Arsene Wenger believes the South American football fighting spirit gives them an edge over other players. The statements below have been attributed to The Arsenal Manager.
‘Look across Europe and where are the strikers from? Many of them, at least 80 per cent, are from South America,’ Wenger said.
‘Maybe it’s because in Europe street football has gone. In street football when you’re 10-years-old, you want to play with 15-year-olds.
‘Then you have to prove you’re good, you have to fight and win impossible balls.
‘When it’s all a bit more formalised, it’s less about developing your individual skill and fighting attitude. We’ve lost that a bit.
‘Not every South American has that, but if you go back 30 or 40 years in England, life was tougher.
‘Society has changed. We’re much more protective than we were 20 or 30 years ago. We have all become a bit softer.’
The article goes on to state that Wenger insists the fighting instincts shared by Alexis Sanchez and Luis Suarez were honed on the streets of South America.
I think it also goes to explain the exploits of some other players too like Sol Campbell, Didier Drogba, George Weah, Yaya Toure, Tony Adams, Patrick Viera, Roy Keene, Dennis Bergkamp, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gilberto Silva, Marcos Evangelista de Morais (Cafu), Roberto Carlos, Emmanuel Petit. Robin Van Persie, Aaron Ramsey etc. Note that I have concentrated more on Arsenal players but you can almost feel in so many top performing players around the globe.
I think this list has fighters, known for their fighting spirit where they fought using the ball to express themselves in way that left people in wonderment. Their fighting often leaves the opponents in awe and creates high level confusion in the opposition defensive areas causing the opposition to mistakes that their team of they themselves exploit. It also forces an attacking opposition to fear facing such opponent in the defensive areas of their teams forcing an attacking player to lose their cool and loose a golden opportunity.
In other words it is not about a physical fight we Arsenal players know about when we talk of Mathiu Flamini for instance. Rather, it is that thing that a player manages to do within their self in order to transmit their physical spirit into the art of expression in playing football. With this form of player in the pitch you can never count out a game with so many goals and you have to keep worrying until the last whistle. Arsenal tested what one player can do with such a spirit to change the outcome of a game which would otherwise be unlikely with their February 2011 Matchup with Newcastle and Joey Burton. However Joey Burton, Mathiu Flamini and Jack Wilshere for instance have not managed to transform the physical fighting spirit fully into their football playing expression.
For Wilshere, sometimes the spirit can appear in his playing and that explains his inconsistent but sometimes top of the drawer performances. For Suarez, despite being often so able to interpret the spirit into his game, he also once in a while lets his physical attributes get the better of his games, especially when frustrated.
If I was Wenger, the Aaron Ramsey example where his horrific injury must have developed a piled up anger that translated in his game, would be something to follow up on. If Wenger is seeking to get his player to their best performance, his statements must betray an opportunity he may be overlooking.
1) First introducing the street football training regiment in his under 16 sides would help improve the future prospects for Arsenal. Can Arsenal lead the way in this front as because in the 20 years, the condition in South America and Africa will be very close to Europe and street football will have declined and therefore the next effect is that the fighter spirit will vanish into thin air and footballer’s quality of the South American Level will be extinct?
2) Acknowledging that almost all his players are at a high level of quality and the difference will be how you can be able to get your physical spirit to come out in your football.
3) If just talking with players can bring out the best in them, and we have seen the examples them Arsene Wenger must start fielding on the basis of how your fighting spirit gets to your football playing.
Immediately the fighters in Arsenal side include Szczesny, Koscielny, Chambers, Flamini, Gibbs, Ox Chamberlain, Walcott, Sanchez, Ramsey, Sanogo, Podolski…What side would these set of player put together?
Perhaps 4.4.2 as follows:-
————-Ox, Sanchez, Ramsey, Walcott
———-Gibbs, Koscielny, Chambers, Flamini
Would this side exude the fighter’s spirit that probably inspired The Invincibles (Notice the earlier list has so many of them) to incredible outcomes that very few teams can match around the globe? Let me hear your view. What’s your fighters team and how would they be set up?