Sunday, 3 March 2019

Soccer: A Guide For Americans

This is the 1st part of me, rambling on about my 1st obsession. Soccer,!


The Game Within A Game.


The blue (versus the  white team) team scored in the 1st minute. They dominated the game for 75 minutes but couldn't get a second goal. It was boring. In the 75th minute, with 15 minutes to go, the losing team got a goal! Yes! A boring game now had transformed. It had been very boring but now it was a  "game on". With 15 minutes to go, it's anyone's game. Over the next few minutes the match stops as both teams make 3 substitutions. The match score is now at 1-1. Any team can win. After the substitutions it was like a new matchup. With 3 different players in each team it became a game within a game. So for 10 minutes we had both teams believing they could WIN! That's what Soccer is about. 2 teams play? Who wins? The Best Team!

With a game that has so many players, it takes tactics to win. I asked a professional soccer player what made a good player. He said,"Try to kick a football in the air more than 7 minutes times? If U fail U'll Never be a player. Ever". I grew up with soccer. My father took me to a game & showed me how to ask a stranger to lift me over the turnstiles (I was a kid) , I was hooked. It can be boring, only if U let it be. A game becomes meaningful, only when U put something meaningful into it. Make a commitment to a result before the match begins. . Then live with it @ http://www.astronutter.com  


Why do long throws take so long to be taken? OK,..? Sometimes teams have a 'throw in' specialist. He turns himself into a ball propeller. So, they come from the back to f the team so it takes a bit of time to get by the byline (the white line at the edge of the pitch.) & when they get there they launch a ball deep into the penalty area : the white spot where penalties are taken & immediate surroundings. So, long throws can take time. A 'short throw' is when no time is wasted & the players just want to get on with it.

Bashed Knees. Defending or Attacking can get U thes. Bloody swollen, bruised knees! A viewer can't suffer this but when a player goes down injured & a man with a magical sponge runs on the pitch to cure said player/s,,..it's usually 'bashed Knees' is to blame.

Closing Down.This is when a team push forward even when the team in control of the ball is attacking. This can lead to errors in play, so give the 'Closing Down'  team a chance to score. It can be a dicey tactic. If the other team 'BreakAway' , they could rush forward & score!

Diving, cheating & definitely not British! Well it used to be. Nowadays even the captain of England Sir Harry Hotspur has been booked for serial 'diving'. Cheating was never allowed in the ancient game.

The Wall. No, I'm joking, that's on Game of Thrones.in soccer it's called a Bus. U know who a team arrives in a bus. Well they metaphorically take said bus & park it in front of the goal, nets & all. Basically this team doesn't want to win. They just want to stop the other team playing. This leads to a boring game until the better team scores: then the ''parking the bus'  team has to attack, then the nature of the match can change. Usually not. A team that ' parks the bus' was never going to win. Yet, if they hold out, they could sneak a victory by grabbing a totally undeserved goal! A Gr8 team get stuffed by an inferior team? That's the- Smash & Grab!

Defending: Centre Halves & when they get too close together or too far apart. These CH's are the big guys at the back centrally. They stop the attack by clever positioning. They nobble the center forward ( the no:9 ) & take no prisoners. They can get in trouble if they get too close or too far apart. It leaves holes for attackers to breach. That's when the full back left & right plus the holding midfielder to plug up the holes.

This is done through tactics.

Tactics : a whole massive topic in its own right,


Time Wasting: players & keepers; they use Time in a way outfield players can't. Ergo:

They always go down with cramp  near the end of a game. It's a con! They go down when they are not injured. To waste time. It only takes a few seconds to score but it's hard. It looks easy but U try to run after a ball & control it well enough to make even a simple pass? Ain't so easy. I don't like time-wasting, it's like cheating! Soccer is skilled.


The Penalty:

What is it? It happens in the 18 yard box. When it's awarded, a player puts it onto the penalty spot, then retreats back before he runs up to the ball & tries to kick it beyond the keeper into the net. Goal!

How Do U Get A Penalty?

OK, there's many ways.It happens when the defending team makes a foul, in the 18 yard box: that's the one that has the arc in front of it, in the direction of the goalposts & net. Once a player called Tommy Gemmel of Celtic , who was known for his ferocious penalty kicks! He took one in Dundee Scotland. Tommy hit the ball so hard that it burst through the net & into the capacity crowd. Whoever caught it held on to the ball to this very day. The ball disappeared. In the moment, the referee inspected the net & found a hole, about the size of the ball. He declared a goal & Celtic went on to win the game. I digress, The laws can change each season (which is the time period that the league is decided over a lot of games ) , but a Penalty should be given deservedly.



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