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What Is the Best Strategic Formula for Successful Football?

Updated on October 18, 2018
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Football and its pertinent debates. You cannot have one without the other. Though not always the case, the perennial progression of time since the humble inception of the beautiful game has subsequently lead to a condition within the zeitgeist where the two are mandatorily and inescapably bound together and imperatively dependant on one another in order to perpetuate the continual cultural raving over all the intricate trivialities of the sport. A myriad of pundits have speculated and contentiously discussed any and every detailed aspect of the manifold topics permeating the paradigm, and it will ostensibly last eternally.

One of the most controversial, pivotal and divisive topics that is frequently thrown into the tumultuous maelstrom of commotion and debate is what is the most proficient(or even righteous) method of strategic approach to confronting the opposition; Possession-based ball retention, or exhaustive counter-attacking displays? Both have their impeding liabilities, and their undisputed benefits, and they are lucid and apparent the world over, which could lead to a monotony and a surfeited abandon. But their is still an irresistible gluttony for the rampant ruckus made over those very facets. And their is only one justifiable and veritable certainty-Possession is the name of the game.

There are hazards; it's well-established that there are sort of requisite criteria for any team looking to employ that tactical procedure, and one of the most essential is the integrity of the squad and it's capacity-both in regards to talent and the depth to reinforce it. It's only logical. If the players constituting your squad are too inept or do not possess the agility and faculty to possess the ball for sustained intermittent periods of time, and your game is predicated upon that plight, your are inevitably doomed to failure. That is why the greatest, and most frequently esteemed examples of the teams that incorporate this tactic are teams that are beheld atop the pinnacle echelons of the exalted gauge of football prowess, such as the tiki-taka Barcelona side of the late 00s and the Bayern Munich squad that dismantled that team en route toward their fifth Champions League title, and even more superannuated teams of years gone by like the historic Ajax Amsterdam team of the 1970s.

And this denotes the most attractive and aesthetically appealing stylistic construction of football. A style that most potential candidates for the next dominant team in their league, cup competition or any other aspire to be able to assimilate. It's hypnotic, and mesmerising, but it does unfortunately require that those purporting the strategy are as adept as possible. It facilitates ornate exhibitions from the prodigious skill players like Neymar and Alexis Sanchez, or the technically-blessed like Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo, because it is tailor made for them. You cannot however just negligently throw the more tactically-inclined players like Thomas Muller or Aaron Ramsey into that system without the cast of player with more flair around them and expect them to execute to the same degree of success. They are also integral to those teams, and a lack of that breed of player in the same system would also lead to failure, but they are better served as conduits for the prevalence of their peers(primarily by contributing a copious amount of assists for instance).

And the benefits of the counter-attacking antithesis are mostly due to that exactly. It is the ideological inverse and has proved to be the countermeasure to possession-based play, if not intrepidly considered in contingency. The most famed example of recent years is the emergent and unprecedented triumph of the Leicester City team that won the Premier League. N'Golo Kante, Jamie Vardy, Wes Morgan; all vital components that were instrumental in the ambitious statement of resolve that that team made. And besides Riyad Mahrez, and perhaps Shinji Okazaki, none in that squad had a flair and finesse for the most flamboyant game-styles. Despite boasting a ferocious offence, their game almost entirely stemmed from the absorption of all incurred pressure in the defence, followed by an expeditious and swift counter-attack.

It lead to frustration from opponents who couldn't seem to remedy the implementation of an obvious, yet remarkably perplexing method, and although those from a neutral perspective supported the compelling underdog mantra in the narrative of their odyssey to prominent superiority, it was equally lamented for essentially being a cursory cop-out of a solution to any deficiencies in a more conventional approach. This is acceptable when the fact that there would have to be some antidote to the subjugation of those more "inferior" teams-remedying their turmoils as imposed from the more dominant squads-but the felonious transgression that the teams with the more monumental prestige amidst their ranks(and the funding to reinforce that with a superfluity of reserved talent on the bench and below) like Real Madrid commit when exploiting this tactic is blatant sacrilege. It just is. Not to stand as an accusing and sanctimonious judge, jury and executioner, but this is the epitome of abuse of power.

One of the many, many reasons for the disdain for Madrid by most other than the fans of Los Blancos themselves-it's just amoral. And illogical when the considerations of potential enshrinement in glory it yields(and implications of the incentive that would likely provide), and the actual capability to execute that are taken.

Additionally, a sort of reiteration of the previous honourable mention in that the righteous path to traverse is the most exciting advocated and noble way of playing the game validates the proclamation that participating in football in such a way definitely is cricket. Without possession football and it's permission of empowering and elevating such luminaries of the game to the zenith of their masterful supremacy(like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Johan Cruyff, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldinho and a sundry of others), the beautiful game would be in a deprived and far more morose state. So conclusively and definitively-possession is the way to play.

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