Sunday, January 8, 2012

Modern day football feels completely unrecognizable at times from the game when I was growing up.

Now I know I'm a bitter and twisted, old fashioned football fan. I even have the When Saturday Comes t-shirt to prove it. In blue.

I'm a grump. A cynic. Stuck in my ways and don't like change. Pro lower league, grassroots football and anti the money men that are ruining our game at the top (and sometimes bottom) levels.

All this is true. I wouldn't even begin to deny it.

That said, I'm surely not alone in wanting something done to stop all the tinkering in modern day football that takes all of the raw passion and aggression out of it.

"Cleaning the game up" is also ruining it.

Players should be allowed to tackle and tackle hard. No one wants to see players injured. Ok, not strictly true. There are some I would gladly like to see snapped.

Why the modern day change in what is classed as an acceptable tackle? Was there so many career ending injuries that made the authorities feel there was a need to stamp out robust tackles? Of course there wasn't.

Today's sending off of Vincent Kompany in the Manc FA Cup derby is a prime example of the outcome of a game, and a player, suffering because of the ridiculous new laws.

Now, I'm no fan of either Manchester side, so there's no bias there. I just wanted to see a classic Cup tie. In some ways I did. Man City certainly gave it a spirited fightback in the second half, but the sending off deprived us of what could have been.

Maybe eleven v eleven wouldn't have provided us with five goals, but in most games, such a sending off will see the team down and out.

Up to around two years ago, Kompany's tackle wouldn't even have raised an eyebrow or a shout of ire, and neither should it have. He won the ball fair and square and made no contact with the opposing player.

Fair play to Nani, he didn't make anything of it at the initial moment of the tackle. And he's one of the most obnoxious, moaning cunts in the English game.

Of course, he soon joined in the protestations as Rooney, Wellbeck and Carrick rushed to the referee to demand red. Rooney, in particular, was gesturing for a card. Where was his, if the laws of the game are being so strictly adhered to then?

Was Kompany's tackle reckless? Out of control? Dangering the opponent? No. None of those.

The fact that his feet were off the ground and could have been deemed to be in a scissor movement are what seemed to be what sealed his fate.

It's frankly ridiculous. We're turning the game into one for pansies. Billy Bremner must be turning in his grave.

Watch some Match of the Days from that period and work out how many players would have been left on the pitch under modern day rules. Leeds united certainly wouldn't have been so successful, as most of their players would have been sent off and suspended.

Who is it that's wanting this sanitisation of the game today? It's certainly not the fans.

I'm all for sending offs for tackles that fly in with reckless abandon from behind, but 50-50 balls are there to be won.

If one player wants to fly in and one wants to shit out, then that's football. If both want to go crunching in, then that's also football.

Don't spoil our enjoyment by seeing matches ruined by reducing players on the pitch. Don't turn our game into nothing more than kids level of ferocity.

The time to fightback and tackle the ridiculous tackling issue needs to start now.

No wonder fans are deserting the current game in their droves. Not many want to pay to watch boring, tippy tappy games.

Save our game, before in a few year's time we are watching something which doesn't resemble what most of us grew up watching.
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