Everyone aspires to be the best at what they do. Indeed, the subconscious mind has been programmed from childhood to compete with one's peers, classmates, or friends in order to be better or ahead of them. As a result, the desire to be the best prevails. But for the purposes of this article, I would like to focus on soccer.
There are numerous debates over what should define the best teams, football players or managers. While many think that the best is determined by a team, managers, or players' personal statistics or overall performances, others argue that a trophy, or an individual prize, does indicate who should be labelled the best when it comes to soccer. But does a trophy or an individual award define who the best is?
Photo credit: Eurosports
Nuno Espirito, the manager of Tottenham Hotspur, comes to mind in this debate. During the summer transfer window, he joined Tottenham Hotspur. And when the season started, he won his first three EPL games against Manchester City, Wolves, Watford, and Tottenham. As a result of his achievements, he was nominated for the best manager award and was eventually named the best EPL manager for August 2021. But does that make Nuno Espirito the best coach?
Photo credit: Premier League
The following three matches that Tottenham played give a conflicting response. After the resumption from the international break, Nuno Espirito travelled with his boys to Selhurst Park, London, to face Crystal Palace. They fell 3-0 to Patrick Vieira's men. The following week, on Matchday 5, he also lost 3-0 at home to another manager who was nominated alongside him, Thomas Tuchel. And just last week, Nuno Espirito led his Tottenham team to the Emirate Stadium to face Arsenal, where they were defeated 3-1. That's, in my opinion, a complete irony.
Meanwhile, the Longman dictionary describes a trophy as an object, such as a gold cup or plate, given as a prize for winning a competition, while the Oxford dictionary defines an award as a prize or other symbol of distinction awarded in honour of an achievement.
Photo credit: Big W
You will undoubtedly agree that an award or trophy is used as compensation to acknowledge exceptional performance in both senses. A physical depiction of such an award is sometimes required. It does not, however, necessarily state if an award or trophy makes a player, coach, or team the best.
Nuno Espirito received the award for best manager, beating out Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel. Today, these two are ahead of him in the EPL, which, in my opinion, indicates that the best is sometimes simply a fluke, and if there is to be anything termed the "best," it will require more than an award or a trophy to determine it.
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