About “SI-EF-AR” or “To Whom It May Concern”.
In retrospect to CFR 1907 Cluj’s international “appearance”, I decided to write my first editorial in the language of Shakespeare, not only for our international fans, but for the domestic ones, too. Of course, the following text can suffer changes, corrections since grammatical and lexical errors may occur. I’m not a native speaker, though.
It’s still fun or it’s just not fun anymore? We still watch football as idiots or Costa CFR Cluj manager’s tactic is going downhill very fast? Well, a public debate, as recently on Tribuna CFR started, is necessary. Of course, watching football is a prerequisite for participating in such a public debate. Watching and apprehend, too, not only yelling.
As of a Guardian.co.uk fan, I selected over the last six months ideas and text assertions, which can help Mr. Costa, decide. Some of the old fans say his tactic is rubbish, others say, well, let’s see what “the cat drag in”. It’s obvious, after the friendly games, we still don’t have any good tactic for the midfield. What to do after the obvious?
One of the recent Guardian’s articles say, I quote, “(…) the adoption – at last – of a modern and rational 4-2-3-1 formation gave them (A/N - England national team) a structure that offered reliability in defence and flexibility in attack, enabling them to seize the initiative against opponents every bit as undistinguished as their recent record suggested”.
So, we underline “modern and rational 4-2-3-1 formation”, “reliability in defence and flexibility in attack”, and “seize the initiative against opponents”. Well, I still read about 4-2-3-1 over and over again. Which is better 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1, and which fits CFR Cluj?
Man United’s centre-back Rio Ferdinand says about 4-3-3 “in Europe last season a lot of the time we played three midfielders and three up top. But it depends – away from home we played that formation with two wide men, and they had to come back and when we got the ball we broke to make it a 4-5-1. So I don’t think the manager’s really bothered about formations. He just puts it out there and knows the players can deal with it.’ And that CFR Cluj played until “yesterday”. Leaving CFR for Sampdoria, Renan Garcia opened a green wound, the midfield weakness. I’m not a tactician, the 4-2-3-1 can fit CFR now, but I’m not convinced. Why? Let’s draw a dream team in this system: Beto, Lionn-Cadu-Piccolo(Maftei)-Nicoara, Muresan-Godemeche(Vranjes), Sougou-Peralta-Bastos-Weldon (Kapetanos). Ok, sounds great, but is De Zerbi’s future? The midfield sounds nice on paper, in reality Weldon and Kapetanos only scored once in a while because the midfielders are not suitable for this system; they go around and around Muresan and they don’t deliver enough useful balls for the strikers. Why? What midfield tactics fits to our players? I hope our tacticians will answer to this Q or that you will provide any hint. I strongly believe Mr. Costa doesn’t know the right answer.
The Guardian also has a tradition to brighten the “Five things we learned from watching football this weekend”. I selected five things to help Mr. Costa. Here they are:
1. Football’s focus on individuals is debilitating! So, football is a team game, however, and the focus on individual talents is a reductive exercise.
2. Managers should watch their players’ wages. “There are no doubt plenty of self-motivated club owners around, but when will a manager – even a popular manager with plenty of friends in the media – be called to account?” Several teams have suffered different “form of financial meltdown” since some managers had “no interest in what players are earning. Maybe they should”.
3. Incompetence is back. Rejoice. I quote The Guardian: “At some point in the previous century Britain had a cultural awakening in the kitchen and suddenly everybody knew how to cook scallops, what olive oil is for and the secret to making your own bread. The inevitable consequence was MasterChef and Come Dine With Me on television on every single channel, though that is arguably a small price to pay if it means your steak is cooked properly. Similarly English football went through its own reinvention in the noughties, embracing Arsène Wenger’s appreciation of broccoli, 4-2-3-1 and zonal marking. The end result was Rafael Benítez and José Mourinho serving up some right dog’s dinners whenever Liverpool and Chelsea met, but still, just look at the tactics! We were so sophisticated, darling. Not any more. Now it would appear the meat and potatoes are back on the menu, with games between the top sides this season defined by defensive incompetence instead of strategic elegance. The ’90s are back, which is not necessarily a bad turn of events. The football might be farcical, but at least it is entertaining, as the Liverpool v Newcastle tribute match between Chelsea and Manchester United proved. Already this season Arsenal have put five past Chelsea, Manchester City have scored five and six against Tottenham and United, who in turn beat Arsenal 8-2. Asked about Arsenal beating Spurs 5-4 in November 2004, Mourinho cocked an eyebrow, smirked and said: “5-4 is not a football score. It is a hockey score.” Sure, but this retro-football is better than a dour tactical 1-0. Dig in.”
4. Football scouts pick out a disproportionate number of blond players, “presumably because the colour catches the eye. This is known as an ”availability heuristic” – when information stays in your memory even though it’s irrelevant”, The Guardian says.
5. Football fans are idiots. “He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot“ - Groucho Marx. “Football fans are idiots. Or, to rephrase that sentence using less incendiary language: when it comes to football, intelligent people act stupid. And yes, that probably includes you”…and me, too.
Concluding, my dear followers, will Mr. Costa read between the above lines? Which system is better, and why? Or should I ask “why fans riot, whether their team win or lose”?