Connect with us

Talent Radar

Talent Radar: Analysing James Rodriguez & Kostas Manolas’ World Cup performance in the Colombia – Greece game

A regular series as part of our World Cup coverage under the Talent Radar banner is aimed at the tons of aspiring football hipsters out there. We will track the progress of all young players at the World Cup, focusing on each and every game and compiling a detailed analysis. The eligibility criteria for this is simple, the player must have been 21 or below at the start of the season (2013-14).

James Rodriguez crucial in all three goals as Colombia over-come Greece


James Rodriguez is a young player who caught the attention of the footballing world 3 years back when he made an impact at the U20 World Cup. A move to Porto soon followed, and after spending time at the Portugese club, the talented Colombian made a big money move to Monaco along with his Porto team mate Joao Moutinho. Coming into the World Cup, the pressure is on James, as Radamel Falcao has been ruled out of the tournament due to his injury, and in the opener at least, James has lived up to the hype.

James was the playmaker for his side in this game, and everything went through him. It cant be a surprise then that he had a hand in all 3 goals that Colombia went on to score. His intelligent fake set up the space for Armero to shoot and score, he took a good near post corner for the second, and of course, scored a good goal to round the game up. The man ended up with 87 touches of the ball, the highest for anyone in his team. Colombia tried to attack with pace, and James was crucial to this process, with his accurate distribution. The youngster had an 88% pass completion, and that’s extremely impressive for an attacking midfielder. What really caught they eye was his running with the ball. James made a number of driving runs into the heart of the Greek defence which were hard to stop, and this was one of the most attractive aspects of his performance. James also put his educated left foot to good use. The player clearly favours the use of his left foot, and he has a very useful left foot as well.

James put in what was a very convincing performance for Colombia in a win that brought them 3 crucial points. He is clearly the most important player in this set up, as the rest of the team is looking to get the ball to him at every possible opportunity. He clearly didn’t ignore his defensive duties either, attempting 6 tackles. If Colombia are to continue their campaign into the knockout stages, performances from James will be very important. (Vishal Patel / Twitter)

Kostas Manolas arguably Greece’s best player despite the losing effort

Normally we wouldn’t include a player who is past the age limit (21 & below at the start of the season, in this case August 2013) but Manolas turned 23 just a day before the Colombia game, so we’ve made an exception.

Kostas Manolas is currently on the books of Olympiakos after earning a move from AEK Athens. Admittedly we didn’t know of Manolas prior to this past campaign, after he impressed in the Champions League particularly catching our attention in the 2-0 win over Manchester United. With Greece relying on a solid defence, Manolas was at the top of his game but also offered a rare attacking threat.

The Greek side, over the years, starting right from the famous Euro 2004 triumph have been known to depend largely on their defensive solidity. They make it compact at the back, with it proving to be extremely difficult for any side to break-through. They got through qualifying with that reputation finishing with the best defensive record among all European sides.

Kostas Manolas was exceptional in this regard, playing a key role in a solid Greek set-up vs Colombia. They kept the Colombian attack at bay for large parts of the game, and the 3-0 scoreline is a bit harsh on the efforts of the Olympiakos man. What particularly caught our attention was his ability to recover into position. He was able to beat the attackers of Colombia, pace for pace, to ensure he didn’t lose possession from a through ball. He was also important going forward, with 4 dribbles, more than anyone else on the pitch (yes, more than the Colombia attackers), displaying his ability to be deployed as a ball-playing defender. One might say he is a bit awkward for such a rigid Greek defensive set-up with ball-possession not being highly championed for a defender. He was the best player overall in the first half as Colombia sat-back after an early lead, but the gulf in class showed in the second. (Sami Faizullah / Twitter)

Read our World Cup coverage and don’t miss out on our Talent Radar content

100 to Watch


Talent Radar1 hour ago

2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 10 Young Defenders – Edition 1

Football News 24/7  Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe,...

Tactical Analysis1 hour ago

Tactical Analysis: Juventus 4-0 Torino | Home side too strong to play against

Ryan Tank writes a detailed tactical analysis about the Serie A match that ended Juventus 4-0 Torino. Torino suffered from...

