Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Some thoughts on the state of football (soccer).




I'm from the UK, and so I'll be referring to this game as 'football' throughout this post.

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, but, in my opinion it could be run much better. I don't expect any of my comments below to make much difference, if any, but here they are, anyway.

1. It is much too easy to defend in this game, especially in recent years. Too many teams 'park the bus' and have ten, sometimes eleven, of their players in their penalty box. It is thus almost impossible to get through to score. It also makes the game sess than interesting to watch.
One solution would be to limit the number of players able to enter the penalty area, similar to netball. I'm not sure this would meet with the approval of many players, managers or even fans, though. Too much of a change.

2. Another problem is that a club with a rich owner can 'buy' success. There are rules about spending, but they are to do with debt and turnover, and are not straightforward, At least not for me, anyway.

If a club has lot of money, they can buy the best players and pay what these players expect. Less well-off clubs can't do this and so need to make do with the less brilliant players. Obviously, therefore, clubs like, Real Madrid, the 2 Manchester clubs, Chelsea, PSG etc will continue to be the top clubs, and dominate their own leagues and the European scene.

My suggestion would be to take a leaf out of Rugby's book. Here there is, as I understand it, a maximum amount a club can pay each transfer 'window'. How this is spent is up to the club. They can pay it all in one huge transfer, or use it for several smaller ones. This would level the playing field.

This would also stop clubs from buying players just to stop a rival from getting them, even though they might not actually need that player.

3. Now this one is under review at the moment. The use of video referees. There have been many occasions where terrible mistakes have been made in the past. Handballs leading to goals (Hand of God by Maradona that prevented England from progressing in the World Cup, and Thierry Henry's that similarly prevented the progression of Ireland.)
Frank Lampard's goal in, I think the SA World Cup finals, that was given off-side and many more, including refs sending off the wrong player.

4. In the event of a wrong decision that is not given, such as a disallowed goal, if, after the game, it was found to have been not off-side, that goal should be re-instated and, if necessary, the result changed. There is a lot of money at stake in the game these days.

5. Just had a discussion with my husband and son. There are a couple of games going on at the moment where we wanted neither side to win. This is obviously impossible. It's either a win for one or the other team, or a draw. I suggested that a 0-0 draw should be counted as a defeat for both teams. this would ensure a more exciting game, as each team would be striving to score. Occasionally, nowadays, teams are happy to settle for a 0-0 scoreline, which makes for a boring game to watch.

6. Finally, as more managers are sacked, and I heard a discussion about the number of managers one club has had in the last few years, I think it could be time to consider a 'window' for managers, just like for players. Just two times each year when managers could be 'sacked'. Every club seems to think they should win every game, or nearly every game, and if they don't, but have a run of three of four losses, the manager is sacked. Players are never sacked, but they are the ones who are on the pitch.
Take Manchester United for example. Shortly after Sir Alex Ferguson was made manager of the above club, there were calls to sack him due to poor results. The club rejected these calls, and stuck with him. He became the most successful manager in Premier League history. Sacking a manager after a few months, at the most in some cases, hardly gives him time to get his techniques in place and build a successful team.


These are just a few of my ideas. Some might not work. I would be interested to hear your opinion on these four suggestions.
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