Mystery In football

The mystery in football has come to play a great role in determining the turn of events in a soccer match as it’s greatly being likened to as the god of soccer being responsible. This thought has really stood the test of time in footballing history. Soccer is a game of passion and was once seen by many especially parents, as a game of the ‘not so serious ones’ but this mentality has changed, it could be seen that one can irk out a living from the game, i.e., as a career and even by investing In the game. Thus, the sport boasts of a solid platform which have eventually made it a noble sport to reckon with in this age.        

We have witnessed in the past decade and a half, people making huge investment into the game of soccer .The emergence of money in the game of soccer has hampered the sweet pleasure and joy derived from watching the worlds’ biggest game. prior to this Occurrence, football has always been an entertaining and highly explosive game of contest that has always brought smiles on the faces of so many fans, supporters, spectators and they all get the value for their money…..the dynamism in most soccer games is now lacking as most tactics and formation deployed by the managers bring about a rigid outcome in the match, thus, this breaks down the flair and panache of the game.

It’s always said that money is the root to all evil though it has brought with it negative and positive changes to soccer .In recent times, the transfer market has been dominated by high monetary value placed on players even when they are not worth the price and most- times these players don’t match this value with their performance in the field of play because of pressure to deliver {due to this, football has really been affected }, though measures have been taken to cut it out with the emergence of financial fair  play rule {FFP} by FIFA ,such that clubs don’t tend to spend much more than they actualized.

Furthermore, the media has also played a role to this negative factor as the hype effect they  give to players especially unproven talents ,they go ahead blowing these players out of proportion and this sometimes gets into their head and the fail to maximize their potential…the media also can place hype on high-profile matches and  this raises a high expectancy rate from the spectators; but at the end, these matches don’t live up the hype as they end up being so boring ,i.e. ,this could be seen in the match between Manchester united and Chelsea in 2013 and other high profile games.

This investment In the game has had its positive effect  immensely  as it has transformed the game into a respectable and much talked about sports ranging from the high to the lower class…football can boast of being a sports that hosts  two big tournaments[world cup, champions league finals]  in the world aside ‘the Olympics’ which is the world’s biggest sporting event, this is as a result of improvement in the whole standard of the game; innovations and rules made to improve the game, i.e, technological wise{goal-line technology, the new ball},amendments made on the rules of the game etc.. This positive effect cannot be over- emphasized, it has raised the competition level amongst teams to an all-time high, it can be seen that no team can be tagged as an underdog or pushovers any more in the game.

 Most  teams have  strengthened their squad efficiently that they  can stand to  challenge a big team…This is as a result of investments made on these teams as they go ahead acquiring the services of some good players that can always do the job….In fact, the market has been shaped in a way that teams that can’t meet up to the standard run out of administration…..It could also be seen that investment in the game has given back to the economy greatly as it serves as a source of revenue…Example, In the U.K, football has really boosted their economy through the high taxes billed on players and the foreign investors that have come to invest in their country by buying football clubs.  
The mystery in soccer have come as a major question I pose to myself most- times, I get to ponder how and why things that happen in football fashions out so…Grossly, the say there is a god that governs football, I place a stance on it as I bring to light incidences that has greatly occurred in the game I really don’t know why it has happened in such spectacular way.

In 2003, Roman  Abramovich  bought a certain club called Chelsea and he changed the fortunes of the club almost  immediately, all these were possible because he invested a whole lot into the club. He is the originator of what I call “money football” …oh!!!How good money can be, indeed it’s a life changer….this could be seen in clubs such as Manchester City, PSG  etc . Success paid off almost immediately. Roman spent a whole lot with the believe that money can win his club all the laurels that eluded them in the past, but this was not to be, his club won all excepting one which was the champions league…WHY WAS IT SO? That remained my question. Abramovich employed the best managers and bought the best players in the world just to fill in the missing void, still to no avail.

The likes of Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Gus Hiddink etc….world stars like Andriy Shevchenko, Michael Ballack, Deco etc couldn’t bring the glory to the bridge….A time came Chelsea paraded the best squad in Europe and their second bench was good enough to make first team in any club in Europe. Finally, champions league success came when the club least expected it, under the tutelage of a novice- manager[Roberto Di matteo].

This man took over  when the club  was in shackles, when the club paraded one of the worst teams in Europe and most importantly, when it was of utmost importance to the club[had Chelsea not won the cup, they wouldn’t have participated in any continental engagement the coming season ,they would have lost a lot of royalties that comes with participation and more so wouldn’t be able to attract big names to the club same fate happened to Liverpool. That justifies the saying that “God’s time is always the best”.

Here is the god of soccer coming to play its mighty role…Another eye opener is in the case of Patrick Vieira having left arsenal for Juventus in the summer of 2005 on the basis that he needed to be in a team that can challenge strongly for the champions league title, little did he know that his beloved  arsenal side would be the same team to knock his so called title-contenders Juventus out of the cup. That arsenal team was so good that they didn’t lose any match neither did the concede all through to the finals and this was made possible by the brilliance of their youngster Francesc  Fabregas  and maestro of Thierry Henry.

Another instance could be related to “The Special One” Jose Mourinho  whom  burst into the scene at Porto where he won  all the laurels including the champions  league….He moved on to Chelsea to achieve same feat, though he brought instant success by winning titles which the club had not won in a very long time, he broke the jinx by dethroning the likes of  Manchester united and arsenal that has dominated the league for quite a while, in short, José was a success at Chelsea but the champions league glory eluded him and by so doing he did not conquer fully.

