Friday, March 23, 2007

The Case Of 'Asking For Too Much'

Case 1: Rafa Wants Reserve To Be In The Professional League

Rafa: Let's take our reserves, name them Liverpool B and take over the Nationwide League One!

Alex Miller: HELL YEAH!

It's a ludicrous ask from Rafa Benitez as he suggested that reserve teams of the major clubs in the Premiership should have the privilege to be in the lower leagues but for once (okay, maybe not once), I'll beg to differ.

I'm not a fan of any of the lower league teams and I don't watch them due to the lack of media exposure but one thing I do know is those teams might not be playing at the highest level but they do have history and are still hugely followed. Putting a Liverpool B (or Castilla, whatever) is going to cause an uproar.

Shows that how ignorant the big clubs are, actually.

No doubt the reserves needs to play more games and that the current reserve league doesn't provide the necessary competition for the players. There are up and coming stars that struggle to break into first team while the reserve team provided little challenges for the young lad.

There's a gap between the reserves and the first team and that's the aim of the suggestion by Rafa. Bridging this gap is going to be tough but I don't think throwing them into lower league side will be beneficial.

What I mean is that there will be clubs that MIGHT lose their position at the league due to the emergence of a certain big club's reserves and getting relegated IS big problem now. Survival in the league ensures constant flow of coffers into the club while relegation usually means 'you go down there for a few years and rebuild'.

As I was making my rounds, I noticed this certain article from that was on this topic and the writer and I had the same thoughts. Since there's Champions League, why not create a Champions League for the U-21 team?

Let's say the first team set off for their Champions League game while the U-21 will also get to play against other youth teams. This will not only give the youngsters more regular football, it also gives them the chance to compete against youths of other countries and that'll definitely strengthen ties between clubs (maybe only, if massive brawls don't happen that is).

It's going to take a radical change before anything can be done about the gap between the reserves and the first team. If the FA and UEFA are prepared to, then they must take the route where it benefits everyone and makes no one upset.

Case 2: Asking Too Much From The Over-rated XI

In case you're asking what over-rated XI I'm talking about, it's none other than our favourite, England.

Stigmatised by the media as a mediocre bunch of overpaid players who couldn't give a toss about the pride of the nation, now the task they're given by the press is as if they need to win 3 consecutive World Cups. "Better win Israel or... *sharpens knife*" are their thoughts now, we all know it.

Come on, face it. This England team isn't very good. There are half arsed players, jealousy and schemes within the dressing room, politics in Soho Square and a very average manager at helm. Perhaps, the expectation of the press is putting a little too much pressure on them.

But what do you expect? These are players who can do a decent job, week in week out, for any team but their national team.

Yet at the same time, you got to ask where's their pride of wearing the national colours. An honour and privilege has been abused and now it looked like a social club where you can only get into if the people within it are happy with you. (See Joey Barton)

Many England fans are torn by the current circumstance. They want England to win because frankly, which fan doesn't. But they want they to lose ugly so that they can get rid of McClaren fast.

But whatever the outcome, I think McClaren is here to stay. Afterall, the FA is ran by some half wits (apologies, but it's true) from the start and the appointment is just farcical. Losing this game will only put more pressure on him, no less.

But the outcome of a win at Tel Aviv is going to have more impact on the team that getting trounced. It'll give fans false hope once again and then everyone will go through a roller coaster ride once again and at the end of it, feeling empty.

And let me reiterate once again, that the current England squad isn't as good as what people make of them. Over-hyped, that's what the press likes to do. And their current plight might be due to the players believing in their own hype.

Don't expect anything too much from this bunch. They'll do decent, nothing more, nothing less.

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