Thays Browning, this is a name that is almost forgotten by the Chinese, but Jiang Guangtai-Browning's new name has become a household name.
As a representative player of naturalization, Browning officially joined the Chinese Super League giant Guangzhou Evergrande on February 20, 2019. On September 24 of the same year, Browning officially obtained a Chinese passport and immediately changed his name to "Jiang Guangtai".
Many people are very puzzled: Before joining Evergrande, although Jiang Guangtai had a Premier League record, his performance in the top league stage was limited (only 7 Premier League games). Such a young player really deserves Guangzhou. Does Evergrande spend a lot of money to perform a series of complicated nationality conversion operations?
On May 27, 1994, Jiang Guangtai was born in Liverpool, England. Although his maternal grandfather Jiang Yingrong was not tall, his physique was very strong. According to relatives, Jiang Yingrong had a strong athletic talent when he was young and also participated in the local football team.
Perhaps his grandfather's physical superiority was passed on to Jiang Guangtai. This child of Chinese descent has shown a high-intensity physical confrontation ability that is completely different from that of ordinary Asians since childhood.
At the end of 2003, Jiang Guangtai, who was only 9 years old, joined a local amateur football club in Liverpool for basic football training. Eight months later, his outstanding football talent attracted the attention of Everton club scouts. In 2004, Jiang Guangtai officially entered the Everton FC Yout (Everton FC Yout).
2003年底，年仅9岁的蒋光泰加入利物浦当地一家业余足球俱乐部，接受基本足球训练。八个月后，他出色的足球才能吸引了埃弗顿俱乐部球探的注意。 2004年，江光泰正式进入埃弗顿·尤特（Everton FC Yout）。
While playing for Everton, Jiang Guangtai's performance on the defense line was as steady as Mount Tai, which earned him unanimous praise from the coaches. In the 2010-2011 season, Jiang Guangtai also helped the team win the U18 Premier League championship. On July 1, 2014, Jiang Guangtai was promoted to the first team from the Everton U21 youth echelon. He won the opportunity to appear in the subsequent rounds of the Premier League, but overall it is difficult to quickly become the main team of the team.
In order to find more playing time, Jiang Guangtai was loaned to Wigan Athletic, Preston, and Sunderland.
On the whole, although Jiang Guangtai has difficulty in playing time in Toffee, he has obtained a lot of training opportunities in Wigan Athletic, Preston and Sunderland, playing for a long time in the fierce physical confrontation. The English Champions League has significantly improved his physical fitness and his awareness of defensive judgment has also grown correspondingly.
With his excellent defensive performance, Jiang Guangtai has been selected to England's U17, U19, and U21 youth teams. This background has become a stumbling block for Jiang Guangtai for a long time.
At the beginning of this year, the chance of Jiang Guangtai playing on behalf of the national football team was very slim. FIFA once denied the change of membership of Jiang Guangtai. The reason is that Jiang Guangtai once represented the England National Youth Team with a record of appearances, and his participation in the event is an international A-level event, so he cannot represent another national team except England.
Just when people were totally disappointed about Jiang Guangtai's change of membership, a dawn appeared.
On September 18, 2020, FIFA formally passed the "Amendment to Player Status Conversion and (International) Participation Requirements" at the 70th General Assembly. Affected by this rule, the 26-year-old Guangzhou Evergrande player Jiang Guangtai will be eligible to change his membership.
After Guangzhou Evergrande's 2-1 win over Henan Jianye, even Li Tie, the coach of the national football team, who has always been strict, expressed his praise for Jiang Guangtai. Li Tie believes that Jiang Guangtai played an important role in Evergrande's victory and has repeatedly resolved the threats and attacks of his opponents.
Back to the topic just now:
Guangzhou Evergrande official website information
According to the information displayed on major information websites (including the official website of Guangzhou Evergrande), Jiang Guangtai weighs 76 kilograms and is 1.81 meters tall. The data on weight is not a big problem, but the data on height has caused widespread discussion among fans.
Let’s take a look at the picture above. Talisca is 1.90 meters tall and Liu Dianzuo is 1.90 meters tall. Jiang Guangtai standing beside them is not only 1.81 meters tall.
