Footballing IQ: Most underrated ability in football?

Discussion in 'Football Forum' started by VorZakone, Aug 12, 2017 at 15:55.

  1. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:43

    ADJUDICATOR Full Member

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    Muller is a world away from Mata and Silva in technique. His intelligence puts him on par or beyond them on form.
  2. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:44

    Soski New Member

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    Disagree.

    It's mainly an inbuilt skillset that you have or you don't. Obviously having great technique helps hugely with football IQ...but the whole point of football IQ is that some players see the bigger picture when playing. Players with high football IQ recognise the layout of the playing field....and decide on the best decision to take in nano seconds. It's not 100% always the best move but it's a high percentage. It's difficult to describe for people who don't have It I feel. Like trying to explain chess to a 4 year old.
  3. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:47

    VorZakone What would Kenny G do?

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    See, this is where I think you're exaggerating. Mata/Silva are usually engaged in playmaking (Mata also a bit more of a forward) and therefore they get to display their technique more 'visibly'. However, to say Muller's technique is a 'world away' is just not true IMO. Müller has shown that he can let the ball do what he wants. Some of his finishes are a result of splendid technique and he consistently engages in quick 1-2's with other Bayern players.
  4. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:52

    ADJUDICATOR Full Member

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    Obviously he has good enough technique to play at the highest levels of the sport. I do still think he's a ways behind the likes of Mata and Silva though.
  5. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:52

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls

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    You disagree with the human ability to apply cognition? Football isn't an innate activity.
  6. Aug 12, 2017 at 23:58

    Kinsella New Member

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    Lack of footballing IQ is the main reason why England haven't done well in international football. They don't produce enough players that have it.
  7. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:02

    Soski New Member

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    Great response. I will go and study art and drawing now...and I'll be Van Gogh in 5 years.

    Do you honestly not see that some people have natural born abilities that others never will...and when it comes to the brain...that regardless of teachings, some just see more than others and process things faster. It's actually laughable that anybody thinks EVERYTHING can be taught, sport or otherwise.
  8. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:04

    Steven Seagull Full Member

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    England have struggled with this for 20 years.
  9. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:06

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    Lacking players with elite technical ability is a much bigger issue.
  10. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:06

    Andeva New Member

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    Yes, I also belive this was his motive, but it does not change the fact he used to be a worse decisionmaker before his realization. Perhaps he didn't see the value of being the player he is today back then, but then that's a part of footballing IQ. It evolves the more you reflect.
    What about Solskjær? He utilized on being smart, combined with good finishing technique ofc.
  11. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:13

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls

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    Van Gogh was an artist, his work and its appreciation are subjective but if you want to be a highly technical drawer or painter, you can learn it because it's a technical ability, it's something that you acquire.
  12. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:14

    Synco Full Member

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    I'm sure it's both. Some have more specific cognitive talent than others (born with it or developed in childhood or both, who knows), but everyone can raise their level through targeted training of these mental abilities for specific situations.

    So as with any skill, a well-trained average person might surpass a badly trained super-talented one at a specific task.
  13. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:15

    Blackwidow Full Member

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    Patterns and behaviour can be learned. That is why some players function great in some systems in which the coaches implemented a lot of patterns, running behaviour etc. The players in Klopp's system at Dortmund always looked a lot worse when they played for Germany. Götze was the assist king there - he hardly ever had assists at Bayern or for the national team.

    Even experience let's you learn. You know what functioned before - so why not try it again.

    But like everywhere in the world - some learn faster, see faster, process faster.

    What you see on the football pitch has to do a lot with character, too. Some are more in for adventure and risk - try the things others would not try - others play it save.
  14. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:19

    Arbitrium Full Member

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    Everything can absolutely be taught, it just has to happen at a very young age and be nourished the right way. Once you pass a certain age, it's hopeless.
  15. Aug 13, 2017 at 00:34

    Soski New Member

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    I'm not going to quote all of you...because I think you have a totally different concept of what football IQ is than I do.

