Why we won’t look back on this footballing era fondly

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By Dan, Dan is a Roar Rookie New author!

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    When looking through the annals of football history, it’s not uncommon that we refer to periods defined by a team’s or many teams’ dominance over a sustained period of time.

    Think Barcelona of the 2000s, Milan of the 1990s, Liverpool and their European exploits in the 1970s and the Manchester United class of 1992 as just a few examples.

    What a lot of these teams had in common was a consistent core group of players who played together. Of course the total squad would change regularly as even then keeping 11 together was not sustainable nor preferable, but more often than not the key players remained.

    Arsenal aside – Alexis Sanchez and Mezut Ozil – it seems that the notion of a contract binding you to a club and the club to you has lost its meaning in the current European football market. Whether it be the riches of the English Premier League, the pressure for immediate results or even the pressure to be seen to be making transfers, the way a football contract is regarded has changed.

    Thinking about it another way, in the last five years there have been four teams crowned Premier League champions: Chelsea, Leicester, Manchester City and Manchester United. In the ten years before that there were the same number of champions.

    Chelsea celebrate their 2016-17 EPL title

    (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

    The need for quick success and, maybe more importantly, the ability to create that success in a single transfer period has changed the game.

    This also extends to coaching, for which the pressure to achieve results quickly means that the time to instil your system or values within a group of players is limited to sometimes less than half a season and sometimes not even that long.

    It also increases pressure to sell and/or buy players who will provide those results, but sometimes at the expense of the system a coach would prefer to play. Arsene Wenger is now the exception to the rule, having been at the helm for over 21 years. The next best is Eddie Howe, who has been at Bournemouth for just five years.

    There is of course the argument that football moves on and seeing one or a few teams dominate over a long period of time is not in the best interests of the game whereas this constant churn keeps people interested.

    But I think when we recall era of football – when short-term gain was in vogue, when teams were constantly assembled and disassembled and when the rewards of sticking with a project long term did not come to fruition – we won’t look back as fondly on it

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    The Crowd Says (35)

    • March 14th 2018 @ 5:00am
      lesterlike said | March 14th 2018 @ 5:00am | ! Report

      Maybe if you have a Premier League centric view. I’d wager that this time will be remembered as the time when the two best players in history were playing in direct competition with each other.

    • March 14th 2018 @ 7:18am
      shirtpants said | March 14th 2018 @ 7:18am | ! Report

      Its easy to feel the mercenary like attitudes of a lot of players and the owners accepting nothing less than immediate success is a deterrent but its normal now and we will look back on the quality of the players we have.

    • March 14th 2018 @ 7:38am
      Kangajets said | March 14th 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      Lionel Messi , some people might remember his era fondly, like they did Pele .

    • March 14th 2018 @ 7:44am
      Kris said | March 14th 2018 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      Things aren’t as good as the old days. You used to be able to buy a horse and cart for a bag of broken biscuits. Everyone used to know the name of people who never locked a door. My mother’s hugs were more generous, my father’s golf swing was crisper and the beer tasted better. Yawwwwwn.

      How about proving any of your contentions? Players have always moved and managers have always been sacked. This nostalgia for imagined utopias that never existed is just weak and lazy.

      • March 14th 2018 @ 5:06pm
        Kangajets said | March 14th 2018 @ 5:06pm | ! Report


        Which team do you follow ?
        nothing about modern football has been positive from your comments lately … so maybe your team are having a bad run

    • March 14th 2018 @ 8:06am
      Mark said | March 14th 2018 @ 8:06am | ! Report

      I can understand why English football fans would not look back fondly on the last few years. Despite the vast wealth available to English clubs, the quality of the Premier League has been miserable, both in terms of competition for the title and quality of the on field play, and their performances in Europe have been abysmal.

      For people whose knowledge is a bit broader, though, this will be an era we look back on extremely fondly. Two of the best players ever have been at the peak of their powers, and are still dominating despite now being in their 30s. Real have won 3 of the last 4 Champions Leagues, with largely the same group of players.

      The only regrets I have about the current era are the expansion of the World Cup, Euros and Asian Cup, which have made them bloated and will hurt the quality of the tournaments.

      • March 14th 2018 @ 8:30am
        Kangajets said | March 14th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        Most points I agree with especially the great players like Rinaldo and Messi , however Madrid winning 3 cl doesn’t make a great era for 99 per cent of the world , it just proves money is all that matters.
        If Madrid produced their own golden generation of great players it would be celebrated by the whole world , not bandwagonsrs of the mega rich clubs .

        • March 14th 2018 @ 10:30am
          shaun said | March 14th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

          This, and this is the reason i think the Spanish league (and a number of other european leagues) are incredibly boring. They so top heavy that it is only ever a 2 or 3 horse race.
          Premier at least has a lot more spread out talent and usually there are at least 5 or 6 teams in the hunt for most the season (except this season of course)

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2018 @ 10:35am
          Grobbelaar said | March 14th 2018 @ 10:35am | ! Report

          Rinaldo – a legendary crusader – Handel wrote an opera about him in which we hear the lament: Lascia ch’io pianga – appropriate given the context of this OP.

      • March 14th 2018 @ 8:58am
        Buddy said | March 14th 2018 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        Here here on the expansion comments. There again there have been dissident voices on the subject since the WC was expanded from 16 teams. In defence of the EPL – just on one level (and I barely watch it these days) there is more competition for the title than in almost any of the major leagues around the world. Whilst there may be a small group of clubs with serious title ambitions (and Leicester of course) look to Spain, Germany, France, Holland and Juventus have taken the title 6 years running with only 3 different teams having taken the runner’s up spot. There really is little competition at the very top which is why there should be more focus on the champions league.
        Just a dream I know but I’d love to see the winner of each premier division play the following season against all the other winners home and away exactly as a league, none of this one off knockout stuff. Who performs best, week in and week out…that would really make a champions league.

        • March 14th 2018 @ 9:37am
          Kangajets said | March 14th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

          Agree buddy

          It would be great to see the old style European cup instead of the top 4 making the champions league
          Unfortunately money ruins all these classic competitions.

          The uefa Cup or Europa League is for all the runner ups but now 7 th place can make the competition.

    • March 14th 2018 @ 8:09am
      Buddy said | March 14th 2018 @ 8:09am | ! Report

      Better get used to it as that is the way of the world. Besides, we used to get bored with seeing the same team win year in year out. Scotland is probably the best case in point. 1980’s and Aberdeen and Dundee United somehow broke the monotony of Glasgow dominance. These days it is very rare to see players last for 500 or 600 games at one club. Stakes are high and the bar raises each year and clubs and supporters have to adapt.

      Of course there is a highly under rated and under utilised method of dealing with dis-satisfaction with what is being served up. Switch off the tv or don’t attend, go elsewhere, lower leagues especially. Considerably cheaper and often more fun. After all, believe it or not, it is only a form of entertainment.