Is it bad for your team to be predictable?
A lot of people talk about creativity in soccer and how if you can make the opponent predictable it’s much easier to defend against them.
My question is, is it really that bad to be predictable?
To me, being predictable doesn’t necessarily mean making the same pass to the same player every time. Rather, it means knowing that when you receive a ball what your options are, where your support is and where the danger might be coming from.
As an example, when a center back receives the ball, I want him to be able to know his options and to know these options are there every time. I want him to know that another center back is going to be supporting from behind. I want him to know the center midfielders are showing in some form of a triangle. I want him to know a forward is going to check to the ball so he can bypass the midfielders if he wants.
When a team is predictable in it’s positioning, shape and balance, then the players have the opportunity to be creative.
If a player has to find all of his teammates and then determine the best option it takes a lot more time than if a player KNOWS his teammates are going to be in a proper position and simply has to then decide his best option.
If your team gives up a free kick in the defensive quarter of the field don’t you want them to be predictable and to line up properly every time? This type of situation is NOT when you want to start wondering what each player should be doing.
The teams that are most predictable are frequently also the ones who can be most creative because the predictability of their teammates allows the individuals to be ore creative.
If I have a choice, I want my players to be predictable, especially off the ball. This will allow for creativity on the ball and isn’t that what we are looking for in the long run?