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Modern football

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Modern football

Post by bruka on Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:23 am

Football as it is today is unrecognisable from the game i started watching. I say this not as a grey beard pining for the days when players would walk off a broken leg and there weren't so many "foreign fairies". I am a 30 year old man, the first season i paid attention to football Blackburn won the Premiership, i got my heart broken watching Euro 96 (you owe me Southgate) and then again at France 98.
It was Blackburn getting relegated that got me thinking about how football has changed so dramatically over the years and most of it is for the worse. On the positive side i believe we are currently watching two of the greatest players to have ever lived (Messi and Ronaldo for those of you who are Wolves fans - although Cavaleiro and Costa were close runners up). I think in recent years we have seen two of the greatest teams ever (Barca and Spain - again apologies Wolves fans but Wolves and your under-23's haven't won what they have) and have seen some of the most exciting games ever played (Liverpool - AC Milan Champions league final, that Agueroooo final day of the Prem). On the downside well ....

Managers

So much crap gets talked about managers these days it makes me wince when i hear the word mentioned. They are glorified and then shot down in the media in the space of a three game run and picked apart and argued about on every clubs internet forums. Its all blown up out of proportion. I know this is the age of the super manager (Mourinho, Guardiola, Klopp) but for me it's all a bit daft. There are a few managers, and i mean a FEW, who have helped to move football on and really shaped the game but a lot of them are glorified hearders.
Yes Ferguson was an amazing man manager who knew all the tricks of the trade like mouthing off about a referee after one game to influence the referee you have in the next game. He really was a Machiavellian leader - a lion going into battle and a fox who knew how to avoid the traps. Wenger really changed the game in England too with his emphasis on a healthy lifestyle and strict diet. All that being said who else wouldnyou put in that bracket ? One maybe two more ? There aren't many.
All the rubbish about "If you want to stay up you get Sam Allardyce" and "Tony Pulis pretty much guarantees you 40 points", well it's nonsense. The teams that are taken over by a new manager and then stay up are invariably boosted psychologically by a new face at the club who they want to impress or the players thought the old manager was a muppet and weren't putting in a proper shift for him.
At clubs nowadays you have scouts to tell you who to sign, in some cases a director of football to actually sign them, coaches who run team training and exercise programmes (with sport scientists helping sometimes), assistant managers who will pass on their recommendations on who should play this week because they scored a worldy on training or who should be dropped because he's been at the Big Macs. So what does the manager do ? Well he picks the team ... Wow ! I guarantee any fan who watches their team week in, week out will be able to tell you what team is about to come out of the tunnel most weeks. Well he makes the substitutions ... Some managers do actually earn their wage by making an inspired substitution but how many wait until the "safe times" of 60 minutes and after to make a sub ? How many just do a like for like switch hoping that this striker might be having more of an "on day" than that striker ? And how many just change everything around at 3-0 down to make it look like they're doing something about the hammering they're getting ? The answer is most of them.
A manager picks 11 players and sends them out, hopefully with some sort of plan for the match in their head. As soon as the players cross that white line you can have gone over the oppositions set pieces a hundred times in training, you can be be trying out your new 1-1-3-4-1 formation or playing that new kid who's scored 50 goals in the Burkina Faso B league but it's all down to what the players do. Any amount of repeatedly swinging your finger at a spot of grass, looking at your watch or chatting up the assistant ref is not going to change a thing that those players do when they're on the pitch. The good ones will run into space, keep an eye on the oppositions target man and pick out that killer through ball like you told them to but here's the secret ... They would have done that anyway - they have been coached and conditioned to do those things from the age of 12 (if not younger). The real job is to get the rest of them looking like they know what they're doing rather than running around liel headless chickens and that gets harder the further down the leagues you go as you have fewer good footballers in the side.
The managers of the top sides really don't do a lot that some high level management type at most financial institutions couldn't do i.e. pick the winners in the team and give a motivational talk (in fact it might be worth getting a financial type in in some cases to explain how their bonus will go up if they achieve results because they damn sure aren't playing for "the shirt").
Which leads me onto ....

