Azkals coach teaches football Euro style

By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star

Posted at Feb 09 2014 07:05 PM | Updated as of Feb 10 2014 03:05 AM

MANILA, Philippines - New coach Thomas Dooley plans to mold Philippine Azkals into a side that play the way European clubs do – simple and predicated on fundamentals.

“I would like the Azkals to play like Arsenal, Bayern, Dortmund and Barcelona. They play simple, but they are technically good,” said Dooley.

“Let’s make football simple. We need to perfect the basics of the game.The thing is, when you’re technically skilled, you tend to make the game difficult. You want to be outstanding. But the only way to be outstanding is not to lose the ball,” he added.

Dooley is taking over an Azkals team that, despite its inroads in recent years, has struggled with style of play.

“I love football so much not to play the right way,” he said. “I want to play an attractive style and fast-paced offensive game but still founded on the basics.”

The 52-year-old German-American said he’s only seen the Azkals play twice on tapes, against Hong Kong and against Cambodia.

“Technically they are pretty good. Tactically, I think that we have to work a little bit,” he said of the Azkals.

He intends to immediately meet with the Azkals based in Manila and touch base with their brethren playing overseas.

Dooley said he wants to form a team “that works for everybody” and look for a player who is “technically good with the ball, understands his role, has right attitude, and proper fitness.” He also expressed preference to the” 4-2-3-1” formation.

“Like I always say, you won’t win championships with just one single player; it always has to be the team. You can have the best player in your team but that doesn’t mean you can win championships,” he said.

“So you have to form a team to make that happen. That actually is my biggest task and I would like to accomplish that. We have to have a team where everybody plays for everyone. That would be something that we have to work on in the next couple of weeks,” he added.

Dooley will have four months to whip the Azkals into smooth-running unit as they embark on their mission to qualify for the 2015 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup by winning the AFC Challenge Cuplsated May 19-30 in Maldives.