Mourinho parted ways with Chelsea and moved on to Internazionale  and surprisingly won every laurel to be won, at this point the conquering spirit to prosper in all Europe’s’ top leagues was inherent in him; Real Madrid needed a champions league messiah, Mourinho was the man. The myth of god of soccer played its part as mourinho couldn’t bring this champions league laurel to the Bernabeu; though he won every other title.

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This title was delivered to them though by another champion’s league specialist in the person of Carlo Ancelotti whom still couldn’t win when it was trusted to him at Chelsea, and this was achieved on the same season Jose left the club. He is back to the club “he is loved and where he has an unfinished business” those were the words of José. If I am to analyze his return, I would say he has come to deliver that title he couldn’t bring during his first reign, pray that the god of soccer does his magic this time in his favor. Furthermore; Fernando  Morientes  left Real-Madrid on loan to A.S  Monaco as he was deemed surplus to requirement at real, he personally did the damage against his parent club that same season as his efforts prospered his underdog team Monaco…these are  a few tags on the mysterious handiwork of god of soccer.

Decision has always been a very delicate instrument in football just as it is in other spheres of sports and business…Its commonly said that that “ tough times don’t last but tough people do”, this is as a result of tough decisions taken by these strong minds  that most times turns out in their favor. Using the footballing   context,   it could be seen that decision-making constitutes ninety-percent of one’s’ success or failure .Tough decision made by tough minds in the game most times have gone on to make them or mar them…I still don’t understand whether it’s still the handwork of the god of soccer or whether the success has come about the strong believe surrounding the decision made or if the failure is centered on mistakes involved in the decision-making.

Observation has shown that most players’ talent dies wasted and un-maximized because of poor decision making in their career. This is commonly seen amongst youths as the go ahead not making it after the whole hype laid on them. But the aspect I would like to bring to light about decision making has got to do in its affiliation with this same god of soccer posing its myths up in bringing out the mysteries behind football.

Pep Guardiola was appointed as the head coach of F.C Barcelona against all odds which came after the sack on Frank Rijjarkd; even on the stance that his appointment had received numerous criticisms, he took some neck breaking decisions by placing the club top players on sale and bringing back the traditional tiki taka game best known to his boyhood club.

This raised so much tensions but he stood by his decision not minding what his antics would say for crying out loud, Guadiorla was by far an unproven coach at the senior level and surprisingly his  game plan paid off immensely as his side witnessed the highest success ever had in the clubs history, simply did this with the help of some vital Barcelona brought -up breeds in the persons of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi..This success held no bounds as it moved on to the national team of Spain as the witnessed an uncompromising success during that period…god of soccer had just showed how well an un-trusted leader could turn out to be the best leader ever. Guardiola still remains the foundation behind the success that has loomed in Spanish football in recent years.

Our own Stephen Keshi took reigns of super eagles at the time when they were shy of success; Though to he was a bit proven as in the case of pep. Keshi started a rebuilding process and took a strong decision in giving the home-based players a strong platform in the super-eagles team. This attracted criticism from so many but  Keshi  held off these pressure as home-based players formed fifty-percent of his squad to the African Cup of Nations 2013[AFCON] as well as picking some vibrant unknown players within Africa and across Europe. This decision eliminated the problem of pride inherent in the so called big players which has been the major problem of the super eagles in the past. This paid off as his team won d AFCON title and this time not as title favorites, guess what; these home-based boys did the job.

It has come to my notice that special type of luck are usually attributed to some special kind of persons; in this sense, when eventualities come up, this luck always abounds to play its role. The game of soccer have come to witness teams, players even managers that possess  special luck blessed on them, in this sense, they have never witnessed disappointment at such moments.

 Sir Alex Ferguson has been a household name in football, he achieved tremendous success in the game of soccer and this success partly came based on his luck for late winners. “Fergie’s time” was a name tagged out because of his proven accumulated loss time success in matches…Ferguson conquered most- times with this special luck bestowed on him, the famous one being the 1999 champions’ league success against Bayern Munich and a host of other loss time winners.

Players like Kanu Nwankwo , Ortega  had special kind of luck of always winning penalties for their sides when it was most needed. Most- times, the come in as game changers and through this, they win penalties for their side; that is their own special kind of luck. Same goes to players that are fond of scoring not only late goals in matches but very important goals for clubs… Norwegian Ole-gunner Solkjear  is one player that scored decisive goals ,the likes of  Miroslav Klose, Julius Aghahowa , made their mark in football for their country than for club; strange it seems, but some players are just blessed with national team luck. Is this luck attributed to the god of soccer always showing them such special kind of favor? Still remains untold.

Seeding of fixtures in football is very essential as it’s the initiator of football games. There are often some in-house manipulations that go along with these scheduling of games as some matches already have a pre-determined outcome prior to the game. This has been a major issue in soccer that is being tackled seriously but it seems to be deep-rooted into the game.

The beautiful way in which games with solid history behind it tend to repeat itself still remains too good to be a; most tournaments be it champions league, world cup, cup games etc. pose in them fixtures between two sides that are highly talked about maybe due to the rivalry that exist or interesting outcomes that usually comes from such games; these outcomes may range from water-tight contest, upsets and even loss time heart-breaking winners as all these accumulates to give such fixtures solid history. What has always been incomprehensible still remains how best it is made that such games repeat itself even when there is an open-air ballot picking in the selection of fixtures. Still would not owe it to the god of soccer doing what it can do best.

All these occurrences, could it still be tagged that the god of soccer remains solidly behind it, or could there be an abstract outcome in football that is not detected by his tenet? What about games that already have been fixed as we have in the case of match-fixing, can this same god alter the outcome from such games? These are mysteries in soccer that still remains untold….

                          Written by Emeson  Nwojo Clinton

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