Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Free Flowing, They Said. Free Scoring, They Said...

Being doomed to have work shifts fall on just about every Liverpool game this season, I was as excited as an American at a gunsmiths to get the chance to watch some of the African Cup of Nations today. When I saw Tunisia were playing Algeria on ITV4 I got giddy and imagined all the blistering pace, stunning technical ability and goals that were about to float my boat. What a let-down. Very reminiscent of having sex with me, in fact.

There was one goal, saving it from being the worst game I've ever seen, but that came after ninety-two minutes of football. Yeah not every African nation can be the Ivory Coast, but I was incredulous at how sloppy the play was. So many passes either failed to find their man or were hit way too hard. The level of awareness was shocking too, incisive passes weren't even tried because players seemed over-keen on either going it alone or passing to someone a metre away. I just wondered if they were actually scared of scoring, since simple forward movement was eschewed for small side-to-side or backward passes. This is very different to, say, Liverpool's play. They focus on keeping possession and keeping the ball on the ground, but when they pass backward it's (sometimes) snappy, so the opposition are chasing ghosts. I'm sure to get plenty of hate now for using Liverpool as an example of how to play good football, but hey!

Sure the referee didn't help the game's case. The players fell over at slight touches and he bought it completely. That's excusable because he can't help that people are trying to dupe him. What really took the biscuit was giving a foul for basically every time two players challenged for a ball in the air, whether there was serious contact or not. It seemed at times the game was stopped more than it was actually going. If you added up the stoppage time properly, I think it probably came to about another half.

Anyway, I'm sure the rest of the tournament will be great. Didn't get to see the Togo v Ivory Coast game but I hear it was much more exciting.

Next I'll probably get to writing something awesome, that you might actually want to read. I had a couple of friends saying they wanted to read something dark I wrote a long time ago, but I'll have to do a bit more soul searching and drinking before I do...

Peace out.

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