Big tournaments beget trends. With Spain coming up trumps at UEFA EURO 2008, and attack-minded sides like Russia and Turkey faring better than expected, it seems that attacking football is on the rise again. The two major European club titles, too, have been won by teams who prefer committing men forward to waiting for the chance to break from deep.
FIFA.com wants to know whether 2008 will herald a return of offensive football across the globe. Spain showed that it could work at the highest level, and Russia's run to the EURO semi-finals was marked by a relentlessly attack-minded attitude, with the midfield regularly to be seen in the opposition box, and even defenders like Yuri Zhirkov dashing forward at every opportunity.
The losing finalists, Germany, persevered with the expansive style which won them many fans at the 2006 FIFA World Cup™, with Philipp Lahm providing the extra man in attack so often once again. And how vigorous was the Turks' attacking verve, particularly when they were chasing the game? Commitment to attack saw them claw their way back into four successive games.
Elsewhere, too, the tide seems to be turning. Manchester United, with their priceless attacking trio of Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney, won both the English Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Zenit St Petersburg, with the classy Andrey Arshavin pulling the strings, also comfortably overcame a defensive Rangers side in the final of the UEFA Cup. Last but not least, LDU Quito and Fluminense produced a feast of attacking football in the final of the Copa Libertadores, their 5-5 aggregate tie representing one of the most open Libertadores contests in recent years.
Has 2008 opened the door to the philosophy of attack once again? Let us know what you think, remembering to keep your comments clean, respectful and in English.