When bankers bonuses are the main topic of conversation, I went to a soccer match yesterday afternoon to see what value we get from some of those very well paid footballers. It was a good thing as a cricket fan and cricketer to keep my mind off the collapse of the English team in The West Indies.
I would love to know from football regulars why the following occurred most of the time at the professional match I went to see:
1. The ball was kicked long up the pitch everytime it came into the hands of the goalkeeper or every time a goal kick was awarded. It seemed that more often than not this gave the ball to opposing team who could then launch a counter attack. Why don’t they kick or throw it out to backs or midfielders, to pass it up the pitch?
2. Most of the players huddled together where they thought the ball would land, instead of holding position or trying to get themselves into unmarked territory awaiting a pass. Wouldn’t it make sense to keep some players in less guarded areas and try to pass to them? Wouldn’t that force the opposition to spread out a bit more as well, creating some space?
3. Many of the longer passes were directed through the air, over the heads of other players, but this often meant they missed their targets or ended up on the chests of the opponents players. There was less attempt to change the angles, to run into space or to push through ground level passes to well positioned other players who might be able to move the attack on.
With all the money they were spending on manager and player wages, is it not possible to have a bit more variety and thoughtful enterprise? Or am I missing something, that all these well paid people have worked out long ago?
It was not a good day yesterday for English sports lovers. The only good thing that can be said about the rugby performance was we won, which was more than could be said for the cricketers.