Waris Majeed – Häcken.
Waris Majeed is top-scorer in Allsvenskan with 19 goals this season so he must be doing something right. After he bagged 5 goals in a match earlier in the season, most people thought it was just one of those lucky nights where everything goes in. In Waris case it is a different story as he has proven that he can keep delivering at the highest level on a regular basis.
I was eager to do a small report on Waris Majeed, but I had to pick an opponent who had the quality to declare themselves as a proven challenge for the player. I went to BK Hacken-Helsingborg on 27.09.2012. The weather was horrible with rain just pouring down, making the pitch look awful. Playing out there must be difficult I thought to myself, but nevertheless this is the same weather conditions he`ll have to get used to elsewhere. The weather or the state of the pitches in southern countries isn’t always as perfect as one might think.
During the match I paid an extra focus on his involvement in the game. I made notes about things he did well and things he struggled with. This report is just one example on how we can do reports for your club. This report could obviously have contained more information, but I think it has highlighted the players’ involvement enough to judge what sort of player we are dealing with. Interest around the player is huge and it will continue to be so for the upcoming months. The decision for where his next natural stepping stone will be is something I will leave up to the scouts within the different clubs. If your club seeks my approval on the player, your club is, as always, free to contact me any time.
BK Hacken – Helsingborg : 1-1 HT , 2-2 FT.
27/09/2012 , 18:00
Condition: Poor pitch condition, Rainy evening. Fairly full stadium.
During the first opening minutes Waris Majeed proved to me that he was eager to get going with match. He shouted out orders and was excited in his approach to the game. He looked lively and was always threating the Helsingborg defense with his lightning pace. He played in BK Hacken familiar 4-3-3 formation as the striker whose job was to lay up front, timing his runs and wait for the chance to break through the Helsingborg defense. During the match I felt the system looked a bit more like a 4-4-2 formation. His strike partner for the evening was Diouf Williams who were the player who made himself available for play up field, picking up the ball before looking for players on the run – so often in that case Waris Majeed.
Waris made a few runs through the middle, but the central defenders were able to clear the ball before he got it. If a player makes the same running pattern all the time he eventually will be an easy read for the defenders. So after 3 minutes in the game he took a run on the left wing before receiving it. He advanced quickly with the ball before he delivered it to the overlap player – great ball, but the cross in were dealt with for a corner. The corner was headed in by Diouf Williams to make in 1-0 to the home side. It was an intense opening and a great start for BK Hacken and Waris Majeed.
After the goal Waris stayed on the line and was always a threat for the visitors. The defenders were looking a little bit anxious about the poor start. They had to play with a higher pressure to get back in the game – leaving tons of space for Waris to take advantage off. It came clear to me that BK Hacken were always looking for the opportunities to play him through, but the balls were dealt with on each occasion. Even if it is an easy ball for the defender to handle, Waris Majeed always completes his run, just waiting for the slip up which eventually would see him clean through on goal. He seems to be always waiting for the unexpected to happen in such scenarios.
After 14 minutes he receives the ball in his feet just over the halfway line. With his back to the defenders he turns around so quickly and is immediately a threat for them. When the ball is played up to him the defenders are not intimated by him, but the moment he turns around he becomes a deadly threat. The movement is like watching a cat falling from a three. So when he faces the 4 defenders he isn`t the type of player who will look for passing alternatives backwards. He will have a go himself – if he senses a weakness he can take advantage off. In this case I couldn`t sense much of that weakness, as the defenders looked capable of outmaneuver him when he tried to get past them. The defenders quickly falled back into a deeper position and helping out the 1st defender if needed. They didn’t need to as the 1stdefender tackled Waris brilliantly well outside any shooting distance. However, I`d like to single out the effort Waris gave in. Even though this move was unsuccessful he at least tried to have go himself. The defenders obviously know that he isn`t afraid of similar attempts later in the match – and what will happen if the defender is up against him on his own? It`s a battle on the pitch as well as the intense mind game.
