Rinus Michels – an appreciation

Anybody who has ever admired the brilliance of the Dutch team and their playing system in the days of Johan Cryuff, will want to pay homage to the passing of Rinus Michels – attributed as the ‘father’ of ‘total football’.

He was the manager who gave Cryuff and his teammates the license to thrill. He was also named Manager of the Decade by FIFA.

Rinus passed away this month. I wanted to highlight the following brilliant tribute, written by one of our anonymous but highly regarded poets. (Actually his name is Dominic Walker. He’s promising more of the same – looking forward to it). I just thought this wonderful poem deserves special attention, as does the passing of a legend.

Total Poetry

So I’ll be Rinus Michels sitting on the side
Like this.

Now the word ‘football’ is my Cruyff
So it can go wherever it wants.
I can start with it and I can end with it.
Okay now ‘spellbinding’ has to be Neeskens
And ‘captivates’ goes to Haan.
Jongbloed in the role of ‘unfolds’
As he releases the ball on to the pitch.
Rijsbergen at the back is ‘cohesion’
Next to Suurbier of ‘movement’.
Jansen is ‘teamwork’ willing to fight
And Van Henegem takes ‘idea’.
Resenbrink can be ‘innovation’
Whilst Rep is always ‘inspires’.
Krol with his ability can be ‘nature’.

Use these words how I like and
Place them where I want.
Or where I want I place them.
They can always fit in elsewhere
If need be.

Poetry is Total Football in words.

So here’s what I’ve done with these ‘players’ at my disposal:

Football welcomes the innovation
Of a new movement.
It inspires and captivates crowds
As beauty unfolds.
Here one man replaces another
Whenever he can.
Teamwork and cohesion
In it’s purest nature.
These groundbreakers will be
Forever warmly remembered.
This spellbinding idea has
Left it’s mark on football.

© Number Ten

Source: https://footballpoets.org/news/2005/03/14/rinus-michels-an-appreciation/