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Jamie Forrester interview

November 29, 2010 2 comments

 

 

 

I would like to say big thank you to everybody who posted questions.

 

 

Do you try to keep fit since your retirement?

Yes. I tend to do a bit of running. I have just committed to running The London Marathon 2011 so looking forward to that. Most of my fitness is done on my home vibration plate. I do my sit ups, press ups, core stability etc. It also massages after a run to help recovery.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy playing poker. I like to play live but love online poker mostly. I play tournaments as well as cash games. I see poker as calculated risks rather than gambling.

Did you have any particular special dietary requirements when you played?

My diet improved as I became more experienced. I took on extra supplements for Glucosamine Sulphate, Vitamin C, Cod liver oil etc.  

Why do you think more Englishmen don’t try their luck abroad?

These days it is down to money. The reason our top players went abroad years ago was because the money was much higher abroad. Now that The Premier League is one of the richest in the world the top players don’t need to.

Any examples of when you played scored a few but lost a game – did you have a go at defenders etc?

Football is a team game and everybody makes mistakes, none on purpose. I think that if you criticise anybody then you should do it constructively.

What is the longest you have rued a missed opportunity for?

Although all strikers miss chances it was missed penalties that stayed with me longest. The last penalty I took was for Notts County at Bournemouth and I casually placed it down the middle only for the GK to stay where he was and put his cap on it. Ouch!! I still get that sickly feeling just thinking about that one.

What was behind your decision to request you keep the number 18 shirt when you signed permanently for the Cobblers?

When I was on loan I wore the number 18 shirt and wanted to carry on the form I had had.

Jamie, while I’m sure you have lots of good memories, what do you consider the standout highlight of your playing career? There must be one.

I would have to choose my home Premier League debut. It was for Leeds Utd at home to Blackburn Rovers at Elland Rd. That day will stay with me forever.

Just wondering who was the best/worst manager you have worked under and why?

Best manager: Kevan Broadhurst at Northampton Town. Always got the best out of me, knew the game inside out tactically and had my total respect.

Worst manager:  I have been so lucky to have played for so many good managers that it would be harsh to choose a ‘worse’ one. They all have their own different qualities and weaknesses.

Did you ever feel luckier playing in certain colours?

I have played for that many clubs that I must have worn every colour in the rainbow so I can’t really attach one particular colour to be luckier than any other.

What’s your opinion on the FA retrospectively punishing players?
Is Joey Barton’s punch really any different to a horror tackle or an elbow to the face? Shouldn’t all violent incidents be dealt with one way or another?

We have the opportunity to look at video evidence if any misdemeanours have been committed. Just because 4 officials may miss something then that should not mean that somebody should be let off. If the camera catches it then they should be punished.

Out of the crop of Leeds youth you played with who was the one you thought would go furthest in the game. And, from the same group was there a player who did really well in the game who you thought wouldn’t make it?

I must admit that that squad didn’t live up to its potential. Noel Whelan had the best career but probably didn’t stand out in the youth team. He improved so much from the age of about 19 onwards. Unfortunately I probably thought that I would go on to achieve more than I did.

Did any of the fans from the clubs you played for stand out in terms of the support you received whilst playing for them?

All fans are passionate about their clubs. Just because there are more fans at some clubs compared to others doesn’t hide the fact that they all love their team. I must say that Northampton Town supporters made me feel most special. I even scored on my return to Sixfields for Hull City and received applause from the home crowd. That doesn’t happen to many players.

With the game, financially, coming under increased scrutiny, what, in your opinion, can clubs, the FA, and FIFA do to make sure less clubs enter administration?

There will always be a club willing to spend beyond its means whilst gambling for success. In theory, I would suggest something similar to the NFL where it is a more of a level playing field each season.  In practice that will never happen because the world’s biggest clubs would never relinquish their power on the game to make the game a more level playing field. The rich get richer in football.

 Do you believe that young players are pampered in Britain leading to them being reckless and less determined to progress in the game?

The money that top young players receive these days throws up so many issues which go against becoming a top player. Hunger and desire can become watered down if a young player is financially secure. Not sure how we reverse this trend though.

What was it like playing for Southend and under Peter Taylor? Who was the best player at Southend at your time there?

Peter Taylor was a young manager at the time. I enjoyed playing for him and was also a huge reason for me signing for Hull City a few years later. I was at Southend when Ronnie Whelan was a player. We stayed in the same hotel together and was a legend at the time.

