Zlatan Trashes MLS Playoffs: ‘I Think The System Is Sh*t’
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Americans love their playoffs, as much as apple pie, the Star-Spangled Banner and LaCroix. It’s why we put up with 162-game baseball seasons and the New England Patriots winning year after year.
Zlatan does not love the playoffs.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic channeled his inner Jim Mora on Thursday to trash the Major League Soccer playoff format, saying the “system is shit.”
Talking with reporters about the mentality of a team when MLS clubs only need to finish in the top seven in their league to reach the playoffs, Zlatan sounded off, as he often does, about the weakness a playoff system creates in the players.
— Eli Lesser (@thisweekinmls) August 8, 2019
“Different system in the U.S. … These guys here, they talk about the playoff, we just need to make the playoff, win the playoff. It doesn’t matter if you lose or win. How can you win mentality if you just need to reach the playoffs? I think the system is shit. You talk about mentality: For me mentality is every day. Training, the way you train is the way you play the game. The results in every game is important, but here you come seventh place, you make the playoffs, you win. How do you create mentality to be on your toes 24 hours? It’s very difficult.”
Ibrahimovic has a point.
If teams don’t have to win the regular season to win the league, why bother going all out to win every single game? Taking a night off here and there is totally reasonable if you’re going to make the playoffs anyway.
To take it a step further, why not abolish playoffs all together? The most fair way to determine a champion isn’t by crowning whoever is playing the best at the end of the season but by crowning the team that played the best throughout the entire season. Otherwise, why even bother playing the first half of the season?
But, again, Americans love their playoffs.
Don’t expect MLS to acquiesce to Zlatan’s desires and do away with the playoffs anytime soon. But MLS should definitely decrease the number of teams who make the playoffs. Currently, 14 out of 24 clubs make it to the postseason, which is just silly.