The dilemma in the new era of football is that the game is fun when everyone plays to win and you would not enjoy the game if there were no competition. But the game is also boring when everyone plays to win, because it is usually the boring stuff - like defending - that increases the chances of a victory. Stuck in this dilemma, football in the decade has become a game of chess played on the football pitch - a game that belongs to the minds of coaches not the feet of footballers.
I am also guilty of this since I always claim that the coach is the most important element in a team's success and the right strategies and tactics matter more than everything. But I must confess that Trabzonspor, which has no respect for the current strategic and tactical trends in football, is the team that I like to watch the most.
The reason why I say Trabzonspor is the hero we need but do not deserve is because it shows no interest in what we football columnists' think, rather it offers the solution to what we criticize. We praise teams for being solid and tough in defending, but then we also complain that the games have become more dull and boring. In an age where stopping the opponent is more than everything, how can we expect teams to play open and risky games? But guess what, Trabzonspor play exactly like that.
This weekend they played against Beşiktaş, a weakened team because of the recent financial crisis but still a dangerous opponent at home. They stunned Vodafone Park by taking a two-goal lead and missing some other opportunities. Everyone expected Trabzonspor to only defend and wait for counterattacks. But before they found two goals, it was not Beşiktaş missing out on opportunities. Thus, in contrast to the Beşiktaş-Galatasaray derby game where there was practically nothing to watch, this game turned out to be an extremely fun event to watch.
But Trabzonspor paid the price for playing like that by conceding two goals in the second half and losing two precious points in Istanbul. Although tactically very deficient, aesthetically it was brilliant. To be honest, I am not sure whether the former or the latter is more important these days, but I am sure that the latter is what we miss a lot.
So, despite the fact that Başakşehir, which plays the most careful and tactically sophisticated game, is the leader of the Super League, Trabzonspor, with its reckless and purely direct game, is the champion of beautiful football.
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