Tuesday, July 13, 2010

2010 Soccer World Cup - Worst dressed coaches

For me what stood out the most in this World Cup were the coaches. The whole lot of them. And for every well dressed coach there were 5 who were shabbily attired. At times their images would take my concentration away from the game a bit. Style definitely triumphed over talent in this competition, as evinced in the Netherlands win over Brazil. A charcoal grey slim cut suit will win, over a baggy parka jacket and chinos. Any day. You can take that to the bookies.

Two South American neighbours stood out for me, both on opposite sides of the style spectrum. Coaches Carlos Dunga of Brazil and Diego Maradona of Argentina. Players win games but it is up to the coaches to instill discipline, strategies and tactics that will drive and motivate players to want to win. Both these teams lost in the quarterfinals and, in Brazil's case it was all on the tactical and creative bility of the coach, or the lack thereof. Brazil's play was very uninspired and this was moreso evident in their 2 - 1 comeback loss to the Netherlands. An uninspired, defensive minded and lack of innovative play led to Brazil's early exit.


Looks like Dunga was ready for combat on this day. Everthing looks big, baggy and lacking any kind of flair. Sorry coach but this look contributed to your country's loss in this game.


Given that the weather was cold the coach was appropriately dressed. However I can imagine how hot and sweaty he must've been as the game wore on, especially after the Netherlands scored their game leading goal. In the press conference, I'm sure the coat and sweater came off to reveal a sweat stained shirt at the under arms.


A stark contrast on the style spectrum, the extreme polar opposite of Dunga has to be the character Diego Maradona. In my humble opinion, I think he was way too playful, so much so that I don't believe that his training sessions were punishing and excruciating as reported by the media. His antics on the sideline, his comical responses during press conferences and bizarre superstitions, all formed part of Maradona and his arrogant, bashful self. That apology will come to Pele one day.

I mean, what's with two wrist watches..? If it's to keep up with the time in both your host country and back at home then there are subtle ways of doing it. But two watches whilst in the heat of the match, that says over-the-top, caricature and attention seeker. And attention seeker and grabber he was.


He probably goes through an accessories checklist before he goes out into the tunnel for a game. Two ear studs - check. Two wrist watches - check. A rosary for mid game providence and, for show - check. Even his suit and tie seem out of place. This look was more suited for a celebration at a club after their win over Nigeria. Not at a game. Maradona probably told himself that he looked good,
 every day, at every game but we all know that pride comes before a fall and his fall was in the quarterfinals against Germany.


Knowing Maradona, he probably hasn't stopped crying since his return to Argentina, but hopefully he'll be back for 2014 hosted by his nation's fierce rivals. If his entertainment value was matched by his coaching skill, he would truly be one of the few coaches who talk trash and can back it up.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

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