"It's like an orchestra, but it's a silent song, yeah? And I like heavy metal more. I always want it loud! I want to have this: 'BOOM!'”
—Jurgen Klopp on Arsenal's style ahead of Dortmun vs Arsenal in the Champion's League 2013-2014.
Klopp was not the first to make such comparisons. Many football styles have often been compared to music. The flowing movements of the players, their techniques and their passion make us think of musicians playing flowing, rhythmic tunes. These notes can move nations. We made our own list of tactics and their music equivalent.
Ridiculously outdated formations = Early music
In the year 1872, in a game between England and Scotland, England played with 8 strikers. One player would sit back and kick any loose ball up-field. The strikers would run towards the post, and often with the ball. It was all about individual performances from the then talented forwards and a lot of luck. Scotland surprised England by actually passing the ball among teammates. England was all, "Now, why didn't we think of that?"
Fast forwarding ahead to modern day tactics, and skipping a lot of history lessons, we have...
Possession football (Tiki-taka) = Orchestra
Who are we to argue with Mr. Klopp? Look at his dashing pair of glasses. Possession football is all about harmony and synchronisation. Every player has to know what the others are doing and it has to be like clockwork. As is the case with an orchestra. Arsenal are more of an upbeat orchestra while Barcelona are a long, slow, drawn-out orchestra that refuses to reach a crescendo.
Another way of looking at it is that they are progressive music. Prog songs can be 20 minutes long and often have long pointless sections of brilliant instrumentals no one really cares about. *cough* Barcelona *cough*
Total football = Prog or Jazz
Total football changed everything in modern day football. Thanks to total football, we have a variety of footballing tactics today and it helped get rid of the boring, defensive football known as 'Catenaccio canio' (popularised by Italians). Today's tiki-taka football and Brazil's 90s' football are all inspired by the total football played by the Dutch in the 70s and 80s.
The Traditional 4-4-2 = Hard Rock
One of the best examples of the 4-4-2 system is the Manchester United team of the 90s. They were direct, attacked in numbers, fast and loud. This formation used to be pretty popular in England but is now rarely used.
High pressure, high tempo, attacking football = Heavy Metal
Heavy metal. You can hardly get more metal than Klopp and his Borussia side. They are fast, always attacking, always pressing and always in your face. They are the rebels in football. In the World Cup, we had Chile. Not always popular, but takes the world by storm.
The balanced 4-2-3-1 = Pop, sometimes Rock
Before you start groaning, here are the facts. 4-2-3-1 can be used in any situation. It is the safest formation you can field and it can be counter attacking, defensive minded, can be used for wing play, and can be used to keep possession. Every team out there is using it. Pop comes from the word 'popular'. Rock used to be hugely popular as well, and still is in some cases, mostly the more diluted forms of it. Early 4-2-3-1, which was more attacking, can be thought of as rock, yes?
Long ball game = Hip-hop
This is the sort of football that's often referred to as thuggish and unattractive. Hoof the ball clear from the defense to a tall, strong forward who heads the ball down to a teammate coming in towards goal. Blunt, brutish but effective and hard to defend against.
Anti-football = Commercial music
Fans of the other genres hate it and hate how successful these can be. 'Parking the bus' is effective but it’s looked down upon. No one has a bus as big as Mourinho and he is not afraid to use it either. He will let his trophies do the talking. Nickelback and Justin Beiber will let their album sales and a crazy influx of cash speak for themselves.
The Christmas tree = Trance and Dubstep
The Christmas Tree formation or the 4-3-1-2 is a variation of the 4-1-2-1-2. It can be captivating at times, or dull at other times. It is a matter of taste and is only as good as the team implementing it. The Milan teams often played this formation.
We skipped many notable music genres, as well as football tactics, to keep this moderately brief and enjoyable. Moreover, this is a fluff piece and is not to be taken too seriously. Enjoy your football, and enjoy your music. #NoHate