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May 15th: Corinthians v Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores
The inability (refusal?) of players to use their weaker foot drives me nuts.
I've heard rumors about at least one U.S. national team player who thinks pretty highly of his potential salary in MLS, but the teams that want to sign him don't quite agree.
I should go on a rant about French airports here, but I'm airborne now and they can't harass me anymore.
There's often a very good reason for players not using their weaker foot. Like they basically have no control at all.
Sure, if you only start from their skill set today (and even in their 20s they ought to be able to improve). But as Arjun pointed out in #10, the failure to coach this at younger ages is inexcusable.
"The reaction persists and, in France, it has been predominantly negative to the point where I find it almost pretentious," he says, of the country of his birth. "To say that players should not appreciate the context in which they operate is stupid. Football is like a business now.
"In England, it's more objective. People are more cool about players earning millions. It's also not whether they agree with what I say, it's that there is a respect for the fact I was man enough to say it. I must say, as well, that I have seen quite a few Spurs players kiss the badge and then fuck off. I am still here."
The one thing I have noticed is that it has very little to do with actual strength of the left leg (I can leg press equally with each leg). But for some reason I can't plant my right foot in a way that sets up a shot... my brain just won't let me.
I'm sure there's natural variation on this, just as there is on everything. My daughter was the most two-footed player I've ever seen at any level, but only some of that is from me urging her to use her left from the very beginning. Some of it is a brain wired to be ambidextrous.
First, I think soccer offers more opportunity for the use of both feet than basketball does for the use of both hands.
It's been interesting to watch Bale get better with his right foot the last few years. He's still awkward with it but he can put in a cross now and actually shoot on goal with a bit of menace with it now.
@27: I think part of it is learning early. We all learn better when we're 7 than when we're 20.
I wonder if, when he was coached, there just wasn't any need, in his coaches' minds, for him to learn the right.
Of course, the best is to be really, really good with both feet, but I don't know if anyone is that
RVP are both very left-footed, but I've seen both take good shots with the right when they needed to.
Bolton v Blackpool: a win for Bolton secures their play-off spot
Brighton v Wolves: Wolves need to win this to retain any hope of staying up, but even then they'll need Barnsley and Peterborough to both lose, and make up a four-goal deficit on the latter.
Crystal Palace v Peterborough: Both desperately need the points. A draw will probably be enough to secure Palace a play-off spot, unless Bolton and Forest both win, the latter heavily, while Boro need a win to be (pretty much) certain of retaining their divisional status.
Derby v Millwall: The Lions will be certain of staying up with a win, almost certain with a draw, but will be looking over their shoulders at what Barnsley, Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday do if they lose.
Huddersfield v Barnsley: Barnsley are in the drop zone. A point might do, but they'll require Peterborough to lose if that's going to suffice. The Terriers are safe, unless they lose this, Peterborough and Wednesday win, and Millwall get a draw. Then they'll be going down (unless Blackburn lose by at least 14 goals at Birmingham, which really would put the tin lid on a season of indignities).
Hull v Cardiff: A home win against the champs will see Hull promoted.
Forest v Leicester: Both could snatch a play-off place. A draw will do for Forest should Bolton lose, and yet a win might not be enough if Bolton win and Palace get a point. They'd need to make a few goals up on the pair if that's how it pans out. It's win or bust for the Foxes, meantime, but if they manage it they'll grab that last play-off spot should Bolton fail to win.
Wednesday v Boro: The home side need to win against Tony Mowbray's poor, confused outfit. Everyone wins against Tony Mowbray's poor, confused outfit.
Watford v Leeds: A point will be enough to win promotion for the Hornets should Hull lose. A win will be enough should Hull draw. But if Hull win, it's the play-offs for Zola's lads.
watford is more fun.
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