Báo The Guardian, Anh, có loạt bài giới thiệu về chiến thuật và các câu hỏi quan trọng về của 32 đội tham dự World Cup 2014. Bài đọc này xin trích dẫn bài về hai đội đấu trận khai mạc ngày 12/6, và chú giải một số thuật ngữ chuyên môn bóng đá (football jargon). Vì không có nhiều thời gian nên chỉ giới thiệu trận đầu. Cuối bài có đường dẫn tới bài về tất cả 32 đội. Hình minh họa là biểu đồ đánh giá thế mạnh về công, thủ, và chuyền bóng của từng đội. Biểu đồ dạng scorecard với tâm là điểm thấp nhất và vòng ngoài cùng là điểm cao nhất, dựa trên số liệu thi đấu quá khứ do FT Data thu thập (có số liệu của tất cả 32 đội).
Brazil tactics and key questions – the expert’s view
by Fernando Duarte
Luiz Felipe Scolari has made the hosts harder to beat, but they will rely heavily on the creativity of Oscar and Neymar, and the solidity of Thiago Silva and Chelsea’s David Luiz at the back
There were hints of irony in Brazil’s demolition of Spain last June in the Confederations Cup final. First, after dismissing his predecessor’s Guardiola-induced experiences, the Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari witnessed vindication of his theory that tiki-taka could be dismantled. Second, the 3-0 drubbing came in the same season Barcelona had been blown out of the water by Bayern Munich, the team Big Phil had more than publicly professed his admiration for: he actually resorted to adapting gegenpressen to his own needs.
- tiki-taka: Fan của Barcelona hẳn đã quá quen thuộc với lối đá phối hợp nhỏ, di chuyển nhanh, chuyền bóng liên tục khiến đối phương bở hơi tai này.
- gegenpressen: Một kiểu chiến thuật gây sức ép (pressing) toàn sân, nguyên gốc tiếng Đức và thường được gán cho lối chơi của Borussia Dortmund dưới tay huấn luyện viên Juergen Klopp. Từ này còn được Anh hóa thành gegenpressing.
It worked: since taking over the Seleção in November 2012, Scolari has only lost two out of 20 games. Differently from his previous stint from 2001 to 2002, where he could rely upon more experienced players, including defenders who could play in a line of three in order to better accommodate the talents of Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo, this time Scolari needed to handle a side where Neymar is the unmistakable focus of attention.
On paper, Brazil play on a 4-2-3-1 formation, but the most interesting feature is the intensity and commitment they have shown to smother opposition when not in possession of the ball. Although the Seleção use only two proper centre-backs, Thiago Silva and David Luiz, the former Bayern man Luiz Gustavo, now with Wolfsburg, often sits back as a sweeper, although his presence in midfield (hàng tiền vệ) to cover for Paulinho’s advances are greatly appreciated too. Oscar and Neymar are the architects of creativity up front, with Hulk usually deployed as a mixture of battering ram, lethal left foot and someone who can track back (lùi về) and help steal the ball (đoạt bóng) and close the spaces Brazil’s marauding full-backs (Dani Alves specifically) will invariably leave.
- formation: đội hình, còn gọi là line-up
- Hậu vệ gọi chung là defender (hoặc full-back), nhưng để chỉ vai trò cụ thể thì dùng từ thể hiện vị trí trong đội hình, ví dụ centre-back là trung vệ, right-back là hậu vệ [cánh] phải, và left-back là hậu vệ [cánh] trái. Trung vệ có thể đảm nhiệm vai trò càn quét (sweeper), nghĩa là bảo đảm dọn sạch mọi nguy hiểm trước và trong vòng cấm địa (box). Những sweeper nổi tiếng như Beckenbauer và Baresi còn bao sân luôn, lên công xuống thủ nhịp nhàng, và từ đó còn có thêm từ libero.
The former Lyon striker (tiền đạo) Fred is the man Scolari has wanted to act as a No9 since the beginning. The Fluminense striker repaid the manager’s faith by scoring five goals in the Confederations Cup, but a string of niggling injuries means he has played only once for the Seleção since June, which means Neymar is the focal point. The Barcelona forward’s (tiền đạo) deployment on the left side of the pitch is the more obvious solution but Scolari could still use Neymar as a second striker, even though he looks a bit more predictable and vulnerable there.