Players

There are players who are fantastic professionals (N'Golo Kante take a bow) and there are players who are fantastically talented (Messi, Ronaldo) and then there are the rest. Now the thing that bothers me about the players is how they buy into all the buzz words they read in the press. "I'm fatigued after a long season" ... No you're a lazy little urchin who needs to work on his conditioning if you can't make 90 minutes twice a week for £100,000 (Yes Daniel "bubble bath" Sturridge i'm talking about you). "I'm an old fashioned number 10" (thats quite a popular one at the moment) ... So you're what ? A back -up to he striker ? A guy who hangs around the edge of the box hoping to smack a hail-mary shot into the top corner every now and then ? The guy who tries those clever little through-balls that inevitably get smothered by the keeper just before the striker can get there ? ... Piss off and play in the position you're told to by your manager (*cough* Barkley *cough*). And my personal favourite "I'm homesick" ... Oh because you thought you'd just commute in to Carrington every day from Argentina did you ? Did it not cross your mind before you signed that contract that guaranteed you a few hundred grand a week ? Of course not petal, why would you ?
I also hate that a lot of footballers (and my view here just might be tainted as a Villa fan) don't give 100% effort to be the best they can. We all have at least one player at a club who has the potential but just can't be arsed in some/most games. Ozil, Martial, Hazard (biggest talent tragedy around) and of course on a smaller scale our very own Jack Grealish are all guilty of being able to completely turn a game on its head when they fancy it but just not fancying it every week. I don't get that.
We've all read how Ronaldo practises his free kicks every day after training and how Messi uses a smaller ball to practise that close control that makes defenders look daft but i'm not talking about that. I'm talking about Kylian Mbappe and the guy he reminds me of Thierry Henry. Now these are my own opinions and admittedly i don't know what kind of training they do (did) but they are (were) not overly skilfull players. What they do (did)  is put their head down and run at defenders and frighten the life out of them, shoot from anywhere because "who knows it might go in" and put in maximum effort to be the best player they can be when on the pitch. Now all players can do those things, its not a McGrath given talent like Messi and his close control combined with his shortness and ability to turn on a penny. There are players who are currently playing for the likes of West Ham and Burnley who could be first team players at Chelsea or Man City but they can't be bothered to try hard enough so they'll be a fan favourite here for a while longer because it's easier to revel in mediocrity than it is to be asked to step your game up and possibly be found wanting.
Of course you also have the players who are mediocre but think that they're superstars and that's mainly down to ...

Agents

My skin crawled typing that word. There is not a bigger pox upon the game than these parasites. There are three different types of agent. You have the "Super Agents" - these guys are the blood sucking leeches, they are pilot fish hanging around the jawe of a powerful great white and they are responsible for most of the evils in modern football. There are a couple of seriously bad actors who the football world would not miss if they were to drive their player bought Lambos of a cliff. Mina Raiola - he made £40 million from Paul Pogbas' move to United for being a middle man. Now morefool United for paying it and Pogba for letting him have it but thats not what gets me ... It's the fact that now United won't spread £10million of that around EFL clubs buying gifted 17 year olds to loan back out to the club or play in cup matches thus depriving the clubs of a much needed cash injection that will instead go towards buying Mr Raiola a Villa in the south of France or a super yacht or a private jet. All while Hereford go out of business and Coventry don't have a ground to play at.
Then there is Jorge Mendes who is shady with a capital C if you get my drift. Wolves are currently considering parting ways with Paul Lambert because their owners, Fosun, would like him to accept the players Mendes signs for them ( not recommends mind you, signs !) without question. Lambert would be a mug of the highest order to go along with this because, as i've already droned on about, the fans and media will be blaming his "clueless tactics" for not getting the best out of the players ( Mr Mendes is Cristiano Ronaldo's agent don't ya know so the other players he represents must be quality - not me saying this, that's a direct quote from a Wolves fan mate of mine). I wonder how many players Mendes signs will be represented by him or someone he's working a larger deal with ? How many journeymen players with Championship experience is he going to sign ? How about that bright prospect down at Brentford ? Well if he does go for that one he better watch out because that players agent will probably be...
The players dad ! The egocentic muppet who's playing at being an agent who has one player on his books (his son) because it sure as hell beats being a carpet fitter and he knows what's best for his lad. Look no further than Jack Grealish's old man "What's that, England want you to commit your future Jack ?Well you've made it now son. I mean you DID score that goal against Liverpool so we (yes, WE) should really consider our options. Won't be long before Peps on the phone, Villa are a bunch of ingrates anyway, what have they ever done for us ?" Muppets to a man, the lot of them, they should let professionals take care of their sons careers rather than blowing smoke up their backsides to feel like they're inportant.
Then you have the ex-footballers who generally just want to be close to the game and have the players interest at hearts. Don't get me wrong, they're not going to starve but who better to represent a players interests than someone who has worked a mile in their shoes.