If all of your former clubs played each other in a tournament, whom would you personally want to win and why?

The clubs I remember most fondly are the ones where I performed to the highest level. With that in mind I would like to see Leeds Utd, Northampton Town, Scunthorpe Utd and Lincoln City all meet in the semi-finals. I would be happy whoever won!!

My question is about the future of the England national side. Do you think the amount of foreigners in the Premier League is stopping talent coming through, or is it helping our young players to develop?

It is undoubtedly stopping the amount of talent coming through. It is a numbers game. The pool of players available for international recognition is decreasing year on year. For those who do manage to come through the ranks will benefit from playing and training with the top players but there just aren’t enough English players who get to that level.

Who has been your favourite strike partner?

Steve Howard and Mark Stallard. I can’t choose between them.

Do you think that if English clubs enforced a more rigid lifestyle on their players in terms of diet, training and alcohol consumption, as they seem to do on the continent, coupled with more technical work, we might see a more successful England side?

I think that the strict, professional lifestyle of a footballer is most definitely enforced in this country these days. The technical training is also something that has become more widespread too at professional clubs. I just think that there are not enough English players at clubs at age 16+ for us to be positive about our national team for the future.

I think you said in a previous blog about how much spare time you have as a player Jamie. What did you used to do to fill that time?

I was very fortunate that it allowed me to spend a lot of time with my children whilst they were growing up. I am very grateful for that. Before that I played lots of golf and snooker and the occasional drinking session (see Leeds Utd blogs!!)

I also play a lot of Playstation. Pro Evolution Soccer and Call of Duty mainly.

If you were manager of Manchester United today, what would you change?

Although it is a position of power within the game I’m not sure if you can change too much on your own. The Rooney situation was out of the managers hands which proves the point.

Football management – would you?

Football management is something that everybody thinks they can do. I would love to have the opportunity but it is a very difficult position to get to, at any level. There are scores of applicants for every job so you do need to have a bit of luck with the right timing or have great connections.

What were your lowest and highest points during your spell with Scunthorpe United?

Lowest point: Probably the Loaded magazine situation. I was completely mis-quoted but nobody believed me at the time.

Highest point: Gaining promotion in 1999…easy one that !

As a young lad from Bradford, what convinved you to up sticks and move hundreds of miles to Auxerre?

I moved away from Bradford at a very early age but thought that Auxerre had a great youth set up and that I stood a great chance of progressing better there. They were light years ahead of all of our top clubs at that time.

Hi Jamie – What’s with the hair that re-appeared for the Keith Alexander memorial match? I hardly recognised you!!

I decided to grow it a bit (well in some areas !! ). May go back to the number 1 at some stage though.

On a serious note what is your favourite memory from Lincoln City?

My debut against GTFC was a great memory for me. One of those days where everything went how you want it.

Topical question here, “What do you think of Gillian McKeith, and who do you want to win I’m a Celebrity?”

I have to be honest, I haven’t seen all of it. However, it appears so obvious that she went in there for the money. One of few celebs that will come out with even less public appeal than when she went in.

John Fashanu, Mick Harford or Dave Felgate? Who do you/did you rate the most?

How old do you think I am ??? !!! Mick Harford from my few memories of them all.

My two eldest boys play in Leeds. One was in Leeds development centre for a year but knee injury cut it short a year ago-he’s 14. My 12 year old has a 6 week trial at Huddersfield hopefully. What advice would you give for a trial? Follow every coach instruction? Play your own game? Stand out etc

Yes, play your own game. Do your best but don’t try too hard…sounds easier than you think. Try not to get your hopes up too much. Trials can be very tough and you could perform to your absolute best and still not be successful. That is not being negative but realistic. Every player has to deal with rejection at some stage so make sure that you bounce back if it doesn’t work out at Huddersfield. I think that, realistically, 7 of the professional clubs I played for decided that they didn’t want me. It’s all part and parcel.

Hope this helps. Let me know how he goes on.

 

Hello Jamie, Iron fan here. Just what was it that John Gayle did that the naked eye couldn’t see? Or how important is it to play with a ‘Nasty Big Man’?

John Gayle was immense. The ball stayed up there when it was played forwards. Although he wasn’t prolific I would never have scored so many goals without him. A role model off the pitch too. He used to carry a tennis ball around with him and he was always trying to improve his footwork.

 

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My time at …Lincoln City. Part 5 Out of contract. Should I stay or should I go ?

