Ted Lasso’s 4-5-1 strategy

Ted Lasso is in a delicate phase. We already know the characters (almost all of them) and how they work. Some secrets still persist, but, in general, we know what to expect and that’s the impasse: how to be respectful and surprising at the same time?

The problem is not the privilege of the wonderful Apple TV Plus series, several others like Schitt’s Creek (the most recent example) have gone through this. But as a fan, I continue to appreciate the narrative and the points being tied.

First, Ted (Jason Sudeikis). In the 1st season, he confessed to Rebecca (Hannah Waddingham) that the secret of having accepted the invitation to lead the AFC Richmond had personal motivation: the marriage counselor who was taking care of his problems with his wife recommended that Ted distance himself from her, so that could reassess the relationship. We know the result, his absence accelerated the decision to divorce. As the coach explains in season 2, the therapy only hurt him, who felt that there was no opening to understand what could be saved, but that there were moments where the analyst listed his problems and flaws. So now understand that this same analyst is your ex-wife’s current boyfriend? Hard to concentrate on the game, huh?

Ted Lasso‘s arc is more than drawn and the question will be when he will decide to return to the United States to at least be close to his son, Henry. At least he’s sticking with therapy (an important message!) and even with the threats of panic attacks, he’s managed to hold on.

Other somewhat obvious stories are the romantic ones: Rebecca regretting her separation from Sam (Toheeb Jimoh), Roy (Brett Goldstein) and Keeley (Juno Temple) also suffering, but moving on… we will have “Jerry Maguire” moments later. Rebecca then, we already know that it comes with the cliché of rain and the ‘prince charming’.

A break here. I’m on the team that chips Rebecca and Ted, so it gave me hope in the signs mentioned by the psychic: that the ‘knight’ comes to save her — in the first season this was Ted’s code when he helped her face Rupert (Anthony Head) — and the fact that she “will be a mother”, the biggest trauma she has, not being able to get pregnant. Being a mother doesn’t have to be biological… it may be that, with Ted, she gains Henry as a son. Forcing my hand, I know, but it’s a fact! For now, the journey began when she received the green box of matches so that she would understand what lies ahead. Okay, she might marry Sam and get pregnant, but I hope not.

And now the 4-5-1, or the “backward” game strategy, is the title of the episode. By adopting this tactical scheme, apparently, the offensive ability is lost, because it relies on an attacker, four defensive players, and five in the midfield. It’s the scheme that star Zava (Maximilian Osinski) imposes and everyone (except Ted, who accepts but doesn’t buy) adopts it with blind faith. Obviously, or luckily, it works. Zava isn’t quite “part of the team”, which worries Ted and annoys Jaime (Phil Dunster), but it works and he’s what they need. Per hour.

Although not nearly on the scene, Nate (Nick Mohammed) has been following Richmond’s rise with the Zava differential (by the way, with the image of an irritated Rupert I had the answer about his daughter and wife) and let’s face it: Nate is needed for the Richmond. Nate is strategic and brilliant at tactical planning and so far the turning point of Ted Lasso’s team has been 100% dependent on one player’s talent. If Nate counters it, he wins. The new Nate won’t spare any alternatives he has to do this. The game will get dirty.

Jaime’s evolution, much more cultured than others believed him to be (his vocabulary is superior to all of them together when needed), is where he never imagined: having to prove himself with talent and finally have some competition in the figure of Zava. The legendary player’s entity has yet to bond with him, but Roy is finally going to adopt Jaime as his ward. Jaime can still shine and this dynamic is going to be good.

Ted Lasso, being the series that it is, has already brought up another sensitive issue in the world of football: the sexuality of its players. Colin (Billy Harris) is gay and no one has yet fished the information out. With this perspective, seeing him listening to the “jokes” of his colleagues, having been aggressive with Nate at the beginning of the series, and now being about to be exposed (I doubt that Trent Crimm (James Lace) will let the news of what he witnessed pass through), gains another dimension.

Colin was a boring, characterless guy who followed Jamie Tartt’s commands and was ultra cruel to Nate. When the tables turned and Nate got the chance to bully him, we felt for him because there was something there that wasn’t clear. Like everything else in Ted Lasso, the obvious hints were there, but now it’s the new theme. His relationship with Michael (Luke Ashton) will certainly be exploited by Nate in the wrong way, after all openly gay athletes still find prejudice everywhere, but especially in men’s professional football. If Zava is inspired by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Colin is inspired by Blackpool’s Jake Daniels, the first player to come out since 1990.

So we’re almost halfway through the season, looking like it’s going to be impossible to tie all the stories together, but I trust Ted Lasso. It brought me a bittersweet feeling of realizing that it’s really time to stop so that we have the taste of wanting more, but we have enough to look forward to in the next matches.

Sadly, I’m afraid our favorite Trent Crimm will have to choose to be a good reporter or a good person. At the end of last season, he tried both and failed to achieve his goal. Somehow Colin’s personal life is going to be interfered with by the former reporter for The Independent. Will they go on the attack or keep the boom?

The big game will be against Nate and we can suffer and check everything next week. Time doesn’t pass fast enough!


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