A myth: A widely held but false belief or idea.
That’s what we’re talking about today, folks. Myths. Of the football variety. Things that are said, suggested or believed by a majority when in actuality they hold very little truth. Or at least I think so.
You may, however, be of a different disposition. Well, unfortunately for you, this is my blog post and not yours.
Here are my six football myths.
1. Ashley Cole is the best left-back in the world
A myth held in such high regard that it must automatically be mentioned every single time Ashley Cole does something worthwhile. Sure, Cole has (use of past tense, there) been a top notch full-back for club and country but, at the moment, he can’t even get into his club side – being dislodged by a right-back (Cesar Azpilicueta) who barely figured under Jose Mourinho a few months back.
Oh, and then there’s Leighton Baines. He’s better than Ashley Cole. Which means Cole is most definitely not the best in the world.
2. Italian football is slow, boring and just generally rubbish
Italy’s Serie A has picked up a reputation over the years for being a slow tempo, low-scoring albeit tactically astute division. Right now, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There has been somewhat of a shift in mentality in Italy – perhaps invigorated by national coach Cesare Prandelli – that has seen a glut of top sides becoming more expansive and accommodating to attacking football. Take Juventus, for instance. They play with three defenders and two out-and-out strikers. Then there’s the likes of AS Roma, Fiorentina and Inter who all entertain regularly and score goals aplently. In fact, right now, Serie A averages more goals per game (2.76) than the Premier League (2.5). So, next time you get a chance to watch some Calcio, don’t let your anti-Italian stereotypes pre-judge it – ok?
3. Ex-Footballers make good pundits
Just because a footballer had a successful playing career doesn’t automatically mean their talents will translate to television. Fact is, of lot of footballers aren’t very bright, articulate or have anything but a placid personality. Perhaps they need more training. Or dropping after an exceptionally bad performance. Either way, it’s becoming increasingly rare to discover a pundit that can offer something genuinely insightful.
4. Zonal Marking doesn’t work
It’s the age old debate; man marking or zonal marking. If you believe what the majority of people tell you on television then zonal marking doesn’t work – so why do all these top European coaches continue to persist with it? The silly buggers. They haven’t got a clue them.
Just like those pundits.
5. Jack Wilshere is England’s new Gazza
In England we have an unhealthy habit of building players up – often to entirely disproportionate and unrealistic levels. It only takes us talent-hungry English people a couple of games (at the most) to get all giddy at the prospect of hailing the next big star. Andros Townsend is the latest victim of our short-sightedness. Not to say he’s a bad player, but people will now be disappointed (and shocked) if he doesn’t run riot in next summer’s World Cup after a couple of good performances against Montenegro and Poland. You know, those giants of European football.
Another player to fall victim of such hype is Jack Wilshere. We got so damn excited at the prospect of an Englishman being able to show a small slice of technical ability that we immediately thrust him into a potential number 10 role. The next Gazza.
Or so it seemed until the snoozefest that was England’s 0-0 with Ukraine. Wilshere was subsequently dropped for the matches against Montenegro and Poland.
6. Only some (mostly foreigners) dive
If there’s one thing we hate in this country it’s divers. The cheating b**tards. How dare they tarnish our game? Bloody foreigners.
Wake up people. Everybody dives. Some players are better than others at it, admittedly. Luis Suarez is a bad diver. Ashley Young is a bad diver. They look like they’re diving. The best are those that make the most of minimal contact to seek an advantage. Is that wrong? Probably. But you’re naive if you think the art of conning the referee isn’t a big part of today’s game. So just accept it, yeah?