Is our national game becoming worse?

So another Saturday with no game for the Villa.
I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit desolate when we don’t have a Saturday game.
I get bored with having nothing to look forward to in the afternoon.
And my mind turns to strange things. Like keeping a close eye on other results.
It’s not like I really care, as it’s usually the few clubs involved in challenging, the few at risk of the drop (far more interesting) and the bunch inbetween.
Nothing new in that, but it’s as though I have to get my footy fix in some other way and watching the scores is as close as I can get. It seems I might not be the only one, judging by some of the replies in the previous article.

I know it’s been said a few times, but what a strange league it’s turning out to be this year.
It really does seem that anyone is capable of beating anyone.
To my mind that’s because the standard overall is falling, not that the poorer teams have become better.
Which begs the question of “what’s going on?”
Which is why I’m about to ask a strange question;

Could it possibly be that we’re beginning to witness the demise of British football?

Now, I know what your immediate response will be. Indeed it’d probably be mine usually;
I’m talking proverbials.

But before you get on the keyboard telling me what an idiot I am, think about it for a minute.

First point and perhaps the most relevant;
Do you think the standard of football has improved in the last ten or twenty years?
I’m not sure I do.
Perhaps I’m being selective (and it’s very easy to do) in only remembering the likes of Cantona and Klinsmann etc with all their majesty, but is it just me that thinks the average standard of the Premier league in particular has plummeted, especially over the last say, four or five years?
I’ve said it a few times and some people have agreed, but Manchester Utd last season were a poor side in my opinion. Yet they won the league at a canter. So what’s going on?

Second point.
Do you think the average player is better?
Again, I’m not convinced I do.
While we still of course have some great players at the top of the pile, think about the more average ones. I’ll bet we could all easily name five of the same Man U team that wouldn’t have got a sniff of a game, a few years back.

To keep things on track, seeing as this is a Villa site, let’s look at our own players.
Considering we’re supposed to be looking to more technical players, why is it most of the time they can’t do the simple things correctly? Like pass the ball and keep possession?
Surely, this is what being technical is all about?
And please don’t think I’m just running the team down. I’m not. It’s widespread, in my opinion.

Even though times are tough and the wages might have dropped somewhat, the EPL is still one of the highest, if not THE highest paid league in the world. So it’s not about the money.
And we’ve now gone statistics and ultimate fitness mad, where players are so highly tuned they only have to step out on to the pitch to get injured sometimes.
So it’s not about that either.

So why do I think the average player is not as good as he was?
And if he’s so fit, why isn’t he able to play a couple of games a week without needing a break?

I could rattle on about other areas of the game, like kids not getting involved in watching the game, maybe too many foreigners in the game, the state of the National sides etc, but this post is starting to become too long.
So I’ll just leave it there.

I guess the main question I’m asking is, is it possible that we’ve peaked as a game?

Bear in mind, I’m talking about the average standard.

Hopefully, even if you think I’m talking rubbish, I might have given you something to think about.
Go on then, start slating, I can take it 🙂


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  1. billys boots
    billys boots December 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm . Reply

    its what i have felt for a few years now, its a bit like the emperors new clothes this question i don’t think we are seeing anything better than the days before the premier league (sky took over)

    GIDDYVILLAN December 7, 2013 at 8:50 pm . Reply

    Good post badger,overpaid wussy’s springs to my mind.hope you get this.

  3. Benno
    Benno December 7, 2013 at 9:12 pm . Reply

    Its hard to judge as players nowadays are so much better looked after (nutrition, fitness, recovery from injury…etc, etc).

    They also play on much better groomed surfaces with better balls, lighter boots…so even if you think that the standard is better (as I do) it is all relevant. Although would be interesting to see how someone like McGrath would have coped with the new methods!!

