After their Amsterdam adventure in the previous episode, AFC Richmond is back in London on their turf. Ted Lasso season 3, episode 7 is titled ”Boxes” and shows us AFC Richmond implementing ”Total Football” in their practice, political questions are raised, and Nate finally asks Jade out. If you are interested in how it all went down, feel free to read our recap of the latest episode, where we bring you all the spicy details.
”Total Football” will be AFC Richmond’s new style of play
The episode starts early in the morning, as people in London start the day. Roy and Jamie have their morning training, with Jamie running and pulling Roy, who seems to enjoy his newly crafted skill of riding a bike. Nate casually flirts with Jade through the restaurant window, and Keeley enjoys her morning coffee with Jack. Sam is expecting a special guest in his restaurant on Friday, but the problem is that the restaurant is already booked months in advance. Nevertheless, he asks Farida to make all the necessary arrangements, and she accepts that task.
In Ola’s kitchen, we learn that Sam’s father is the special person coming for dinner, so Sam wants everything to be perfect. Sam’s dad is coming from Nigeria, and Ola’s chef, Sami, worries about Brinda Barot’s ( Home Secretary) decision to prevent refugees from entering the country. Back in the club, AFC Richmond is having a team meeting regarding the ”Total Football” style of play that Ted hallucinated about last week. Coach Beard explained to the players that the Netherlands used this style back in 1974 during World Cup and made it to the finals that way.
Coach Beard explains the importance of ”Total Football” even more, explaining how Johan Cruyff, one of the founders of this style of play, helped Ajax win three straight European titles. After his football career, he became a coach and implemented ”Total Football” first in Ajax and Barcelona. Thanks to that, Barcelona won the Spanish championship four years in a row. After Johan Cruyff, Pep Guardiola modified ”Total Football” and successfully won many titles thanks to it in Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and eventually Manchester City. Interestingly, Pep also coached Jamie while he was in Manchester City.
After Beard’s successful presentation, the team was in a great mood, but when Ted informed them that from there on, they were going to implement that style of play, the initial excitement stopped. Roy had Ted’s back, stating that with a few months of hard work, AFC Richmond would be more than ready to play like that. However, Ted wants to implement ”Total Football” right now, in the upcoming match against Arsenal, and only he thinks that is a good idea.
The team needs to focus on four things: conditioning, versatility, awareness, and…?
Keeley almost revealed her relationship with Jack to Barbara by accident. Nate’s sister’s birthday is coming up, so he asks Siri to remind him of that. He also seeks relationship advice about knowing if Jade likes him or if she is just being nice to him. As Siri could not tell that for sure, Nate decided to visit Jade in the restaurant, but she wasn’t there. The fans confronted Ted about all the bad results the team was having, so Ted invited them to watch the next training. And that’s what happened.
When training started, Ted pointed out four things that the team needed to focus on conditioning, versatility, and awareness; he was not sure what the fourth thing was yet, but he was sure it would be important. It would be too much if he had all the answers right away. Then he turned to Roy, who instructed players to run the whole practice only because he was in a great mood. Another thing about Roy, he prefers to say ”whistle” instead of using an actual whistle. At the end of the practice, the players were exhausted and started puking all over the court, and the fans were amused seeing that.
Jack visited Keeley in her office, where they agreed there was no point in keeping their relationship secret. So, Jack announced to the office that she and Keeley were dating, and everyone seemed fine with that. Later in the evening, Keeley and Rebecca had dinner and talked about a mysterious Dutch guy. Rebecca explains how the bond she shared with him transcended sex and that it was ”gezellig”. Nevertheless, she would’ve preferred seeing his private parts.
Rebecca jokes about how she lost Keeley to another woman. Keeley tells Rebecca about all the presents Jack gave her and how she announced her relationship to the office. However, Rebecca is concerned that Jack is love-bombing Keeley with expensive trips, gifts, and grand gestures of love. Rupert did the same thing to her, so she wants Keeley to be careful.
