In an age where football is becoming less about individual skill and finesse and more about team tactics and defensive responsibilities, some players and their style of play are like a breath of fresh air.
Fans and spectators want to be entertained and it's generally not the team players who provide most of this entertainment. It's not the Makelele's, Gattuso's, and Senna's of this world people want to see when they go to a football stadium.
People want to see players who are prone to skipping past defenders elegantly, people want to see a great piece of skill and entertainment. Sure, we admire the defensive qualities of players like Cannavaro and Terry, or the crossing abilities of someone like David Beckham or even the cool killer-instinct of strikers like Fernando Torres and David Villa, but it's the flair players—the ones who perform tricks—that generally entertain the most.
Almost all of us, the commons fans, love watching players who can do special things with the ball. We might not like it when they do it against our team, but as a neutral, it is exciting and fun to watch.
Which brings me to the point of this a goal I witnessed last weekend. A superb piece of skill by Uruguayan/Spanish Groningen forward Gonzalo Garcia-Garcia. Just watch the video here and be amazed at this light-footed technician dancing through the PSV Eindhoven defence.
I assume you have watched the video? Pretty impressive, isn't it? You have to admire the skill displayed by Gonzalo Garcia-Garcia.
Unfortunately, several pundits disagree with me. After showing the match on TV, several pundits slated Garcia-Garcia for something they deemed "unnecessary tricks" and "showboating."
Football is about entertainment, it's about entertaining the crowd, a stand of fans rising in anticipation of a skillful player trying to skip past his marker, opposing fans panicking and yelling in an effort to bolster the defenders courage and confidence.
That's what football is about.
So just let the lad have his moment of brilliance every now and then. Even if it's not succesful in terms of a goal being scored, this is the sort of stuff fans love to see. We all love Ronaldo's dribbling, and Ronaldinho's looking one way and passing it the other way routine.
Skillful players are generally considered the best and most popular. Players like Bergkamp and Zola are still considered legends in England, yet not every trick they did was effective.
It's a shame when pundits are telling a young lad to stop attempting tricks, because they question the effectiveness. Please just shut up and let the lad play the game the way he knows how to.
There's generally enough of these hard workers on the pitch, don't silence the artistes amongst the players as well, simply because they're not always "effective."