28 Mar 2013
Viva Pep and the Spanish Revolution!
When the FA formed in 1863 the course was set for our beautiful game to become the dominant global sport. Since then a handful of coaches have had a lasting impact on the way the game is played.
In the 1920’s and 30s’ Herbert Chapman won 5 league titles in 8 years using a W – M formation. A Scot, Jimmy Hogan, laid the tactical foundations that led to the great Hungarian side of the 1950’s. Brazilian Vincente Feola introduced the 4-2-4 formation that inspired the wonderful 1970 World Cup winning team. Dutchman Rinus Michels gave us “total football”. And our own, under-rated, Graham Taylor introduced a pressing style to the English game that delivered incredible results for Lincoln City and Watford. These visionary men had the self-belief to try something different and as a result changed the way the game was played and coached.
So has Pep Guardiola, Barcelona manager for 4 glorious years. With a brand of dynamic passing football Senõr Guardiola persuaded coaches at all levels that the game is more beautiful than any of us could have imagined. Instead of a sport dominated by giant, muscular athletes we have been thrilled and inspired by small, intelligent players with grace, balance and quick feet.
Many football fans lament the passing of footballs’ hard men like “Chopper” Harris, Tommy Smith and Vinnie Jones but these are players from a bygone era. In a sport dominated by television, entertainment is no longer a by product of the game, it’s a pre-requisite.
From grassroots up coaches, players and spectators have new expectations. Viva Pep!