PICK YOUR POISON

New World soccer appears to have chosen to see out its current course to its ultimate conclusion. Whether or not soccer in nations like the US and Australia will succeed or fail is uncertain. It will either be nothing but gravy for New World soccer or there’ll be quite the mess to clean up. What is known, given enough time, it will do one or the other. As things stand, New World soccer’s future is a zero-sum game.

The prevalence of success indicators will be undeniable. The dissenters will be struck dumb by the abundance. Packed domestic soccer stadiums will litter the land, conveyor belts will spill out locally grown players of a world class caliber, truckloads of cash from an array of sources and sustained international success will be dumped at New World soccer’s feet. The tilt of the scales of soccer affluence in the New World’s favor will be blatant.

If the alternative should arise, and soccer in the US and Australia fails to deliver on the hype, the bubble will burst and take a huge swath of professional men’s soccer in the New World out with it. Soccer organizations will spend more than they can afford to build a brand unable to garner a level of interest profitable enough to keep the doors open and the lights on. The expectations will outweigh the reality and the rush for the door by club owners and investors will undermine New World soccer’s true value. Only the maddest and most devoted will go anywhere near the remnants with a barge pole. Read More

“WHAT WOULD PEP GUARDIOLA DO?”

In New World soccer, we tend to ask ourselves a derivative of this question whenever doubts are raised about the coaching standards on the domestic front. We have long suffered beneath the stigma of a severe and sustained inferiority complex in terms of the perceived standard of New World coaches when compared to their Old World compatriots. For all the help it’s been.

It’s all well and good to seek out sage advice when confronted by complicated challenges. It’s another matter all together to accept their counsel as doctrine. Some lucky bastard manages to navigate his team’s way to an Old World trophy or two and the subsequent public adulation showered upon him for his undeniable tactical nous sparks the next global emulation soccer machine into life. Before the ref has exhaled the fourth blast of the whistle at game’s end, the search for soccer’s finest coaching counterfeiters capable of an affordable forgery of the latest Old World masterpiece has already begun with gusto.

Pick your Maestro. From Señor Guardiola back, soccer’s history has been defined by a lineage of tactical genius. All undeniably brilliant in their own right, however before they stormed the ramparts where soccer’s most cherished artifacts are housed, and led their band of merry men off to happily ever after with the spoils of war clasped firm in their clutches, there’s a couple of chapters most tend to skim over. Read More