    Yes, you can teach players to be better in certain aspects of the game.
    yes, as players get experience they understand their positions better and how to play it.
    yes, decision making can improve the more they play.

    None of that is why the greatest players are the greatest players. Those players have both an inbuilt technique and football IQ that all the other kiddies they grew up playing football with didn't. I only expect people who have played football and thought 'why is everybody else around me so bad' to understand. You hardly even think about your next move ...you have several options...and you seem to take the correct one without even having to think. It's hardly even a hard decision..it just seems the natural choice. This cannot be taught to be elite...improved, sure....but only the naturals will excel.
  16. Aug 13, 2017 at 01:32

    ypsipeos New Member

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    Man, there was a time a couple of years ago, that I rated him higher than any oher footballer. His "reflexes" in the opposition area were out of this world. The ball fell to his feet or head after a rebound and he would finish the job or create an amazing assist.
    I miss his good performances. He is slower than he was.
  17. Aug 13, 2017 at 01:42

    Stack Leave Women's Football Alone!!!

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    Read through the thread, lots explained.
  18. Aug 13, 2017 at 01:43

    Stack Leave Women's Football Alone!!!

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    Not true. Look for a book called The Talent Code. Here is a link to some excerpts from the book. http://www.cs.uni.edu/~jacobson/1025/16/f/The-Talent-Code.pdf

    Wth respect to your comment "I only expect people who have played football and thought 'why is everybody else around me so bad' to understand."

    Ive played footy for 50 years now, I still play. I also have been coaching for about 18 years, coaching every age, both sexes during that time, Ive been fortunate enough to have also been involved in age group regional rep and international training camps during that time. I have done every coaching course available to me and have completed 2/3rds of the UEFA B licence. The reason I mention this is that I have played and I know that footballing IQ is a thing, its a topic on the UEFA courses, there are specific training drills coaches do to address the topic and its not simply a natural thing people have inbuilt.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 02:12
  19. Aug 13, 2017 at 01:46

    Nedved Full Member

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    Physically and technically "average" players who have been dependant on their high footballing IQ:

    Müller
    Khedira
    Inzaghi
    Van Nistelrooy
    Di Natale
  20. Aug 13, 2017 at 02:05

    POF Full Member

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    I agree that it is very underrated, especially in England.

    Steven Gerrard is the best example of a player with amazing ability who really lacked in-game intelligence. I'd put Rooney in the same bracket.

    I do think it can be developed over time and with more experience, players can improve significantly. At least I hope it can for Pogba's sake. His decision making at present is shockingly bad.

    Franco Baresi was a great example of the importance of footballing intelligence over athleticism. He was short and slow but was the best centre back of his generation.
  21. Aug 13, 2017 at 02:10

    Soski New Member

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    That means less than nothing in regards to what I am talking about. It just means you were not a player with high football IQ...that's why you don't get it. In fact if anything, your coaching career has probably skewed you vision of what is natural and what can be taught. It's natural for coaches to over estimate their importance in player development...gives them more self worth.
  22. Aug 13, 2017 at 02:13

    Stack Leave Women's Football Alone!!!

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    Have edited my previous quote just now to explain fuller.


    Not true. Look for a book called The Talent Code. Here is a link to some excerpts from the book. http://www.cs.uni.edu/~jacobson/1025/16/f/The-Talent-Code.pdf

    Wth respect to your comment "I only expect people who have played football and thought 'why is everybody else around me so bad' to understand."

