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Mails: We’re all privileged to watch Pep’s City…

Send your thoughts to theeditor@football365.com Buffon’s a bufoon Spot on this morning Johnny Nic, eloquently summarising all that makes me so frustrated with the game I love that culminated in the downright anger I have felt towards Buffon since THAT incident. There is an element of ‘won’t someone think of the children!’ hysteria here but, all I can do is think that this will only add grist to the local football mill and make such behaviour acceptable on the field the following Sunday. Having said that, I don’t know how it will be possible to make any cultural changes though as it is so entrenched. This is summed up by one of my old mates who was once the head of refereeing at a local County FA. His job was to organise the referee activity for that county, booking refs for fixtures, organising training and development, dealing with match issues, etc, etc. A pretty full on job most of us who have been exposed to local Sunday morning football would agree. And someone who would have a degree of empathy with the man/woman in black you would assume. And yet whenever I watched a game with him, either on telly or in person something flipped and he turned into the fan-coach caricature Johnny so finely captured. Including down to the abuse and beration of officials of that game. When questioned why he did this when, clearly, due to his profession he might want to be a bit more thoughtful to the colleagues he works with each week, he merely said that his personal viewing had nothing to do with his profession and he was merely objectively calling out bad decisions and mistakes (in his view). So here is someone at the heart of the game, with intimate knowledge and understanding of the issues faced by officials at local and national level and he still chose to indulge in his right to abuse officials when watching a game. It’s enough to make you weep. Anon (for a change to protect the, ahem, ‘guilty’ party), Somewhere   Clever Trev A few years ago I had the absolute pleasure of coaching footie at a summer school for kids aged eight to about 14 run by Trevor Brooking and my brother in law. People who saw him as a player used to refer to him as a gentleman. Well I can confirm this transferred itself to his coaching of youngsters. Unlike some professionals who put their name to a summer school and turn up at the beginning and the end, Trevor was there all day, every day chatting to kids and parents. The point of this is to say he was passionate about the fact that the game should be played in the correct manner which was to win if at all possible, but for kids it’s about learning skills, making mistakes without judgement or criticism and above all to enjoy themselves. Also, not to challenge the decision of the referee. At the end of every session there would be a game of some sort. We devised a mini World Cup tournament. Parents would turn up for these games and guess what? There would be one or more of these ‘coaching ‘ parents shouting ridiculous things at these kids who would look scared and embarrassed if the comments were directed at them. What I respected Trevor for was that if these comments started he would stop the game and give everyone a firm reminder that this was a summer school and that kids were there to enjoy themselves. This speech would always receive a round of applause confirming perhaps that these idiots are in the minority but their influence can be significant as they are the ones shouting loudest. For that school at least, the curse of parent ‘coaching’ was eradicated but unfortunately, it is so endemic in the coaching of our youngsters now, I suspect that the games where there are no parent ‘coaches’ are few and far between. Roger, THFC   Blinded by Sterling Another mailbox, another gripe about Raheem Sterling’s finishing. Apparently, he’s a “hindrance” because he misses *so* many chances. Let’s start by saying outright that this is obvious nonsense, even before we look at the stats. Guardiola is a coach who clearly knows what he’s doing and who has a bunch of other attacking options at his disposal. Sterling plays because he brings quality. Their 2nd top scorer is not conceivably a “hindrance” for god’s sake. In any case, Sterling’s scored 22 times from 88 shots in the PL and Champions League, a conversion rate of 25%. That’s better than Kane, Aguero and Salah. But let’s say we still think Sterling is a poor finisher, that we believe our eyes not the stats, that he’s only fourth top scorer in the league because he’s had so many easy chances. Why isn’t that valued? Movement is one of football’s key skills. The ability to pick up space, to time runs, to anticipate where the ball will drop or when and where your team mate will have time to pick you out, these aren’t abilities that everyone has. It’s baffling to me that such a contribution for a team dependent on finding small spaces in packed penalty areas could be dismissed so readily. Like Andrew Cole before him, Sterling occasionally snatching at presentable chances seems to be blinding people to just how impressive it is to arrive at the right time so often. Jack Saunders   …Below is a list of the top 5 goal scorers in the Premier League. The first number is the amount of shots they take per game, the second is total shots taken this season, the 3rd is goals scored and the last is conversion rate (Stats taken from Whoscored this morning and all Premier League). Mohamed Salah 4 128 30 23.44% Harry Kane 5.2 165 25 15.15% Sergio Agüero 3.8 94 21 22.34% Raheem Sterling 2.7 78 17 21.79% Jamie Vardy 1.9 60 17 28.33% I understand that just looking at stats can be misleading, and Sterling has had a rough week with the misses in the derby and a couple in the Spurs game but frankly I think to claim he is a hindrance is complete rubbish. Firstly, the fact Sterling is even on the above list shows a simple metric of his huge importance. He is a winger, though given licence to get into the box regularly, he still ends up with a fair amount of chalk on his boots. If being in...

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Published By: Fottball 365 - Monday, 16 April







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