"Maslov spoke of football being like an aeroplane, becoming increasingly streamlined , but perhaps the gradual adoption of a front-line of one is not quite the end of evolution. Carlos Alberto Parriera, who led Brazil to victory in the 1994 World Cup and was in charge of them again in 2006, after all, has spoken of the possibilities of a 4-6-0. 'You'd have four defenders at the back although even they'd be allowed to run forward,' Andy Roxburgh, the former UEFA technical director, explained. 'The six players in midfield, all of whom could rotate, attack and defend. But you'd need to have six Decos in midfield - he doesn't just attack, he runs, tackles covers all over the pitch. You find him playing at right-back sometimes'"
Inverting the Pyramid, Jonathan Wilson, page 351.
Since I read that I've been waiting. I've waited for a team that can fulfill the prophecy. Pretenders have tried, Roma under Spaletti came close, Craig Levein's Scotland had the same numbers but not the philosophy attached, even Moyes had arguably his best spell as Everton manager when injury forced him to play without a recognised striker (Marouane Fellaini is not Deco though). Finally Vicente Del Bosque has emerged as the man with the cojones large enough to release his six Decos in competitive football.
Off the ball it's a relentless wolf pack, defending as a unit and never leaving another exposed, it's energetic and short-lived and it's done in an area of the field where there's no danger should it go wrong.
On the ball it's stylish in it's simplicity, it's short, it's calm, and efficient and most of all after all this time waiting for it I have to admit it's one thing above all else: boring.
I hate to say it, on 68 minutes against France I saw backheels, "carousel" movement, an absolute exploitation of a traditional "defending in lines" defence, chip over the top of the full-back, it was perfection and yet I sat there bored. I was bored because there was an absence of danger. When you find out the magician has a rubber guillotine the interest in his trick is gone. Like others I became bored with Spain when I realised they were in no danger, as Talking Heads said:
"When this party's over, it will start again
It will not be any different, it will be exactly the same
Heaven, heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens "
One emotion however surpasses the boredom that perfection brings: envy. Watching Spain there is a constant niggling voice that erodes the soul: "I wish it was us". Seeing Xabi Alonso own a field of vert, resplendent in red, is as heartbreakingly nostalgic as football has ever made me feel and yet, and yet, hope springs eternal.
If you can't be the best you can at least aspire, Brendan Rodgers brought his own brand of Taffy-Taka to Swansea and with the exception of Manchester City and their myriad of stars no team passed the ball more. Mid-way through the season Leon Briton had better passing statistics than Xavi and Rodgers was actively encouraging a less than traditional approach to football, the hoof was resigned to the history books.
I'm itching to get back into the Kop, I haven't been this excited in a while, I'm excited because I long to be bored. I want Rodgers to forge a dynasty and culminate in a result being all but certain before a ball is kicked.
Whereas once we had people complaining that Rafa Benitez was too defensive, a team booed off after going top of the league, we long for the days when nothing but a win was acceptable.
I believe in Brendan Rodgers, I want him to continue evolving his style and I hope everybody is prepared to wait and support through the genuine period of "transition" we have coming up. I'm excited, excited that we have a man with a plan and a vision. When Sky starts telling you that Liverpool are boring remember when you were bored by Spain and how you envied their results, I will.