My Sqauwka Trio. Number 2 – Why Pele wasted his energy and was a bit overrated really

14 02 2014

Man’s common wisdom likes to tells us that Pelé was one of the greatest ever footballers that’s ever played the beautiful game, or that he was the best footballer that’s ever played the beautiful game.

Society has come to think like this because of the misguided hoi polloi and the misplaced wisdom of laymen. In other words we should disregard this accepted wisdom. There are two good reasons why we should disregard it all.

Firstly, unquestionably believing the common sense of the general public, the ideas the general public just puts out there when they speak their brains, is bad for society. When we believe their lack of thinking we abdicate our responsibility for intellectual rigour. By propagating their falsehoods we substitute logic for folklore.

When society trusts common sense in this way I like to call it “The Tyranny of the Laymen“. We are living in the 21st century so we shouldn’t allow intellectually inferior layman to create the wrong pictures for society. Society will never progress if laymen do our thinking for us. Come on people we don’t live in the middle ages any more!

Secondly, Pelé was a bit, how shall I put it?…….overrated. He may have played in 4 world cups, he may have won 2 world cups and he may have scored over a 1000 goals, but was this a good enough record? Could he have done better? Could he have done more? My exhaustive research tells me that he could done more if he had been bothered.

I use my status of venture scientist to work stuff out for all of us, I do it for the sake of logic and understanding. I do it for our human development. Consequently this short post will deliver another valuable discovery for humanity from the venture science of football data analysis.

Basically, I have managed to isolate the main reason why Pelé didn’t do as well as he could have; I can state quite categorically that he didn’t do as well as he should have because he generally wasted his energy.

The logic is clear here, if he’d have conserved more of his energy he could have done even more. For example he could have played in the more world cups than any other player, he could have played in a magical 6 world cups, rather than a humdrum 4 world cups.

Reality backs me up. Pelé played in the NASL until he retired in 1977 because he was “too tired”. If he’d have adopted our regime in the 1970s he could have played in two more world cups, Germany 1974 and Argentina 1978. Brazil would have done better at these world cups with a fit Pelé.

I think we can also safely say that if he’d conserved his energy in the he wouldn’t have sustained injuries in 1962 of 1966 world cups. A fit Pelé would have been in the starting line-up for the 1962 final and would have helped Brazil to reach the 1966 world cup final, where they would’ve beaten England. Pelé would have had at least two extra world cup medals with our regime and who’s’ to say what would have been achieved in the ’74 and ’78 world cups?

The logic is clear; the constant attempts to be the centre of attention, to be the hero, led to a greater amount of exertion through strenuous activity. The scientific football data analysis community has directly established the following cycle to explain this problem;

“Strenuous activity directly leads to greater tiredness > Greater tiredness directly leads to a lowering of one’s ability to anticipate nasty challenges > Other players hurt you > You miss matches because of the injuries you suffered.”

There are plenty of examples to show that Pelé was too fond of superfluous movement. Take his famous miss against Uruguay in 1970, some laymen regard this as an example of Brazil’s beautiful game, other laymen marvel at how Brazilians even try to miss goals in a beautiful manner, yet more laymen marvel as the audacious thinking behind such a movement.

These intellectual pygmies just don’t get it. He should have scored, I repeat, HE SHOULD HAVE SCORED.

Pelé should have scored but his pointless commitment to the so-called “Beautiful Game” cost his team a goal.

Just look at the way he dummied the keeper and then missed;

Pele 4Pele 2Pele 3Pele 1pele 5

Look at the first photo. It would have been far more efficient if he had merely taken the ball to the goalkeepers’ left and then round around him.

What good did all that showing off do? He missed with a shot, Brazil only won 3-1 instead of at least 4-1 and Brazil’s world ranking suffered. This catastrophe all sprang from that one piece of needless showing off. Everyone suffered because Pelé couldn’t control his exuberant “show off personality”.

You can see how he liked showing off in this picture. Look at him showing off by trying to play in goal to prove how great he is in all positions.

Pele GK

The other trouble with Pelé is that he just wasn’t selfless enough.

Now for the scientific proof that he did too much. In a famous behind the scenes video at a heavily fortified training camp Pele introduced the world to his serious plan for beating other sides; HE would do it all.

With the aid of a blackboard and chalk, he claimed that all his side would have to do is give him the ball in the penalty area his side was defending. Then he would go to work. He grabbed the chalk from the bewildered English coach and exclaimed “I do this, this, this, this, goal!” Whilst he exclaimed he drew what we now consider to be “a scientific diagram” of how this fantastic goal would happen;

pitch 1

It wasn’t really a scientific diagram because Pele was only an intuitive scientist, it takes a proper scientific football data analyst to create a properly scientific diagram.

Anyway the diagram’s contents proves that it wasn’t a scientific diagram. It may looks pretty but it depicts a useless and inefficient way of thinking about football. Just look at that, what a waste of effort that would have been. Dribbling may look good on the eye of laymen and he might have scored but how many dribbles like this end up with a goal? No more than 3 a season, that’s how many.

This is Pelé all over, his modus operandi was always wasted energy and my criticism doesn’t need to go further than the famous “WEWEWOoMSPaAP Principle” – “Wasted Energy + Wasted Efficiency = Wasted Opportunities of Maximum Scoring Potential and Associated Problems”. If you don’t buy this idea of wasted energy causing problems just look at Pelé’s heat map from the 1970 world cup final, everyone loves an argument-stopping heat map;

pitch 2

Just to underline the point let’s look at the way Pelé attacked in the 1970s world cup semi final against Uruguay, to be blunt he attacked from anywhere and everywhere;

pitch 3

Pelé could have done more and he could have been even better if he’d have worked more efficiently but sadly for Pelé we scientific football data analysts weren’t around when he was in his prime. If we had been around we could have shown him where he could have improved his efficiency. This scientific diagram would have helped him;


If he’d have focused his energy in working in the shaded area he would have played longer, if he’d have limited his forward thrusts to the areas shown by arrows he would have scored even more.

Pelé would have scored even more if he’d have limited himself to the attacking movements indicated, especially when coupled to the strength retaining movements of the shaded areas but they didn’t have the venture science of scientific football data analysis in the 1970s so he wouldn’t have known about it.

Anyway I think I’ve proved through the venture science of football data analysis that Pelé wasn’t quite as good as he, or we, once thought he was.

Bow down before me, for I am a genius.




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