The persistent use of Tello out wide boggles the mind. I'm sure I'm not the only person asking myself how and why the coach continues to favor him over some other Masia players. The truth is, I believe there is a hope amongst the coaching staff that he will develop into a fine winger but this I believe is based on Theo Walcott syndrome.
So what is Walcott syndrome?
Essentially its when a player's speed is so great that it makes them appear better than they are, as a result the coaching staff believes that if the player could only add a few other attributes to their game, in addition to their speed, they could be world class.
But this belief is misleading as I shall endevour to show, pace is often misleading and a world class winger is more than just a fast one.
How can you overcome Walcott syndrome?
Well its very easy just ask yourself three important questions:
1. How good would this player be if I took their speed away?
It seems like a stupid question... but is it really? Think about it, if a player's only attribute is their speed then you have to wonder... how often will they use it in a game. If a winger makes three to five runs a game then that's when their speed is an attribute but for the other 90% of the game what is their speed giving them. If they don't have good passing, dribbling, vision, crossing and finishing, essentially you are forgoing the player been good for 90% of the game so they can be effective in 10%. If this is the case then they should be a substitute not a starter. All the great wingers might be quick, but they are also good passers, crossers, dribblers and finishers. This makes them effective even if they are up against a defender faster than them or when their is no space to run into. So while Ronaldo, Giggs at his best and Robben can still contribute when they can't make runs Walcott and Tello are effectively been carried by the team.
2. How much variety does this player have?
If you were defending against Walcott what would he do? No need to guess.. he'd push the ball to your outside and try to outrun you on your side but bear in mind Walcott's finishing is more variable than Tellos. In this I mean that Tello is a two trick pony.. his move is predictable... his finishing is predictable. He has the same move in open play... push the ball to the outside of the defender and try to outrun him, get to the byline and cross. He has the same finishing move... cut inside then try and curl the ball around the keeper with the right foot. La Liga defenders are not threatened by this anymore... everyone is aware of what he will do and how he will do it. Without variety a winger is too quickly worked out by opposition defenders.
3. Does he run with the ball or does he run after it?
The greatest dribblers rely on their pace will having the ball under control. This give them the ability to change direction and avoid tackles. But if a player pushes the ball forward and runs after it essentially they cannot change their direction or avoid challenges. The defender knows the path the ball will travel and unless the winger outraces him, he will merely shield the ball and prevent the winger from getting it. Of course all players do run after he ball in some way but what is important is the distance the ball is away from their feet. Iniesta for example keeps it close to him when running with it so although he's not the quickest of players his ability to change direction when running with the ball makes him one of the most effective dribblers on the planet. Its ball control not pace that counts most towards dribbling ability. Tello doesn't run with the ball he relies on his pace to run after after the ball with the same move described above and with most often the same outcome.
Of course I could be wrong and I'm not saying that a fast player is useless but I'm saying if you have Deufelou in your reserve team... why not prefer him to Tello.