Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela: Pace over power
Posted: 28 September 2017 Time: 08:00
Kaizer Chiefs coach Steve Komphela believes modern football favours players with pace and is moving away from a reliance on strength and physicality.
With the influx of young, quick players coming to the fore, it is perceived that trends are changing on both the international and local football fronts, as the intensity of games has risen vastly in recent times.
Komphela feels the days of playing with strong, daunting figures up front to hold the ball up has now transcended to attackers who can move the ball and hurt opponents at pace.
"Whilst talking advantages of the trend of modern football, if you look at Golden Arrows, Maritzburg United, and all the other teams, the physical element has now tilted towards technique and speed – performing actions at high speed," explained the Amakhosi mentor.
"Look at certain teams, when they come out after regaining possession, they fly going forward and you can even see some [players] flipping their legs and enjoying the running. Experienced players use their brains more, while the young ones use their speed. You need to blend that.
"If you ask me where is the game is going? We’ve moved away from the tall, physical players, the generation of your Alan Shearers, [Les] Ferdinands, who played for Queens Park Rangers, those kinds of players – back home it was your Pollen Ndlanyas and all that.
"That tilted to when there was your mix of strength and speed, like the Didier Drogbas, but now you see flying players. So the game is getting fast because you don’t want the opponent to recover and sit in the block.
"When they’re sitting then you have to think and penetrate them, so you want to hit before they get organised, which is where you benefit from the young ones."
With the emergence of young, pacey players such as Wiseman Meyiwa, Kgotso Malope, Yusuf Bunting, Ryan Moon and Emmanuel Letlotlo at Naturena, the former junior national team coach still stresses that having a balance between youth and experience is vital.
"It’s good to see other teams doing what we’re doing, or it's good that we’re all doing the same thing [promoting youngsters], but it is also [important] to preserve the experience that we have," he added.
"Because without background and history, you’ll hardly find your way going forward. It is important for us as coaches, because you can imagine if you have to introduce all youngster without acknowledging the assistance you get from the seniors, it might not work, it has to be a good blend."