November 18, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Another pre-season began for me for the 2007-08 season. I think that it was my 18th pre-season and I can tell you that they don’t get much easier as you get older.

Again, we lost some of our main players. Jeff Hughes, the biggest casualty, earned a move away from Sincil Bank. He had scored quite a few goals the previous season and contributed heavily to our season.

Lincoln City had been in five successive play-off campaigns and not managed to achieve promotion on each occasion. Although everybody wanted to go one better it was always an uphill task given that playing budgets were cut year on year.

The season began at home to Shrewsbury Town. We were on the end of a heavy defeat to start off the season and it set the tone for a disappointing campaign. The squad was older and weaker. Teams had found a way to play against us and we found ourselves towards the wrong end of the table. Because of this we never had much of a settled team. We changed personnel, formation and tactics but our form never matched that of the previous season.

We played MK Dons away which we lost 5-0. It turned out to be the last match under John Schofield. The team looked like conceding goals too often and we didn’t manage to be as much of a threat in attack. I thought his departure was a little bit premature at the time but nothing surprises you in football. I have a lot to thank John Schofield for. He rejuvenated me at a time when my career was coming to an end. I don’t think that the circumstances at Lincoln City when he left were all his fault but I honestly believe that he would be a success if he were to manage again. The abuse he took from some sections was disgraceful. I even heard one fan threaten to stab him as he walked past the dug out toward the end of one match. When you consider what he did for the club it does make you wonder what some people expect.

So Peter Jackson was installed and immediately gave the whole place a lift. I had a couple of niggling injuries at the time of his arrival and, again, wondered what the immediate future held for me. We turned into a gritty, hard working team who ground out results to steer us away from danger. It wasn’t all that pretty but confidence grew and we did enough to be safe. I had a lot of time for Peter. He managed to turn things around really well and had everybody playing for him.

Unfortunately his illness meant that he was away from the club for a lengthy period of time. It was obviously a tough time for him and thankfully he won his battle against cancer. He won Manager of the Month before he left for his cancer treatment which shows the form we were in up to his departure.

Iffy Onoura took over temporarily and it was just a matter of keeping things ticking over.  There were quite a number of us who were out of contract that season. I felt like I had to perform to get anywhere near an offer. At my age even that may not have been good enough. We were told that no decisions were to be made about any of us until he season had finished. I had to accept it even though it was frustrating. I honestly didn’t have a clue if I was to be offered one until I walked in to see Iffy at the end of the season. Normally you get a feel for certain situations and if I was honest then I didn’t feel that confident.

 I was one of the fortunate ones to be offered a contract. To be honest there were a few scenarios that could have occurred. I could have been released, offered a contract on significantly less money or offered a contract on the same terms. There was little chance of a pay rise seeing as though I was 33. So the outcome was as good as could be expected, a 1 year offer on the same terms. I was very happy with that although there were a couple of other stipulations relating to my off the field activities. I was running a soccer academy at the time and Lincoln City were concerned that there was a conflict of interest between my academy and the club, who have their own coaching set up. It was a shame but it forced my hand a little bit. The dilemma I faced was to play for Lincoln City under restrictions or move under no restrictions. I can see it from both sides but I was 33 and knew that there were not too many years in the tank remaining so I had to choose for the sake of my future.

 

My time with…England U18’s…Part 1

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

 

Looking back so many years allows us to realise the potential that we had in the England U18 squad of 1993. At the time all of us were ‘potential’ stars. Although we probably realised at the time that not all of us would go on to achieve great things as a footballer I think individually we all thought that we would be one of those who would succeed.

When you reel off the names that were in the squad of 16 for that particular year group it makes no wonder that we won the European Championships. Robbie Fowler, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Julian Joachim, Paul Scholes, Kevin Gallon, Noel Whelan, Darren Caskey and many more.

It was a big event. It was hosted on home turf which gave us an edge. All of the matches we played in were to be shown live on Sky TV. That may not seem too surprising now that games of this type were shown on Sky but at that time it was less of a certainty.

The build up to the European Championships began the summer before with friendly matches against other countries. I was not in the squad at that early stage. I remember England played a friendly in France. Kevin Sharp and Mark Tinkler were involved and it hurt that I wasn’t. They were away for a few days and I felt like I was missing out.

My goal scoring form for Leeds United reserve and youth teams were good enough to provide an opportunity in a later squad. It was away in Spain where I got my chance. I only got 20 minutes late on in a drawn match but I impressed and nearly snatched a late winner but hit the post. I roomed with David Beckham for that trip. He was in the squad all the way up until the end and missed out at the final selection. That was a sign of how strong the squad was.

