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Angels That Changed The World Of Football Forever

Updated on November 6, 2012

In today's world the game of football(soccer) is all about technique and technique . When you watch the likes of Barcelona , Arsenal playing you can't take your eyes of the game , its a treat to watch . But it wasn't the same in the beginning , In fact when the club football started in 1870s , it was all about kicking and putting the ball in opponent's net .There was chaos all around and football was without form . Over the time , the game had been graced by some great technicians , who with their visionary ideas changed the game forever .

A Few Good Men Who Gave The Game its Identity

Sir Herbert Chapman : Chapman is regarded as the game's first modernizers . He introduced new tactics and training techniques to the game . Some of his game changing innovations were floodlighting , numbered shirts and European club competitions . He introduced the famous W-M formation which was the backbone of football tactics for a long time . He redefined the term "Football Manager" , as he was the first manager who controlled club's every activity from tactics on the pitch to team's transfer business . Before he died in 1934 due to pneumonia , he set up the foundations for future success of Arsenal F C . He received many posthumous honors for his work in modernization of the game .

Sir Herbert Chapman
Sir Herbert Chapman

Hugo Meisl : Hugo Meisl was coach of the famous Austrian "Wunderteam" of early 1930s . Meisl became coach of the Austrian national side in 1913 . Seeing his side's poor performance in a game against Hungary , he consulted game's referee about his team's weakness . After that he appointed Jimmy Hogan as first team coach , as a result team's performance improved significantly and Austrian team went on a 14-match unbeaten run from 12 April 1931 until 7 December 1932 . Meisl died after suffering a heart-attack in 1937 and the domination of the team was put to an end when Germany annexed Austria in 1938 .

Meisl in the middle with chapman(left) and jimmy hogan(right)
Meisl in the middle with chapman(left) and jimmy hogan(right)

Bela Guttman : Bela become popular as a coach of some of the world’s leading football teams, including A C Milan, Sao Paulo F C, F C Porto and S L Benfica . Bela represented the final flowering of the great era of central European football . He was known as a quick tempered and individualist coach who rarely stayed at a club longer than two seasons, and was quoted as saying "the third season is fatal." But controversy apart Bela was a revolutionist who changed the image of European competitions and went on to enjoy a major success in these competitions . He had the eye for the talent and gave many superstars to the world football notably Eusebia, Ferenc Puskas , Zizinho and many others.

Bela Guttman
Bela Guttman

Boris Arkadiev : Arkadiev is regarded as the first great soviet theorist of football . His book Tactics Of Football was regarded as a bible for coaches across Europe for many years .With his restless mind and fertile imagination , he bring many changes to the usual W-M formation , notably the addition of a third-back that turned out to be the beginning of perestroika in football tactics . He was well known for his habit of taking his players on tours of art galleries before big games . He later applied "Zonal Game" in which entire team become mobile as a response to man to man marking aimed to combat his team by rivals . He was the first man to deploy flat back four . Arkadiev's principles continued to be applied in soviet football and brought major success to Dinamo Moscow .

Arkadiev outlining his theory to his players
Arkadiev outlining his theory to his players

Victor Maslov : There were many great coaches who played an important role in the evolution of the game , but Victor Maslov's contribution was a significant one and can easily be considered as the father of modern football . Maslov is well known for inventing the 4-4-2 formation for the first time that can be seen as the birth of modern football . He invented the pressing game that was more based on speed and fitness which took the opponents by surprise due to its fluidity . He was known as "Grandad" because of his colossal wisdom, humanity and kindness . He was the first one to experiment with player's nutrition to enhance his team's performance . He went on to win many Soviet Championships with Torpedo , Dynamo Kyiv and one with F C Ararat .

Victor Maslov
Victor Maslov

Helenio Herrera : Herrera was one of the greatest coaches that the football world has seen and its because of him that coaches are given celebrity like status these days . He acquired the nickname "Le sorcier"(The Wizard) and later "Il mago" when he moved to Italy . Although catenaccio(ultra defensive) was used by many teams before him but it was Herrera who used it most effectively and so catenaccio and Helenio Herrera are nearly synonymous in the world of football.

Herrera was a perfectionist , involving himself in all aspects of team affairs and developed the system of ritiro , whereby players would be confined to team's training base the evening before games. He was a pioneer of sports psychology , gathering his team in circle before games and giving them motivational speeches . Although his tactics were described as highly defensive , which some have termed "anti-football" but nobody can deny the success and the effect that he had in the world football .

Helenio Herrera
Helenio Herrera

Rinus Michels : Michels is known as the father of "Total Football " , tactics that dominated the Dutch and European football in 1970s due to which he was named "coach of the century" by FIFA in 1999 . He altered the nature of training , prioritizing ball-work above all that would produce the technical proficiency that Ajax were known for . Although "Total Football" was famous for its attacking flair , Michels began its construction from the back , bringing defenders in the build up of the attack . It was quite new at that which some described as "Amateurish" , but it became very successful and laid foundation for the modern day tactics .

Rinus Michels
Rinus Michels

"A Jockey , doesn't have to have been born a Horse ."

Arrigo Sachhi : Sachhi never played football professionally but went on to become one of the most celebrated coach in world football . He was a coach with a difference , bringing all his expectations as a spectator to his coaching . Sachhi wanted to see not merely the man on the ball but the whole team ; he came to the conclusion that the man out of possession is just as important as the one in possession . This led to the start of the era of "attacking football" in Italy .

"Great clubs had one thing in common , regardless of the tactics and history . They owned the pitch and they owned the ball " , he once said .

His imaginary ideas bring two consecutive European Cups to Milan and set up the foundation of their future success . He gave superstars like Van Basten , Frank Rijkaard , Ruud Gullit , Maldini , Ancelotti to world football .

Arrigo Sachhi
Arrigo Sachhi

Since then many great managers like Alex Ferguson , Arsene Wenger , Jose Mourinho have redefined the beautiful game with their intelligence and passion , and have become part of the glorious history of football managers .


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