The GOTP Year: October to December

OUR most popular piece in the last few months of the year was our look at why international football is in steep decline.

The death of the international

“INTERNATIONAL football is no longer so important for the development of the game. A controversial statement, but the reality is that contests between nations no longer provide us with the inspiration or the progressive thinking that has emerged from pitching the crème de la crème against each other. Consider that in the past, World Cups tried to show us the way forward, point us in the direction that the game was heading, and perhaps introduce us to new tactical thinking and fresh ideas around player utilisation. Or at least, that’s what history has tried to tell us. World Cups gave us the opportunity to see foreign players and teams and glimpses of different cultures.

Progress has removed the sense of wonder that we once might have derived from the gathering of the clans, 16 nations meeting in one country, posing with sombreros on their head, acting as quasi diplomats for their countries. World Cups were like grown-up Boy Scout jamborees – just look at any official FIFA film from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s to get that feeling.”

To see the full story, click here

Here’s a few more of our more successful stories:

Poland – from Silesia with hope

“ANYONE who remembers the 1974 World Cup will always have a soft spot for Poland, certainly not because they knocked England out in the qualifying group in 1973, but for the way the expressive Poles played when they got to West Germany and how their football, played by such talents as Kazi Deyna and Grzegorz Lato, helped light up the competition.

For many reasons, Poland and the UK have close links – during World War Two, Polish airmen fought for Britain and there’s a war memorial in London dedicated to Poles involved in the conflict. There’s always been a considerable number of Poles in Britain and their presence today is a subject that can lead to heated debate about migration, jobs and cultural chasms.

But Poland is a country that is on the rise, with an economy that is still growing, almost counter-cyclical to the malaise that has stymied progress in Europe since 2008. And it is forecast to grow by more than 3% in 2016. Some of that growth is attributable to Euro 2012, when the country co-hosted – with Ukraine – its first major football competition.”

To read the full story, click here

Carlos Alberto and a night in London SW6

“Carlos Alberto was skipper of the greatest Brazil side ever to grace a World Cup. Today, it is unlikely that he would have been given that responsibility as more often than not, star players with huge egos are also given the role of captain – I would wager that if Pele and co. were playing in 2016-17,  Edson Arantes do Nascimento himself would have the armband.

But the fact that Carlos Alberto was the captain said a lot about the ability and stature of the man. It is ironic that in a World Cup of so many iconic moments, the image we remember most is the final goal of a one-sided contest, scored by a full back rather than a goal from Pele, Jairzinho, Gerson or Tostao. That fourth goal ensured the name Carlos Alberto would live on, a shot that was hammered low into the net, on the run, after the ultimate team-built preparatory work.”

To read the full story, click here

Others you may have missed
To Hull and back
We’ve moved on from monkey chants
Zeitgeist!- Atlantic League and the death of UEFA

Categories: Uncategorized

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