I made my first start against Denmark at The Victoria Ground, Stoke. I scored my first goals and kept my place from then on. I scored a brace in a comfortable victory which made me feel a part of the squad from then on.

The final squad was selected very close to the tournament. It was a squad of 16. The squad was made up of mainly the Leeds United and Manchester United youth teams which played in the FA Youth Cup final a few months earlier. There were five strikers which made it tough for all of us. I did start the tournament in the starting XI. Julian Joachim and I were the two strikers to start. We played a 4-4-2 diamond formation with Paul Scholes in behind the front two.

Our opening match was against France at The Victoria Ground.

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So what does it take to be a pro ?

November 12, 2010 Leave a comment

 

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So what does it take a professional footballer ? Not just a run of the mill player but a world class player: technique, pace, desire, luck, athleticism, consistency, strength (mental and physical), and possibly a few more.

This is why when we watch a Premier League match that we see some players make football seem a simple game to play. The fact of the matter is that if it were that easy then everybody would be doing it. I don’t mean the previous comment flippantly but it’s true. That is why top footballers are seen as heroes, because they can do something that many, many other people only dream of being able to do. One reason why the top clubs around the world pay such high wages and transfer fees is because only 1 or 2 people can replace or improve the squad they have. Take the current Wayne Rooney situation. How many players in the world could replace Rooney and how much would it cost. It probably made financial sense to give him his reported £230,000 per week. Put simply, it is a supply and demand scenario.

So, on, the flip side of the coin can you imagine a scenario where there were many players, hundreds maybe, who could replace or even improve a team or squad. As there are so many players available the value of the player would be much lower because the club would know that if player A will not sign then there is a queue of another 100 players who will be very happy to. Well, this scenario is what happens year on year in the lower leagues. An estimated 600 professional are out of contract at the end of each season. If players are deemed not good enough for the Premier League then they will, in a lot of cases, find themselves one tier below in The Championship. This then forces those released by Championship clubs down to league 1 and so the trend continues to where players released by a league 2 club have nowhere to go but non-league or retirement. With lower league clubs always looking to cut costs, sometimes it comes down to he who will be cheapest will get the contract. I have heard of instances where clubs have asked players the least amount of money that they will sign for. If they ask 10 players then you really need to pitch it low to get the contract.  Normally it is young players with little first team experience who are seen to be cheapest and is for this reason that many youngsters can be found in the bottom two leagues of English football, many not good enough but thrown in anyway because a higher wage cannot be afforded.

With the majority of the media attention focusing on the Premier League this has taken the lion’s share of money to the top flight.  Much smaller sums are filtered down the league ladder. That is just the way it is. More people want to watch Premier League football so that is where the largest percentage of the money is. Let’s be honest here. Premiership football is a lot easier on the eye. Even a die-hard lower league football fan would have to admit it.

So what makes a lower league footballer? Well, firstly, in order to be a pro footballer at any level still requires many attributes. Although the standard can sometimes seem poor you do need to possess many strings to your bow.  What you do find though is that maybe a lower league player will have a few, or many, less of the attributes needed to play at the top. Let us use Rio Ferdinand this time as an example. How easy does he make the game look? To watch him we see his pace very evident. Not many players knock it past him and get the ball on the other side do they? We also see how composed he is on the ball. Another facet of his game is his distribution. Add to this his aerial ability, desire to win, physical strength, concentration and outstanding level of consistency then we can appreciate what a great player he is. So let’s imagine a centre back with some, but certainly not all of these attributes. If there was a centre-back who had decent aerial ability but lacked pace then he would not make a top class player. Or even a centre-back who has outstanding pace but cannot pass the ball too well, or who has poor positional sense. This player too will not play at the highest level. So where do they go? Well, they filter down the divisions eventually finding their level. So when you have a manager who has a centre-back on his hands who has poor distribution then why would he ask this player to attempt intricate passes from the back putting his job in jeopardy?  The line managers take is ‘just head it and kick it’ and who can blame them. What we then see is a long ball brand of football where players are seldom asked to do much more than get the ball forward at the earliest opportunity. It eliminates the risk. If you imagine this for every player then you can begin to see why the lower leagues are played in the way in which we see. There is a saying that is often heard in the lower leagues that you can’t play your way out of the bottom divisions. The thinking behind this is quite simple. Lower league players are not good enough to ‘play’. If you close them down and give them less time on the ball they will not have the technical ability individually or collectively to play under pressure. The other team members do not have the necessary ability to control and pass the ball too and therefore they will give the ball back to you by either kicking it out of play or being re-possessed. This then creates a ‘let’s not give the ball away close to our goal’ mentality and therefore the ball is played forward earlier and more often. I would even go as far to say that if a team was to try a passing game they would quickly be tagged as a team who ‘over-plays’. Opposing managers then change tactics when playing against them and close them down to the extreme. 