After 17 minutes he breaks through the defense which set him up one on one against the goalkeeper. But unfortunately for him the linesman keeps his flag up. From my position it was a close call. But straight after he gets the ball, a bit right up field this time, he again turns around quickly. With no midfielder in sight he storms forward taking advantage of his pace. He advances 12-15 meters and is just outside the box area before he delivers a perfect pass to the right winger who is on the run. The shot from the winger is saved by the goalkeeper, but it was a beautiful move/and run by Waris and the right winger.
BK Hacken continues to look for the long ball upfield for Waris. At times it is too obvious making it quite easy to defend against. All the central defenders need to do is fall back and head the ball to his teammate so that they can rebuild from the back. This is especially in the period from 23 min-29 min when the home side isn`t able to pass the ball within the team good enough. Their next move is to pump the ball up field for Waris who is always expecting the ball. I could sense a bit of frustration from Waris when the ball was cleared up field from the back. It was difficult for Waris to work on the clearances as they were a bit too easy for the defenders to defend against. During the start of the match he hasn’t seemed too keen to work back in defense, chasing the ball when the visitors try the buildup play from the back. But suddenly in the 29th minute he switches the pace button on and storms back in defense to tackle their central defender who was advancing forward. A bit lucky to avoid a yellow card, but more importantly it showed evidence of a player that is capable, at times, to take the important runs back home when needed.
It became obvious to me after half an hour that Waris intended to not go on the deep runs every time he had the chance. He started to be more demanding by falling back and receiving the ball with his back against the visitor’s goal. When defending a corner Waris is back inside his own 16-meter, a bit surprising maybe with the pace , but when the ball is cleared comfortable in his direction he is on the run trying to take advantage of the space in front of him. After 31 minutes he gets his chance by receiving an easy ball from his defender. He looks up and realize he is facing one defender from the visitors who is closing in on him. The last defender is standing on the half-way line nearly 30 meters away. It couldn’t be a better scenario for a player who has got the pace to outmaneuver any defender on the pitch. But then his first touch, which should have been an easy one, is not and the 1st defender is able to tackle him. Waris poorly first touch cost him greatly as the visitors got a corner to equalize straight after.
After 36 minutes Waris is on the run on the left side. The ball passed in his direction is a ball the defender seems to clear easily, but he misjudges the pass. It creates a good chance for Waris who always were expecting the unexpected. He picks up the ball up side facing two defenders. The defenders know what`s coming as Waris isn`t the striker that will play it safe when he could sniff a goal. Quite frankly, the lack of support from the back isn`t there so Waris has to have a go himself. He shifts quickly and is having a go at the 1st defender (2nd defender is just behind him giving cover if needed). Quick feet and great movement from Waris – defender can`t keep up with Waris so he ends up fouling him. The free kick in a dangerous position ends up in nothing, but it was great play by Waris.
Waris and the home side continue to play offensive and entertaining football for the remainder of the half. They are good double up on the flanks whenever they got the chance. Waris is prepared to go on the run through the middle or he stays in a position where he easily can be played. He is a bit too lively on a few occasions making it hard for his teammates to know what Waris next move is. This leads up to some misunderstandings and eventually the home side losing the ball in good positions when they should have gotten more out of the situations.
After 42 minutes Waris gets his first real chance in the game. Diouf Williams gets a pass up field and makes an excellent first touch pass to Waris. The ball is played just in front of Waris so that he can go straight on the run and take on the defender. He faces big and strong central defender Peter Larsson, former FC Copenhagen player. Waris doesn’t hesitate and run straight pass him, advances inside the opponent box with great pace before unleashing a shot into the nearest post – just wide. The goalkeeper covered the rest of the goal so I understood the intention of Waris – hit the ball with power at nearest post and it would have been a goal for sure.
Again his movement is causing communication problems for him when BK Hacken is in attack. Waris plays his part with good movement and pass, but he doesn’t follow up the run which would have seen him clean through on goal. Instead he stands still which I couldn’t understand, neither he`s teammate who did what was expected from him. From the body language of Waris you could see that he knew that he should have taken the run instead of expecting the ball back again.