  4. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. December 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm . Reply

    Just look back in time 1900, 87 thousand, 1940s still pulled the crowds in, 60+ up till the 70s then the demise , troubles in grounds, police took over to make jobs for the boys, money went up to go to the match, drink and drive played its part, many things came into play with clubs buying the game to make more money out of the game, people started to get wise and said sod it cannot afford it this week monies tight. But we still love the game. And you have to think Sky played its part in all our sport into today’s world.

  5. badger123
    badger123 December 7, 2013 at 10:36 pm . Reply

    “But we still love the game.”

    Yep, can’t argue with that mate.

    But do our kids?

    I’d suggest not.

    My son, who’s early-mid twenties, has never been to a game that I haven’t paid for.
    He always looks out for the Villa and loves to go, but the thought of actually paying to see a game is just a joke in his opinion.
    He earns a pittance for a full working week and paying for a game would probably amount to around 20% of his net wage. It just isn’t going to happen, is it?

    I suspect he’s very typical.

  6. wittonryan
    wittonryan December 8, 2013 at 6:23 am . Reply

    when I look back at the best I can remember it is the fat Ron/ John Gregory days,as I am 35 now and started following the villa in 1988 but I always look back to them days and think we will never hit them heights again plus it cost £5.00 to get in on the gate, it is not the club that is to blame but TV cash, sky wanted man u to win the league in them early days and we nearly rocked the boat and sky did not want that, would love to see a more level paying field and I hope that is what we are starting to see now even if the standard does have to drop.

  7. giddyvillan
    giddyvillan December 8, 2013 at 8:21 am . Reply

    I agree regarding prices there not in line with hardships people are having to deal with.

    1. Bill Pearson.
      Bill Pearson. December 8, 2013 at 8:47 am . Reply

      Morning Giddy, yes money is in my mind a big factor of the game, and again as someone said technology came into it and players into days world are athletes, but we have had to suffer they don’t play in snow , nor in ice, pitches are like bowling greens, ball at certain weigh, you cannot tackle from behind , the sides unless you get the ball only, the mans games gone they even changed things like centre half, left half, left wing right wing inside forward, I got lost years ago with the game going onto drawing boards technology. But still love the game.

  8. giddyvillan
    giddyvillan December 8, 2013 at 8:53 am . Reply

    Morning bill fully agree mate they’ve never had it so good.

  9. Adam
    Adam December 8, 2013 at 9:15 am . Reply

    Just on a different note, anybody see Grealish goal for notts yesterday? Was a great goal, hopefully he will show some consistency and score a few more now he’s got his first league goal.

  10. giddyvillan
    giddyvillan December 8, 2013 at 9:29 am . Reply

    Adam thats good to hear mate.good on him.utv

  11. Sir Earl Barratt
    Sir Earl Barratt December 8, 2013 at 10:29 am . Reply

    At last a chance to post something positive about Villa even if it is harking back to days gone by. For what it’s worth, I think the game is in a much worse state now than it was before the Premier league. The average fan is priced out now, which is ironic as the gate money isn’t even needed by clubs anymore as it’s such a negligible % of the club’s income. This is why Man City are knocking adult season Tickets out for near £300. I’m a few years older than Witton Ryan so I used to get in for £1.50 – I’m sure there’s older who paid less! A packed Holte in full voice is something that I feel privileged to be part of which is now lost, seemingly forever. There is a view that modern is better – iphones compared to the bricks we used to have – but modern isn’t always better. I’d go back to a game where you were allowed to tackle, blood stained shirts and piss running down the steps of the Holte in a heart beat. Oh for the good old days!

  12. giddyvillan
    giddyvillan December 8, 2013 at 11:13 am . Reply

    I like it SEB oh what happy days.UTV

  13. Bill Pearson.
    Bill Pearson. December 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm . Reply

    Sir Earl Barrett, you must have done the same as me as a kid, duck under the turnstiles , queue s right round past the Holte pub to get in the holte end, if you was a little guy past over heads to the front, pissed where you stood not being able to go back out. Them was when footballers played a game of football, you went to see players like Stanley Mathews Johnny Dickson, gosh them was the days. 🙂 🙂

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