Notyalcsdrawkcab’s Weblog

September 16, 2008

winners are grinners and nobody remembers the losers … or do they?

Filed under: Football — notyalcsdrawkcab @ 12:05 am

just read an interesting phil micallef piece over at the sbs site.  that teams will use ugly football to win, nobody remembers second place, and that ugly football is here to stay.  i`ve already given my thoughts earlier on how most of the style wars debate is illusory and misguided. 

but, for better or for worse.  not all winners are equal.  there are two ways that winners get knocked down. 

the real madrid team that just worked and believed its way to back to back league titles is worthy of respect, but pretty unloveable.  given the financial advantages that they have over most teams in their league, they should be winning titles regularly.  if happiness is the exceeding of expectations, then real madrid fans can`t be happy.  they may actually be disappointed by the workman like nature of these last two titles.  whereas a fan of any other team (excepting barcelona) would give their left nut (or ovary) to have their team “work” their way to back to back titles. 

greece, and to a lesser extent, porto fc.  greece won the euro by packing the midfield, stultifying the game, and somehow finding a goal.  usually off a set piece.  if this is the future of football, count me out.  only a true believer could love this team.  a casual watcher won`t get it.  also, by its one off nature, this win is discounted by many.  a fluke. 

rangers got to last year`s uefa cup final playing a football that noone cared for.  but against the talent and financial clout of their opponents – it was the optimal style for this team.  but if they had won it, only rangers fans would have cared.  and maybe celtic fans.  the rest of the world would have shrugged and moved on. 

and what is “winning”?  the world cup would be pretty boring if it was just about the winners.  especially the last winners.  nothing against italy, but they make the current real madrid team look like a bunch of artists.  i find the world cup has some interesting similarities with “american idol”.  the first rounds are interesting as joke contestants crop up, waiting to be embarressed.  the middle rounds gather the most interest, as interested viewers wait to see what diamonds in the rough have been found.  the final rounds lack a bit of ooomph, as they are more polished.  the business end.  whilst gripping, more joy can be found in the middle rounds.  of both contests. 

our last involvement at the world cup was a “win”.  exceeded expectations, and a style that neutrals could appreciate.  will our next trip be a win?  we need to get away from the idea that not going to the world cup is a failure, nor that being there is enough.

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