July 15, 2011

THERE'S A REASON THEY'RE NOT VERY GOOD AT AN EASY GAME:

Why don't our one-sided players practise more? (Stephen Griffiths, 7/15/11, When Saturday Comes)

Most professional sportsmen are dedicated to their craft, often to the exclusion of social lives and leisure time, especially in individual sports where the level of competition demands it. Athletes, gymnasts, tennis players and golfers, for example, spend hour after repetitive hour, day after day, honing their skills, striving for improvement. Cricketers also spend much time on the practice ground, attaining a technical excellence – certainly in terms of fielding – that few other team sports can match. Footballers, on the other hand, turn up for work at ten, do a couple of hours' training, go for a massage, then lunch and are on the golf course before two.

No wonder Man City's pampered poodles were up in arms over Roberto Mancini's demand for a double shift. Then there was the wretched England team in South Africa complaining of boredom between matches. How about spending a few extra hours practising penalties, then? Clearly, in a sport where so many are in the comfort zone, with mid-ranking Championship players living in mansions and driving Bentleys, lack of hunger and motivation has to be an issue. But that alone does not explain a culture in football that tolerates mediocrity and is immured to the demand for better skills and techniques.


One would like to see what Bill Parcells would do with these guys who, nevermind their lack of basic skills, are incapable of maintaining formations.


Posted by at July 15, 2011 6:07 AM
  

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