Soccer

"Roger Schmidt blew my mind away" - Jim McGuinness

Raf Diallo
Raf Diallo

03:32 19 Jan 2019


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  • On March 15th, Jim McGuinness will lead out his Charlotte Independence team for their USL fixture against Indy Eleven.

As his new adventure approaches in earnest, he joined Nathan Murphy and Kevin Kilbane on Off The Ball.

The former Donegal senior football manager gave us an insight into what his teams may look like if all goes well.

"In terms of systems, I wouldn't be absolutely wedded to anything," said McGuinness.

Donegal days

"Even when I was with Donegal, it was always important to have something up your sleeve. You always want to be able to bring something different on any given day.

"That's important but at the same time, the principles have to be there every single day. In the early days with Donegal, we were very defensive and a lot of that was down to what went on in the past.

"We were hemorrhaging a lot of goals in big games. It was important for us to get traction and to build from that and become better offensively. I think it's a wee bit easier in terms of the defensive side in football and soccer because you've got to play out through the pressure.

"In Gaelic you can put the ball under your arm and if you're strong enough and big enough, break that tackle. In football, if you're being pressed aggressively, you have to find an option.

 

"If you press well enough and correctly, you should be able to force that ball long. So the pressure and the intensity, the principles of that will be the same. But maybe where you can execute that on the field, would be slightly different. And obviously depending on the quality of the opposition and how good they are playing out, you can set your line very high or medium or a low block.

"I'd like to think that if we get the right athletes in with good technical ability that we'll be able to take the game to a lot of these teams and put them under a lot of pressure, maybe  further up the pitch."

Intensity

That emphasis on the pressing is a very important aspect among modern coaches. At present, he is focusing on trying to bring that profile of player into the club. And he cited Roger Schmidt, who he assisted in China as an inspiration in regards to team intensity.

"The guys that I've been lucky to work with: Neil Lennon, Ronny [Deila] and Brendan Rodgers and Roger Schmidt. You spoke about common themes of pressing and the way the game has gone now and this modern approach. Roger Schmidt blew my mind away to an extent when I went to Beijing," he said.

"The heat out there in the summer was absolutely phenomenal. Still, the level of intensity that the players were able to bring to the game was something that I hadn't seen before. It's all learning.

 

 

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Charlotte Charlotte Independence Donegal Football GAA Jim McGuinness Off The Ball Roger Schmidt Soccer USA USL

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