Where does the beautiful game go from here?

I awoke on Monday morning sick and angry at the realisation that the Sam Allardyce School of football had somehow found its loathsome way to the World Cup final as Holland kicked, hacked, tripped and shirt pulled their way through 120mins of cynical attrition, laughingly described by some as football. Thus the most high profile game in the world was dragged down to a level that would have shocked Sunday morning pub footballers.

This I thought is the country that gave us Johan Cruyff, Krull, Neskins and latterly our own Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie, each and every one renowned for sublime skills. Yet it was RvP, who’s own foul play straight from the kick off announced to the watching world just what today’s game plan would be.

Where has Holland’s fabled total football gone? Surely it was this concept that had inspired Barcelona through successive managers to play it with the style and panache that makes them the most attractive club side in the world.  The same style copied back here in England by Arsene Wenger as he shapes our own Arsenal after the same fashion.

Yet here and now, in the full spotlight of the world’s media and on millions of TV screens worldwide. We had watched Spain’s modern interpretation of the same concept, being ruthlessly nullified by storm troopers, wearing the same orange shirts their forbears had worn with such distinction, as footballers in previous world cups. Sure they had never won one, but their reputation and magic has entered footballs folklore and is to this day the stuff of dreams and wonder to those of us lucky enough to remember. What will this crowd of losers be remembered for?

So bad was the rough stuff that even Alan (football is a mans game and a contact sport) Hanson was a complete contradiction of all he has ever espoused on BBC TV. He was moved in his half time summation to roundly condemn the Dutch, their methods and tactics in an anti intimidation tirade that would have left most listening gooners in a state of  complete disbelief given his known track record on the subject. Miracles it seem do happen, conversion is still possible in today’s cynical football world.

So back to yesterday morning and as I lay in bed the realisation of how far we had fallen came. When I turned my radio on and Jordie Cruyff a Dutch international himself and the son of the great man, said to Nicky Campbell “of course we played the correct game we had to stop them playing, if we had let them play their tippy tappy football we may as well have gone home after 45 minutes as we would have been beaten. The referee didn’t help he was very” (picky, fussy cant remember exactly. But the meaning is clear). Like father, like son I think not.

True the referee tried valiantly enough, but no doubt warned by the politicians not to ruin South Africa’s big day, was not able to apply the law, as he should have done in order to control the game. Two sent off in the first half would no doubt have finished any hope’s he might have of higher office when his officiating days are done.

We are well used to Blackburn and Bolton and their ilk playing against us in this manner, the broken legs and in some cases spirits of fine young footballers, in our own club, testify to the malaise in this country.

But from Cruyff to Allardyce in the world cup final is a tragedy I am unable to get my head round.

Thank god they didn’t win and the beauty of the Spanish game got its just reward. Even if there was too much diving, unnecessary posturing and card waving from the Spanish players, but at least they stuck to the basics and kicked the ball most of the time.

So my football loving friends please answer the question I keep asking myself, where the hell does the game I love go from here?

Written by dandan

22 Responses to Where does the beautiful game go from here?

  1. Sorry, its written by dandan – i’ll add that in now

  2. tommystout says:

    marvellous summation dandan, this negetive anti-football has no place in the modern game but the way it has found its way in to the world cup final and also inter milans triple honours last year proves that it works and will be considered by the top managers – its a tradgedy for modern day football and the only way it can be combatted is by strict refereeing who wont do it off their own backs, obviously each countries FA has to issue refereeing directives, with strictor punishments for violent conduct with post match video panels even if the referee has seen it or not.
    At least we The Arsenal can hold our heads high in everything that we do.

  3. Pat7 says:

    I don’t know Dandan but Cruyff senior has laid into the Dutch in the media sometime very recently ‘NewsNow’.

    Maybe if enough of their elite speak up the officialdom will realise that you have to ‘throw’ a few games in order to correct this sort of behaviour.

    I mentioned (I think yesterday) my thoughts that a 5th official should review TV footage & feed back to the ref ‘missed’ off-ball incidents, dangerous tackles & diving/acting so that the ref could take appropriate action.

    A combination of the two would soon stamp out this stuff & bring back the beautiful game.

  4. Pat7 says:

    Tommy – not quite everything we do – but we do have the higher moral ground. Agreed on the rest & that these panels should blow out the 3 match ban which is fine for ordinary incidents but ‘ignoramous’s’ like at the Dudu tackle should get far longer so they can correct their ‘abilities’.

  5. Pat7 says:

    …..and dig their brain out from their little toe!

  6. aj says:

    Matt Dickinson wrote this in The Times yesterday:-

    “For the first hour, we could have been watching Blackburn Rovers against Arsenal, dogged tacklers pushing the laws as far as they dared against a team of slight, but increasingly frustrated, passers.”

