Ronald Koeman’s ‘total football’ dream team is taking shape

Tamhas Woods

Certain countries will always be synonymous, not only with success (or failure!), but also a certain playing style. For instance, people still reminisce of the perfect tempo, vision and unity that made the Brazil team of 1970 certifiably invincible. Many would even attribute the post-modern evolution of the entire game to that team!

In more recent years, the Spanish adopted a patient brand of “Tiki-Taka” football. Though an acquired taste, this style yielded three successive trophies for Spain, and proved unbeatable on its day when Barcelona used it frequently in La Liga.

This is the football that won trophies in the late 2000s.

However, there is one brand of football that will never fail to entertain when deployed effectively.

We are, of course, talking about the (apparent) Dutch invention of “Total Football”, in which every player must contribute to phases of play.

Total Football – The Case For

With players spontaneously undertaking the roles of other teammates, the Total Football system offers a dynamic and relentless experience. When used effectively, the opposition are rendered incapable of reading play accurately.

It has been championed by legends of the game, including Pele at Santos, and of course Johan Cruyff at Ajax. The latter transferred this on to the international stage for the Netherlands, to particularly great effect in 1974.

And only last season, Leicester swept aside all comers.

N’Golo Kante – enough said.

SEE ALSO: Why Idrissa Gueye is threatening Kante’s status as Europe’s best

With a flexible revision of a standard 4-4-2, the Foxes showed shades of the Dutch side from 1974. The sight of Fuchs and Simpson dominating once-unchartered territory for fullbacks was hugely impressive. Even more resounding was N’Golo Kante, who emerged as a master of all trades and continues to act as a figure of inspiration for up-and-coming midfielders in academies across the country.

Obviously, that is now meaningless. Leicester are in a real relegation battle, and neutrals are now searching for the next unlikely heroes with a mastery of Total Football.

Stick or Twist for Koeman?

Everton manager Ronald Koeman needs to bolster his squad
With a possible European campaign looming, Koeman needs to add more in summer 2017
Source – Twitter (Ronald Koeman)

SEE ALSO: A lack of good summer signings can cause Europa League shocks. Here are some big ones!

Are they the best of the worst, or vice-versa? Lodged firmly in seventh place, Everton manager Ronald Koeman has turned his side into something of a curio this term. The club’s recent history is punctuated with unfulfilled promises, but the presence of billionaire Fahrad Moshiri represents a new era of promise.

With Moshiri’s investment has come the inevitable slew of high-profile transfer links. Click on the gallery to see which five players may (or may not!) find their Everton futures under threat, and which five summer signings could complete Koeman’s plans!

In order to enable his side to consistently play the football that he grew up idolising, will Everton manager Ronald Koeman need to make any new additions this summer? Leave a comment, or take a look at why Jaap Stam’s ‘Dutch Revolution’ at Reading makes him an ill-fit for United.

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