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What is anti-football? Excuse me for sounding a bit confused in my last column before I go on holiday, but it has been a long, hard season and the thoughts of German beer and biltong are starting to cloud my mind.
But I have been left perplexed by the latest bandwagon football lovers find themselves on – Spain are the new anti-football team. But aren’t Spain mostly made up of Barcelona players, who are supposed to be the kings of “beautiful football”?
No, Barca apparently put people in a state of ecstasy with their football, while Spain put people to sleep.
And that’s where the confusion comes in, because, as far as I’m concerned, Spain and Barcelona adopt relatively the same gameplan. So how can one be called beautiful and the other one boring?
A few months ago, when Chelsea beat Barcelona in the semi-final of the Champions League, a lot of people called the Blues’ “parking-the-bus” tactics anti-football. The Blues basically kicked it long, waited for Barcelona to come to them and defended for all they are worth. England employed similar tactics during their brief stint at Euro 2012 and were also heavily criticised for not being able to string a few moves and passes together in attack.
And now when Spain try to keep the ball and create opportunities, basically the same game Barcelona employ, just without Lionel Messi at the sharp end of the move, now suddenly it’s anti-football.
On Wednesday, I saw a tweet by someone saying the Spaniards are killing the beautiful game, while just a month ago Chelsea “killed” the beautiful game.
So what is anti-football? Is it parking the bus or is it passing your opponents to death? I don’t have the answer, to be honest, because to me – it’s all football – doesn’t matter how you play the game.
For me, the essential ingredients of any football team, no matter what style you adopt, are heart, passion and desire. And I saw that in the Chelsea team that won the Champions League, in Spain’s extra-time performance against Portugal and in Orlando Pirates’ performances in the run-in to their second successive Premiership win.
And all three those teams are champion teams, no matter what brand of football they dished up this season.
And that is going to be the first duty of either Gordon Igesund or Steve Komphela when one of them is appointed Bafana Bafana coach.
Unfortunately, it seems that there isn’t any fighting spirit in the current Bafana team, and that’s partly the reason why the national team has been so ineffective over the last, well ... in a long time. It’s time to give the country the man it wants and the man we all believe is going to restore pride in the jersey, a man who values the grit and desire of a player as much as his skill and talent.
I’m talking about Gordon Igesund. It doesn’t matter what style of football Igesund is known for or what style Bafana will employ under his watch. The most important thing is that he can bring back the heart, the passion and the desire. Because without that you can’t be a champion.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@IanWright0 (Former England and Arsenal striker felt Ronaldo should have kicked his penalty earlier against Spain): Why did ronaldo not take one earlier? Waiting for glory maybe!
@friedel_b (Tottenham’s American goalkeeper sums up England quarter-final defeat against Italy): I suppose it is justice as Italy played better. Penalties again!!!??? Good night all past my bedtime.
@ManUTDTourSA: #ManUtdTourSA Both Manchester United opening training sessions will take place at the respective stadiums from 19h00 pre-match day.
WHO TO FOLLOW
@kennethdalglish: Find out what the former Liverpool legend is doing with his time these days.
* Follow John Goliath on Twitter: @Anchorman82
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