Waffle time - Part 1- Quantity vs Quality
Thought I would chime in on the Fans FB debate. FWIW, I agree with David B. If the authorities want to see a perfect pyramid then naff to Egypt! Expand the league sizes - enjoy - wait while - wait for the complaints and then de-construct. That's the usual template. I believe it does not only create more un-necessary games, placing increased demands on everybody involved, more importantly, but it also waters down the standards. Something that I maintain is killing the competitive edge and hence destroying the game from within.
It will only further undermine the cup competitions. I, like many of us have witnessed real, genuine FA Cup giant-killing games. Look at the memories of Hendon's day out at Newcastle. Now we've created an environment where Non-league sides celebrate defeating league sides, when in essence in most cases the line-up of the higher ranked side consists of U-23 players. As for the FAT, I don't care. I think most managers would prefer at this level to take 3 points on a Saturday.
Expanding league sides for me dilutes the overall standard. I recall a league game at Vale Farm, Tooting already relegated all but in name, were brushed aside 6-0. The think I remember most was the forum that night. Arguably the longest post match contributions. I had nothing! I can't get excited stuffing teams, I expect to stuff. I had that felling, perhaps unfairly, post Dorchester away. I maintain, half this division we are in is their for the taking. I'm more impressed when we start defeating the top 6 sides. Off the top of my head, something like 3 wins in 21.
I agree with David B. Money has ruined the game. The Champions League consists of the same bloody sides every year. Play-offs half way down the league. Everything the game does, further dilutes the standards. I don't like this at all. This as been a steady decline for me from the 1980's... more to follow.
Re: Waffle time - Part 2- Quantity vs Quality
Following on from the above. I maintain the demise of the game has happened at local, much lower levels. I live in Shropshire. Back in the day, teams only played one or two public pre-season games. One game was always the annual punch-up, Shropshire Senior Cup Final between Telford and Shrewsbury Town. It was the automatic final for decades. Just a one-off. They were colossal games. The Shrews would field a full strength side, at a time when they were on the back of their most successful period. Then the Shrops FA throw in Semis. The likes of Oswestry Town and Bridgnorth Town. Instantaneously, The Shrews started to play the reserves and kids. Killed it! Now its the likes of Market Drayton. I think the current holders are Whitchurch Alport.
I think the prevailing notion is that by including everybody you raise the standards. I think the opposite. I think it waters everything down. The Shrops FA at one point admitted this, in some much as in trying to re-ignite the competition started to invite teams from outside the county. When Total Network Solutions and Hereford United reserves are in the competition you really have wrecked things. It used to a magnificent footballing occassion, now no-one gives a flying fig and is a in-convienience to the point where finals are carried over due to the fact clubs can't agree scheduling dates. I would now play it on lower clubs, neurtral grounds to at least give the lower clubs some decent gate money.
Re: Waffle time - Part 3- Quantity vs Quality
I grew up watching the early days of the APL/Conf. I have always had the theory that non-league football has geographical differences. Back then the Northern sides dominated both league and FAT. I think now, the gap is really evident. I've been watching vids of the Northern sides, the likes of Alty and York. Dean Brennan touched on it in his interview regarding Alty. They are the replicant of that early Alty side in the APL. Interesting developments down at Weymouth this week. Working towards going full-time, their Northern manager has just signed to Northern centre-halfs. The clubs financing accommodation fees for northern-based players. This for me will probably all go tits up, but it demonstrates for me my belief that you have to incorporate different characteristics, built on real solid defences.
I don't like life in the Southern League, but I do advocate that style wise if you get out this division you have more of a chance of survival at the higher level. I think the top sides in our league are better equipped that the Ryman counter-parts. I don't get too overjoyed stuffing sides I perceive as cannon-fodder, even less warming to letting more in. Our record against the top 'big' 6 is appalling to date. I looked at it some time ago - something like 3 wins in 20 or the like.
I actually maintain right now, we are better positioned in an underlying sense to make serious headway than probably at any time in the 12 years I've been watching. I think we are benefiting from the Southern in that regard.
It would have nice if under Lee we could have truely gotten up and running. I think the best is yet to come.
Keep the faith lads - hope your all well.
NLM debate Rant part 1
Similar thread just gone up on NLM so I thought I would expand my thoughts into a rant. The state of the modern game. I didn't watch the recent Liverpool/Burnley affair but I did catch the Sky Sports headlines before going to bed. Souness was on citing the lack of quality. 'Quality' is a word I've heard badied about a lot lately by vertually everyone after most top flight games. Here's my view and it ain't pleasant.
Earlier in the season, I watched the Gunners at Brighton and was amazed at how obvious it was that a poor side like Brighton could simply overcome an Arsenal side simply by playing 2 up-front. Arsenal were completely bamboozled as if this was an alien. out of this world, never seen before event. Their crossing was amusing. I gave up counting how many attempted crosses failed to get past the first man. I lost all hope and popped out for a kebab!