Where does the data of 1.81m come from? It turned out that Jiang Guangtai showed a height of 1.81 meters in the official data system of the Premier League in the 2012-2013 season, but he was only 18 years old at that time, which is the age of madly growing body. How can he stay the same now?
The well-known football journalist Bai Guohua once broke the news that Jiang Guangtai's 1.81-meter height data has long been outdated. Now his height has actually reached 1.88 meters. This statement is relatively reliable.
What does the height of 1 meter 88 mean? We take the main players of the two major Asian teams-Iran and Japan as examples for comparison.
The Iranian national team’s main central defender Prali Ganji is 1.84 meters tall, Kanani is 1.88 meters tall, the main striker Jahambakhsh is 1.80 meters tall, Azmon is 1.83 meters tall, and Taremi The height is 1.87 meters and the height of Ansari Fad is 1.83 meters.
Japan’s national team Zhongwei Masakogen is 1.82 meters tall, Yoshida Asa is 1.89 meters tall,
Of course, being tall enough does not mean that you can steadily control the high-altitude ball. The strength of the physical confrontation will also determine the quality of a defender's defense.
Let’s take Jiang Guangtai’s 2017-2018 season data as an example. At that time, he played for Sunderland in the British Champions League. He played 27 times on behalf of the Black Cats in the British Championship. The success rate of ground confrontation reached 60% and the air confrontation rate was higher. Even more surprising-58%.
It is not easy to know that it is not easy to achieve such a high success rate in the British Championship nicknamed "Wrestling League".
Although Jiang Guangtai's performance in the English Champions League is good, has he retained his excellent competitive form after coming to the Super League?
Considering that Jiang Guangtai only played twice in the 2019 Super League, we will analyze more of his data this season.
In the Super League this season, Jiang Guangtai’s outstanding air defense ability has been well demonstrated. His aerial confrontation success rate reached 63%. Unfortunately, the ground confrontation success rate showed signs of decline compared with the British Championship, which was only 48%.
In the first round of the Super League this season, Guangzhou Evergrande ushered in Shanghai Shenhua, who is good at high-altitude offensive. Facing the opponent's 1.98 height South Korean high center Jin Xinyu, Jiang Guangtai's outstanding high-altitude defense skills have been vividly demonstrated.
Let's first look at a direct aerial dialogue between the two. In the second half of the game, Shanghai Shenhua, who was behind in the score, further strengthened the use of high-altitude balls. The direct dialogue between Jin Xinyu and Jiang Guangtai gradually became the focus.
As shown in the picture, Jiang Guang is too well aware that he can't grasp enough high-altitude ball competition success rate based on his height alone, so he strengthened his physical confrontation. In the direct aerial dialogue with Jin Xinyu, Jiang Guangtai, who was at a disadvantage in height, squeezed Jin Xinyu out with his good physical fitness and won the high-altitude ball competition.
When there is no time to fight for a ball, Jiang Guangtai's excellent physical confrontation ability can often make him "later."
As shown in the picture, Jiang Guangtai realized that it was difficult to grab a point before the ball was in place. He did not blindly jump to make room like some domestic players, but showed a more sophisticated defensive experience: Jiang Guangtai was in the process of running the ball. He sent out his body appropriately and gave Kim Shin-yu a certain amount of confrontational pressure, forcing the South Korean international to only make a very awkward volley shot.
Obviously, Jiang Guang's too proficient physical confrontation skills can give him a certain advantage against Japanese and South Korean forwards and even some world-class forwards. But from another point of view, Japan and South Korea rarely take high-altitude ball offenses, and prefer to use their foot technology for penetration.
Can Jiang Guangtai show the same excellent defensive performance in the face of dexterous players?
How to defend the little quick spirit players? Some people may say: use physical fitness to squeeze out opponents.
It is true that unreasonable physical confrontation was once the first choice for defensive dexterous players, but with the development of football culture, excellent dexterous players know how to use the rapid transfer between each other and their own speed to avoid confrontation Engage in direct physical confrontation.
Under such a background environment, it is not advisable to go blindly on the body, and accurate anticipatory defense is often more important.
