So tweeted a friend, riding a global wave of empathy for the England keeper, who made an elementary blunder in today’s match against the US and, well, cost England the win. At least in the headlines.
It is said that drama requires conflict. On the pitch, said drama falls largely on the defense’s shoulders. Attack, defend, counterattack. Without that middle term, it’s just attack and score. This narrative structure means that defenders appear to stand in the way – their job is to ruin someone else’s game. And when one thinks like this, one only sees the defense playing a negative role. The positive work of defense is largely invisible to those without the patience or desire to understand the game’s dynamics – without an appreciation of the art, without an appreciation of defense as the first moment of attack, one sees it at best as a kind of aggressive passivity.