January 13, 2004

The economics and globalization of soccer. Interesting article and little bit of background for us soccer amatuers.

posted by jasonspaceman to soccer at 06:58 AM - 7 comments

A very provocative and informative article. He makes a compelling case for the limitations of globalization, while also offering insight into the world and culture of soccer. I learned quite a bit. For example, he writes: Three years ago, England, birthplace of the beautiful game, handed over its national team to a Swedish manager named Sven Goran Eriksson. It is difficult to convey just how shocked English fans felt. For much of the nation’s soccer history, beloved, quintessentially English characters had run the team. These “lads,” typically ex-players, often turned a blind eye when their squads drank lager on the eve of big games, and forgave men for lack of training so long as they spilled their guts on the field. For all their inspirational power, though, these English managers tended to lack tactical acumen. They recycled stodgy formations that encouraged the same, ineffectual mode of attack—a long ball kicked over the midfield to a lone attacker, a style that perfectly reflected stereotypes about stiff-upper-lip English resoluteness. Their lack of creativity was evident in the national trophy case. Despite England’s singular place in the game’s history, it has won a lone World Cup (in 1966, as the tournament’s host team), and not a single European championship. Is that true?

posted by jacknose at 04:12 PM on January 13, 2004

This was an excellent article (IMO). Corruption and tribalism will haunt us, especially when they are used as covers for the third member of the triad, commercialism. Makes me wonder about my negative reaction to the story the other day stating that Mexican side Club America will likely take over the SJ Earthquakes from Anschutz, renaming the team "America" and bringing in more of their players. (Phew! Finally got to post this ;)

posted by billsaysthis at 04:41 PM on January 13, 2004

Excellent article. Wide-ranging, with some colorful examples and insightful quotes. And a way-cool illustration -- it would make a great fantasy team logo.

posted by worldcup2002 at 12:43 AM on January 14, 2004

What a trite piece of rubbish. I don't know the author, but I strongly suspect he is not British. His description of Eriksson and English managers is laughable in it's shallowness. Eriksson is also a former player, while English managers such as Allardyce, Curbishley, Hoddle, Robson and McLaren are portrayed as lumbering knuckleheads. Spain, Portugal, Holland are among the countries that have also never won a world cup, and France only won it when they got to host in 1998. England's overall postwar record is a notch behind Germany and Italy's, but matches up pretty well against the rest. It's good to see a footy front page post, but I didn't like this article at all.

posted by salmacis at 07:52 AM on January 14, 2004

I thought the use of footy to understand globalization issues was worthwhile, even if the managerial issues were overstated.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:28 PM on January 14, 2004

But it's probably true that, aside from the Brits, noone could really understand what any of the England managers said until Sven was hired. Eh, wot? Blimey!

posted by worldcup2002 at 01:47 PM on January 14, 2004

Great read. I didn't know that footie is an Enlgish invention. Salmacis, I agree the author was liberal with the generalizations, but I granted him license after illustrating the truth to national playing styles. Maybe I'm just naive or ignorant. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Sage advice when thinking globally. Anti-globalization forces can be just as powerful, even more so.

posted by garfield at 03:47 PM on January 14, 2004

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