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Do players have any understanding of football tactics?

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Reading about Reyes bitch about Capello’s defensive tactics, two things came to mind:

1) Reyes should learn to keep his mouth shut – all you have to do is wave a mic in front of him and he starts talking nonsense. Last year it was about leaving Madrid, and now he’s complaining about Real Madrid not playing to ‘his’ strengths.

2) Do football players have any concept of what tactics are, or are most of them totally clueless and just do what the manager tells them to do? Certainly strikers are more instinctive than the rest, but in general, how many of our heroes think about their football and not just themselves?

Real Madrid are have been defensively weak for the last few seasons and it’s no surprise that Capello is trying to shore up that area. Yes, Capello was probably negative against Bayern and Real should have gone for the kill in the second half, but Bayern genuinely played better in the second half and Guti and Gago were no match for Hargreaves and van Bommel.

Contrast Ronaldo with Reyes – both are selfish, talented and prone to diving, but one of them takes the punches on the chin and plays for the team, while the other does little but complain and talk to the press.

Capello (and future managers) should ban Reyes from talking to the press. Or will that make him even more miserable?

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Ahmed Bilal created Sportslens in 2006. He is a business consultant and entrepreneur who helps businesses identify and overcome their biggest challenges. He’s also the founder of Football Media, an online advertising agency that specialises in sports and male audience targeting, with a monthly reach of 100m+ sports fans in the UK and US. He’s also the previous owner of Soccerlens.com – a sports news site that reaches 3m+ readers / month.