So England are on their way to the Brazil 2014 World Cup (yesss!) and everyone’s an armchair manager. With as many views as there are fans, we thought we’d add to the debate…. retrogaming-style! Is possession football really king? Only Kick Off has the answers lol
Yep, continuing the occasional series of KO2 ‘enquiries’ (What kind of Striker are you?) the three of us played a x4 JFF all with an eye on the possession stats. To add a tactical twist we agreed the away team would play with a pre-determined formation. Out of KO2CV’s 8 tactics, the roll of dice gave us…..wait for it…… lockout (yawn! yay! groan!), so we’d each play 4 times with lockout and 4 times against it. Game on!
Ste certainly came out on top here, playing a smart game against lockout, drawing out the deepest of defences, and was the only player achieving a majority possession (52%). Gaz remained unbeaten too and decided if you can’t find a way through then take the aerial route! (ie lob) It wasn’t pretty but it worked. Although Si’s gameplay was good, he wasn’t firing on all cylinders – literally backfiring at times lol – but there’s always next time mate.
Gaz seemed most at home playing with Lockout, finding space down the wings, for narrow angle and diagonal lob goal attempts. In his final match against Si, he achieved the highest individual possession of the night (62%), though the two-times World’s Best Defence (who clearly doesn’t need a fortified backline to achieve this) was by then resorting to Blitz tactics! Ste, however, once again topped the possession league with an average of 56%, partly the result of his intelligent dribbling strategy. The lack of the forward pass lead to some fine Hans Solo moments too.
Ste and Gaz finished with identical W4-D3-L1 records, Ste with the superior possession stats yet Gaz had better attack and defence…. errm, maybe the night wasn’t so conclusive afterall lol. Whatever, it was good excuse to play some kick off even if futher investigations are required. One thing’s for sure… all players improved their possession when playing with lockout, most significantly with Gaz (+9%) and Si (+8%) but ‘tiki-taki’ Ste (+2%) generally keeps the damn ball whatever sh** he’s playing with haha.
With the lockout shackles off we finished the night with some play-what-you-like games. The pitch felt bigger, the game flowed better, freedom at last! Gaz and Ste had a very entertaining 6-6 finale but match of the night had to be Ste v Si, an incredible 21 goal score-athon ending 13-8. Get in!