I think it all started with radio phone-ins, a bit like when I look at referees, I’d be listening and thinking ‘I bet he’s never kicked a football in his life’. Or at best I’d imagine him (or her!) to be the last one in the line when you picked up sides, the one that nobody wanted even when they had last pick.
There’s nothing wrong with everybody having an opinion, it is what sustains us all between matches.
Where the problem is, is when people/fans get almost hysteric because they believe if only Alan Pardew did this one thing then everything would be alright. Often these opinions are based entirely on what somebody has just seen, no doubt on TV, as that makes people think they are even more of an expert as they see things from a thousand different angles as opposed to those of us who actually bother going to games and who see the full picture. Not just what the cameras choose to show you.
The main culprit these days would appear to be games like ‘Football Manager’ where instead of having a social life and friends, adult men (mainly) ‘manage’ football teams and play for hours non-stop. Then when they win the Champions League with Rochdale from the comfort of their own bedroom, they no doubt turn their thoughts to Alan Pardew and think well if only he did….
Only problem is real life is slightly more difficult. I’ve sat in St.James’ Park and heard people near me screaming at a player in the right-back position because they can see the obvious 80 yard ball he should play to our unmarked left winger, only problem is that there is eighteen players between them and the ball with be in the air for five seconds giving defenders the chance to run thirty yards.
Get outside and kick a football, it’s great, you might really like it!
Then we have the angle of fringe/young players, in other words ones who aren’t good enough to get in the first eleven. Just because somebody has played an electronic management game where they’ve brought this reserve/young unknown in and he scores the goal that wins the Premier League, their view is so skewed that they think it is real life. Or as happened recently, Marveaux does ok against ten men Wigan and suddenly he is class, conveniently forgetting just about every other time we’ve seen him.
Maybe the worst example is formations, yes sometimes different formations can get a little extra out of players but in reality 99% of it is about how good, or bad, the players are.
Listen to the cyber warriors though and if only we played 4-3-3 or 3-1-2-1-2-1 then it wouldn’t matter who was actually on the pitch; Obertan, Sammy Ameobi, Marveaux, Gosling and Shola will get us up the table if only they are played in the right formation…
So the message is, rather than get a sweat on sitting by yourself in your bedroom, get outside and kick a ball, you might actually enjoy it and more importantly, you might learn something.
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