Three flashes of individual technical brilliance stood out, moments that changed the game but also sum up this brave new footballing culture on show at the Olympic stadium. There was much emphasis placed on England’s first goal but for me, it was in the run up to this where a moment of pure individual brilliance stood out.
Dele Alli’s Audacious Nutmeg
Dele Alli received the ball in midfield and was surrounded as usual by Germans. Alli takes a touch to control the ball and then with his second touch he effortlessly nut megs’ (plays ball through the legs) of the pressing Emre Can. This may often be seen as bravado or one-upmanship on an opponent however the fact is that this was the most efficient way to get past the player. The play eventually breaks down and leads to the corner, from which the Kane goal comes.
Now this bit of skill comes as no surprise or accident. Harry Kane would have done thousands of Cruyff turns during his time coming through the ranks of Tottenham Hotspurs academy. As a technical coach myself working 6 years within that Academy I can testify on the emphasis that is placed on the ability to turn and dribble past defenders. Learning new skills and endless repetitions of them so that players can master the ball. The last English player to have the audacity to perform a Cruyff turn against the Germans was Gazza in Italia 90.
Harry Kane’s Cruyff & Finish
Jamie Vardy’s Sublime Goal
Head Coach at MyPersonalFootballCoach.com