At a certain point, legendary business tycoon and aviator Howard Hughes went from thinking it was pretty great to be clean to urinating in jars and wearing tissues boxes as shoes. There’s a line there, between keen interest and crippling obsession, and in his own way, Pep Guardiola might be in the process of crossing it.
From the Guardian:
Bayern Munich hogged 66% of the ball in their 5–1 Champions League victory over Arsenal on Wednesday night but Pep Guardiola wanted more. “What I want, my desire, is to have 100% possession,” the Bayern manager said.
One hundred percent possession. Now, hopefully that’s just an exaggeration to illustrate how his team should target as much possession as possible in a given match and never be satisfied with whatever they end up with. Again, that’s what we hope he means. Because 100% possession is obviously both impossible and absurd.
It’s also very strange. As we’ve discussed many times before, possession is just a means to an end. The true objective should always be to score as many goals as possible. That is, after all, the object of the game. But Guardiola didn’t say “What I want, my desire, is to have 100 goals.” Which would actually make far more sense. Hell, it’s even more achievable.
No, Pep’s ultimate dream to retain the ball for the entire 90 minutes of a match. Just have it. The whole time.
Think about that. It’s like someone you met on Tinder asking you, “What do you want to do on our date?” and you replying “I DON’T CARE I JUST WANT TO HUG YOU THE ENTIRE TIME.” That would be weird. Of course, hugs are nice, but it’s just not something you go to a public place, do for 90 consecutive minutes, and then go home.
So that’s where Pep Guardiola is at right now. Perhaps someone will be able to convince him that there’s more to life than possession. Or at least help him learn to settle for 100% possession of this balloon.