Creativity & the Killjoys 

Pass – Pass – Stop – Pass – Pass – Pass – Stop!

Pass – Pass – Stop – Pass – Stop – Stop!

Talk for a while and then do it all over again!

YouTube has polluted the minds of footballing connoisseurs world wide. Albeit for the good, the bad and the damn right ugly it’s a massive source of the game today. 

Young kids can watch the heroes of yester year, the older generations can reminisce – basque in the memories of what was and shake their heads in disgust at what it is now. It also allows me to see everything I can about the game I love, admire and share with everyone I meet. 

I enjoy the visionaries of football, young or old I just love them. I grew up wanting to be entertained, I grew up wanting to entertain, I craved creative players the ones who played on the edge and brought danger to opponents week in week out. 

You would be forgiven for thinking I only admire players who pass, that’s half the battle – I admire technicians but hard work comes first. I love players who excite me, ones who have the beauty of mind to unlock defenses and create something out of nothing. I don’t see why you would hinder or eliminate players who have those little moments of magic. I have to give coaches and managers alike massive praise who encourage creativity and freedom, the one who allow players to entertain and express themselves. 

Podcast after podcast I like to provoke people’s thoughts, pull them away from the tv screens, analytical reports and coaching manuals. I will make them think about why they love the game and how they first fell in love with the sphere. 

Being creative isn’t all about beating someone in a 1v1. Visionaries, a world I will repeat time and time again – players who can play 3 passes ahead of others, ones who see pictures and how they will develop. Space invaders who pop into areas and damage teams with a killer pass, movement or goal. I like seeing players who want that ball regardless of the players surrounding them, speed of thought is important and that is developed as time goes on. 

I want players to make the defenders think, give them decisions to make. Get them with their back to goal and drive at them with pace, it’s something defenders rarely want – a position they don’t like to be in and the closer you get to them the closer you get to their goal!

I’m a self confessed admirer of all of the above. I’m at home when I see composure on the ball, elegance in attack – creativity & imagination in possesion, clever movement off it. 

Don’t get me wrong I love the dirty side of the game, you heard guest of EP09 Matty Flynn giving me a little nod for doing his dirty work for years. I loved a tackle, like to read the game – break play up and move the ball. As the years went on I became a visionary, yes the ones I keep talking about, maybe round about the age of 11/12 I had a little dabbling in the more attacking side of the game and I liked it – from then on in I would play with some beautiful players, ones who would bring the best out in me and allow me to express myself on a weekly basis. I’m not sure what they thought of me but I loved playing the beautiful game with each and everyone of you!

So here is my plea to you, a parent, a coach, a team mate – please do not kill off a player who possesses the above qualities or skill set. They may not have it all but encourage them to enjoy the game, allow them to be themselves and show off what they have. 

Give the players the freedom to express themselves, show them you trust them and believe in their ability – if they make a mistake then help them, solve the problem, fix it and tell them to try it again. The rewards and emotions when it comes off will be priceless.

On that note I’m off for a sleep with one though in my mind, Damn I wish I was still playing! 

 

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For the Love of the Game

I haven’t entertained my blog in around 7 months, this is roughly the same amount of time I haven’t switched the TV onto a sports channel or to be more specific a football game. 

If you were ever to ask me about a game I would know about it, what channel it was on, where it was getting played and who were the key players going into it. I couldn’t tell you that today, well more so Saturday. Saturday I tuned into the Chelsea v Man United game, okay not a spectacle as the advertisements had suggested but it showed that I have missed a lot on my hiatus. 

Before I stopped writing Chelsea were a free flowing football team who would cut your throat at any chance they got, now they aren’t even a shadow of that side. Okay they have some injuries but that shouldn’t change the way the play. Should it? 

Before we go any further I’m not having a go at Mourinho, he’s a genius his record speaks for itself, but he has reverted back to his defensive style of play. Great for seeing out games but not great to watch.

As a fan that’s not what I want to see but at the end of the day at the top it’s all about winning games and delivering titles. Something Jose is no stranger to. 

I must admit my views on Eden Hazard have changed slightly but that’s a different story for a different time.

What I’m trying to get at is that football wasn’t doing it for me anymore, I no longer enjoyed 10 minutes of a game never mind a full 90 plus stoppage time. Match of the day, soccer Saturday, goals on Sunday etc etc were a mere thing of the past for me. I couldn’t stand listening to the nonsense spouted by commentators and pundits like. My god they can’t half talk some shit. Again I’m not having a go as there are some people I could listen to all day but some people are like walking sleeping tablets. 

During this time I hadn’t even stepped foot in my beloved Ibrox, my home from home, there was a time that I was never away from the place but football has sickened me that much I couldn’t bring myself to go.

Now I’m no expert but I know what I like to see in a player and in a game and to be honest even the highest calibre of games weren’t satisfying me, it took a lowland league fixture to let my mind loose again on football, East Kilbride FC v Edinburgh University, what a game of football that was – end to end, some fantastic players on show and not to mention the controversy of a sending off. All of the above for 4 quid, tell me what you can get for 4 quid that was better than my day and I’ll accept it but right now there is nothing, you can’t even get a pie and a drink at a game for that!

That game was the catalyst for me going home and watching the Chelsea v Man United game and the Bayern Munich v Porto game at the Allianz arena midweek. I wouldn’t have watched them if I didn’t go to the K Park last Saturday. When then league is up and running again I will be returning to watch East Kilbride, I liked the way they went about their business. Played football the right way, building from the back and creative in attack. They might not be like that week in week out but for my first viewing it was great. 

I wouldn’t say I’m 100% ready to jump back into bed with the world of football just yet but last weekend gave me a glimmer of hope!

Craig 

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