I’m sitting here watching the opening minutes of the Turkey and Czech Republic match in 2008. So far the highlight of the game so far has been a Turkish player changing his boots.
After less then ten minutes, I’m bored. Not just with this game, but with football in it’s entirety. I don’t have the interest to follow who’s playing for which team, or whether the last foul really deserved a yellow card or not.
My interest started to wane several years ago when players started to spend more time rolling around on the ground in faux agony than they did trying to score goals. That period also saw the huge increase in players wages. When players are regularly receiving in excess of STGÂ£100,000 a week to kick a ball, you know there has to be something wrong with the world.
But what really bugs me are the rules of football. There’s no consistency. Not just within the game, but during a match. For example, two players jump for a high ball. In 90% of these cases the refferee will blow the whistle for some unnoticeable foul. If the free kick is near the box, then you’ll have at least 15 players in the box jostling for positions. They’ll push each other, tug at each others jerseys and generally do everything they can to break the oppositions concentration and movement. Where’s the whistle? Where are the yellow cards? Where is the ref? That bugs me. If you’re going to give a free because two lads had a minor collision in the air, then surely you should be giving frees, and yellow cards if required, for all the messing that goes on while waiting for a free kick to be taken?
Don’t get me start about defenders “shepherding” the ball over the line while physically holding the attacker back.
Just as well I follow rugby. At least in rugby, the physicality is part and parcel of the game. It’s true what they say:
“Rugby is a game for hooligans played by gentlemen, while football is game for gentlemen played by hooligans.”