FanShot

Diagnosing and correcting why Toronto FC lose in the league, but fared well in the Champions league, and addressing the calls for change.

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If you've been reading the 'know your enemy' pieces before games here, you'll already know all about James Grossi (@grawsee)'s football knowledge and attention to detail. Here, over at his usual home Partially Obstructed View, he turns that spotlight on TFC and just why they're struggling with the 4-3-3, in what's probably the best article I've read on the subject. As much as it's about tactics and formations, it's also about instinct, knowing what to do and being able to do it quickly enough to make it work, and that's obviously something that's going to take some time. It reminds me of a quote from this interview with Barcelona midfielder Xavi in the Guardian a while back, talking about what makes Barca so successful. "When you arrive at Barça the first thing they teach you is: think. Think, think, think. Quickly. [Xavi starts doing the actions, looking around himself.] Lift your head up, move, see, think. Look before you get the ball. If you're getting this pass, look to see if that guy is free. Pum. First time. Look at [Sergio] Busquets – the best midfielder there is playing one-touch. He doesn't need more. He controls, looks and passes in one touch. Some need two or three and, given how fast the game is, that's too slow" It's impossible to do James' article justice in this short space, so just click on the link at the top and read it.

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