An Arsenal fan’s tribute to the great Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff just passed away and you want to talk about transfers? by TJ

How about as football fans we acknowledge the impact he’s had on Arsenal and the way we play. Just imagine if the inventor of FIFA XX just died…same thing ok?

Here’s the thing…if you don’t know what he means to football…please go look it up and if you think you know…please go look it up as well. Go back to 1965. And if you don’t get a sense he was also a hard-nosed, stubborn, ego-centric person…then you have not read enough about him.

I’m not about to para-phrase what’s been been said about this GREAT man (great is a term which should be used sparingly…and here it is appropriate). You can read it all from many sources. Personally he was my hero and “mentor in absence”….everything I try to do with my teams’ incorporates his philosophy of gamesmanship and movement.

The football we enjoy today is absolutely attributable to JC. I can’t imagine what a massive honour it must have been for DB10 to have JC take the field in his testimonial in 2006…I’m guessing Dennis is hurting right now.

I love the fact that JC made sure Mou never took charge of Barca….that’s enough of a rejection for him never to come to Arsenal….just an fyi for those of you who do want him. In JC’s words..the man is “anti football”.

By default, AW adopted the style which JC was advocating…I’m not sure he would admit it, but the style is based on JC’s style of football.

I met him once, 25 years ago…he was a guest speaker at a corporate event. I got to spend 10 minutes with him when we got a drink.I was a corporate man then and coached an amateur team on the side…he told me “teach them to think and learn…teach them to believe (in themselves and their teammates)..and then teach them the basic skills…and then they will play a beautiful game…start with the best system of football…3-1-3-3….it teaches everything”
every player plays every position through a season. There’s not much discussion here..he speaks, you listen!

Anyway, I just thought as a football fan site we should acknowledge a great football man…


Tags Johann Cruyff


  1. Was he better than Pele, Maradona, Zidane, Messi, Ronaldino and CR7? Just asking People talk more about the above listed than they talk about him. I know he was a great player and coach, but people never talked about him frequently.

    1. @soccerboy
      If you have to ask, then you would never understand. All of the above were individual players, good in their own right. Johan was that and more. He was an innovator of the sport. Both on and off the pitch…

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