Wednesday, 11 January 2012
César Luis Menotti
Extract from Jonathan Wilson - Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics:
Menotti was an ineffably romantic figure. A pencil-thin chain-smoker with collar-length hair, greying sideburns and the stare of an eagle, he seemed the embodiment of Argentinian bohemianism. He was left-wing, intellectual, a philosopher and an artist. 'I maintain that a team is above all an idea,' he said, 'and more than an idea it is a commitment, and more than a commitment it is the clear convictions that a coach must transmit to his players to defend that idea.
'So my concern is that we coaches don't arrogate to ourselves the right to remove from the spectacle the synonym of festival, in favour of a philosophical reading that cannot be sustained, which is to avoid taking risks. And in football there are risks because the only way you can avoid taking risks in any game is by not playing...
'And to those who say that all that matters is winning, I want to warn them that someone always wins. Therefore, in a thirty-team championship, there are twenty-nine who must ask themselves: what did I leave at this club, what did I bring to my players, what possibility of growth did I give to my footballers?
'I start from the premise that football is efficacy. I play to win, as much or more than any egoist who thinks he's going to win by other means. I want to win the match. But I don't give in to tactical reasoning as the only way to win, rather I believe that efficacy is not divorced from beauty...'