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!