Last week both my son and I returned from the astro pitch where we took off our football boots and managed to leave a few piles of little black pellets. A common occurrence for both of us and a source of frustration for my wife. Forty years ago, I am sure my own mother used similar words when I came home with muddy boots and managed to trample it through the hall carpet. This got me thinking on what are all the differences in our beautiful game from the muddy boots days. Here are a few to get us started:
Ash parks v Astro parks
Streetlights v Floodlights
‘S’ Forms v Academies
Street Teams v SSG
Woolworth (3 Stripes) v Adidas (3 Stripes)
Any strip at training v Full training and playing kit provided
3 matches at weekend v 1 match at weekend
Dragged in from playing v Dragged out to play
30 hours+ v 10 hours
Subbuteo v FIFA
Belle Stars v Doncaster Belles
10-21er v Conditioned game
1 sub v Rolling subs
Mitre Mouldmaster v Any modern football
Dad Coach v Dad Coach with coaching badges
No Goalie Gloves v Goalie gloves designed by NASA
Sock Flashes (remember Leeds Utd) v Nothing to compare!
Crab Football v Futsal
Qualifying for European and World Cup finals v The Widerness
I am not saying it was all great back in the day. I can assure you that cold showers following a freezing day being hit by a Mitre Mouldmaster on an ash park was not the greatest of fun!! However, have we thrown the baby out with the bath water?
Big strides have been made in many aspects of our games but why are we worse off?
There are of course a myriad of problems and solutions and I have discussed many on previous blogs. However, I think just one of the above would revolutionise our gane and turn us into World Cup winners. My vote to bring back sock flashes will propel us back into the world’s elite. Think about it, who else is wearing this groundbreaking technology. The Leeds United team of the 70’s started the trend and look how successful they became. Bring them back and let’s get back to where we belong in world football!!
PS Please feel free to add to the above list. I would be interested to hear your thoughts from the past v the present.