Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Thou Shalt Not Steal - The Football Pink, Issue 10

Pep Guardiola, the 'ideas thief' -
Artwork by the fantastic Graeme Bandeira (@GraemeBandeira).
One of football’s modern and most famous thinkers, Pep Guardiola, believes thievery to be a fundamental element for success. The Catalan is a self-confessed “ideas thief” – and to incredible effect. His teams are renowned for their unmatchable intensity and stunning accomplishments, a result of his incomparable devotion and work ethic to the sport. In MartĂ­ Perarnau’s intriguing ‘Pep Confidential’, this technique of Guardiola’s is explored in detail: “Ideas belong to everyone”, comments the man behind the wheel at Bayern Munich, a club which barely ever takes its foot off the gas. “And I have stolen as many as I could.”

According to the dictionary, ‘steal’ is defined as the following: “1. to take (something) from someone without permission or unlawfully. 2. To use (someone else’s ideas or work) without acknowledgement.” In terms of stealing footballing ideas, tactics and methods, Guardiola’s ‘theft’ would be classed as the latter. His famous coaching ethos is a mosaic of the ideas and methods of many before him.

Interestingly, thievery in this manner – ‘stealing’ abstract concepts or intellectual property, that is – has become commonplace in modern society. To consider how and why, it is worth referring to the Bible’s Ten Commandments. In Exodus 20: 1-17 of the Old Testament, Moses receives the Decalogue from God at Mount Sinai, the eighth instruction being: ‘thou shalt not steal’. It is understood that at the time in history during which the Bible was written, God’s eighth commandment refers to the stealing of fellow humans for slavery; yet its modern understanding relates to the stealing of the possessions, ideas or work of another. 

This extract is taken from my article from Issue 10 of the award-winning fanzine The Football Pink. You can purchase this Ten Commandments-themed edition for £3, and also much of the back-catalogue, here: http://footballpink.net/the-football-pink-magazine/issue-10/

Alex Leonard. 

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