As I’ve got older, I’ve come to find that I appreciate different things, my tastes have changed and I view things and come to understand the world we live in, in a different way. This has manifested itself for instance in my drinking habits. I still do enjoy a decent pint of real ale, but I’m just as likely to be found appreciating a decent glass of Shiraz or Merlot. Older and wiser? Not necessarily, but certainly in a position to be able to draw on years of experience.
You may ask what these philosophical musings have to do with football. Well, having praised the BBC for their coverage in earlier posts in this diary, I was irate at the commentary team at last night’s Semi Final and their insistence that the first half hadn’t lived up to expectations. Yes it was goal-less and yes there hadn’t been many shots on target. However, for me, Spain had got it absolutely spot-on in terms of the tactics. Del Bosque ensured that the threat of the German counter attack was nullified with the Spanish dominating the midfield and not allowing Ozil or Schweinsteiger the time or space to control the game as they had in previous rounds. Not only that, but Spain attacked, and passed the ball around in an accomplished fashion making the Germans work hard throughout the first half. The passing was a pleasure to watch. I’d be more than happy to watch that week in, week out. Now is it just that as I’ve got older I want something different from watching football or is it I’m more tactically aware from watching over the years and appreciate different nuances? Probably a bit of both. What concerns me is that the BBC commentary team didn’t give the game the credit it deserved in the first half. Was I watching a different version of events? These guys are experts and I presume well paid for their efforts. I can’t help thinking that perhaps they are blinded by the Premier League and therefore confuse the self anointed “best League in the World, with the World’s best players” with what actually is World class as seen last night. Thankfully at the end of the game the studio panel were rightly praising the Spanish performance and the game itself.
If England is truly to change and improve its chances in future major tournaments, get all those in positions of power within the game in this country and our young players and make them watch, and keep making them watch games like the one last night, until they appreciate they have witnessed the “beautiful game” and the way it should be played………..