Moments later his first touch is again causing unnecessary problems for him as he is unable to handle the balls effectively enough. But he doesn’t seem to be effected by these minor mistakes as he just gets going in the next attack. After 57 minutes he is defending just outside his own box. When the home eventually wins the ball back, the ball is played towards Waris who is standing a bit on the left outside his own box. The rooms that are left to exploit up field is enormous. The question is how can he take advantage of it? He immediately gets a couple of defenders on him and what Waris does next is just pure quality. Waris plays the ball hard with his first touch to the middle of the park where Diouf Williams is waiting for the ball. The ball is precise and when Williams gets control on the ball he knows where he must play the ball. Waris receives the ball up field on the left and are advancing forward with enormous pace. The defenders who were trying to close him down up field cannot keep up with him. Waris advances further and only face 1 defender a bit left outside the box. He tries to dribble past the defender -and succeed, but the defender brings Waris down when he’s getting past him. Free kick awarded in a dangerous position.
After 60 minutes Waris Majeed wins the ball high up in the field on the left hand side. He plays the ball from his left position into the middle before receiving the ball back inside the box. He`s in a wide position but manage to fire a thunderous shot towards goal. The goalkeeper can only palm it away for the goalkeeper. Close one for Waris who in these last minutes has been very lively and the man to be aware of for the Helsingborg defenders.
In the first half and in the second half Waris gets flagged for offside on a few occasions. From my seated position some of them seemed very marginal and some were quite clear. When he times them rightly enough no defender can keep up with the few meters he has gained by being so offensive in his attacking approach. Obviously this means that he runs the risk of losing the risk by playing it safe on some occasions. But he will learn how from in the future. I`m not saying I don’t like his current approach, because I do. But when he learns how to be more effective by timing his run and when to make himself an easy passing alternative – he`ll be even more complete striker.
After 72 minutes Waris receives the ball on the left wing. The home side is getting the men needed inside the box to give Waris some options for his cross. Due to the amount of people in the box he decides to shoot the cross in with power. It could have been a wise move if the first defender hadn’t dealt with the ball. A minute later the home side score 2-1 and Waris Majeed is the architect behind the goal. He picks the ball up on the left side and immediately seeks the passing alternatives in the middle. His teammates are aware of this move so the first touch pass straight back to Waris, who is on the run, is perfect. He advances a few meters inside the box on the left side before he delivers the ball to the middle – Waris strike partner has an easy job by tapping the ball in.
The rest of the game is an intense drama. Both teams are looking for the next goal in the match. That`s the thing with BK Hacken this season – they play an offensive football and are taking lots of chances by sending many men up front whenever they get the chance. Chances came to both sides, but neither team was able to punish the other. Waris got himself involved and on one occasion he tried the overhead kick which goes a few meter wide of the goal. Not often we see those up north, but it gives an indication of what artistry he`s capable of doing.
After 86 minutes Waris is on the run again. He`s used his paced and times everything right to set him up 1 on 1 with the defender. For the first time today he tries to dribble past him on the left side and gets tackled fairly this time.
I felt that Waris Majeed should have been able to take more advantage of the rooms up front during the end of the match. It was intense final minutes of the game which obviously affected the players. But Waris, and others, were missing simple decisive passes which in the end could have helped the team win the match. But in the dying final minutes of the game the visitors scored the equalizer after a corner.
The match ended 2-2. Waris and the rest of the team played like they have done the entire season – offensive football from the start till the end. Waris Majeed is an exciting player with great potential. I defiantly see the player in the big leagues. But everything is about timing. I was pleased to see that he stayed on at BK Hacken after this transfer window – simply because he needs to be playing some more football here. He still has a great deal to learn from the Swedish football and while it can be frustrating for him to understand – it will benefit the player in the future. Waris Majeed has responded in great fashion. His time will come for sure. Staying at BK Hacken will only do him a favor football wisely.
Scouting report on Waris Majeed written on 01.10.2012
Øyvind Christoffer Johansen
Chief scout, Scandinavian Scouting Agency