Scout Report2 hours ago

Scout Report: Axel Tuanzebe | Manchester United’s defensive starlet

Ravi Inder Gill takes a look at Axel Tuanzebe, Man Utd’s young defender waiting in the shadows. In today’s game,...

Extra17 hours ago

Interview: Brandon Fernandes on experiencing football outside India, a longer ISL, and FC Goa’s upcoming campaign

Outside of the Boot gets the chance to sit down with FC Goa’s talented midfielder, Brandon Fernandes There’s been a lot...

Scout Report1 day ago

Scout Report: Ousmane Dembélé | Barcelona’s Versatile Winger

Miles Olusina breaks down the abilities of the canny Barcelona and France winger Ousmane Dembélé as he embarks on his...

Scout Report1 day ago

Scout Report: Steven Bergwijn | PSV Eindhoven’s rising star

Wang Yulin takes a look at PSV’s exciting Dutch attacker Steven Bergwijn When you think of the team ‘PSV Eindhoven’,...

Opinions2 days ago

Hanoi FC: The Vietnamese Champions struggling to connect with the locals

Trong Nhan Doan looks at the peculiar case of Hanoi FC Most of the time, the most successful team is...

Opinions2 days ago

Expected Goals: A Pioneering Method of Analysing Football

The Football Code has a look at expected goals, a new metric set to revolutionize statistics-based analysis of football Football...

Tactical Analysis4 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid | Clash of two organised sides

Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week La Liga clash that ended Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Atletico Madrid The clash of two organized...

Tactical Analysis4 days ago

Tactical Analysis: Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich | Ancelotti’s men secure hard fought win

Ryan Tank analyses the mid-week Bundesliga match that ended Schalke 0-3 Bayern Munich. Schalke: Fahrmann, Kehrer, Naldo, Nastasic, Caliguri, McKennie...

Talent Radar5 days ago

2017-18 Performance Rankings: Top 5 Young Keepers – Edition 1

Our Talent Radar Rankings, along-with our Talent Radar Team of the Week documents the progress of youngsters across Europe, with those featuring in...

Opinions6 days ago

Déjà vu on Tyneside: Why Newcastle are being left short-changed by familiar failings

Jeffrey Gamby-Boulger looks critically at Newcastle’s repeated failings in recent years and why Mike Ashley is the root of those problems. ‘It’s the same...

Hipster Guide6 days ago

Hipster Guide 2017-18: UEFA Europa League | Part Two

Oliver McManus takes us on a journey through some of the more obscure parts of Europe as he tells us...

Series1 week ago

Tactical Philosophy: Leonardo Jardim

While this website has made its name focusing on the lesser known youth of this beautiful sport, and combined it...

Talent Radar1 week ago

Talent Radar 2017-18 Young Players’ Team of the Week #4: Pietro Pellegri and Joshua Kimmich feature

A regular feature on our website is the Talent Radar Team of the Week with the best young players compiled...

Tactical Analysis1 week ago

Tactical Analysis: Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City | Tottenham’s half space focus against Swansea’s compact block

Ryan Tank provides a tactical analysis of the Premier League game that finished Tottenham Hotspur 0-0 Swansea City  Tottenham attacked...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Maxwel Cornet | Lyon’s latest starlet

Josh Sippie breaks down Maxwel Cornet, Lyon’s dynamic attacker. Olympique Lyon just have a knack for plucking supremely talented youth...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Marcos Llorente | Real Madrid’s young midfielder

Karan Tejwani provides the lowdown on Real Madrid’s talented midfielder, Marcos Llorente. Real Madrid have made smart purchases from Spanish...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Eddie Nketiah | Arsenal’s academy talent

Josh Sippie takes a look at highly-rated Arsenal academy striker Eddie Nketiah. Arsenal’s youth ranks are always going to be...

Scout Report1 week ago

Scout Report: Douglas Luiz | Girona’s skilful midfielder

Anderson Moura analyses Girona’s (via Manchester City) talented Brazilian, Douglas Luiz. When Pep Guardiola accepted the Manchester City job, he...

Talent Radar Award History

Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this site and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Young Player Rankings 17-18

More on Outside of the Boot