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The more things change, the more they are the same

I read a snippet from an article published in 1941 that was about a heavy loss in a football match. It sounded like it was written today.

Scott Heavey

Not strictly Chelsea related, but perhaps you'll appreciate or get a nice chuckle out of some the parallels between that 1941 story and a few common lines of post-match analyses we often see or hear.

Here's the story - or a picture of the a snippet of the story, but it's the relevant part. You have to click on the link to see it as I didn't really want to deal with implications of international copyright law or whatnot. It's in Hungarian anyway, so perhaps of limited use to most of you. And I'll translate it for you shortly anyway.

The picture comes from the archives of Nemzeti Sport, a leading Hungarian sports daily, who were writing about Hungary's historic loss in the Netherlands on Friday. 8-1 was the final score, the heaviest competitive defeat for the nation, matching three 7:0 beatdowns by England (1908), Great Britain (1912), and Germany (1941). It was in the wake of the German result that the paper published 14 reasons for the defeat. Call it a post-mortem to a massacre, with percentages of what contributed most.

  1. 17%: Failing to follow instructions (disorderly play, failing to perform in given roles, poor positioning).
  2. 14%: No tempo.
  3. 12%: Lack of determination, "fight," and "heart."
  4. 9%: Lack of confidence; nervousness.
  5. 9%: Tiredness.
  6. 8%: Lack of ideas.
  7. 7%: Off the pitch issues ("unsportmanlike lifestyle")
  8. 6%: Poor technique (compared to opposition)
  9. 6%: Wrong/incorrect lineup and selection
  10. 5%: Afraid to take the shot
  11. 3%: Foreign atmosphere; travel.
  12. 2%: Not used to the big(ger) pitch.
  13. 1%: Refereeing.
  14. 1%: Other.

Here we are, football fans, seventy-two years later, putting blame on and hoping that our club improves on just about the same exact things, no? Especially those first two.

Funny game, this football. The more it changes, the more it's still the same.

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