Brazil have scored 54 goals since Scolari’s return, averaging 2.7 goals per game while conceding 15 (0.75 per game). They have kept 10 clean sheets (trận giữ sạch lưới) including in games against France and Spain.Scolari inherited a side struggling with inexperience and expectations under his predecessor, Mano Menezes, and turned them into a force to be reckoned with (đội đáng gờm) in the World Cup, especially after getting supporters excited once again.
Who is the Brazil player who is going to surprise everyone at the World Cup?
Paulinho. His first season at Spurs was better than many people gave him credit for and he is a crucial player for Brazil. He can do the defensive dirty work (lăn lộn cày ải phòng ngự), but it is his forays further up the pitch (dâng lên tấn công) to augment the forwards that could be a vital ingredient for the hosts.
Who is the player who is going to disappoint the most?
Neymar, if he doesn’t challenge for Golden Boot and/or Brazil don’t win. As unfair as it sounds those are the standards that are set for a player on whose young shoulders much of the nation’s hopes rest.
What is the realistic aim for your team at the World Cup and why?
Winning it. Because nothing else will leave the fans happy. Welcome to Brazil!
Croatia tactics and key questions – the expert’s view
by Aleksandar Holiga
With Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic running the midfield, and plenty of experience in defence, Croatia have the attributes to at the very least accompany Brazil out of Group A
Gone are the days of relentless tactical experiments which ultimately saw Igor Stimac fired before November’s World Cup play-off (trận đấu tranh vé vớt) with Iceland. Unlike his massively unpopular predecessor, Croatia’s new manager, Niko Kovac, is adamant to play “4-2-3-1-come-4-1-4-1” as he proclaimed right from the start of his tenure. That formation may bring the best out of Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic, the team’s playmaking duo, but it still does not solve either of the two old issues: the shortage of quality wingers and the need to balance creativity with a physical presence in midfield.
- Playmaking duo: cặp tiền vệ kiến thiết / dẫn dắt lối chơi. Tiền vệ [chạy] cánh gọi là winger (hoặc wide midfielder); cụ thể hơn, right-winger là tiền vệ cánh phải, hay hữu biên, và left-winger là tiền vệ cánh phải, hay tả biên.
Despite Danijel Subasic doing really well at Monaco, the 35-year-old Stipe Pletikosa is still the first-choice goalkeeper. Reliable rather than spectacular, he has held that post for almost 15 years. The captain (thủ quân) Darijo Srna, of Shakhtar Donetsk, is the undisputed right-back ((hậu vệ [cánh] phải)), while Lokomotiv Moscow’s Vedran Corluka and Southampton’s Dejan Lovren should make the centre-back pairing (cặp trung vệ). Left-back (hậu vệ [cánh] trái) has been a permanent weak spot, which is why Kovac called back the almost forgotten Danijel Pranjic, now at Panathinaikos. And with Dnipro’s Ivan Strinic injured that position should go to Pranjic.
Real Madrid’s Modric and Sevilla’s Rakitic will be expected to run the show in the central area (kiểm soát khu vực giữa sân). But a place for Mateo Kovacic, Internazionale’s rising star, also needs to be found and the question is – where? It is the same dilemma that Miroslav Blazevic had as the manager of the 1998 bronze-winning generation featuring Zvonimir Boban, Robert Prosinecki and Aljosa Asanovic: fielding all three midfield playmakers (tiền vệ kiến thiết / dẫn dắt lối chơi) is just as risky as it is tempting.
Though the current trio are all tactically intelligent and apt as ball-winners (cầu thủ [có khả năng] đoạt bóng), they do not offer enough “muscle”; besides that, too much focus on defensive work could stifle their creativity. Adding a holding specialist (tiền vệ trụ) – like the experienced, but often doubted Ognjen Vukojevic of Dynamo Kiev – is the safer option. In that case, young Kovacic could be deployed to one of the wings, which should suit him much more than was the case with Rakitic, who had previously been routinely (mis)used in wide positions (vị trí đá biên, chạy cánh) for the national team.
That particular switch is among the things Kovac is considering for the tournament opener (trận mở màn) against Brazil on 12 June, when his star striker Mario Mandzukic won’t be available due to suspension (treo giò) following his red card in the 2-0 second leg (lượt về) play-off victory over Iceland.
The Bayern Munich player will be replaced by either Eduardo (Shakhtar Donetsk) or by the veteran Ivica Olic (Wolfsburg) – the latter has often been utilised out wide for Croatia, mainly out of necessity, but is more natural up front. Olic’s club team-mate Ivan Perisic is expected to start on the other flank (cánh).
