Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not Enough“There’s no place for it in the game”: A series of footballing gripes. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough “There’s no place for it in the game”: A series of footballing gripes. - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

“There’s no place for it in the game”: A series of footballing gripes.

Seeing as you’re reading this, it would be fair to presume that you are a football fan (or my mum). While most of us would allow our love of the game to put football so high up on our list of priorities, we generally tend to be equally enthusiastic about the issues that get our blood boiling, the features of the game which generally form pub conversation. Here are a few examples of the more trivial annoyances of the game:

Short sleeves and gloves

Many a player has been a victim of this faux pas for many a year now, with players opting to protect themselves from cold hands, while still bolstering their masculinity by exposing a bit of forearm. Behave! It’s either cold or its not!

Short corners

The referee points for a corner, the defending side each pick up their men (or zone) the tension fills the air as their opponents load the box, the central defenders gallop ominously into enemy territory. A rogue attacker obstructs the goalkeeper amongst the frenzy of shirt-pulling, premature darting runs and goal-line sentry duty, the crowd holds its breath.

But what’s this? An impulsive rebel! A player runs instinctively towards his colleague standing over the ball, said colleague obliges and plays the ball to feet. Congratulations! Now the ball’s in play, and you’re in the corner, with your back to the penalty box! Now, do us all a favour and skip quickly through the inevitable couple of passes under pressure from closing defenders in the confined space, before the original corner taker’s last-ditch attempt at a delivery goes behind for a goal kick.

Shirt off: Yellow card

The old debate of excessive celebration. A player scores a goal in a massive game; he runs towards the corner, to celebrate with a section of supporters, team-mates in tow. But this is no ordinary goal, reeling away faster than any other contribution to the game thus far, simply does not convey the emotion of this moment, so the player attempts to bare his soul, literally, by peeling off his shirt. While in the cold light of day, a rational mind would struggle to understand the link between an important goal, and its scorer expressing his delight by removing his kit, but in the heat of the moment, most fans enjoy seeing this expression of passion delight in one of their players. However, in 2002, former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan celebrated in the aforementioned fashion, after scoring for United against Southampton. However, having found himself a little, caught up, in the moment, Forlan struggled to put his shirt back on as play resumed, which produced the hilarious, if slightly farcical moment of a bare-chested Forlan chasing the ball around Old Trafford, until the referee finally restored order. The following year, FIFA announced that players removing their shirts in a goal celebration would warrant a caution.

This one often gets tied in with the rule banning players from going into the crowd. While some see it as a harsh rule, tragedies in recent times have made it necessary to enforce rules for the protection of players and supporters, however, taking your shirt off? Who’s it hurting? Unless you’re Diego Forlan, let’s face it, he ruined it for everyone.

Extra officials

What do they do exactly?

Goal-line Technology: Why not?

Another debate of regulation versus common sense. We all know the technology is there, most professionals seem in favour of it and it is certainly affordable in the billionaire’s playground that is the modern game. However, a main sticking point is the concern that this technology would not be made available at all levels of the game, despite technology being used to assist referees at elite levels of tennis, cricket and rugby.

Let’s look into grass roots football: It’s a Sunday morning in a UK park, a team are under pressure, they’re defending a lead late on in an important game. The ball falls to a full back, who smashes the ball as hard and as far across the park as possible. The ball disappears into the car park, to alleviate the pressure. Do you hear amateur footballers crying out for ballboys to keep the tempo of the game? Or multiple match-quality footballs scattered around the pitch? Or worse still- Have such features removed from the professional game? No.

Why stop there? How about neutral linesmen? Fourth officials? Extra officials? (See above) How about abolishing the fair play handshake? People around the world love football, and tend to get involved where possible. But why are we so afraid of admitting that elite levels of the game are better? Because, lets face it, they are.

Interviews- Stating the obvious.

In a world where the media is more influential and accessible than ever, interviews with key figures in the game are as PR friendly and well rehearsed as possible. Fear of bad publicity or disciplinary measures, has caused many interviews to be very predictable. Every question is answered “to be fair” and with “credit to the lads”. The game in question is quickly forgotten to prepare for “a really big game coming up”, and of course, the big one: “We’ve just got to keep winning football matches.” Wow. Apparently the football fans watching football player’s post-football-match interviews, just won’t understand the concept of “keep winning games.” Apparently it must be explicitly explained that the matches in question are indeed being settled over a game of football. Well thanks for that. And the confused fans on the terraces tuck their cricket bats under their arms, and leave.

Daniel Clarke-

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *