Photo by Denniz Futalan on


Defenders – nobody likes you –
Nothing but bouncers, bunch of blockheads
Stamping on the fuse of the strikers’ rockets
Petty bullies, the whole ground spites you –
Cheering for the brave centre-forwards in attack,
They’re hoping they can sparkle as they net one in the back.

Defenders – champions of ‘nope’,
Flat-footed jobsworths, the crowd has made you deaf
As they jeer and curse and hate you, more than any ref.
Sneering killjoys, crushing our hope
To keep the boring status quo –
This is business, it ain’t a show.

Professional athletes are entertainers, pure and simple. If you want us to pay you to perform, you’d better bloody perform ! My solution to discouraging goaless draws and make them pull their fingers out ? Simple – if both teams start the match with no no goals and no points and end the match with no goals, then surely they should end it with no points between them either.

As as for cup games, none of this can’t-be-arsed keepball until penalties – if they end in a draw then both teams should be eliminated ! Perhaps their place could be taken by the losing team i that round who managed to score the most goals. Alternatively, at full time we could enter golden goal territory, and the game doesn’t end until we get one ! I don’t care how long it takes, or how knackered they get, they can’t leave until they remember why they’re there in the first place. We can even make it more likely to come sooner than later with a couple of special rules – first, any injured player must leave the pitch for treatment, and then is not allowed back on. Similarly, any first yellow card in this time is a walker – maybe not in terms of ongoing punishment, but ceertainly in terms of this match. And finally, the ref needs to keep shoppages to a minimum and keep the ball in play.

After all, we all know how differently a team plays when they know they have to win as opposed to know they just haave to not-lose.

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