fans5A bit like having a hundred channels on your TV instead of the three when I was a lad, the fact that so many fans have so many ways of speaking their mind, hasn’t meant an increase in quality.

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!

SylvainMarveaux1Then 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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  • Graeme

    Agreed, but some of us have opinions, played at a good level, coached football from juniors through to seniors, have coaching badges and base our opinions on knowledge too, we may not be right in everyone’s eye and sometimes everyone may disagree but that’s the beauty of it!!! You’re right about formations and players, that’s just a small part of the jigsaw. On average a player will spend 90-95% of the match without the football, and that is where matches are won and lost – the work off the ball. Getting in the right spaces to receive a pass, making yourself available, making a run to move an opponent out the way to create space and holes for other players. Tracking back, getting in position – all the work off the ball will make it easier for the player with it to do their job too. When I watch games, I’m amazed how many players stand watching because they feel that their outside of the zone of play, not making a run or waiting for someone else to do it. Try watching teams who are renouned for ball retention, biding their time, keeping the ball and building play – their workrate off the ball is completely different. My own opinion is that we aren’t working hard enough or smart enough, we don’t overlap enough or offer up in the right areas. Good post!!

  • Possibly one of the most worst articles I have ever read.

    I am all for kids getting out and kicking a ball instead of sitting in their rooms…but you are aiming that thought at fully grown men?

    I could go into detail as to why this is awful but you sum it up nicely yourself when you say ‘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.’

    ….deary me. I think you need to start learning the game yourself…you got a footy we could use?