Anti-Football ​Cesc Fabregas

In football, the term anti-football to the robust and defensive style of play during competition. It is a passing style used by a player that relies on defensive, aggressive, or physical play of the game. This strategy is used when the coach decides to deploy their whole team towards the opponent’s field of play, except for the striker.

This kind of strategy is purely defensive, wherein the players are focused on stopping their opponent from scoring. Instead of trying to win the match by scoring a goal, the players are concentrated on not letting their opponent go beyond their defensive line. If the opponent goes past the wall, the opportunity to make a goal is high.

Origin of the Anti-Football Term

The term was first used by Gary Armstrong and Richiard Giulianotti in 2001. In their book Fear and Loathing in World Football, the use the term anti-football to describe the tactics of Argentine Club during the 1968 COPA Intercontinental tournament.

The second usage of the word came in 2004. Dutch footballer Frank Rijkaard described the Celtic’s style of play as anti-football. It was during the club’s match against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League.

The anti-football was then characterized into a style of play by Cesc Fabregas, a central mid-fielder footballer of the Arsenal, during the English Premier League. It was after the 1-0 defeat against West Ham United. Fabregas expressed that all the team did was defend and defend. He subsequently claimed it was a waste of time, labeling it anti-football.

Effect of Anti-Football

If a team plays defensively during the match, it cannot be helped. It happens and can even break teams down. The effect of anti-football is seen as negatively. Players who are faced with a team trying to play defensive finds it frustrating. Fans also find it boring. However, if the goal of the group is by not allowing the opponent to score, it is a good defense strategy.

If the team is trying to go with this kind of defensive play, the players must have the stamina to pull it through. It is not easy to always play defensively. Plus, the negative effect of playing anti-football usually results in not scoring at all.

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