Some youth academies worry about winning, we worry about education. You see a kid who lifts his head up, who plays the pass first time, pum, and you think, 'Yep, he'll do.' Bring him in, coach him. Our model was imposed by [Johan] Cruyff; it's an Ajax model. It's all about rondos [piggy in the middle]. Rondo, rondo, rondo. Every. Single. Day. It's the best exercise there is. You learn responsibility and not to lose the ball. If you lose the ball, you go in the middle. Pum-pum-pum-pum, always one touch. If you go in the middle, it's humiliating, the rest applaud and laugh at you.Full interview can be read here.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
The Secret of Barca's Success
One of the finest pieces of football writing to appear this year is Sid Lowe's interview with the Barcelona midfielder Xavi which, unlike most interviews, happens to be entertaining and insightful. It really should be read in full but, from the perspective that interests us - how clubs develop players - this bit particularly stood out.