It’s also worth noting that almost all of the players mentioned have a very good club season behind them and several enjoyed a late upsurge in form (phong độ). They should be at their peak come the World Cup.
Who is the player who is going to surprise everyone at the World Cup?
In a team packed with experience, the wonderfully gifted Mateo Kovacic is at least five years younger than any other starter (cầu thủ trong đội hình xuất phát). And yet his role could be key to dealing with Croatia’s shortcomings. The 20-year-old had arguably been neglected by Internazionale’s coach Walter Mazzari before he finally began to flourish late in the season – culminating with an incredible performance in Javier Zanetti’s farewell game at San Siro, when he sliced open (chọc thủng / xé toang) the Lazio defence (hàng phòng ngự) with three assists (đường chuyền thành bàn) in a 4-1 win.
Kovacic is a very technically skilled and explosive player, a great dribbler (cầu thủ có khả năng lừa / rê bóng) with an exceptional vision of the game, which means both that he’s able to make crucial interceptions (cản phá) defensively and provide key passes (đường chuyền) to attackers. But he’s rather weak in the air (chơi đầu kém, yếu về không chiến ) and not nearly as compact a player as Modric – rather than shielding the ball and keeping it moving with many short passes, he needs space.
- Compact player ở đây chỉ cầu thủ có lối chơi thiên về phối hợp nhỏ, linh hoạt trong không gian chật hẹp.
Kovacic enjoys dropping deep to get the ball (lùi về để đoạt bóng) and then driving it forward with pace (dốc bóng thần tốc lên tuyến trên). With his light feet and impressive acceleration with the ball, he is perhaps better suited for one of the positions behind the striker (either central or wide) in Croatia’s 4-2-3-1 than to that of a deep-lying playmaker. How exactly Kovac will decide to use him is still to be seen, but the youngster could be a true revelation at the tournament.
- Light feet: chân dẻo, rê và dẫn bóng nhanh. Từ light ở đây đồng nghĩa với quick and nimble.
- Central striker (hoặc forward) là trung phong, còn wide striker (hoặc forward) là tiền đạo cánh.
- Deep-lying playmaker: tiền vệ dẫn dắt / kiến thiết lùi sâu (ngoài phát động tấn công, có thể đảm nhận thêm vai trò hỗ trợ phòng ngự). Một loại tiền vệ khác là box-to-box midfielder, có khả năng bao sân, lên công xuống thủ không biết mệt, liên tục chạy từ đầu này tới đầu kia (box là vòng cấm địa) thì phải khỏe hơn voi :).
Who is the player who is going to disappoint the most?
Dejan Lovren won many admirers in England during his debut Premier League season, but he has never really excelled for the national team. That is the main reason he is still somewhat underrated in his homeland. The World Cup is the best opportunity for him to prove his worth and Croatia fans will certainly expect him to do so.
However, there’s one particular aspect of Lovren’s game his fellow countrymen dread could come into focus – and that’s his less-than-great disciplinary record. He tends to get careless every now and then and concede unnecessary fouls (phạm lỗi không đáng) in the danger zone. Croatia will almost certainly play with a deeper defensive line (phòng ngự sâu) than Southampton do and officiating at the World Cup could well be stricter than it is in England, so any lapses of concentration could prove very costly. Hopefully not many of them will happen, though. Croatians need to learn to trust Lovren more.
- Less-than-great disciplinary record ý nói hay dính thẻ (vàng/đỏ).
- Trọng tài (referee)gọi chung là officials, officiating là sự/cách điều khiển trận đấu của trọng tài. Ý ở câu này là trọng tài ở World Cup có thể bắt nghiêm ngặt hơn ở Anh.
What is the realistic aim for your team at the World Cup and why?
Given the size of our population, the standard of our domestic league and everything we’ve been put through in the qualifiers, qualification alone is a great achievement in itself. But it’s also true that we have a potent and experienced team, with key players at their individual peak. Neither Mexico nor Cameroon are better than us and we can give Brazil at least a good run for their money. So progressing from the group stage, for the first time since 1998, is a realistic aim. And after that … well, anything can happen in those knockout rounds (vòng đấu loại trực tiếp), right?
Links: Tập hợp các bài trên The Guardian về chiến thuật của 32 đội tham dự World Cup 2014, sắp xếp thành từng cặp theo thứ tự các trận đấu vòng loại lượt thứ nhất.