Karim Bencherifa: You cannot impose the Barcelona style always

The former I-League coach of the year award winner stated that style of the team isn’t just dependent on what the manager thinks but all on several external factors too…

Salgaocar coach Karim Bencherifa has joined the debate on the style of football to be played given the latest obsession with ‘tiki-taka’ given Barcelona’s dominance for the last five years or so.

The Blaugrana’s display has caught the attention of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) officials too and who in their quest to see the national team change their style of play have bought in a Dutch coach in Wim Koevermans, who was part of the Euro 88 winning squad under the legendary Rinus Michels.

Bencherifa, who led Salgaocar SC to win the I-League in the 2010-11 season, gave his take on how the game must be played.

“The trend is that everybody is talking about style and Barcelona and Spain. Personally I do feel playing on the ground or playing possession football is the best , as was seen in my teams coached by me – Salgaocar, Mohun Bagan or Churchill Brothers before. The aim is that my teams play good football and we always scored a lot of goals,” Bencherifa told in an interview to Prudent Media.

“I consider goalkeeper as the first attacker and when he has the ball I don’t want him to go too long when he can pass the ball to the defenders. We like to build from the back. We like the side-backs to get involved in the attack. Last year the side-backs had scored goals as well,” he elaborated..

However the Moroccan coach highlighted that there are occasions where even though he would want his team to play beautiful football but it is circumstantially not possible and hence one need not be obsessed with the idea.

When the ground is uneven, can you pass the ball along the ground?

“You want to play possession football. But at times, the infrastructure does not allow you to play. Sometimes when you have a bouncy ground or when the grass is high or if there is not much grass or you are playing in an artificial pitch which is not watered and is dry.  You want to play fast game, possession game but it’s not possible because the infrastructure is not suiting that fast game and possession game,” he explained.

Bencherifa mentioned that the coaches have to adapt to the situation best as things may not always go the way they would want it to.

“But at times you have to adapt with the quality of the players that you have. Sometimes you will have in the midfield three players can play possession game but another player who doesn’t have that skills required to do that, The defence is good and they have good strength. They can defend but you can’t count on them much that they do good trapping and good passes. So as a coach, you cannot impose Barcelona or Spanish side but you have to adapt,” the former Churchill Brothers coach reasoned.

However he assured the Salgaocar SC fans that the Goan side shall certain play in the best possible manner.

“We will definitely find the best football possible and we will call it the Salgaocar style.”

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