The modern game of soccer is diluted. In many of my blogs, I’ve talked about my frustration with the path the game has taken. Rather than developing the game to embody its purist form, the focus has been on developing bigger, faster and stronger players. As the French National head coach put it, when referring to his French domestic league, players are relying on brute strength.
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The paradox of the modern soccer game is that it has gravitated towards speed and quickness, however, more than ever, the need for composure is colossal. Players and teams alike seem to have trouble finding patience on the field when all of the expectations are geared towards flashy moves, explosive runs and fabulous goals. What soccer is missing, is the development of players who have a sobering affect on the game.
Flamboyant goal celebrations piss me off. They’re classless, ignorant and show no respect. Celebrating a goal to show off is just dumb.
In all my years as a soccer player, I have come across every type of player: skilled players; weak players; hard-working players; angry players; and the list goes on. I respect every style of play I come into contact with, except one: passive players. The reason I respect everyone’s style of play – even though I might not agree with it – is because not one of us is the same. We all have different builds, different skills and different beliefs in life. Passive players, however, do not deserve respect because they discredit themselves and the game.
After watching quite a few games this weekend, I was reminded of how annoyed I am with players that dive and simulate fouls. In many of the blogs Goalden’s author’s have posted, we continuously talk about the importance of staying on your feet. For whatever reason, though, players have become experts in diving. Players are falling all to easily in order to win their team a foul. The dramatic falls and cries have become old…in fact I don’t think they were ever in. This is a game built on respect, skill, intelligence and fair play; not whining, diving and faking.
In one of my most recent blogs, I talked about the danger of two footed tackles and the blemish they put on an otherwise beautiful game. Before I could even turn around, I watched one of the most anticipated games in the soccer world – Manchester Utd vs. Liverpool – turn into a reckless tackling free for all. This game had moments of pure soccer brilliance, but it didn’t matter because a few yoyo’s that lost their heads.
Is it just me or is it harder and harder to get truly interested in modern day professional sports? Maybe it has something to do with the phoniness of owners and managers who don’t really care to create a winning franchise for all the right reasons. Maybe it’s the hypocrisy of the professional leagues themselves that force players to do whatever it takes to win, but they are the first to point the finger when a player is being accused of using enhancement tools, i.e. steroids. Maybe it’s the deceptiveness of players who preach about fans being everything to them, but will betray those exact same fans for another zero on the end of their contract. Or maybe, it’s all three…
Two footed tackles are not only unacceptable, but they put a blemish on an otherwise beautiful game. In an ideal world, two footed tackles would result in a straight red card, followed by severe fines and suspensions. We cannot always rely on referee’s to make the correct calls as things can happen very quickly, and often too quickly to make a rational decision in a matter of seconds. The soccer organizations of the world, i.e UEFA and FIFA, need to be sending clear messages: two footed tackles will not be tolerated.
Goals change games. Tactically reacting to goals as a coach is very difficult. Do you change your formation or do you stick with your same formation? Do you make a substitution? There are an abundance of factors to consider.
Balance…that’s right, balance! Many people overlook balance and take it for granted. Balance is a skill. Balance requires practice…and a lot of it. The best players in the world all know this, do you? Here’s how you add balance to your game.