    So, these guys do see it when Arsenal get kicked to Hell, it’s just that they seem to refuse to condemn it. It somehow seems to be different when it is a World Cup Final!

    I do take issue with the Times, however, when they rated Arjen Robben as the best player on the pitch and Robin Van Persie as the worst. Since Robben’s job was to feed Van Persie, as the main striker, he singularly failed to find him at all, preferring to play for himself. I cannot recall him getting past his marker on the wing on a single occasion and, when he had two guilt-edged chances from breakaways, he fluffed them both.

  7. RockyLives says:

    You have to think that at some point the football authorities will wake up to the fact that entertaining, skillful football is being seriously jeopardised by thuggery masquerading as ‘manliness’ and ‘committed play’. It’s down to FIFA and UEFA to make sure refs help to safeguard skill and eliminate anti-skill.
    But if that ever happens (and it surely won’t do so until after Blatter’s reign) then you can bet the last place it will catch on is in the PL.

  8. Jason says:

    Arsenal are about to file charges against Barcelona for excessive tapping of a player

    According to sources Arsenal were collecting evidence till now and were hoping to avoid the situation but after the latest escapade they have left Arsenal with no other choice

  9. RockyLives says:

    Jason – that would be fantastic if it’s true. Even an announcement that we are considering filing charges would be good – a real statement.

  10. MAC says:

    @Jason – You’ve posted the exact same thing on every blog & article I’ve read today. Don’t suppose you have any actual proof do you? I suspect you’re just trying to create a story where one doesn’t exist. FIFA & UEFA must be perfectly aware of the tactics Barca are using, and have used over and over again in the past. If they’ve done nothing ’til now I can’t see them doing anything now.

  11. SharkeySure says:

    I think Sundays final can only be good news for Arsenal this season

  12. 26may1989 says:

    Great post, love it! That said, it was just one game, so I’m not sure the (rhetorical?) question really needs answering.

    The hypocrisy of Hanesen et al is, for a Gooner, the most amusing part of all this – let’s see how long it takes them to revert to type once the perpetrators of the anti-football tactics are “good”, “honest”, macho Brits (and Irish) and the victims are the “too foreign” Arsenal players.

  13. 26may1989 says:

    Anyone want to take bets on which tabloid “Jason” works for?

  14. SharkeySure says:

    Yep, agreed 26m, thats another lovely read from you Dandan.

  15. Brentwood JJ says:

    I do not believe that the Dutch performance in the final is indicative of Dutch football in general and extreme in terms of the Dutch performance in the tournament. Thankfully they didn’t profit from these tactics.
    However, I do see parallels with the Allardyce/Pulis approach to the job of football and see their application the “Kick, pump and grunt” style to the game as indicative to the demise of English talent. FIFA and UEFA will ensure that the Dutch tactics will not become prevalent under their jurisdictions; the FA haven’t and will not.

  16. SharkeySure says:

    Brentw…but surely even the FA have to look at whether the rough house style of play means that its only tough powerful players that can be effective, ie Lampard Gerrard and Terry.

    Under such a system young technical players will not be valued as much as their bigger and stronger counterparts.

    Can you imagine Iniesta at most UK acadenmies as a 13 or 14 yr old, and what he’d be told to focus on..?? I can.

    That really needs to change.

  17. irishgunner says:

    I sincerely hope Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol and Pepe Reina suffer broken leg after broken leg – wankers!!

  18. Jay-Jay says:

    Howdy all.

    I agree totally about the Final, it was appalling. In fact, is was nothing short of an absolute diaster.

    The one saving grace was that football – in the form of Tika Taka – did prevail on the day and not the Fat Sam approach. Holland ought be shamed of themselves, and I found it ammsuing that they’re having a ‘celebratory’ parade today for their efforts.

    What’s next? Ryan Shawcross to be knighted?

  19. livearsenal says:

    Spain can be equally ashamed though for being diving cheating, whiney little pussies. They play good football, and they have the ability to TOTALLY control a football game, so why do they need to dive all the time? Annoying.

    Not to mention the Barca tapping up from all angles.

    All things considered I wanted the Dutch to win. I’ve discovered that it’s much easier to excuse a kung-fu kick to the solar plexus when you’re supporting the perpetrator and not the victim.

  20. Rasp says:

    Morning livearsenal,

    I think most of us wanted Holland to win before the game, but we can hardly moan about the physical abuse of our players and condone it just because Spain has 7 Barca players. We’ll leave the hypocrasy to messrs Hansen etc.

    We are about to publish a new post, please feel free to join the discussion on there.

  21. Rasp says:

    New post …..

  22. Chu says:

    Many merchants will require the out-of-date coupons.

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