Skip to main content

The curse of the tiki taka.

Over the years , tika-taka whether by barca or the Spanish national team , has bored me to levels unimaginable . So much short passing that in the final analysis , that graphic of passes completed looks like a board scratched with chalk by a mischievous young kid .It's a simple game . They pass the ball around , draw the opposition midfield out of position and their midfield maestros find a pass straight to their forward , who has the monotonous job of kicking the ball past the keeper . It's a challenge playing that way and both these teams deserve credit for playing that way no matter what the situation . To stick to your philosophy in any situation is commendable . But that strength is perhaps their greatest weakness . The incapacity to adapt . The reluctance to change . The inflexibility within .
Both barca and Spain are dependent ,heavily ,on xavi and inesta for those lovely throughballs . Barca have messi to finish the move off while Spain have quality in Torres and villa and the like for the same .

Xavi has been way below his mark in the euros and del bosque's not-so-brilliant idea of playing fabregas in a striker-like position hasn't exactly fired . The fact that Torres has scored two goals makes it quite a no brainer to play him upfront . They play a formation and have a philosophy that demands it . For without a proper striker , tiki taka is nothing more than an exaggerated passing training session .
But their incapacity to change means that they can do little more than that . The very thought of tweaking the game a little must give vincent del bosque nightmares . And maybe that's why someone at barca came up with that brilliant idea of making possession the basis on which games are decided. Not goals .
Tiki taka took everyone by surprise when it came on the scene . The amount of success it brought barca made other teams want to do it themselves. None succeeded . And thank god for that . We still have competitive football in the world thanks to that failure .
Tiki taka got a pedestal of its own as the ultimate form of playing the game . You could be invincible playing it . You're dead rubber playing against it .
Happily , that's a perception that's changing . Teams have found ways around it . Desperate yet organised defending , quick counters , deadeye man marking . Sounds simple but things that will beat tiki taka .
For Italy , it shouldn't be a problem . Super Mario will have to do some tough tackling in midfield and shake up that Spanish defense and pirlo probably for one last time in the Italian blue in a major tournament , will need to sparkle .
As for Spain , they're predictable as ever . The only doubt remains if they'll play a striker or not and for the sake of the entertainment factor in the game I hope they do .
Italy need to do something that takes Spain out of their comfort zone . Either defend to the death or attack to the death . Or possibly do both .


I'll end this post with a wish. That tonight , football will win . That Italy will prevail over tiki taka . That for tiki taka it will remain a year when it won nothing . Not at the club level . Not at the national stage . And that for all this to happen , ballotelli doesn't get himself sent off !




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Are Digital Technologies Making Politics Impossible?

This article was originally written as part of my unfinished submission to the nine dots prize. Maybe next time I'll actually submit something. 


“The internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy we've ever had.” -Eric Schmidt, Co-Founder and CEO, Google.com
In the year 1947 when John Bardeen and his team at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey were busy inventing the first transistor, Harry S Truman was on the campaign trail with almost every prediction indicating that he would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey in the elections that would be held the following year. Meanwhile, somewhere in Illinois, Hugh Rodham and Dorothy Howell were celebrating the birth of their first child, a baby girl they named Hillary Diane Rodham and nearly 7000 miles away, 300 million Indians were celebrating their hard-fought independence from over 200 years of British colonial rule.

The invention of the transistor…

My Dear Guru

"Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo, Maheshwarah, Guru Saakshaat, Para brahma,Tasmai Shri, Guruveh Namaha, Tasmai Shri, Guruveh Namaha"

This post is meant for a selected few. So most others will find this irrelevant. It's meant for the people who took the trouble to write flattering remarks in my progress reports even though I'd only deserved a knock on the head and a good telling off. It's meant for the people who actually did tell me off when I'd gone too far in childish exuberance. It's meant for those I remember dearly with fond memories and others whose memory still sends a chill down my spine (but I still remember dearly). Gurus, they say, are dispellers of darkness. This post is meant for every guru I have ever had- both inside a classroom and outside it.

When I was still too young to remember names and associate them with faces, I had a group of teachers at TVS Academy in Hosur. My mother, I'm sure, knows all their names but I shamelessly adm…

Diwali: Be a Hero

In India, we celebrate a lot of festivals. We celebrate so many festivals that at times it is difficult to keep count of what we're really celebrating. Different people look at this differently. For school kids, it means plenty of holidays. For their teachers, it means less time to complete the syllabus. For employees, it means a day away from work. For their employers, it means a drop in productivity. But there is one festival that really stands out in a calendar year. For years, I've been told it's the “festival of lights” but that isn't an accurate description of what it is any more. I'm,of course, talking about Diwali. The story is familiar to everyone. (For those who aren't familiar with it, there's a VERY concise version here : The Diwali Story). Diwali is, like almost all other festivals, a time to celebrate. And at least for as long as I can remember, it is also the time when environmentalists everywhere feel like they have the most hopeless j…