This tactical analysis of a Mario and Sonic football match is too good to miss
Yoshi, Knuckles, Sonic and Bowser are all involved in the passage of play.
Whether it’s Monday Night Football or an online blog, tactical analysis of the beautiful game is as popular as ever right now, but have you ever seen it applied like this?
Twitter user @maximilianhc decided to apply some modern thoughts on counter pressing to a rather different form of the game, namely Nintendo and Sega’s Mario And Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The clip under the microscope is from an advert for the video game, in which the football on offer perhaps most closely resembles the high-pressing nature of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool or Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham.
(Thread) Wanted to highlight a good example of chance creation from an effective counter-press in the men's #football tournament at the 2012 Olympics in London. Here's the clip, we'll break it down shortly. #analysis #tactics #gegenpressing #studythetape pic.twitter.com/Bi2lVZq0QQ— 🇧🇷 LULA 🇸🇮 DONČIĆ 🇧🇷 (@FreeWuLei) April 24, 2018
The analysis begins with a poorly weighted pass, cut out by Shadow the Hedgehog, naturally.
Good? Let's set the scene. Team Knuckles' centre-forward, Knuckles the Echidna, is set to receive the ball from an off-screen teammate near the half-way circle when he is dispossessed by the opposition no. 6, Shadow the Hedgehog. pic.twitter.com/O7jzTy9S3w— 🇧🇷 LULA 🇸🇮 DONČIĆ 🇧🇷 (@FreeWuLei) April 24, 2018
The misplaced pass triggers the press from Team Knuckles, a tactic which dictates players must attempt to win back a lost ball within a few seconds of losing it.
Almost immediately this triggers the press from Team Knuckles' no. 8, Yoshi, who aggressively closes down Shadow and wins the ball - the tackle is rather reckless and certainly not how I would coach it, but it gets the job done nonetheless. pic.twitter.com/rq4kMzAtoE— 🇧🇷 LULA 🇸🇮 DONČIĆ 🇧🇷 (@FreeWuLei) April 24, 2018
Yoshi’s efforts yield possession, the ball falling to Knuckles…
The loose ball falls back to Knuckles, and almost immediately, Team Knuckles are counterattacking with numbers. As we can see in this clip, Team Knuckles, specifically Yoshi and Waluigi, utilise effective off-ball movement to create an opportunity on goal. pic.twitter.com/AThdFK5fhV— 🇧🇷 LULA 🇸🇮 DONČIĆ 🇧🇷 (@FreeWuLei) April 24, 2018
A diagram illustrates the effectiveness of multiple runners, with Waluigi and Yoshi’s movements occupying two of the back four.
A quick diagram of the action from the previous clip. with Knuckles advancing towards the opposition centre halves, Waluigi runs alongside him on the right flank, while Yoshi makes a run into the right half-space (opposition LB Metal Sonic is offscreen but can be seen later). pic.twitter.com/d2j1H3yXn0— 🇧🇷 LULA 🇸🇮 DONČIĆ 🇧🇷 (@FreeWuLei) April 24, 2018
Bowser steps to Knuckles - a mistake. With Metal Sonic tracking Waluigi's run, Yoshi is left unmarked in the right half-space as Bowser's errant commitment to closing down Knuckles leaves his defensive partner, Vector the Crocodile, in a dilemma: close down Yoshi or stay put? pic.twitter.com/uN86xaKGaG— 🇧🇷 LULA 🇸🇮 DONČIĆ 🇧🇷 (@FreeWuLei) April 24, 2018
The result? Uncertainty and disaster for the defensive unit as Knuckles takes advantage of the situation.
Knuckles now has a 1v1 with the offscreen keeper but bafflingly rockets the ball into the stratosphere. Metal Sonic can be seen in the distance, having been eliminated by Waluigi's run down the right wing. Despite not scoring, Team Knuckles have created a dangerous threat on goal pic.twitter.com/IWbMgy6d0d— 🇧🇷 LULA 🇸🇮 DONČIĆ 🇧🇷 (@FreeWuLei) April 24, 2018
Someone get the name of their manager – Arsenal may well be interested.