More football rants
With the start of the football season upon us now, I thought about our summer of football with the World Cup and its associated disappointments.

The thing that everyone was talking about was the play-acting by nearly every team. The diving was an absolute disgrace, and I heard and read commentators in England, Germany and Switzerland all deploring it. You may say with the German voice included, that this was a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but to be fair their team were at least aggressive and played attractive, offensive football - in fact the best game I saw was between Germany and Italy!

So, how do we sort this out? I would refer the Football Association to a case in Germany about 8 or 9 years ago, where Andreas Möller dived for a penalty for his club Borussia Dortmund. The dive outraged the German public in such a way that the German Football Association viewed the video evidence and fined the player heavily and banned him for about 6 games. I would suggest that the Football Association, UFEA and FIFA employ a similar process to stamp out diving at the top level, because even though we do not have our games videoed on the village green, the players are influenced by the actions of the top professionals.

Just image how a José Morinho or Arsené Wenger or Sir Alex Ferguson would react to half of their stars out of action for league or cup matches if they were suspended because of diving - the play-acting would go the way of the Dodo very quickly.

I would also like to bemoan the standard of footballing brain many of our players seem to have. We all know that they generally lack brains in terms of vocabulary and their social behaviour, but on the pitch, I see many of the players running into crowded spaces, hiding behind opposing players whilst awaiting a pass. Any schoolchild knows that you can't pass solid objects through other solid objects, and yet these multi-millionaires are trying to do just that, or expecting others to do it.

Whatever happened to footballers playing the ball into space? And players running onto the ball - everything seems to have to played to feet, slowing the game down and allowing defenders to get behind the ball. The direct game as, famously played by Watford and Wimbledon, worked very well because it gave the defenders no time to think. It is normally seen as a less professional and less skilful way of playing football - but I would disagree - you need to think far faster and a few moves ahead of the current play to perform in this way.

I suppose it does come back to the fact that modern footballers are not the brightest, and need extra thinking time. It is certainly the case with the large number of players, worldwide, who are ridiculously one-footed - you will always have stronger side, but you should be able to put a half-decent pass together. Only using one foot is obviously another way of limiting the neural load on these 'stars'.

Having had my rant, I must say that I am looking forward to the new season, both for professional and local football. Players such as Ballack and
Shevchenko at Chelsea, and the fact that clubs such as Liverpool are likely to provide more competition for Chelsea this season make for a mouth-watering Premiership. Locally, we are celebrating our centenary this year, and are very confident that the season will be successful for both teams, and the new teams we are planning.
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