Tuesday, 7 June 2011
The Beautiful Game
Artistry, poetry in motion, such beautiful movement it almost brings tears to your eyes... That's how football is when it is played at it's best and over the last few months we've been treated to team that has exemplified the tenets of this beautiful game. It goes without saying I'm talking about the exploits of the deserved 2011 European champions FC Barcelona. Some would argue like Jose Mourinho that they got a little help from match officials but in the final analysis the quality of the football spoke for itself. The red cards against Arsenal and Real Madrid may have been dodgy but I wonder what would have happened with even eleven men still on the pitch.
So what makes the team so great. Is it the triumvirate of Messi, Iniesta and Xavi with their slick passing and positioning? Is it Messi's trickery which makes one wonder whether he applies super glue on his boots before the game? Is it David Villa and his quality in front of goal? Is it the coaches tactics? I could go on and on to find out the secret behind this well oiled machine. Personally I don't think it's the coach so much as the quality in the players, I believe even a baboon could coach those guys and they'll still excel.
Barcelona are excellent in possession but what is even more important is what they do when they are off the ball. They keep pressing at you and you make mistakes... When they're on it you're afraid to press as you may expose yourselves to your own embarrassment. Not to taking anything away from their victory but I'm surprised Manchester United didn't learn anything from their loss in 2009. It was like a case of same script different cast. Granted the lackadaisical approach of players like Micheal Carrick and the old legs of Ryan Giggs were always going to find it tough going against team Barcelona.
So as the Catalan artists- sometimes actors especially one Sergio Busquets sit on their perch at the top of European football we ask who'll unseat them? in 2010 The Special One was able to navigate around but in 2011 it was tough going against 12 men. However I think his defensive tactics may have done it but Sir Alex's traditional 4-4-2 is clearly not the way to go. For now we;ll continue being Messimerized by them until somebody comes and unseat the 'best club side in history.' I've seen a few in my time like the Galacticos of real Madrid but I've never seen the game played so beautifully, a joy to watch and the Manchester United players clearly agreed with me...