11 March 2010


By Dr3

Nothing is harder to read than when people add 1 and 1 and get 28 or some other fallacious figure. Before we go over analyzing and using circular logic to somehow explain why Real and Milan are out let’s look at the two major things that govern football;

1) The ‘virtue’ of football is that on ANY day, ANY team, can win ANY game

2) A game is lost, or won in the minutest of details.


The circus of excuses and false alibis begin. “Milan’s squad isn’t strong enough for the highest level”, “Serie A on decline”, “We needed more money from better stadiums”, “Manchesters quality is too much”, “The pace of the EPL”, “the age of the Milan squad”, “Money can’t buy you..”..blah blah blah…

To win a match or even a cup competition (meaning; euro’s, world cups, CL etc.) a team doesn’t necessarily have to be strongest or have the most quality. Winning a football game is a mixture of quality and tactics. It is why tactics even exist to begin with. The fact is, if football was solely or always about the quality of the better team individually, then there would never be any upsets, there would never be any Burnley’s, Naploi’s, Almeria’s, Stoke’s etc. If the answer was always based on the divine supremacy of a team or by extension (circular logic begins) a league, then money would really be able to buy you everything, right?

Proof: Manchester United has NEVER in any season, boasted the strongest team in terms of quality of the individual players. Are we really going to say that Park, Fletcher, and Scholes, are somehow, of such immense quality that they are “superior” to Pirlo, Seedorf, and Flamini? To be even more frank, if Inter were to sign Carrick or Fletcher, or Park, or Anderson, I would seriously and genuinely consider hanging myself.

Just to cast aside any more of this CL being indicative of domestic leagues; Inter also trashed AC Milan 4-0, and it was even more of a trashing because with courtesy Inter stopped playing after 60 minutes. Even further, Inter beat the said AC Milan with nine men; 2-0 (I’m straying). The point is, Milan lost not because of an absence of quality, but because of the absence of the said blend. Now this is not to squarely place the burden on Leonardo, but as if to defend your insecurities about your ‘package’; it’s not what you have, it’s how you use it. Milan’s problem is that they are still in transition. They are still reeling from selling a major piece of their pie without fully thinking through the repercussions. They are STILL fiddling with their formation trying to find balance with more than half the season already gone; seriously (Same applies to Real; what is Kaka’s position?).

The Details;

All, and I do mean ALL, top level teams are excellent defenders of leads. ALL top level teams are exceptional at counter-attacking and ‘killing’ off games. In the profession, that is the mark of the biggest teams. Take away the early Rooney goal, and this article doesn’t exist. Milan no longer have to switch to three at the back, Manchester no longer sit squarely back with Valencia at ‘2nd right back’, and Milan can compose themselves and stick to the ‘game plan’. Early goals change games; ask Manchester against Barca, ask Chelsea against Inter, ask Inter against Manchester…. (do I really need to keep going?). They change all the strategies for a game, and all the equations and away goals, and the psyche of ALL 22 players. Real are out thanks to a “toe-P” (toe poke), from all of approx 30 yards. Milan are out because they were wasteful in the first, and conceded way too early in the second.

1+1 = 2?

Now just in case you’re thinking I’m sideswiping Manchester, that’s not the case. They’re very well run, and a ‘well lubed machine’; the right system for the right bunch of players. Season after season a certain man turns the Chadwicks, and buck-toothed Tobagonians into finished articles. Hats off to Fergie, the guy really is the MacGyver of football.

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