Thursday, June 21, 2012

The myth of "parking the bus"

I’ve been quiet lately. Very quiet. You’re going to have to allow me to apologize for that. But I’m back with a bang. Sort of. My lack of activity hasn’t been due to a lack of ideas or anything like that. It’s just been a “break” I’ve taken from blogging and writing. But as that moment has now passed, I’m here again to write and get a debate going. This time it’s about a sentence that everyone has been using quite a lot ever since Chelsea beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals last season (sounds strange saying last season now, doesn’t it?).

The term of “parking the bus” bothers me. All variations of this sentence are utter nonsense. How many people know where this term came from? Does anybody remember the game that triggered it all? It was a league game in September 2004 at Stamford Bridge when Chelsea faced Tottenham, and the match ended in a 0-0 draw which pushed Mourinho to say at the end of the game:

The term was altered to “parking the bus” and used quite a lot for a couple of years every time teams would defend. But I believe this term is a load of nonsense. Particularly nowadays, with the tiki-taka jizzfest that follows every Barcelona or Spanish passage of play. Whenever any team defends against them, or teams that play like them, knowing that defending tightly and counter-attacking football is the way to beat those sorts of teams, it is being labeled as “parking the bus”. What a load of nonsense! You can only beat what is put in front of you with the weapons you have. It’s kind of like when sharks want to attack seals. The seals gather up, use their agility and endurance, until the sharks realize they can’t catch them and then bugger off (I swear that is the first time Football has ever been compared to sharks and seals).

In Football, you can attack and you can defend. Everyone loves great attacking football, but nobody should underestimate the power of defending. The last ditch tackles of players like Cannavaro and the organization skills of Beckenbeuer which led their respective teams to master classes of victories were never called “parking the bus”. Why is it that now when a team goes into a match with a game plan to defend (isn't defending legal?), they are suddenly criticized as the Anti-Christs of Football? Oh, that’s right. The media and its ability to blind people with its words. Ten years ago, the local lad in China watching the Premier League could never have even guessed what “parking the bus” meant in Football. If you’d told him that Greece had “parked the bus” to win Euro 2004, he would have gone outside to look for an actual bus.

So, for God’s sake, please avoid falling into the myth that the media has created over “parking the bus”. It’s not a bus. It’s a defensive line. It’s called defending. It’s what some of the GREATEST Football teams have based their successes upon. It's what teams have to use when they know there is no other means of victory. Plus, those very teams do go on and score, don't they? I'm wondering if those goals count less...

Just because it’s now being used to halt that team from Catalunya’s unprecedented glory, doesn’t mean that it should be labeled as something worse than cold-blooded murder.

Rant over. I’ve missed you guys!


  1. Brilliant! And welcome back :)

  2. great piece!
    forza roma

  3. Defending is different than Putting all 11 players behind the ball and making no effort to score!

  4. Postings are so helpful at all thank you very much all of this.

    Obat Penyakit Maag

  5. I don't understand why people insist on pitting concepts of evolution and creation against each other. Why can't they see that spiritualism and science are one? That bodies evolve and souls evolve and the universe is a fluid package that marries them both in a wonderful package called a human being. What's wrong with that idea?

  6. the trouble is, if the other team decide to not attack and leave themselves open to the break, then no team will attack, no match, no entertainment, the fans wont like it, and the sky money will pull out, this is a boring tactic, and all 11 players defending is as boring as defence v attack training sessions, the reason it works is 2 things, the attacking team has a lapse of concentration after a while, and they are hit for a sucker punch, and the other is, because of the amount of players in a small amount of pitch, congestion, no room to move or run into, so when you hear a fan say the better team lost, its true when you play a team playing this crap style.

  7. I will put it another way, if the paying public turn up to watch agame of football, and one team is scared to play properly, and the other team decides to not leave themselves open, then fans wont be impressed, the sponsors wont be impressed, sky will stop paying out the billions, the fans will will not show up, and the game will collapse, chelsea v barca was the perfect example of this, barca bossed the match, chelsea dug in and held their battleline, and barca had a lapse of concentration, and drogba got a goal, barca still cant believe they lost that game, it was so one sided, the better team lost, and thats a fact, not sour grapes, just the truth, and then they did the same with bayern in the final, so yes, the tactic works, but it is not entertaining for fans to watch, and if the better team, doesnt want to come out, and wait to be sucker punched, thats up to them, no rules to say they must attack, and entertain, while the other team does its usual, waiting to soak up the pressure, and then hit you on the break, so like i said before, you get no game, the tactic only works when the opposing team attacks and leaves a gap to be exposed, by defending team, its a crap tactic for people wanting entertainment, and they wont pay for it after a while.

  8. What a cowardly argument. Basically, you can't beat the other team because you're not good enough, and so you adopt a negative mentality and abuse the rules as much as you can to still beat the other team. Aren't you embarrassed at all? This mentality is killing football.