Clint’s off the ball movement for the goal

We’ve done this thing before, how tap-ins are only tap-ins because someone had the nous to get into the right position (e.g. Gera v Hamburg).

Note the following, then. Dempsey initially shapes towards the far post, then holds his ground in the middle, possibly in expectation of a Murphy cross.  But then, when Murphy shoots, nobody else gambles like Dempsey does.  It is generally assumed that Reina will save the ball, but Dempsey doesn’t take that view and chases in, just in case (Gary Lineker always stressed the importance of gambling as a striker).

He’s rewarded with what becomes a simple goal, and there’s not a defender in sight.

Good, intelligent play.

(also, half an assist for AJ, who looks to have been in Reina’s line of sight. Credit also to Ruiz, for springing Riise, Riise for a good progressive run, Senderos for the nice ball back out to Murphy, and Murphy himself for getting it in the mixer)

9 thoughts on “Clint’s off the ball movement for the goal

  1. Fascinating, for the reasons you give, plus the proof of how much can happen in a couple of seconds — witness the ground covered by AJ between the first two frames — and then in zero recordable seconds — Clint later. The first half yard is in the head, they say, and it’s certainly in his as you have shown.

  2. I’m glad to see that I wasn’t the only one who thought “Gary Lineker’ when that goal went in [see my “View” over on].

    Here’s something that I’ve noted watching Fulham with Brits. We have players who are brilliant at running off the ball — Dempsey and AJ leap to mind. The latter is a genius at pulling defenders wide to open up a crowded penalty area. And yet, what you or I might like to call “intelligent running off the ball” SO many others seem to prefer to call “running about like a headless chicken.” Creating space and finding space are critical skills for a good footballer, but are vastly unappreciated and misunderstood at times.

    Good analysis as always, sir.

  3. Great analysis. The other thing that jumped out at me is what a terrible defender Glen Johnson is. How do you let Murphy get the ball on his preferred foot and get a shot on goal there?

  4. I wonder if Clint gains anything from (presumably) playable a lot of basketball as a kid too. It’s all about “crashing the boards” to get that offensive rebound and put in the “easy bucket”.

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