Defense mechanism

Posted on January 5, 2011 4:27 am

One of the cliches you hear a lot is that great players don’t make great coaches. The names “Diego Maradona” and “Ruud Gullit” probably come storming to mind, along with several others.

There’s a lot of truth to the stereotype. Doing and teaching, as the joke goes, are very different things. On top of that, you can’t teach talent, and you can’t teach experience.

That’s assuming Fraser has the desire, as well as the ability, to train the next generation of players into Robin Frasers, instead of Insert Your Favorite Hulking Thug Here. Preki was wonderful to watch play. As a coach…well, his record speaks for itself, but under his watch Sacha Kljestan went from a FIFA ’10 cover boy to Anderlecht role player. If Preki had been coaching DC United in 2004, Freddy Adu would be in graduate school today. If Preki had been coaching San Jose in 2001, Landon Donovan would be a lacrosse player.

But then again, the theory that marginally talented players must necessarily learn more about the game than their more gifted teammates, and therefore make for better coaches, means that Curt Onalfo got two shots at coaching before Fraser got one. Maybe it’s just that great coaches are as rare as great players.

Fraser better be great, though, because that team, in that town, in that league – well, it’s no place for the meek and mediocre. It also be interesting to see how defense-oriented Fraser adjusts to the necessity – the dire necessity – of attracting and entertaining customers. Winning might be enough for those Nietzscheans in the Rocky Mountains, but Fraser knows that Californians demand elegance with their excellence.

Which itself leads to a whole series of theses/rants/whines about how the southern California teams have hamstrung themselves by focusing on things other than winning – oh, hey, look, David Beckham wants to play in England for a bit.

Okay, I’m at least as tedious about Beckham as Antichrist as I am about Chivas USA as Antichrist. But at the bottom of that page, you will see “Related Information” – previous Guardian articles from the distant past, which are utterly hilarious in retrospect.

Example?

I am committed to LA Galaxy, insists Beckham:

No, seriously:

Thanks, Guardian. Today I learned that either one of my all-time favorite soccer people will fail, or my all-time least favorite team will succeed. God knows I needed a good laugh.

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