Beauty And Idealism In Football

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“Total Football” - The Revolution “tiki-taka” -The Evolution!

There is a saying that football is a game played as much on the field as in the mind. Over the years, many philosophies developed regarding football; be it possession football, counter attacking football, tiki-taka or the Catenaccio.

However, it is not so simple to say that the “correct” way of playing is the one that wins most often, because only the dourest of Gradgrinds would claim that success is measured merely in points and trophies; there must also be room for romance. That tension between beauty and cynicism, between what Brazilians call futebol d’arte and futebol de resultados is a constant, perhaps because it is so fundamental not only to sports, but also to life; to win or to play the game well? It is hard to think of any significant action that are not in some way a negotiation between the two extremes of pragmatism and idealism.

All these years, football managers around the world have been coming up with their own vision and tactics. But is tactics the only thing that determines how a side plays? Absolutely not! It is rather one aspect among many alongside ability, fitness, motivation, power and luck in an immensely complex tapestry. A physically fit team must play in a different way from a tired team; a team that includes dilettantish players must be set up in a way to cover those deficiencies.

One such vision, propounded by Jack Reynolds when manager of Ajax, and developed by Rinus Michaels

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