It was also in the first round of the Super League with Shenhua. When the ball came to Hengda's rib space through irregular motion, Jiang Guangtai, who was in the midfielder position, was significantly farther away from the ball than Shenhua's No. 38 Wen Jiabao and No. 25 Peng Xinli, but outstanding. His anticipation ability allowed him to realize the direction of the ball first, and immediately made up the defense to complete the clearance of the ball.
In the 37th minute of the game, Jiang Guangtai's single defense against Italian international Salavi was the perfect embodiment of his excellent predictive ability.
When the two sides need to compete for the ball through direct physical confrontation, the dexterous player of Shalawi loses all his advantages, and finally Jiang Guang is too easy to carry the ball out of the bottom line.
Let's look at Jiang Guangtai's successful defense in the face of Bassogo.
As shown in the picture, when Bassogo received a long pass and got the chance to face the goalkeeper, Jiang Guangtai, who was behind him, predicted his shooting attempt in advance and accelerated to the slippery tackle in a short time.
Jiang Guangtai also had an outstanding performance when facing Zahavi, the single-season scoring record holder in the Super League.
As shown in the picture, Jiang Guangtai was aware of R&F players’ attempts to find Zahawi in a reverse triangle, pressed out of the penalty area in advance to defend, and finally finished the interception before Zahawi could control the ball. It is worth mentioning that Jiang Guangtai's successful attack this time not only resolved R&F's attack, but also took advantage of the momentum to launch a counterattack.
Pulling side defense, front crimping response, back-off protection... Excellent predictive ability makes Jiang Guangtai's choices in the defense process very rich, and it is not easy to make low-level mistakes due to position movement.
For most local defenders, the change of position is a very difficult thing. Unfamiliar tactical responsibilities, unsuitable inversions... Various factors make the major coaches of the Super League dare not easily change the position of the guards.
Jiang Guangtai seems to be a special case. As a player who made his debut as a central defender, he can also be a right defender.
The above picture is a heat map of Jiang Guangtai in this season. It can be found that Jiang Guangtai, who has appeared in the central defender in 11 games this season, still has plenty of time for activities on the right side. This phenomenon not only shows that Jiang Guang is too good at pulling the side defense, but also has a lot to do with his habit of pulling the ball.
The technical characteristics of Jiang Guangtai's fondness for pulling sides have a lot to do with the fact that he has been a right back for a long time. The above picture is a heat map of Jiang Guangtai in the 2017-2018 season. He served as the team's right back for many times during that season and developed a relatively rich experience in wing ball possession.
The experience of serving as a right-back gave Jiang Guangtai an excellent ability to play. After coming to the Chinese Super League where the level of competition is relatively lower, Jiang Guangtai's ability to play has been further reflected.
Jiang Guangtai's average number of passes per game in the Super League this season reached 56.3, ranking second in the team and fifth in the same position; the number of passes reached 620, ranking 10th in the Chinese Super League; the total number of successful passes was 539 times, ranking 11th in the Super League.
You know, with the liberalization of the foreign aid policy, many Chinese Super League teams have now introduced foreign aid central defenders, including even world-class stars such as Miranda. As a local central defender, Jiang Guangtai can no longer obtain such data.
In addition to the most basic backcourt connection organization, Jiang Guangtai's ability to pass the threat ball is also quite good. In the first round of the Super League this season, Jiang Guangtai used his superb long pass to instigate the team's offense.
As shown in the picture, when his teammates were holding the ball with his back, Jiang Guangtai actively pulled the side to respond. After receiving the ball, he did not adjust and used a long pass to find the No. 9 Exon in the midfield area. The latter used the fulcrum to help After the ball, the ball touched Yang Liyu, who was on the right side with a high-speed penetration.
In this regard, Evergrande used Jiang Guangtai's accurate kicking in the backcourt to break the frontcourt press system built by Shenhua's multiplayer, and finally Yang Liyu assisted Wei Shihao to score.
The above list is just an epitome of Jiang Guangtai's ability to play the ball. Whether it is a threat of a straight pass, a lateral transfer, or a difficult long pass behind him, Jiang Guangtai can complete it with a higher success rate.
