Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Parking the Bus - Wigan's and Steve Bruce's Game Plan?

Parking the bus? How is that relevant to football?

The first time I heard and read about this word was from former Soccernet columnist, Phil Ball. He is, in my opinion, a brilliant columnist who wrote primarily on Spanish football and yes, you have guessed it. "Parking the bus" is a Spanish concept of a team who go to an away match in search of a draw, meaning that they also take with them the team bus out onto the pitch and park it in the goal area.
Javier Clemente - The father of the "Parking the Bus" game plan

Javier Clemente, a former Spain national coach, also known as an ultra-defensive coach, was responsible for the birth of that metaphor, says Phil Ball. While at Murcia, for an away crunch match against Real Madrid, Javi Clemente left out two of his strikers and took a collective bunch of defenders and midfielders (the "bus"). Hence the term, park the bus.

More recently, Chelsea "parked the bus" in an away Champions League semifinal match against Barcelona which riled up the Barca players, coaches and fans alike. So a Spanish concept put into practice on a Spanish beautifully ironic.

Coming back to the point, there is a small matter of a long overdue Greater Manchester derby match tonight. Small matter but high in significance as the destination of the trophy hinges on the result of this match. So if Wigan "parks the bus" to deny Manchester United victory, then Steve Bruce will have ensured that we will be in store for a most interesting remaining two matches of this season's Premier League challenge.

I hope that they do so,'s still a tall order. Wigan have neither beaten nor forced a draw against the Red Devils since the Latics got promoted. Wigan cannot score goals at the moment. Worse still, they are leaking goals and the Mancs are just well capable of capitalizing on any defensive error. With United possessing a 100% win record against Wigan, I am not sure if this could be the "mistake" that Rafa spoke of.

Wishful Thinking? Yeah....think so

Stranger things have happened this season so we shall just wait and experience what this match has in store for us.


Anonymous said...

Parking the BUS !!! my foot. Wigan Came out to play, they just losy their nerves in the second half but that is how teams should play against Manchester United. Wigan matched Manchester United shot for shot, tackle for tackle. As a Liverpool fan, I was estatic going into the second half with Wigan 1-0 up. It just a pity that the quality of the United team is just a tad too good. Sir Alex again showed his brilliance in management, bringing on Carlos who is dying for a new contract is a stoke of "picasso" would be proud of. Did you see that flick ??? And Micheal Carrick ... well I suppose when you pay 15million pounds for a player he is due for a goal once in a couple of seasons ... ha ha ha ... anyway when Manchester crawled back to win the game, us suffering Liverpool fans are resigned to waiting for another season for that elusive 19th League Title. The thing that hurts most is that Liverpool would have to share the honour of most League Titles with a team that oooo... I just despise !!!

FanZine said...

True true, but Liverpool do have the tools to challenge next season, provided they treat every match like a cup final which they had done in the 2nd half of the season.

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