If you were lucky enough to see my Man City blues run up the score against Arsenal on the weekend, you witnessed firsthand a growing trend in the premier league – attack is the best form of defense.
Arsenal came into the match top of the league and City took the pitch undefeated at the Etihad. Both have been praised all season for their attacking styles, and boy did the match live up to the expectations. Ninety minutes later the crowd had seen nine goals (six for City!) and a free-flowing game that offered some of the most entertaining moments of the season. The Etihad has been electric this season, with City regularly putting up cricket scores. In the past 5 months:
4-0 vs. Newcastle
4-1 vs. Man United
5-0 vs. Wigan
7-0 vs. Norwich
6-0 vs. Spurs
Talk about Attack! Bring on Barça.
And the fun thing about the Prem this season is it’s not just been City. Clubs like Liverpool, Everton and Arsenal have shaken the traditional “hoof it” English tactics for fun, attractive, attacking football.
There’s a business lesson here too. Status quo, conservativeness and stability aren’t bad . . . but you have to power forward and take risks to grow and win. A solid defense matters; a lightening-strike attack matters more. My other team, the New All Blacks - unbeaten in the 2013 season - are a benchmark for this.