Don't think Jiang Guangtai is only 26 years old this year, but his maturity in the central defender position is no less than that of some domestic veterans over 30 years old.
As an orthodox England youth training center defender, Jiang Guangtai's football philosophy is closer to the mainstream of the world, and his basic skills can also serve as a solid guarantee for a series of complex tactical operations.
What are the world's mainstream tactics in the central defender position? Naturally, "guarantee the quality of defense and actively participate in the offense." This sentence seems simple, but it actually contains the highest tactical requirements for a central defender.
Due to the lack of precise pass technology, most local central defenders are often asked by the coach to give up holding the ball under their feet, and only perform some simple and clear defenses. Other local central defenders with good ball ability may not have enough overall view. Or because they dare not make too risky threatening passes, the help that can be brought to the team's offense is also lacking.
Under such a background environment, a "backcourt commander" with a mature mind and rudimentary command is an urgently needed manpower for the national football team.
Judging from the game this season, although Jiang Guangtae has language problems with his surrounding teammates, he is also willing to take the initiative to take on the responsibility of the commander. He and South Korean international Park Zhisu have become the best defensive central defender partner of the Super League this season.
At the same time, Jiang Guangtai, who has been in the Premier League and the British Championship for many years, appears confident in the Asian arena. He dared to try some domestic central defenders who dare not to easily use the threat through or long pass behind him. This technical feature will inevitably give offense. The national football team with limited methods greatly benefits.
Jiang Guangtai's performance in Guangzhou Evergrande is certainly gratifying, but most Chinese fans are still paying more attention to whether he can help the national football team and become the last piece of the puzzle for the national football team to hit the World Cup?
Let's take a look at the staffing situation of the national football team in the back line. After the end of the UAE Asian Cup, the national football team also began to update the road, the most significant change is that the post-00 teenager Zhu Chenjie took the position, replacing Feng Xiaoting's position.
Up to now, the national football team has selected Zhu Chenjie + Zhang Linpeng's central defender combination in all the 4 world preliminaries it has participated in.
Let me talk about Zhang Linpeng. The latter is better at the right back position, because the national football team has a few reliable positions in the center back and has no choice but to make a cameo.
Generally speaking, although the full-backs and central defenders belong to the same guards, the control requirements of the defensive scale are quite different. Zhang Linpeng, who has a bright full-back color, is obviously not good enough in defensive control, and sometimes there will be some too risky defensive moves.
At the same time, Zhang Linpeng, who has been a full-back in the club for a long time, is unlikely to immediately adapt to the central defender's position in the national team in a short time. This also directly causes him to sometimes make some low-level mistakes.
In the 5th round of the top 40 match against Syria in Group A, Zhang Linpeng had an own goal at the central defender, which eventually led to the loss of the national football team.
Looking back at this own goal this time, there are two main reasons for Zhang Linpeng's own goal: First, the lack of communication with teammates. When Syria completed the cross from the side, goalkeeper Yan Junling moved towards the landing spot and tried to catch the ball. However, due to lack of communication, Zhang Linpeng, whose back was facing Yan Junling, did not realize the former attempt to take the ball, and still chose the extremely risky volley to clear the siege, which eventually led to the ball entering the empty goal.
Second, Zhang Linpeng is too unfamiliar with the position and it is difficult to complete the task of "observation + selection of defensive actions" in a short time.
It can be found that when the ball flew to the middle, Zhang Linpeng was not subject to any interference restrictions, but because he did not observe in advance, he finally did not dare to take the ball easily and could only choose to take the risky volley to clear the siege.
On the whole, although Zhang Linpeng's playing central defender may not bring more benefits than disadvantages, if the manpower is abundant, I believe Li Tie is still more willing to place the Evergrande leader in the right back position.
Let's talk about Zhu Chenjie again. As a teenager born in 2000, Zhu Chenjie's physical fitness and basic defensive skills have been tempered to a very high level. Unfortunately, considering the limitations of the league, Zhu Chenjie's defensive experience in the past two seasons has not been significantly improved.
