Those who think this possession thing is just a fad expose one, or a combination of the following:
- their soccer age
- their global soccer literacy
- their racial, cultural, or national prejudice
How long you’ve been involved in the game, plain and simple. If you’re fairly new, say within the past 10 years, it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of thinking this is just a “fad”. This group went from not having this ridiculously dominant Barcelona, and hence no mainstream talk of possession, to the rise of perhaps the greatest team of all time. And the consequent rise of the term possession splashed all over the place.
Thus the perception of a “fad”, or some transient style of play that will go the way of the dodo when Barcelona is dethroned.
Global Soccer Literacy
In general, this could be a tough one if you’re not multi-lingual or multi-cultural. In other words, pure Americana / English.
Anyways, it means you have been mostly stuck with the EPL, MLS, and all accompanying English language media. The precise culture that historically does not place a premium on retention of the ball. Sure, you may watch La Liga, Serie A, Champions League, or whatever … but who are you listening to during pre-game, game, half-time, and post-game? Who’s primarily writing the stuff you’re reading?
And that’s what you’ve been ingesting for years, either as a player, fan, parent, or coach in this country. That’s all you’ve been swimming in!
What this group does not understand is that “possession” has been an emphasis of every traditional soccer power (except England and to a notable degree Germany) forever. And finally, even those countries seem to be biting the bullet and adjusting their fundamental philosophies (or at least the discussions are certainly taking place). How long will it take the US?
Let’s not pretend it doesn’t exist at the racial, cultural, or national level.
A Litmus Test:
If you hear anyone so much as hint at possession being some transient phenomena, you shouldn’t be learning from them.