Comment: Steve Morison is right – We don’t understand the plans
A podcast featuring striker Steve Morison was released this week and one clip was shared and sparked debate among Shrewsbury supporters.
The show, from Tifo Football Podcast (@TifoFootball_ on Twitter and Tifo Podcast on YouTube), contained a specific 40-second clip of Morison giving an interesting insight from a player’s point of view when it comes to tactics and gameplans.
The clip was shared by Town fans. Essentially, the experienced former Millwall striker discusses how supporters – with no specific mention of Town fans – may berate a player from the stands for not closing down. This, as Morison argued, may not be in the plan. The striker is right in saying fans don’t understand.
Players are rarely drawn on in-depth tactical insight and don’t often share too many dressing room ‘secrets’. But when Morison made his point in that short clip, it makes a case for, perhaps instead of screaming something so patently clear, there may be an alternative desired effect to the action (or lack of) being carried out.
Morison, 36, suggested the plan was to let the defender, who has been judged not a threat, to have the ball, before springing a trap and pressing elsewhere. It is not something revolutionary from the Guardiola or Klopp guide to coaching. But still something easily overlooked by your average Joe.
I played the clip to Town boss Sam Ricketts at this week’s press conference to gauge his thoughts on the subject.
“This is anyone who watches any game of football who isn’t directly involved in what a team are trying to do,” Ricketts said.
“Myself watching Wales, and England the other night in the 5-3 game, we can all critique it, and say ‘why isn’t that player doing x, y or z?’ But you don’t know what the player has been asked to do.
“That’s why it’s incredibly hard. Pundits on TV are exactly the same. It doesn’t matter how many games you’ve played, top, top pundits at top levels, they don’t know what a player has been asked to do.”
Football is a game of opinions and, as fans and onlookers, we all think we see and know best. We all believe we have a basic understanding to grasp what we are watching.
But, the truth is, as Morison explained in the oddly eye-opening clip, none of us ‘truly’ understand what Ricketts or any other manager or coach asked of players behind closed doors.
The Shrews boss has experienced similar himself.
“We all love watching Monday Night Football. I’ve been there. Gary Neville picked a Bolton game out years and years ago in the Premier League.
“He was on his board asking ‘why is that player there? They should be here’. We were only doing what we were asked. From a player’s point of view we have to do what the manager wants. I didn’t necessarily disagree with Gary Neville but I was asked to do something different.”
Don’t stop having an opinion, but give your howl another second’s thought before unleashing.