at the Greek team: Yes, the Greeks are the Euro 2004 equivalent to the NHL's Minnesota Wild: "If Greece is crowned European champions, you can expect a slew of other teams to adopt the 'trap', a development that could have serious ramifications on the sport of soccer if the current state of the NHL is any indication."

posted by mkn to soccer at 09:33 PM - 5 comments

I haven't been following hockey - has it turned into a boring defense-fest?

posted by lbergstr at 10:42 PM on July 02, 2004

I think when I was 13 and playing select soccer and club hockey, my soccer coach and my hockey coach (my dad, actually), were remarking how similar hockey and soccer are. Indeed, the principles of off-sides, having a goaltender, and the importance of good defense are all related (I know this applies to other sports as well). I guess the larger point is that training techniques and metaphors explaining the game translate well from soccer to hockey, and vice versa.

posted by insomnyuk at 11:50 PM on July 02, 2004

not with the caution-to-the-wind attitude of the English. WTF? I thought we were criticizing Sven for being too cautious after scoring a goal! Also, isn't the Greek system similar to the Italian's catanaccio (sorry if spelled wrong)? I remember asking what this was in one of my first SpoFi discussions. Also, the Devils should be cited as the NHL equivalent. They're the team that developed it in the '90s.

posted by billsaysthis at 02:00 PM on July 03, 2004

Of the big four North American team sports, ice hockey is definitely the closest equivalent to football: there's still a place for players who aren't physically dominant; versatility in 'transition' is vital; dominance is achieved by sustaining pressure over an extended period of time. But the Greek system is as German as its coach. It's not really catenaccio, which in its purest form is a 4-1-3-2 with a libero/sweeper. As this Guardian piece points out, it's more a pragmatic 4-5-1 or 4-4-2 where the wide midfielders generally supplement the full-backs. And there's not really a hockey equivalent to that kind of approach, given that there are much fewer players on the ice.

posted by etagloh at 05:10 PM on July 03, 2004

I'm sorry, but that article was utter bollocks. bill has already made the point I was going to make about the misreading of the way England approached the tournament. On top of that add "Not by playing free-flowing, attacking soccer like the French". They did that? I didn't see it. Also "What's to stop other underachieving nations from employing the same defensive tactics at the 2006 World Cup in Germany?" There *is* nothing to stop them doing that, just like it hasn't stopped them in the past when they did it. The Greeks are just very good at playing a counter-attacking style. To be honest, I don't even think it was that negative. And finally, "Only when they won possession did Greece move forward". Yeah right. All the best teams move forward when the opposition have the ball. Sheesh.

posted by squealy at 05:29 PM on July 04, 2004

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.