Barcelona v Ajax and a philosophical line that stretches back to 1872 | Jonathan Wilson

18 September 2013 08:59
The Barça coach's first foray in the Champions League against Ajax will display how far his adaptation of pass-and-move has developed. But this will still be a celebration of a way of playingIn 1872 a decision was taken that changed football forever, and that would have a major bearing on Wednesday's Champions League meeting between Barcelona and Ajax. The Scotland team, all of whom were drawn from the Queen's Park club, looked at the England side they were about to meet in the first ever football international and, realising their opponents were on average over a stone a man heavier than they were, resolved not to engage in the dribbling and charging game that had been prevalent until then, but to pass the ball and keep it away from the English. The tactic was a resounding success: Scotland had the better of a goalless draw and the possession game was born.Passing slowly spread, but Queen's Park remained its epicentre, its players schooled in pass-and-move. Then, in 1901, the forward RS McColl – or Toffee Bob as he was known because of the chain of newsagents he ran with his brother – took the philosophy to Newcastle United as he turned professional. Newcastle at the time were a direct side, but McColl soon persuaded them of the advantages of holding possession. One of the keenest converts was the wing-half Peter McWilliam who, in 1912, was appointed manager of Tottenham. Continue full article

Source: TheGuardian