Pursuing Beauty: Making sense out of RDM's sacking
The root cause for the recent mess surrounding our club is attributed to the desire of the owner to see his team play an attractive game.
Being not a professional himself, Roman's perception of a 'beautiful game' is not much different than that of a billion other football fans around the globe.
One needs to understand what makes a football game 'look pretty' to a non-professional eye in order to understand the reason behind the sacking of so many top managers at Chelsea.
'Easy on the eye' is a phrase frequently used by pundits to describe what looks pretty on a football pitch. It is very descriptive of RA's and many others' expectation.
In a business where spectator's opinion matters the most, an artist needs to be careful not to make his craft too complicated for the average mind. And football is such a business.
Simplicity is an important aspect of beauty. Human mind tends to reject patterns that are too random for its processing capability. Many of the day to day activities in our lives are grey and boring for any spectator to watch because they are not dramatized for stage performance. They are fast, brute and direct to achieve the maximum efficiency possible.
That's a perfect analogy to the way Chelsea has been playing for the past eight years. It is not beautiful, for a neutral viewer, when Drogba receives the ball from Cech, bully his way through defenders and pull a power full strike.
Only a few can appreciate the amount of talent and endurance such a stunt requires. People would rather have this fast and complex action be broken in to a string of simple ball passes. This is where Mourinho and his team failed to impress RA.
JM doesn't like to dictate what his players need to do when they are attacking on the opponent's half of the pitch. As he repeatedly claimed, he gives his players the freedom to express themselves. However, when the opponent has the ball, his team organizes itself into one of the strongest defensive unit the football world has ever seen and he's got everything to do with that.
Unfortunately for him though, majority of football fans don't seem to appreciate the beauty and heroics of defending. On the other hand, teams with a passing football game plan and attacking mentality like to do things a little different.
FC Barcelona is master of this order. Here, every player is expected to do simple things. Most of their moves on the pitch are close derivatives of what they work on the training ground. Their goals are results of well drilled attacking moves, nothing happens spontaneously.
This is what makes their football much more appealing for viewers; they choreograph football to the point where it looks like an HBO comedy special or a Shakespeare tragedy. For the reasons mentioned above Barcelona FC brand of attacking football demands more from the manager than that of a defensive team.
Like I tried to mention earlier, defensive team managers are mainly responsible for team organization when the opponent has the ball, the rest depends a lot on individual quality of players on the pitch. People say Pep Guardiola is just lucky to have superstars in his team and he'll struggle once he takes over a less galactic one.
The truth, however, is that without any major signing and after offloading Ronalidnho, Pep's team of 2008/09 season was a huge, huge improvement on that of Frank Rijkaard. Now we all know who has the last say when it comes to finding our identity. Personally, I don't mind Chelsea in either of the two categories. I used to enjoy our invincible defensive play and the discipline our players showed to defend against the might's of Catalonia both under Gus Hiddnik and RDM. But the owner has his own idea.
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