Dan Wilcox looks at a few of the changes we’ve seen in football over the years.
There’s been plenty of them, but are they good changes?
Liverpool are once again in and around the top four. After a few years of mediocre league performances, we seem to be getting things right again – and to many, surprisingly early in Rodgers’ tenure.
It’s the return of something that we’re all delighted to see. Our team capable of winning every game, and more importantly, our team with the mentality and ability to do so. A good change.
Change can be something which often scares people. It can be “better than a rest”, as the old adage goes. But what about in football? The game is vastly different these days, but is that a good thing?
Let’s take goal-line technology. It’s a new addition to our game and for me, it’s a positive thing. I like to see football moving with the times. I like to see decisions being given correctly at all costs, consequences aside. Football has become a game of very fine margins. These margins can quite easily make or break a season, a manager, even a football club. Goal-line tech gives us a decision which leaves no doubt. No stone unturned. Unequivocal, impartial correctness. People may think it impacts the game, which was a criticism often levelled at the suggestion that technology should be introduced into football – and still is – but in my opinion, you have to see past that. The thinnest of thin margins dictate that decisions must be on the money. A good change.
Football boots. They’re funny old things. We’ve seen Luis Suarez recently with boots more akin to a child’s first present from its Grandma than a professional piece of apparel. Nike have recently brought out their new ‘Magista‘ boots which are more akin to a teenager’s high-top trainer than they are a vital part of sporting equipment. But I love it. It allows creativity. It’s personalisation at the control of the player, and as long as their shots aren’t scuppered and their passes aren’t waylaid, then why should it matter? I must admit, seeing young Jordan Rossiter play with classic blacked out boots is a refreshing sight. It’s a tip of the hat to the old school. But I think the new, sometimes colourful, modern footwear is again a sign of where football is these days. Driven by money and revenue, players are not solely idols anymore, but commercial powerhouses too. A good change.
How about the culture of football today? It’s become a religion to many. And it’s now so easy to connect with your club. Gone is the Saturday afternoon Ceefax check (I’m only just old enough to remember that, by the way). Gone is the lack of televised games (and no, I’m not old enough for that one). You can now connect with players, fans and your club on all forms of social media. You can watch pre-match press conferences online. You can tune in to see the U21s play live on a Monday night. You can receive any football related news via Twitter quicker than was ever possible before it. The internet has changed everything and it’s brilliant. Fan sites have spawned a new twist to what’s becoming the norm for people to stay in touch with what they adore. So many games are televised that you’ll seldom go without something to watch if you’re a real addict. YouTube has provided a platform for player compilation videos (not to be used as judgment tools for prospective signings, however). Instagram is used as a photo feed for all manner of football related images. Everything’s closer and easier to access than ever. A good change.
There’s loads, loads more, without a shadow of a doubt. The balls have changed. The kits have changed (questionable whether that’s a good change, mind). Owners have changed (most have, anyway). The sport we love has changed. And on the whole, I’m all for it. Change is something I think we should embrace. It’s a good thing for football. And by some miracle, if you reminisce about the ‘good old times’, then perhaps I may have gone some way to helping you change and start rooting for the ‘good new times’.