In this season’s Super League, Zhu Chenjie’s average number of interceptions, average clearances, and average blocks per game have all decreased; on the offensive end, Zhu Chenjie’s average key passes per game can only be ranked 14th in the same position. The average number of passes per game can only be ranked 42nd in the same position, the pass success rate can only be ranked 47th in the same position, the frontcourt pass success rate can only be ranked 39th, and the average number of passes per game is regained. The number of times can only be ranked 39th in the same position.
From another perspective, Zhu Chenjie is indeed an object worthy of training for the national football team, but he is only 20 years old this year. There is still a lot of room for improvement in defensive experience, awareness, and overall outlook of the game. I want such a young player. It is not realistic to hold up the defense line of the National Football World Cup tour.
In addition to high-level defensive literacy, Jiang Guangtai has a feature that other local central defenders do not have-the ability to pass forward. With his presence, the national football backcourt has a stable ball point, and the lateral side reduces the retreat of the midfielder, which improves the overall strength of the midfielder.
When the national football team faces Asian powerhouses such as Japan, South Korea and Iran, it is difficult to hold the ball for a long time to launch a positional attack. In this context, the stability of the back line's defense and the accuracy of the ball are very important.
With the efforts of the Chinese Football Association and Evergrande, the frontcourt of the National Football Team is now full of talents. Fernando, Exon, Alan, Luo Guofu, these frontcourt players all have the ability to cooperate in a small area and quickly assault.
Therefore, when the national football team faces strong opponents, Jiang Guangtai's joining will undoubtedly give Li Tie more confidence to use defensive counterattack tactics. When the national football team broke the ball in the backcourt, Jiang Guangtai could use his superb long pass to find his teammates in the frontcourt.
In the first four top 40 games, the national football team, which has two major naturalized international football players, failed to deliver satisfactory performance to the fans. Up to now, the national football team has achieved 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss in 4 games with 7 points, ranking second in Group A standings, behind Syria by as much as 8 points, with the Philippines and 1 point ahead of Maldives.
As the Maldives and Guam are weak and do not have enough reference value, we will only discuss the two games against the Philippines and Syria.
In the face of the Philippines, the national football's defense did not endure much test, but the weak offensive end made the team unable to break the deadlock.
In that game, the national football team controlled 58% of the ball and completed 35 shots (14 shots on target). The number of shots was exactly 5 times that of the Philippines.
Judging from the data alone, the national football's offense seems to be multifaceted. However, if you watch the entire game, you can see that although the national football team has made many shots, most of them are invalid shots. There are very few offensives that really pose a threat to the Philippine goal.
If the game against the Philippines showed the offensive problems of the national football, then the game against Syria completely exposed the problems of the national football on the defensive end.
Although the possession rate of the national football team is still higher than that of their opponents, Syria is by no means a general like the Philippines. They have used rapid penetration and combined edge-to-center tactics to create 14 shots, far higher than the national football team.
Under the continuous high-pressure defense, the weaker back line of the national football team will have loopholes. Both of Syria's goals are inseparable from the problem of the judgment of the national football line's own defense.
The ultimate goal of the football game (scoring goals) is tested, and if you want to improve your results in a short time, it is imperative to naturalize the frontcourt players. But from another perspective, defense is more important in a strong dialogue. Let me ask: In the face of traditional strong teams like Japan and South Korea, how confident does the national football team can suppress the opponents and fully liberate the defense?
The answer is naturally no. In the face of Japan and South Korea, defense is still the first element of victory. Only by restraining the offensive play of Japan and South Korea in the frontcourt can the national football team have more opportunities to use the advantage of frontcourt speed to counterattack.
Under such a background environment, compared to the "star-studded" frontcourt, Jiang Guangtai's naturalization is actually what people call "the most urgent one."
As the only naturalized player in the backcourt of the national football team (Li Ke can also be a right back in different games), Jiang Guangtai will surely become an absolute core similar to the "backcourt commander". Whether the national football team can break the embarrassing phenomenon of "cutting melons and vegetables when encountering weak teams, and only making promises when encountering strong teams", it depends on Jiang Guangtai's defensive performance.