Whatever generation you’re from, you’ll have your favourites. Jimmy Delaney and Charlie Mitten from the 1940s. Johnny Berry and David Pegg in the famous Busby Babes team. Best in the 60s. Steve Coppell and Gordon Hill in Tommy Docherty’s riotous 1970s side. You can go on and on, through Kanchelskis and Giggs, right up to Ronaldo and beyond. To Rashford.
You get an increased focus on tactics nowadays. Games can be won and lost like chess matches – one clever adjustment can break a contest open, leading journalists and fans to gush over the genius of the manager that tweaked his system this way or that way.
But players, not managers, are what illuminate the game. And ones like Garnacho tap into something more primal. If Alejandro dribbles, plays a one-two with Christian Eriksen and runs past several players at warp speed – like he did before that winner at Fulham – no system in the world can compensate.
Garnacho’s game is a very sophisticated version of the style we all have a crack at as children. And we can all relate to what he does: get it, run, make something happen. Not that we can replicate it, of course.
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