Myself, I had no height (obvious there!), no real strength, not a lot of pace (especially towards the end of my career). I did have good technical ability, awareness, an eye for a goal and a good football brain. I had some, but not all of the attributes to play at the top. So this is why I played the majority of my career wherr I did. 

 

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My time at..FC Utrecht Part 1. A day to remember.

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

So at 24 I was making my second attempt at playing football abroad. The stint in France with AJ Auxerre was right after leaving school. This was another great opportunity for me to play at a higher leven than I had been used to for a while.

Utrecht did plenty of homework on me. They watched me numerous times towards the end of the 1998-99 season. Their Technical Director was ex-Notts Forest goalkeeper and Dutch legend Hans van Breukelen.  First team coach was Mark Wotte who has since managed Southampton without too much success.

The transfer was completed in one day. They flew out my dad and I to Holland for talks. As the agents talked money I was at the local hospital for what can only be described as unbelievably thorough medical. I knew that I was in good health if I came through that experience with flying colours. Luckily I did.

All in all it was too good a chance to turn down. There was interest from a few clubs in England but I would have regretted it if I had turned down this opportunity. I agreed to sign there and then so back home in time for tea!

My partner at the time, and now wife, Mandy and I had a few weeks before we set off for our new life in Holland. In between I needed to go over to Holland for another day trip to search for a house for us to live in. The club sent over their removals firm to ferry our belongings over to Utrecht. Mandy was eight and a half  months pregnant when we were due to leave. This meant that we could not fly over to Holland and had to travel by ferry.

Our journey was particularly memorable as Mandy very nearly gave birth on the ferry. We set off from Hull on the evening of 1st July 1999. We arrived at Rotterdam early the following morning where Mandy’s waters had broken. The club official who collected us from the docks at Rotterdam didn’t know what to do. Off we rushed to the hospital in Utrecht which what seemed like a million miles away. Our first son, Jack, was born at 6.33 pm that evening. We were told afterwards that if she had gone into labour on the ferry then, depending on which country we were closest to, she would have been air lifted to the nearest hospital.

Obviously this was a huge day in my life. It hadn’t happened quite as expected but things never do. I received a call from Mark Wotte at the hospital later that evening who congratulated us and reminded me that pre-season training was due to start at 10am the following morning.  My head was all over the place. The last thing on my mind was pre-season training. Given that I was at a new club in a foreign country made this out to be a particularly difficult time. Talk about thrown in at the deep end.

I arrived for training the following day in a bit of a haze. I felt exhausted and completely out of my comfort zone as I knew nobody and didn’t understand a word anybody was saying. We were all weighed initially. This is standard stuff on the opening day of pre-season training. Over the course of the summer I had not done too much of my own training. I had started every match for Scunthorpe United in the 1998-99 season and only had about 4 weeks rest as the season went down to the play-off final at Wembley. I needed to rest. I have to admit to probably eating more than normal though. As Mandy was pregnant I found myself taking on extra snacks than I would usually have. In all honesty I would say that I was about 4 or 5 pounds over my weight from my medical.  It wasn’t ideal but certainly nothing to worry about. Or so I thought.

I would like to say thank you to the sponsors of this blog: JJB SPORTS who have a 3 for 2 offer.

Referees..how can we improve the standard ?

November 1, 2010 3 comments

As another weekend of football sees us all talking about another controversial refereeing decision I  ask myself what the game can do to eradicate these huge talking points.

This particular decision from Mark Clattenburg at Old Trafford shows us all that the way referees see the game is completely different to the way everybody else sees it.

Although this blog was inspired by the Nani goal against Tottenham , we could be talking about any number of refereeing incidents that occur on a regular basis.

Given that it is their job to enforce the rules of the game it is surely no wonder why we so many decisions that are not made with any degree of common sense connected to them.

They say that common sense is not that common. Well, the refereeing school of thought is strictly to the letter of the law on too many occasions.

