With the football season just started are we to see match upon match of diving for penalties, trying to get opposition team members sent off and greedy overpaid prima donnas having tantrums on the pitch? I assume so as that is what our national male sport at a professional level seems to have been degenerating into for some years now.
But from seeing the women’s game via the Olympics it looks as though there is some hope as little of all that is wrong with the professional male game could be seen there, indeed it was frankly better football to watch.
I have moved away from football watching because of all the silly antics and the attention seeking of the overpaid. Football just does not seem to be able to deal with its bad boys properly because the clubs fear losing revenue if they chuck out the violent or the balmy. Compare that with what is going on with the England Cricket team where seemingly a strong stand is being made against a player who, we are told, has got well out of line.
Sport has always had its eccentric geniuses – Alex Higgins and Brian Clough come to mind. But at times gifted sportsmen behave badly; at best it can be odd and at worst something to be embarrassed and ashamed of. Football needs to relearn that standards of behaviour are important and that it does need to deal with those who bring the game into disrepute far more harshly than may have been the case in recent times. Failure to address this will put the game into further decline as folks like me will turn it off more and more.
What really worries me though is that maybe there is a case to answer for players being urged and taught to cheat, so are some badly behaving big time footballers just following orders?