The Supplementarity Of “Anti-Football”


Ian began writing Twohundredpercent in May 2006. He lives in Brighton. He has also written for, amongst others, Pitch Invasion, FC Business Magazine, The Score, When Saturday Comes, Stand Against Modern Football and The Football Supporter. Ian was the first winner of the Socrates Award For Not Being Dead Yet at the 2010 NOPA awards for football bloggers.

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6 Responses

  1. Etienne says:

    I think there’s an important distinction here – defensive football is fine (I loved Inter’s performance vs Barca) and I agree that there is nothing wring in seeking to stop the other team at the expense of your own attacking ambitions.

    But, constant fouling is different, the reason why fouls are fouls are because they gain an illegitimate advantage. So by seeking to win a game by team fouling, a team is not taking part in the struggle between attack and defence, but in a struggle between the laws of the game and the efficacy of their enforcement.

  2. Ben says:

    You made some great points in this article, and to call the oranje tactics in the final “anti-football” and “vulgar” is completely out of the question. They played a physical game, against a team that only passes the ball and hardly looks like scoring the entire time, hence 1-0 wins throughout the tournament. It was the only thing they could do, unless they wanted to end up like germany and put up no fight at all.

    Diving and claiming for bookings the entire game is anti-football, which both teams in the final employed (spain more than holland). the harsh criticism of their tactics is unnecessary, they played a great tournament.

  3. Mark says:

    Finally, a sensible comment on the final. The Dutch played a ‘harder’ game, and in a way it backfired as they drew ‘fouls’ on themselves when the Spanish played up the severity by over-simulation, leading to many wrong fouls against the Dutch. Certainly they had some justified calls, but watch every tackle (over again as I have, twice) and you’ll see that the ref was too severe on over half the Dutch tackles. The majority were not card offences. Spanish simulations had a lot to do with swaying the ref’s decisions. Iniesta’s dive (from van der Weil’s brush-past for which he received a card) was worthy of a card itself. Couple that with the corner kick mysteriously not awarded just before and the outcome could have been different. The Dutch were not that ‘dirty’ really (de Jong’s kick was dreadfully mistimed though and was bad) – they even kicked the ball right back to Spain not just once, but twice early on.
    As you stated, it was not ‘anti-football’ but an unsettling tactic meant to put the Spanish passing game off. In the end Holland should have created more and finished the chances they had. They got criticized in the past for playing a beautiful passing game and not winning, in 2010 they employed a harder game with tactics used in the past by ARG, URU, ITA etc… and they are still criticised!!

  4. evilcherry says:

    Even fouling tactics is nothing too bad at all. As long as you don’t get sent off for anything violent, I’m okay with fouls, getting and spreading out the bookings, or even going borderline to break a few bones as a side-effect. Italians do every part of that, and they even see trash-talking to draw fouls (Zidane headbutt anyone?) as good play.

    Unless the rules are changed to a tackle which keeps some out of more than 5 minutes is an automatic booking. Then I may think otherwise.

  5. RichardG says:

    If there’s one reason I was glad Spain won, that reason was Mark Van Bommel. ‘Nuff said!

  1. July 16, 2010

    […] Read this article: The Supplementarity Of “Anti-Football” | Twohundredpercent […]

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