How to Fix A Problem Like Football

On Saturday my sporting national team won a game in which they probably were expected to and my other sporting national team lost a game that no one really with their head screwed on would’ve expected them to. In rugby, we comprehensively played Fiji off the park in the first half, giving up our dominance in the second half to introduce some replacements, which is fair enough. It was a promising start to the career of a manager brought in to change the team up after a slightly weak last few years of unimaginative rugby. The exact opposite happened in Football. We lost a game against Wales in an embarrassing way, it should have been more, and as I understand it has cost our dear national team manager his job. We’ve gone from being exciting, hard to beat and great to watch to dull, insipid, useless, and pretty much one of the easiest teams to get past – in a group of only one good team, we failed to come second, and in our group no team even made it to the playoffs. What a fucking waste.

Or is it? Should we have expected any more? Our team is rubbish isn’t it, a useless bunch of almost-rans that should be embarrassed to play in the jersey? No, definitely not. We have some good players there and they should be able to play. Darren Fletcher is arguably one the Manchester United’s best players, Craig Gordon is better than all three of England’s 1st choice goal keeps by a mile, McFadden, Fletcher, Ferguson (a moot point as he will never play again) and even Hutton, who all play week in week out for strong, if not stellar, teams should be able to play well in an international.

So it must be the manager. In domestic football the manager is too quick to be blamed, when sometimes the players are at fault, but that’s because they are playing for their wages. They should be playing to their best, because the manager could just drop them afterwards if they don’t play well. In international football you can’t buy a new player (though Scotland are trying to) so it’s up to the manager to get the players to rile up and play as a unit – work with what you’ve got, and Burley can’t. So he’s got to go, and someone who can should come in. I suppose this is related to the fact that there must be someone else who can, I suppose.

Football in general is in a pretty interesting flux at the moment, regardless of how well our national side is doing. With the introduction of the third and fourth linesmen what stand behind the goals and check for penalties, UEFA have inadvertently admitted that they’re current situation is shit. What is the current situation? Well, TV replays are not used during game.

This means moments after an event we can see if it was right or wrong, and the ref can’t This is highly ridiculous that the most watched sport in the World cannot do it, when even Rugby Union which has it’s audiences limited to 20 or so nations does it. Or even American Football, the only place that takes place properly is in America.

Football needs to adopt these rules soon.
- Referees can only talk to the captains, and vice versa. This already is a rule but it’s never penalised if it’s broken. It should be.
- No swearing on the pitch. This is turn would mean…
- Referees are miked to the TV coverage. And linesmen.
- TV evidence, obviously.
- More cheer leaders
- Lingere leagues (NSFW)
- Better team names
- Unlimited substitutions
- Salary cap
- 39th International Premier League Game