12 November 2006

Unpopular sporting opinions

In some ways I really am a soccer fundamentalist. I don’t know how I got all these prejudices, considering I’m only in my fifth season of fandom. Nevertheless, here they are, and I'm not apologizing for any of them.

If I ran the world (or at least the Premiership):

  1. No gloves. Run more and your hands won’t be cold, kids.

  2. Shoes should be as close to completely black as possible. At the very least, they should not be electric-blue or yellow. Beckham and Cisse, I’m looking at you.

  3. There is a very narrow range of acceptable goal celebrations. Jumping on teammates? Fine. Kissing your ring finger, badge, or teammate? Fine. Rocking an imaginary child, pretending to give birth to the ball, or continuing to suck your thumb even though your son is practically in junior high now? No. Stop it. (However, shirt-removal should not be a yellow. They’re not hurting anyone, and there’s no reason to steal female fans’ joy like that.)

  4. Strikers and keepers shouldn’t be captains. Strikers are too far upfield and can’t see the run of play well. Also, they’re generally more focused on scoring than on anything else, which makes for bad captains. Keepers are, as you may have noticed, not outfield players, so even though they can see the play, they’re not involved enough for me. I’m willing to create an exception for international teams – because, really, Ukraine aren’t going to have anyone but Shevchenko as their captain – but as far as club teams? Central defenders or midfielders are totally the way to go.

  5. Related to that, keepers shouldn’t take free kicks or penalties. I admit this is an irrational prejudice, based entirely on my virulent dislike of Rogerio Ceni, but I’m sticking with it. Keepers are meant to prevent goals from being scored, not to score them.

  6. Slide tackling is to be encouraged. Next to a long-range goal, a well-timed slide tackle is just about my favorite thing about this sport. Carding for every single tackle is lame. This is a contact sport, and as long as they’re not actively trying to break each other’s legs, go for it.

  7. Diving is not strategic. It just means you’re lame. I know everyone does it, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it. This isn’t a problem in the Premiership as much as it is in some other leagues, but god. I really do hate it.

  8. Leave the ref alone. God knows they aren’t perfect (Graham Poll, anyone?), but surrounding them and yelling about every call that goes against your team is both rude and stupid. You know the ref isn’t going to change his decision, so all you’re doing is building up bad feelings, looking like a bully, and making it more likely that he’s not going to give you the benefit of the doubt the next time. Complaining afterward has the same issues, and if you’re Mike Newell, it makes you look like a real dick. For other reasons than normal, true, but whatever. I’m done with him.

  9. And finally, if you wear one of those special protective headbands, I totally reserve the right to call you a little girl.

In other news, Paul Dalglish is totally cute. I can’t say I care much about this final, but that’s a pretty nice article.

We'll talk about the Arsenal match when I can be coherent and rational about it. Right now, my favorite part is Xabi's tackle that should've been a card. Nothing happened for the other 89 minutes.


sarah said...

We'll talk about the Arsenal match when I can be coherent and rational about it.
You mean never? That match was so very awesome.

Also, headgear. I mostly agree. Except when it comes to a certain Ukie keeper. In that case, he NEEDS it. I'm not commenting on anything else (unless it's to rub in the fact that Arsenal beat Liverpool, 3-0) because mostly I disagree.

ynba said...

Yeah, whatever. Once I can start using words that aren't profanity. I'm getting there.

sarah said...

You'll aways have Turkey.

Jones said...

"No gloves. Run more and your hands won’t be cold, kids."

Sorry, but having played soccer outdoors in late fall (which I imagine =European winter) I can't agree.

My personal sartorial hang up is the spandex shorts under uniform shorts thing. It looks so stupid.

Anonymous said...

About Sunday...

Amatuerish? Pathetic? Disgraceful?

I have yet to settle on THE word that best sums up our 'performance' against the Arse.

I find it mind boggling that we can show such flashes of brilliance (granted against lesser teams such as Reading) at Anfield and then show up in London and engage in what can only be termed an 'ass-stomping'.

It's unexcusable that we play so horribly when we're away. I know kindergartens who do better without the comforts of home.

As for Sunday, there was no passion, no effort, no creativity. For fuck's sake, nobody was moving. Instead of pass and move, we got pass and pass to another guy standing there. No runs. No quick wall passes. Fuck, I'd have given my left nut (granted, the right one is better) to have Little Luis out there trying his little tricks. SOMETHING would have been nice. How many times did we pass around slowly, only to pass back for NO reason? I appreciate the fact that you don't always have to go forward to make progress, but you can't make progress constantly going back.

I found myself rooting for Arsenal to score more in the last 15 minutes because I wanted this side to be punished.

FUCK! I have so many more reasonable and well-thought-out things to say, but the more I think about it, the less able I am to actually continue.

*rolls up into a ball and whimpers*

Just go out there and play the game with passion, boys.


Play hard. Play smart.

It's THAT simple.

ynba said...

Jones: I think my dislike of the gloves is more a reaction against the players who tend to wear them, like Ronaldo and Henry. Though I'm assuming if it were cold enough to be really dangerous to be running around in shorts, they'd make everyone wear gloves (or hell, even have a winter break). As for the spandex, I'm with you.

Sven: I thought we were halfway decent for most of the first half. But winning teams don't fall to pieces if they concede a goal, and we did. I may start blaming the kits.

linda said...

Yes to the shirt-removal thing. Why the hell is it a yellow? What stuffed suit came up with that brilliant idea?

Also: referee harrassment is lame. I hate it when my team (Barca) do it, and wish that they'd stop.

sarah said...

I disagree on the spandex (but, honestly, is it really spandex? I doubt it) AND the gloves. But then again, I like cycling and lycra is a key part of ... What cyclists wear.

And I'm just going to laugh some more at the fact that Arsenal beat Liverpool 3-0. Because I'm mean.

Sportingo said...

Interesting site -- clearly a lot of knowledge on football. Interested in publishing any articles on football or sports in general?


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