28 June 2011

Lack of Height

Average height of Vietnam national team stands at just 1.705 m, well staying among shortest national teams in the world. Among 23 selected players, only three goalkeepers are taller than 1.80m. The Olympic team are better, reaching 1.737 m. The lack of height really makes our defense vulnerable in the air against taller opponents.

This is not the first time people point out the physical weakness of the national team. We conceded 3/5 goals from headers last AFF Cup. In last two friendlies against Dong Nai and DT Long An, we conceded 2/4 goals from easy headers of taller foreign players.

Some writers want to deny this disadvantage with the instances of the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Carles Puyol. They dream Vietnam can adopt the playing style of Barcelona or Spain.

Let's face the truth! Spain stands averagely at 1.81 m in height. Some player may be shorter but are extremely quick, have excellent technique and very good body balance.

What about Vietnam? Our players are shorter, slower and much weaker than most opponents. One of our familiar friendly invitees are South Korea University team, a young amateur team, who Vietnam national team always lose to, just because of physical disadvantage.

One thing not many realize: Physical attributes are one of most important things in football of low level. It's not technique and tactics because we are all as bad as other teams. To step up to higher level, the first thing to do is getting quicker, taller and stronger.

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