All Whites: Time for old guard to move on

Last updated 05:00 08/12/2013

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How can we kickstart NZ football?

New Zealand football is 'in a rut' All Whites need Ernie Merrick All Whites: Time for old guard to move on We need an NZ Football revolution All Whites change must start at the top All Whites need Yellow Fever influence Something is not All White All Whites must learn from Australia All Whites: Need to lay groundwork All Whites: NZ Football needs a 'doer'

For All Whites coach I think we need to look at either a German or possibly an Italian coach. Both country's leagues build from the back and have controlling midfield players and forwards who are lethal in the box. They play at pace with control which is something New Zealand needs to develop to compete internationally.

But the thing that I believe New Zealand Football needs the most is someone upfront who scores goals.

Chris Wood is becoming that player but is still developing. Jeremy Brockie who is good at A-league level hasn't and probably won't make the step up to international level (42 games 0 goals). Shane Smeltz isn't the poacher he once was and against Mexico he looked out of ideas. Michael McGlinchey has become a good central mid and with Chris James they look like being able to control games and dictate the tempo.

It was painfully obvious how much we missed Winston Reid against Mexico. Not in terms of his actual ability but more on his experience playing in arguably the best league in the world and starting for West Ham week in week out.

Personally I would play a 4-3-2-1 formation with Glen Moss in goal with Bill Tuiloma and Storm Roux at rb/lb with Tommy Smith and Reid at centre-half. McGlinchey, James and maybe Cameron Howieson in the middle with Marco Rojas, Kosta Barbarouses playing off the shoulders of Wood up front.

It's time for the old guard to move on. Leo Bertos, Tony Lochead, Ivan Vicelich, Jeremy Christie, as much as they have given to New Zealand football, they are just too slow to play at the highest level anymore. Mexico tore us apart in the first half in Wellington by simply playing at pace.

Finally the one thing that sets apart the best players from the not-so-good ones is their first touch.

New Zealand players can't stop it dead at their feet whereas Mexicans where able to stop the ball and play right away without having to think about where the ball is and is it under control. This isn't something you can teach older players. Mostly you either have a good first touch or you don't but younger players can be taught.

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