The development potential of ASEAN countries will still remain limited. Filipinos, Cambodians or Thais rarely have the physical conditions to be more successful in football.
The Spain and Argentina teams are not full of giants at the moment... though I understand your point.
I know what I'm writing about! I am much more than 5 ft. tall ... almost as far away from 6 ft. Physical preconditions is relevant in football, especially in a direct duel.
Of course, there are also ‘diminutive’ super players. Lionel Messi is physically not a giant, Maradona wasn't ...There were even strong defensive players in football history. I remember e.g. Norbert
‘Nobby’ Stiles (same first name, same height…if Wikipedia is true)
, who played an exceptionally good World Cup final in '66.
But that was not my point. I know: small players also have some advantages: they are often more nimble, more agile (and have a shorter viewing distance to the ball if it’s on the ground). So I wrote “… only
… small and lanky strikers”. That’s the problem.
It is no problem for a symphony orchestra if the best and most virtuoso player of a triangle is part of it (not even if he otherwise plays no instrument).
However, if the entire orchestra consists only
of such triangle players, then the quality will be very limited.
An Argentine or Spanish coach can make a choice! He can weigh the pros and cons. Do I need for my ensemble still rather a lively or a more solid player? A dribbler (very often not so tall), a physically strong player with better defensive qualities, or a striker who can win head duels, etc., etc.
topic “Gibraltar”, Oct 04, 2012 12:31 am, nfm24 wrote:
… It depends on how much importance is given to developing the team and its potential...
This was another wise comment by you. With only a few words you pointed out on an important issue. Let's call that "issues of infrastructure". Infrastructure is very important for the outcome. And (only)
one part of it is the physical preconditions of players. Are there big differences between two teams, this point may even be decisive. We can compare e.g. Malta und Iceland:
Both are islands, population about the same (slightly larger Malta), Iceland economically stronger, Malta Catholic / Iceland Protestant. Level of professionalism of football: I think comparable, but Iceland has some professionals in the UK.
For so many years Iceland is clearly stronger than Malta. (Head-to-head record: 10 wins, 1 draw, 3 losses). Iceland won all 5 the matches at home. In Malta Iceland won more often, two of the three losses are over 20 years back.
Why Iceland is stronger? Socioeconomic factors may (also) be a reason... But most important is a difference in physical strength: the Icelanders are much taller. Looking at the current squads there is a difference about 3 inches. The physical strength of the Icelanders is one of the reasons that this ‘tiny’ island has a very competitive handball team (internationally seen).
I remember a funny scene at WC ‘98. A Jamaican defender controlled the ball, a Japanese player tried to get it …: slow motion won
the direct duel against time lapse
and Jamaica against Japan.The topic here is “Africa”:
in Africa there are also some differences. Compare West and East! Countries with excellent long distance runners have “some problems” in football…
This is to show that it is not meant to devalue any peoples. Quite the contrary! East Africans or Southeast Asians are not too stupid to play football.
And usually not under development is the main cause of weaker performance. From Southeast Asia came again and again excellent guys in boxing, but only in the lower weight classes; similar for Central America.