Monday 30 June 2014

A case for 'strategy breaks' in football?

I managed to witness what I had never seen previously on a football field - a game of football being stopped midway for a 'cooling break'. Surely, it was not the first time breaks have been used at the football fields and surely it won't be the last time. It happens in T20 domestic cricket in the name of 'strategy' time out for 150 seconds. 

Moving forward, what do we make of this cooling break? Will this be seen as an excellent marketing strategy and open up a window for advertisement - specifically suited around cooling breaks? or what I saw yesterday was a one-off instance where heat did disrupt the players and most importantly 'the match officials'?

Let me look at it the other way. Louis van Gaal utilised these 'breaks' to communicate his strategy to the Dutch players instead of shouting behind the line in a hope that 'his messages carry the distance'. Instead of having just a half-time break, he had 3 time outs (so to speak) to re-work on his strategies. Since the time Mexico took the lead, the team in orange were chasing the game. Did these breaks help bring back the focus to the team? or did it upset the rhythm for the Mexicans?

What would be the future of these 'cooling breaks'? Will this case be pursued further by the marketing team at FIFA to repackage it as 'strategy breaks' and through this create a new dimension to the sport, thereby modernising the traditional flow game? or will it be just too much of a change for FIFA to create this 'break' twice in a match played for 90 minutes (which has already extra minutes added at the end of each half). Plus, will it provide a breathing space for spectators to not miss the action while they must go attend to nature's call or buy a drink or a snack!

This game is after all involves the administration and guardian of the game FIFA, the players and match officials, the sponsors and most importantly the spectators who consume the content, the drama which unfolds on the field.

Will there be a strategy breaks in football, moving forward? Only time will tell! 

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