Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Combo - Not Fast Food

'The apprentice salutes his mentor'.

Line is from a video from back in the day called Tor, about the Euro Cup in which Holland won with Marco Van Baston, Ruud Gullit (word on the street is he's the new LA Galaxy manager), and Frank Rijkaard. But the combo is about players who seem to know where one another are on the field instinctually. Eyes in the back of the head. Make the pass even before anyone else accept the intended realizes there's a chance. They play the game at light speed. They play keep away amongst themselves. It's not the fast food combo that you wish you didn't order, no biggie sized type deal, it's the good pass between two great players.

Today, at Manchester United, there's the Tevez and Rooney combo, mimicking or trying to mimic the duo of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. They used to call Yorke, 'the Smiling Assassin' and Man U had another assassin at the time, the baby faced one in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer--both killers in front of goal. Then there's the nearly brotherly partnership of Ronaldino and Messi, sometimes they'll pass the ball back and forth to one another like it's a warm up, only to break towards goal at speed moments later. Henry's trying to break into this combo, is there room for three?

Soccer (football) is all about combining with other players, the give and go is the basis or foundation of soccer, when you have two players in sync, it's beautiful to watch. Beckham could always pick out Ruud Van Nisterooly during his days at Man U and Real Madrid. It seems like the good players always find their equally good teammates.

Zidane, he was just given the ball at every instance, as he should have been. What about McManaman and Robbie Fowler, for me, that was a fun team to watch--a class Liverpool side.

Maybe Kaka and Clarence Seedorf. Robinho and Guti? Who else? Arsenal is a team full of players who seem to be developing pairs that combine together in a read your mind type way, but almost to a fault. I heard they changed their style against Man U when they went down a goal. That's a sign of a great team. Barcelona is another team with developing partnerships, Iniesta is a player who probably doesn't get enough attention for his play, but maybe he just needs to score more goals.

More to come later.