    Ive played footy for 50 years now, I still play. I also have been coaching for about 18 years, coaching every age, both sexes during that time, Ive been fortunate enough to have also been involved in age group regional rep and international training camps during that time. I have done every coaching course available to me and have completed 2/3rds of the UEFA B licence. The reason I mention this is that I have played and I know that footballing IQ is a thing, its a topic on the UEFA courses, there are specific training drills coaches do to address the topic and its not simply a natural thing people have inbuilt.
  23. Aug 13, 2017 at 02:17

    Bepi Full Member

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    Our gracious hosts here have Lineker as a prime, local example of that

    ps. Di Natale had great technique and football IQ but below than average physical gifts, another was Quagliarella.
  24. Aug 13, 2017 at 02:26

    Soski New Member

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    Oh, there is a book? Must be true then.

    ..I'll grab that true life biography of that chap who was abducted by Aliens while I'm there.


    Look, I'm not trying to be a dick, but I've had this conversation before and I feel strongly about it....it maybe that what I think of as true footballing IQ...is different to some basic education in decision making on the field that you feel is footballing IQ...if that is the case then they should rename it...because what I consider to be true (which separates the best players from the good) footballing IQ comes naturally to them. We can agree to disagree.
  25. Aug 13, 2017 at 02:30

    Acheron Full Member

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    It can be something pretty abstract to describe but I would think of 'football IQ' as just having good vision in the sense of being aware of what's going on around you. I would expect to all players have a good sense of the game, to different degrees, but I think the ones considered the best would be the most consistent ones that are able to keep composure at tougher stages of the game and deliver those plays. You also need pretty good technique but it's also about being able to do it at a fast pace and developing instincts and a habit out of it so you just react based on experience and constant training. Modric would be the player are rate the highest right now in that regard.
  26. Aug 13, 2017 at 02:40

    Stack Leave Women's Football Alone!!!

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    Read the comment you made above the comment I bolded, thats being a dick and you have been snide and condescending to others in this thread.

    If Football IQ is something naturally inbuilt then why is it a subject on UEFA A and B licence courses and why are there a long list of coaching drills that are specifically designed to helping improve it?
    Why is it a subject that coaches all over the world work on?

    With respect to self worth from coaching, I along with thousands and thousands of coaches around the world do it because its one of the most rewarding things you can do. There is a thing called "athlete/player centered coaching, its made a huge difference over the last 15 to 20 years in all sports around the world. It made a massive difference to how I coach. Another thing to look into is a process called "guided discovery"

    You really should look up that book and also do some research into player centered coaching. Im giving you thoughts based on years of experience and things I have learned as well as a couple of paths to guide you.
  27. Aug 13, 2017 at 04:14

    RedDevilCanuck Quite dreamy - blue eyes, blond hair, tanned skin

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    We really could have used Zaha last season.
  28. Aug 13, 2017 at 05:31

    Abizzz Full Member

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    I respect the fact that there is a 'defined' footballing IQ. Thanks @Stack for sharing his knowledge and UEFA's view on it.

    That said, it's bollocks. What it is intended to be might be a valuable, acquirable and teachable skill, but it has preciously little to do with intelligence, and even less to do with a quotient. Giving some random label to some random skill might work for coaches, and uefa, but it is bound to confuse the rest of us into thinking it might have something to do with the intelligence of a footballer (More specifically the intelligence of a footballer displayed while playing football).
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017 at 05:56
  29. Aug 13, 2017 at 05:46

    Powderfinger Full Member

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    I think this discussion has focused a bit too heavily on what a player does when he has the ball (decision making) and not enough on what he does during the rest of the match.

    Cruyff said it best: "When you play a match, it is statistically proven that players actually have the ball 3 minutes on average … So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball? That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not."

