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Date TimeSeptember 07, 2019
VoiceSheffield United’s innovative tactics are derived from the influence of Pep Guardiola and changes in the lawsL ast Saturday, Rochdale scored a brilliant goal against Southend, working the ball from front to back in 16 rapid passes. As is the way of things these days, clips circulating on social media have not merely celebrated the artistry and the technical mastery of the goal, the courage to attempt it, but have rapidly followed football’s equivalent of Godwin’s Law and degenerated into deeply tedious rows about Pep Guardiola.
Shift from power to possession allows Chris Wilder to set centre-backs free | Jonathan Wilson
To parse these as briefly as possible: somebody invents an army of straw men and tweets something like: “Who says Guardiola isn’t having an influence on English football?” To which the correct answer, you would think, would be hardly anybody. Except then the straw army comes to life and social media convokes its usual symposium of sneeriness as everybody shouts that people passed the ball before, you know, and that the bald fraud hasn’t won the Champions League since 2011. Somewhere along the way the point is lost that although Guardiola has, admittedly, only done it with hugely rich clubs packed with talented players (almost as though, being at the top of the game, he wants to work with the best), Brian Barry-Murphy is somehow doing it with Rochdale.

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