When a sport team gains a reputation as ‘rough’, ‘dirty’ or ‘poor sports’, where does that mentality come from? The Coaches, the players or the fans? Is it a combination of all of the above?
Recently Whitecaps FC beat Montreal Impact in a semi-final Nutrilite Canadian Championships in a hard fought battle at Empire Field. While there has long been a rivalry between these clubs it has intensified in recent years, especially since Montreal fielded a second string team in the 2009 Championships that lost by 5 goals handing the game and Cup to Toronto on goal differential. The Montreal fans and ownership as well as the Vancouver supporters were appalled by the lack of sportsmanship displayed in throwing the game. Since then Montreal clashes have been very scrappy, vocal and outright aggressive matches that do not display any of the attributes that make soccer “the beautiful game”.
Where did this attitude come from, do their fans expect it and encourage it of them? Is the coaching staff instilling the aggression in the locker room? Do the players themselves challenge and push each other to be tough and pushy on the field? We’ll never really know but even in other sports certain teams become known as playing a certain style which one would assume comes down to coaching methods but what happens when the coaching staff change and the attitude remains? It’s a strange phenomemon but one that will perpetuate for as long as there are sports and teams and players and coaches.
What’s your thoughts? What contributes to a teams playing style?