Tuesday, October 03, 2006
One of Brian Glanville’s favourite phrases, used with reference to players of great creativity and vision, is “inventing the game”. It is, significantly, an idiom of Italian origin.
Those capable of “inventing the game”, as Glanville often tells us in his weekly column, are those who can produce the unexpected; split the defence with an instinctive pass, beat a defender in imaginative fashion, or simply come up with an unorthodox trick to resolve a situation.
In the days when I followed the English Premiership somewhat more closely, these were the players I admired the most. Prominent among them were Dennis Bergkamp, Gianfranco Zola, Paolo di Canio and Juninho.
Another who fit the description was a less glamorous character, a putative journeyman who pinballed between a series of lesser clubs, generally providing the sole moments of on-field inspiration for his employers.
His name was Benito Carbone, and all Sydney FC fans with memories long enough to encompass Carbone’s Premiership exploits (not to mention his early days in Italy), welcomed his arrival.
And didn’t we see the unexpected yesterday.
There were many examples, but I’d like to focus on just one. Take his pass (to use a woefully inadequate description) to Petrovski for Sydney’s third goal.
Petrovski, starting from a position on the left, laid the ball off. Carbone, barely pausing to look up, back-heeled a gently-weighted lofted ball into the path of Petrovski, who was rushing diagonally at goal. It fell perfectly for the Sydney FC striker, and he buried the chance.
The back-heel – along with the instinctive lob for Ruben Zadkovich’s opening goal, and the outrageous shimmy to beat Aaron Goulding on the wing near the close – belonged wholly to a type of player who is increasingly rare in the modern game. I’m quite convinced that the sort of vision and, above all, cheek required to pull off such tricks cannot be coached (although it can certainly be encouraged). It comes down to character rather than technique, individualism rather than polished skill.
Modern football, with its propensity to produce one-size-fits-all players, still desperately needs its “inventors”. And Benito Carbone, if he can carry on in similar vein for Sydney FC, will be a precious commodity indeed.
This game rocks!
And it wasn't just about putting on a show either, all his moves and flicks and tricks were of direct benefit to the team in attacking positions.
THAT is exactly what Sydney have been missing.
Totally agree Mike.
Modern coaching and its insistence on using 'bits-and-pieces' type footballers has dramatically reduced the amount of football watched in my lounge room, but watching Carbone yesterday reminded me of why I loved this game in the first place. Regardless of who he plays for, it was a delight to watch and as Giallorosso said it wasn't necessarily a virtuoso performance either, and his teammates benefitted greatly.
Maybe I'm naive, but I'd sacrifice one of the endless procession of mediocre, hard working grafters for a Carbone type any day of the week.
I'd urge the endless procession of ageing, megalomaniacal has-been twats on the sideline to remember who the fans want to see!
I've got no problem with the grafters per se, but it worries me when managers pick teams made up of eleven of them!
What happens when Corica comes back? Will Butcher do a Littbarski and try and get all the best players on the field? Should be interesting...