I don't like the overriding trend placed on youth. Incoming flack... Gary Lineker has apparently just stated the opposite view citing how a modern day Spurs side would wipe the park with his side back in the day. Personally, I would love to see a Hoddle type grace the midfield - For me all players look the same and play the same.
The very same Sky news update at the time citing Liverpool would not be signing anyone of note due to being unable to locate any 'quality'. It's all loan moves for like for like. Stay tuned...
Re: NLM debate Rant part 2
I never know how much I can fit in...
Starting at the very top - International football for me is utter rubbish. My first World Cup memories were from 78 in Argentina. Just watched the goals. Far more entertaining. The talent, the names, Kempes, Rensenbrink. The Archie Gemmell goal. In fact I recall the Holland goals from that game which were equally up there. Kroll, Rep. Something for
me has gone terribly wrong. I do think the standard of the World Cups have declined. FIFA help, making tournaments even larger. It's freaking harder not to qualify! Just more mundaneness.
Shall we move onto the Champions League. Same news broadcast. Talk of a breakaway Euro elite thing. More good fun. That should basically kill off all the domestic leagues. Imagine the consequences. Jurgen the German, constantly moaning about fixtures. Well young man, you would now have to play even more mid-week matches in your super-power led future. By the way, your American owners are bang up for it - only one winner there!
There appears to me to be a constant drive, a powershift to separate those of whom are underpinned by nothing more than materialistic notions. The gaps becoming increasingly wider - this filters down to all levels as the pyramid, or more
of a trapezium in the future becomes more lop-sided. The chance of a team from Hungary, the Czech Republic or one of the Benelux countries smelling European glory is all but a pipedream. The best European games I recall were the days when everyone was thrown in the hat. The likes of Notts Forrest v Liverpool - these fans must be bored seeing the same sides year in year out.
Re: NLM debate Rant part 3
Which brings me onto domestic cup competitions. I recently sat through the much touted Chorley win v Derby County in the FAC. Some slack here, Derby were Covid hit, but the trend is clear. That Derby side looked like a bunch of kids.
As a non-league supporter, I must confess I do have an inherent problem potentially going daft, celebrating a win against a higher ranked side, when that side has half a dozen U-23 players in it.
Arsenal, again in their recent FAC tie v Southampton made 7 changes. - And that in a competition they could win! They deemed 3 points in the return fixture 3 days later a bigger priority.
The FAT for me is dead. I reckon most managers at our level would privately prefer 3 league points over progress to the next round. Having canvassed many fellow 'green's it's fair to say, there ain't much enthusiasm for a Tuesday night in Aveley.
As for what the Isthmian League did with the League Cup last season, where to begin? I would imagine that was based on the Champions League. A group format just to get to the first round. Attendances for meaningless matches, which I would envisage don't cover the costs.
Then there are the fans. Managers selecting half baked teams for half baked notions. Chelsea, recently charging £75 amongst the recent return. The squad sizes in the top flight is amusing. Wolves have nearly 80 on board. Chelsea have 31 out on loan. I think things are out of proportion - and yes, 'quality' is what really is lacking as a result is, dare I say it 'quality'. I do think, that the likes of Hendon, and teams at our level are the final vestages of footballing construct. I don't like where we are all at.
And there it is.....
Just listened to the first 16mins of the club's video this morning. Really enjoyed it. Don't need to hear the rest, I will at some point. Dave Anderson - Men were men! He's right about the centre-halfs as well. I remember back in the day, they were all ugly as hell. The lad Wainwright at Wealdstone looked like he'd just walked out of a bloody Slaughter-house! They looked like extra's on The Sweeney! Seriously, I do think the best sides have those characteristics in their composition. More a case of Experience v Youth. That would invariably incoporate Quality v Quantity.
On a personal note, I love watching that Dutch 70's side under Rinus Michels for me a pre-cursor to the modern day Barcelona - Cryuff a link. Straight to the Man City boss today. A lineage dating back before to the Hungarian side of the 50's. Michels advocated finding a balance between creativity and destruction. I admire how he sounds. He's articulate and intelligent. Holland for me back then closed down like rabid dogs. For me a bit overly committal. Fundamentally, we all want to win. I want to watch a game today at the top flight and be entertained. There is no excuse for top flight players failing to delivery a quality cross. I watched Man Utd v PSG and Leipzig and my thoughts were how more composed and technically advanced they were. I think we need a revolution. Another great Ajax side. Proper European nights re-visted Spurs v Feyenoord. I do think the game needs to evaluate the direction it is going.
Thanks to Steve Lytton and the guys for their input. It's nice to hear some thoughts outside of the tunnel spats and VAR decisions. Great stuff.