Written by long-time TTT Stalwart Bob Pearce.
Watching football has many highs. If you ask me what where we find the highest peak, I'd say you can keep your dazzling dribbles, your stunning shots, your tenacious tackles, your spectacular saves, and your high-flying headers. They may all be 'sexy', but, like sex, while they may all be good, they're no way near as good as the real thing. For me, football exists on its highest plane when the solo is subsumed into something superior.
When we see one-touch football, even in its basic form like a first-time cross, or a first-time finish, it impresses and inspires. It's easy to think of one-touch play, like a first-time cross field pass, or an interception that was actually a through ball, as a single solitary touch of the ball. Look closer at the lay-off round the corner, and the glancing flick-on, and you see there is more going on than a mere simple solo touch. Paradoxically, such seeming simplicity is crammed with complexity.
The Barcelona and Spain of a certain era are synonymous with pass and move, though tiki-taka and one-touch football are not necessarily the same thing. One-touch football can be just as prevalent within a high speed, high energy, heavy metal football style as championed by a certain German.
When one-touch and one-touch are combined into a give-and-go one-two duo, it feels like more than one plus one plus one equals two. It enthuses and excites. When a first-time through ball, a first-time cut-back, and a first-time finish, combine in a trio it titillates and thrills. It lifts the heart. A quartet of quick-fire ping-ping-ping-ping passes, to get out of a tight defensive corner, dazzles and delights. We feel our pulse hop, skip and bounce. When we reach quintets and sextets of solo touches the accumulation of actions amazes and astonishes. These combinations of so-called uncomplicated contributions feel like a chemical reaction, creating a burst of energy. This is no longer just football. This is combusti-ball.
Single-touch football replaces routine cycles of receive-control-look-think-check-and-then-act, with act-act-act. It is football at its cleanest and leanest. It removes the superfluous, and leaves just the super. This is no longer just football. This is free-from-faff-ball. We can think of one-touch play as stringing together a sentence, one word, and one voice, at a time, maintaining the momentum of the previous player's progress, without hesitation, repetition or deviation.
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