Roy’s tactics are absolutely bonkers, and Sam confronts a politician
On the evening of Nate’s sister’s birthday, she questioned Nate about his love life and whether someone special was in his life. Nate opened up about Jade. He’s concerned whether he’s misreading Jade’s signals, so he asks his family for advice. His sister tells him to ask Jade out, and then he’ll be sure if she is interested, but Nate is too insecure to do that. So, his mother has no choice – she has to show him the map. The map was a charming way for Nate’s dad to ask Nate’s mother on a first date, and it worked. All of that gave Nate much-needed encouragement. So, Nate went to the restaurant the next morning and almost asked Jade out. Almost because he figured he must do something first, which will later be revealed.
AFC Richmond’s second practice brought even more fans to the stand. The main focus of the practice was on versatility. By being more versatile, the players can switch positions on the field depending on each situation. However, switching positions with one another, the team took literally, so they started to make impressions of each other. It was constructive training, but nothing like the third one.
Practice number three of learning fundamentals of ”Total Football” was all about awareness, meaning always knowing where your teammate is and where to move accordingly. Even though Ted took a method of all team members being connected with an invisible red string wrapped around their small fingers, Roy thought it would be an excellent idea to wrap an actual red string around each player’s private parts. What followed basically was one of the funniest and most painful to-watch scenes of the whole season.
Simi is furious about Brinda Barot’s attitude toward the refugee ship about to enter Portsmouth. Sam wants to help and bring more awareness to this problem, so he uses his influence and the power of social media to send a message. His act caused Brinda to respond, stating that he should be less concerned about the nation’s safety and more concerned about being a mediocre player in a mediocre team. So, Sam decided to implement some of Simi’s words in his next tweet.
Nate asks Jade out, and Sam’s restaurant is demolished
After avoiding Jade for a few days, it was revealed what Nate was up to. Following his father’s example, he hand-made a present for Jade. Unfortunately, Jade did not receive the present in one piece as Nate tripped, and a car demolished the present. Besides that, everything went smoothly, and Jade accepted the invite on a date. Keeley and Jack agreed that all the gift bombings needed to stop.
All the training paid off, and the team started to look organized and fluid, even in the locker room. However, Roy wants to tie up the player’s private parts again, but Ted and Coach Beard agree that was only a one-time thing. Trent is curious about the number four of ”Total Football” fundamentals, but no one is sure yet. All of that became less important when Sam stormed into the locker room.
Sam’s standing up against Brinda’s refugee measures had its consequences. When he got to his restaurant, he found it smashed and destroyed, with a sprayed note on the wall ”shut up and dribble”. That made him furious, so he snapped and poured his frustrations out when he arrived for practice. At that moment, Sam’s father arrived, and he burst into tears, hugging his father as hard as he could. Sam did not want to take his father to see the demolished restaurant and wasn’t sure if he was even reopening it again. But, after some wise words from his father, he came to his senses.
Jamie explains how ”Total Football” should be played and team effort goes a long way
The match against Arsenal was about to begin, and Leslie introduced Sam’s father to Rebecca. Their encounter was a bit strange, to say the least, because Sam told his father about their brief romance. The new strategy on the field started poorly, with players bumping into each other and losing the ball. The funny thing was that the fans who attended practices learned more from Ted’s ”Total Football” than players did.
The half-time break was exactly what the team needed to get themselves together. After Ted’s talk about beards and individuality, Jamie had his moment and explained how ”Total Football” should be played. He sacrificed his position as a striker to provide his team with more room to play ”through” him. Dani then figured out the fourth segment of ”Total Football”: a sacrifice – putting aside personal glory on behalf of the team. However, Ted disagreed with Dani’s statement immediately. Nevertheless, the team was ready for the next half-time and demonstrated their new tactics successfully for the first time.
The episode ends with Nate and Jade having a date and Keeley taking Jack to ”A Taste of Athens”. Sam took his dad to the restaurant and was pleasantly surprised when they arrived. The whole team works together to repair all the damage, and it is revealed that the restaurant is actually named in tribute to Sam’s father, Ola. Sam decided to keep the broken windows as a reminder that not everything has to be perfect. Ola cooked dinner for the whole team with Sam’s and Simi’s help, and all the problems were gone for a moment.
This episode was filled with great and versatile motives like politics, football tactics, love problems, and team power. With the team gradually getting a hand with ”Total Football” tactics, it will be interesting to see how it will help the team in the future. The next episode will tell us more about it, for sure.