Then you have the clubs who are all terrified of losing that PL cash so go and spend a fortune on a player from a second rate Ligue 1 team who turns out to be useless. I've always wondered why teams who circle the drain season after season like Palace don't give the Ajax model a go. Play the youth players, bring them on as first teamers, sell for a profit and then put the money back into the academy, repeat. Eventually you could end up with a decent team and some serious money in the bank.
Anyway, rant over ... Opinions please ?

bruka



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Re: Modern football

Post by Joppe84 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:33 pm

I just know that there's a big difference in mentality between now and 20-30 years ago. Back then players actually had to apply themselves and a lot of young players worked in stores or other jobs trying to make it happen. Right now it feels like young players are spotted <16 and just given a lot of money early, irrespective of whether they actually make it. Thus you have all these can't be arsed overpaid wankers that doesn't know sacrifice or effort for toffee.

One of my biggest gripes with the modern game is with the fans as well. Internet just ruined patience and the team aspect of football. Just look at how often we are sacking managers and how rarely they are given support to the degree they should be given it. Internet just amplifies it.

Best example of what football should be is Rosenborg in the 90's. A club that was built, run and had players largely from its own region. A region in Norway with roughly 300 k people. They outplayed the very best in Europe. Went something like 8 seasons in a row to Champions League despite having to play a qualifier every time. They had a local coach with his own system (absolutely fucking brilliant I might add), local players and it was very much down to earth and hard work. Players was encouraged to take educations while playing actively and most of the squad was lawyers, engineers, teachers and what not. They managed to run the club in such a way they charmed an entire people which takes some doing. It's like you'd start semi-following Newcastle or something in Europe (if they ever were in Europe). When you have clubs and experiences of football like this, it changes certain things. It isn't about money anymore, but about something more. Which I feel modern football lacks completely. It's become a money driven corporate machine in some ways, soulless. It was once a working mans sport and now the WC is being held in the worst shit holes where working class people are paid fuck all under the worst conditions. Just fuck modern football. And fuck it some more.

My feel or it anyway.
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Joppe84



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Re: Modern football

Post by bruka on Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:01 am

Spot on Joppe, something about the game has been lost and i don't think it will ever be recovered. The part about fans and the internet is so true, rather than a spontaneous round of boos after watching your team slip to a relegation threatening defeat (think David o Leary at Villa) you have Arsenal fans organising mass protests online against a manager who made their club great - why do fans always think the grass is greener on the other side ? Who could they feasibly get who is going to be better than Wenger ? I've seen it on here about Bruce when the guy hasn't had a pre-season yet and we're the bookies favourites to go up. Patience is a virtue and in football it's a non-existent one.

bruka



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Re: Modern football

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