Here’s an article I wrote for World Football Commentaries which takes a look at the scandal that errupted around Richard Keys and Andy Gray’s sexist comments last weekend. While the pair have been rightly lambasted for the derogatory comments towards women, I feel that the focus on the sexist aspect of their comments has actually overshadowed the fact that they were guilty of a crime much more widespread and just as potentially damaging to the future of the game.
1. Draws Galore
Despite what some people might say, there’s nothing innately boring about a sports match ending in a draw. While I’ve heard many arguments for penalties to decide league matches as well as many even worse ideas, a good hard fought draw between two evenly matched sides can be a great sporting spectacle. However, it had seemed so far this season, that the draw may have been on its way out, as in the first seven ’rounds’ of this season (i.e. before this weekend) there had been only four drawn fixtures.
However, it seems that this had created some sort of draw surplus in the warehouse where all of the results are stored and this weekend they were dished out liberally – doubling the amount of draws for the season in one round of games as Bolton-Spurs, United-Sunderland, West Ham-Fulham and Everton-Stoke all drew their matches while in the Championship the top three sides all drew, as did League One high-flyers Leeds and Charlton amongst others.
I’ve just this minute watched Wellington Phoenix and Adelaide United play out a 1-1 draw at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington and I’m fucking pissed off. I hate to sound like a broken record on this blog, and I know I had a good whine about Mike Dean ruining the game between Man United and Arsenal the other day, but given that this match was played in a different league on the other side of the world, I feel entitled to have another moan.
Wellington fully deserved to take three points from this game against Adelaide which wasn’t always the most fluent affair and saw some full-blooded commitment on show from both sides, but it was on the whole an entertaining affair. The Phoenix had plenty of chances to win it too and Tim Brown needs to visit finishing school after missing three absolute sitters, but they were well and truly robbed by possibly the worst offside decision I’ve ever seen.
The picture above is a graphic designed by Sky and Chris Boardman and represents what they think the ‘Everyday Bike of the Future’ will look like. With no wheel centres or spokes, no visible chain or drive mechanism and the promise of puncture-proof, self inflating tyres and on board computer and motor, it represents a grand vision for the future of the bicycle and the sport of Cycling.
Seeing that vision made me wonder what the future holds for football. It’s a much less technologically focused sport but there’s no denying we’ve come a long way from pig’s bladders and hobnailed boots. In recent years there’s been plenty of discussion concerning how to further develop the sport, but I think that unlike in Cycling, football needs little evolution. Today then I look at some of the proposed changes and give my verdict on whether or not they would benefit the sport if introduced.
Hi all, sorry for my lack of posting over the past couple of days, as I said below, I had my parents up and had a really busy but enjoyable few days. That said, there was some good football to be watched and enjoyed so I hope no one missed me too much while I was away.
I’m back in action today though with a guest blog over at Soccer Fan Base, which is a sort of retrospective look at the issues that have plagued this Premier League season and an analysis of what that says about the state of football in today’s world.
Having watched the great Champions League semi-final 2nd leg between Chelsea and Barcelona this morning, I was pleased to see that the standard of attacking play was as high as we had hoped for, and I was gutted for Chelsea, to come so close after playing so well, only to see it all slip away at the very last second, was harsh. Worse though, was the refereeing, and both sides can feel hard done by after another shambolic refereeing performance, following on from yesterday’s game.
It is such a shame that such a good game of football will ultimately be remembered not for two great goals, not for some heroic defending from Chelsea, some persistent attacking from Barca and for the result, which is of course always remembered, but instead for the tragic refereeing that plagued it. It’s becoming an all too familiar trend, and it needs to be addressed. Fear not though, for (as Baldrick would say) I have a cunning plan…
After watching Manchester City overcome my beloved but fatigued Everton side yesterday morning and, even worse, seeing Phil Jagielka stretchered out of our season to join Mikel Arteta, Yakubu and Victor Anichebe on the ‘out for the season’ list, I had plotted to write an article about the injustice of it all. Unfortunately I spent all day yesterday travelling back to Wellington and all day today doing Uni work slash being at Uni, and the bitterness that fuelled my intentions has now decayed to a miserable acceptance that we couldn’t go on forever with so many games and such a slim squad (four season ending injuries – FOUR!).
So instead of the inevitable fiery and angry post that would have appeared had I written it yesterday, click through below to see a short summary of my main reactions to Everton’s defeat at Manchester City, and a really amusing football related web-comic that I stumbled across before. It actually made me laugh despite the rather disgusting living conditions to which I am now returned (there are numerous things growing in the kitchen) and the fact that it has been raining for two days straight.