Head of CAF technical study group Raul Chipenda, talks AFCON trends

Head of CAF technical study group Raul Chipenda, talks AFCON trends

With the AFCON drawing to a close on Sunday, the director of the CAF technical study group discussed some of the trends the panel picked up in their analysis - of the football on display during the tournament.

Raul Chipenda leads a selection of highly skilled former coaches and players who will also have the tough task of deciding who wins individual accolades tomorrow when the curtain comes down as hosts Cote d’Ivoire face Nigeria.

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Speaking to SABC Sport in Abidjan, Chipenda revealed their observations. 

 ''We can speak about for example the system of play, you heard during the conference that the most used system of play it is the very flexible 4-3-3, but there are teams that also play with the 4-4-2 system.''

''But when you say flexible, it is because teams also change the system of play, depending on when they have the ball and when they are without the ball. Today we speak of being in position and out of position, meaning that each has its own system of play,'' said Chipenda.

Chipenda adds that what’s struck him the most is seeing the national teams at the AFCON having a lot of structure in their approach.

''What is more important for me is how organised the teams are. Today we see teams playing with a strong compact back - that makes the life of the opponent difficult. The teams are closing their blocks, openings seem to be coming from the wides and the crosses are coming and the goals are also being scored,'' added Chipenda.

It’s expected that players will take the limelight, but Chipenda doesn’t forget to highlight the impact of the coaches who come up with the tactics from the dugout to make the stars shine.

''I think coaching here is also a big point, the management of the players, the way they make their substitutions. And mentally the players are strong, they don't stop until the final whistle,'' he concluded.

Due to the heat in Cote d’Ivoire, there’s been some argument this is why spectators have seen an avalanche of goals.