    Smart footballers understand how to read the game situation and to use their movement to influence a match, not just by moving to receive the ball but also by using their movement to open space for teammates, to unsettle the defense, or to drop into a defensive zone that will allow others to be more adventurous. Dumb footballers are narcissists - they only think "What run can I make so that I can receive the ball?" And there are a surprising number of dumb footballers, even at professional level.
  30. Aug 13, 2017 at 10:27

    giorno Full Member

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    Which is a byproduct of awareness. Awareness being the root of football IQ

    I would say it is for the likes of Messi, Maradona, Pelé, Cruyff :lol:

    We call it football IQ because it's in essence, intelligence applied to playing football

    @Soski you're mixing up football IQ with natural talent.
  31. Aug 13, 2017 at 10:48

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls

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    No awareness, is simply the vision and interpretation of a situation. In that context, decision making is the ability to make good use of awareness.
  32. Aug 13, 2017 at 11:59

    frank lee madeer.. New Member

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    decisions on a football pitch can't be mulled over, there isn't time . Awareness of a situation , and making a decision on how to approach said situation happens in the same split second on a pitch. Awareness, reactions, descisions are all important interlinked factors in the ' football brain ' but personally , I'd put awareness at the top, it stands to reason that if you have a heightened sense of what is going on around you , you will automatically make decisions/ react quicker. Perception of a situation is also key in making the right decision.

    It's not just related to football. The people who posess these enhanced traits ( in conjunction with physical fitness ) are the people who are primed to succeed. I feel these traits are the key ingredients in ' survival of the fittest ' physicality is nothing without intelligence.

    That's my own take on it.
  33. Aug 13, 2017 at 12:05

    Amokachi Everton Fan

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    Ross Barkley is a good example. All of the ability to be a top player but let down back a lack of footballing intelligence.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  34. Aug 13, 2017 at 12:31

    BigDunc9 Full Member

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    I do worry for the rest of our team then. Even though he regularly lacks conviction with his final ball, his appreciation of space and him knowing how to drag players about is on another level to any player in our squad. We are going to miss him big time judging by yesterdays performance and i don't think Sigurdsson is the type of player to replace him.
  35. Aug 13, 2017 at 12:53

    giorno Full Member

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    Awareness=the ability to read and understand the play, and anticipate it. Decision making is always the ability to make use of awareness
  36. Aug 13, 2017 at 13:08

    Red Star One Full Member

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    What about the character and ability to thrive under pressure, deal with stressful situations? It's hardly quantifiable, yet plays an important role in footballers careers - we all know those who somehow manage to play above their standards and give their 110% on crucial games as well as those who look brilliant in low-profile games, yet fail to replicate class performances under pressure.
    "Footballing IQ" - which in my books consists of flair and decision making is definitely a thing to me.
    I call bullshit, Mbappe is black and I'd say among young, promising players there are hardly any lads with comparable "footballing IQ" - and this has nothing to do with his pace and technique.
  37. Aug 13, 2017 at 13:34

    NoLogo Full Member

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    I feel Puyol and Cannavaro also count towards that. Fairly small for CBs but absolute beastly defenders due to their sheer determination and intelligence on the pitch. What they lacked in physicality they made up for with smart positioning and good timing.
  38. Aug 13, 2017 at 14:06

    Keeps It tidy Hates Messi

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    They were also extremely quick and were fantastic leapers.
  39. Aug 13, 2017 at 14:48

    ryadmahrez New Member

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    Football iq is why Spain and Spanish clubs have been dominating the last 20 years or so and why English sides have often failed. So I believe it is underrated in England.

    People say it often, but there seem to be some truth about it. If you look at Spain and Italy or even Germany they develop footballers, not athletes. Their players are particulary good in technique, decision making and speed of thought which translates in good movement, when or where to dribble, creativity and good passing. All qualities English players seem to be lacking in.

    I feel like in England the youth systems try to turn good athletes into good footballers and in Spain for example they do the opposite.

    Imo the qualities I mentioned are the most important in football at the absolute top. It what seperates good from great. If you look at the best teams of this generation, the Barcelona and Real Madrid of late they had it in abundance. The mental aspect decision making, speed of thought, discipline not only translates in individual qualities of a player, but it also determines how well you can play together as a team. the more you have it, the better you can work as one.
  40. Aug 13, 2017 at 14:52

    Dan Aka Lumines

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    Shelvey lacks a brain.