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Transform, Surprise And Deliver: Óscar Tabárez’s Winning Philosophy

Transform, Surprise And Deliver: Óscar Tabárez’s Winning Philosophy

Transform, Surprise And Deliver: Óscar Tabárez’s Winning Philosophy


Óscar Tabárez is no longer seen running across the pitch and dribbling the ball. However, if there is a certified and full-fledged talisman within the formidable flanks of Uruguay, it is no other than the man, himself, Óscar Tabárez.


It may be hard to see him score a goal. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that he is the mastermind, the tactician and the creative playmaking spark of the squad.


“Garra redefined”

Uruguay’s World Cup presence is not without merits. La Celeste is a 2-time champion of the tournament since its inception.


Yet, although it is one of the regular faces in the competition, its glorious days slowly dwindled. Through the years, it has become satisfied by quarter –finals, Round of 16 and group stage accomplishments.


One thing that is even more noticeable is how the word “garra”, which originally meant to be a “claw,”  and therefore, suggesting a tough and seemingly invincible stance, it has become a derogatory term which pertains to the gang-like or thug-like behavior of the Uruguayan squad.


It is easy to dismiss or totally ignore such reputation, but if it does not produce results, then more problems sink in.


Indeed, it was one of the most difficult tasks that Tabárez had to address during his entry in 2006. Adding more pressure to his managerial career was Uruguay’s failure to make qualify and play spectacular football in that year’s World Cup matches.


But perhaps, Tabárez is a man who has a penchant for surmounting difficult challenges. During his stay, he redefined “garra” and used it is as a way to describe their persistence in the pitch.


And so after 4 years, La Celeste was back in the World Cup and snatched the 4th spot of the competition.


A year after, he  helped the squad  clinch their 15th victory in the  2011 Copa America and earn the reputation of being the most successful squad in the tournament.


Of being unpredictable

Tabárez is recognized for fancying the 4-4-2 and even the 4-3-3. At times, the Uruguayan squad can be seen forming a “diamond midfield.”

But if there is one thing that will perfectly summarize Tabárez’s approach, it is its unpredictability.


He is flexible enough to mask every tactic and change it in a different way where he can exploit  the strengths of his key players such as Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez.


Onward to Brazil

In the 2-legged intercontinental playoffs against Jordan, a determined Tabárez showed his utmost respect to their opponent and stressed that the match  is “a serious game, not a training session.”


With this degree of determination, Uruguay is up for the challenge of being hailed as the next football king. They may have problems with an ageing squad. But come to think of it, most squads have that dilemma too.


Yet, with Tabárez’s ability to transform—the ability to turn a bane into a boon just like what he did with the “garra” meaning, there is no doubt that he can overcome all the obstacles that will come his way. Transform, surprise and deliver—these traits are carefully ingrained into his system. It is evident with the way he change his formations and definitely, the above-mentioned core values shall be his main weapon in the football’s biggest tournament.



Image Source: The Sun


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