Posts tagged ‘Marc Libbra’
Rob Turner discusses the much used phrase ‘the beautiful game’.
Well this is it. Norwich City are back in the Premier League, alongside Queens Park Rangers and Swansea. My hope is that after the media’s adulation of Blackpool and Barcelona (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type) there will be more calls to abandon long throws and kicking people in the mud.
I think people sometimes forget that football is called “the beautiful game”. This is not to say that the physical side should be ignored. Arsenal are an example of a team that has all the art but not always the grit required to fight for a result when it is needed. By contrast Manchester United arguably lost a big chunk of magic when they sold Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo. Nonetheless it was still enough for them to retain the title.
But again I ask people to be honest. Yes we all want to win and sometimes that means winning ugly. But I want to emphasise the sometimes. Football should be entertainment and it should be played in a way that people want to watch. If footballers are being paid wages on a par with movie stars, then let’s see some Hollywood stuff!
As a Norwich fan I still take pride that we remain the only English team to beat Bayern Munich at the Olympic Stadium, courtesy of a beautiful 40 yard volley from Jeremy (The God) Goss. However this was not the moment that I witnessed a few years ago. While many will think I’m mad for me it was a catalyst for something truly beautiful.
His name was Marc Libbra and I am not ashamed to say I had a small man crush on him. I’ve always been a fan of that Gallic swagger when combined with skill, whether it’s Descartes, Jean Reno or Eric Cantona. I was there in the stand against Manchester City when he hit THAT volley.
Why do I call it THAT volley? Because at the time Man City were cruising to the Premier League and we were destined for relegation. After that moment, there was the emerging thought that Norwich could be better. We then made the play offs and then after that became champions.
Granted after that for a long time it went wrong, especially when Fulham beat us 6-0 with a combination of beauty and brutality that would make Muhammad Ali tip his jaunty hat. It was not until Paul Lambert’s return that the inner beauty of Norwich was properly rediscovered and the result is there for all to see. His German coaching badges provided sophisticated tactics, bold attacking play and an eye for players who suited those tactics.
I don’t want Norwich to be the next Blackpool. I don’t want to be patted on the head and patronised. Neither I suspect does Paul Lambert. I want Norwich to be like Cristiano Ronaldo. Truly beautiful teams not only look good but they also beat people. And when you beat people you are inevitably hated.
(Rob is a writer/producer for Polycomical. To find out more or how to get involved in the webcomic and cartoon project Reynard City go to www.reynardcity.com)
Tags: arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Blackpool, Cristiano Ronaldo, Fulham, Jeremy Goss, Manchester City, Manchester United, Marc Libbra, Muhammad Ali, Olympic Stadium, Paul Lambert, Premier League, Queens Park Rangers, Swansea, the beautiful game
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