We all appreciate that being a referee is a particularly difficult job. The further down the divisions you go the lower the standard of officiating. So what could we do to improve the level of refereeing.

I believe that there should be a drive to recruit current or ex-players to become the referees of tomorrow.

I don’t think that you will attract the top flight players. Most of them will go back to their country of origin to retire. I would not expect too many of our top players to look at this as their next career choice. The huge amounts of money they earn means that they do not need to put their reputations up for scrutinisation each week. I do however feel that there are enough players from the lower reaches of the football world that would consider becoming a referee when their playing days are over if the package was attractive enough.

There was something resembling a recruitment drive a number of years ago to attract players to be referees but this was in the days before Premier League referees were given full-time status. The package, at that time, was not very attractive and I don’t think that it has improved.

Currently the path to become a referee is a long one. It would mean gaining experience on a Sunday morning on park pitches. The gap between committing to the course and actually becoming a referee is too long and puts many off. If the authorities were to align the refereeing courses with how they teach professional footballers to become coaches then I think you could see a big upturn in those who would be up for it.

The FA have a fastrack scheme for professional footballers of a certain experience who wish to take their coaching badges. You bypass the early levels allowing you become a qualified coach much sooner. They have residential courses where you take something of a crash course.

They are conceding that footballers have a good understanding of the game and use these courses to provide you with different skills like structure and organisation. These skills we learn allow us to communicate our knowledge of the game in the correct manner and order.

I think if there was some kind of related referees course which did this for players you could see many stepping forward. Players could gain experience by overseeing training sessions at professional clubs,youth team or reserve matches. If the length of time were reduced and the financial rewards were attractive enough then this could be something that would work.

Currently there is still a mentality of ‘us and them’. Players feel that you cannot communicate on the same level as referees. They are a separate breed.

The current trend of referees, and those that have gone before them have no real understanding of how the game is played. By having ex-professional players you will soon tear down those barriers and change the way that referees are seen and respected.     

Will we see every decision being made correctly? No, of course not.

But maybe, just maybe, will we see a much-needed decrease in the number of ridiculous decisions we see each week up and down the country.

Goal line technology…when will they see sense?

October 26, 2010 10 comments

The great goal line technology debate has again reared its head. Michelle Platini has made his feelings known on the subject again. His comments reinforce the thoughts of those that run the game globally. For such a great player I am amazed that he is talking such dross. The majority of football followers throughout the world may think that the game is run by people who have never played the game before. I am talking about Sepp Blatter of course. But this outburst from one of the greatest players the game has ever seen really does surprise me.

Sepp Blatter has correctly been at the centre of much criticism regarding technology and his stubbornness to not address the situation. Now for me, I would have to put Platini in the same boat and say that these people are stopping the game progressing and evolving.

FIFA have my admiration for doing much good for the game. Some rule changes have been good for the game. The back pass rule, for one, has made the game a better spectacle. The Fair Play initiatives has also been a positive step. This is all being negated though with this lack of intelligence to make our game fairer.

Platini says that by introducing additional officials behind the goal will allow the difficult decisions to be made correctly. This may be true for certain incidents which are clear-cut. I refer to the Frank Lampard ‘goal’ against Germany in the World Cup. I believe that an official on the line will make the correct call there. But there have been many other incidents where a thousand officials would not be able to call it 100% correctly as the speed of the ball is too quick or it is a matter of inches whether the ball has crossed the line or not. The human eye just cannot make these calls, and it is for these reasons why we must introduce some kind of technology into our game.

Blatter has recently suggested that, if technology were introduced, that the decision would need to be made instantly.

Why? Yes, we would like a swift outcome for any decision. But what is more important: A quick resumption to play or the correct decision. We see referees consult their assistants for many less important decisions than if a ball has crossed the line. We are not concerned if the game is slowed down for a reason such as this. The pace of the game is not an issue. It is slowed down by injuries, substitutions as well as the ball going out of play. This is not an issue here.

Considering how technology has evolved, how other sports have evolved with technology and improved because of this then we really must question if those in power are the right people for football. Following on from the World Cup I am amazed how Blatter has remained in charge. To introduce technology following the World Cup would have been a backtrack but would have at least given him back some respect. It seems like he has made his decision and will stick to it. He is a dinosaur living in the dark ages. You would have thought that there would have been some kind of ‘coup’ to remove him from power. I’m sure that many would have backed this idea. Surely there are people within the corridors of power that can oust him from his chair.

But there will be another case of this sometime soon in an important match. What will it take for things to change?

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