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Cavalry FC Season Thread 2020

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15 hours ago, Unnamed Trialist said:

Contact sports like football, basketball, hockey, have embellishment, since refs miss real fouls as much as they call them. If you have talent on the ball you will get hacked, and if refs are going to ignore that, you have to remind them. By embellishing. Take Siakam at Raptors, no other top scorer in the league in the paint gets so few calls, so few free throws. The stats are shocking. Happened all last year, one of the least respected players by refs (not American, does not jaw), and this year too (at least until he was named an All-Star).

All commentators say that for him to be respected, he has to learn to make the same moves and ensure the contact is seen or perceived, even if it is the exact same contact as before. Which is: if he does not embellish, or dive, he will not get what he deserves: a fair call against the hack rivals trying to stop one of the top scorers in the league.  

Your mentality favours the football I do not want to see, at least not at top flight. It favours the hacks, boot tacklers and mediocre players, the ones who go out to deliberately destroy the career of fellow players by injuring them. The mentality Clanachan tried to push at the start of last season was destined to make the league insufferable to watch. It also damages the possibility for real talent to rise to the surface (if you noticed, Davies was hacked way more in MLS than he is in the Bundesliga,  and injured, because of this moronic fake toughness paradigm being pushed in North America). 

If you are really worried about opponents diving, the solution is simple: don't let them have the ball. But instead of arguing for possession, which requires skill, you complain about the skill of others to justify hacking them, which requires zero skill. 

Talent will always be hacked to hell, and if you encourage refs to allow this, you get to see hacks vs. hacks. What cleverly done embellishment does is fend off the mediocre defender and force him to tackle the ball cleanly, while ensuring the guy who can dribble is allowed to dribble. It is what ensures talent can flourish. For kids, the most important thing is to eliminate cheap fouling, as that only favours the goons and discourages the smaller or more technical players who are the ones that 90% of serious fans will pay to watch.

Killing off dribblers, that is no small thing: how many players dribble a rival in a normal CPL game? You rarely see it, it is the exception, not the rule. The stats say it is very low in almost all pro football.

Pushing this knee-jerk anti-diving mentality will ensure the CPL is a hackers league where dribblers and guys talented on the ball are expelled. It will leave us with more injuries, stretched rosters, will push up costs to replace the fallen. What is worse, it will drive an even wider wedge between what casual fans see on TV in the big leagues, which is talent and skill on the ball, and what they get in their CPL stadium, which if you have your way will be a roller derby.

I've obviously struck a nerve here.  Not surprising, I feel like this is one of the major schisms of the modern game.  But let's at least drop the condescension, as if those of us to whom diving is like fingernails on a blackboard are rubes who lack a basic understanding of the sport.

Look UT, you have good points here as usual.  Simply put:  some level of embellishment is necessary to protect skilled players and enable positive and attractive soccer.  If someone is fouling you, go down and get the call.  This has been accepted (somewhat reluctantly by  Canadian fans like myself) in soccer for a long time, and often rewarded by referees.  Fine, results in more attractive soccer, we'll try and stomach it.

As with most things though it leads to an overreaction.  Players push the envelope, trying to get opponents carded for zero or minimal contact.  Smart, positional defenders, integral figures on good soccer teams, become victims of phantom calls.  Neymar rolls all the way to the airport.

So, in the name of protecting attractive soccer we corrected one way by overlooking some embellishment.  Now, in order to curb excessive (and especially malicious) embellishment we need to correct the other way: watch replays and suspend the worst offenders, the ones flopping to get perfectly good defensive plays seen as cardable offenses.  Escalante is not one of the worst of these in the game but he walks that line and frequently crosses it.  When he goes down easy after a foul, fine.  When he dives with little-to-no contact, punish him.

Do I think Clanachan went too far with this ice hockey brand of soccer he pushed in year 1?  Yes.  Did I enjoy some of the physicality and hard tackling?  Equally yes.  

With a few corrections, ie call things tighter, protect your skilled players, and meanwhile punish blatant divers, a great balance can be struck.

I've watched a lot of Bayern Munich this year.  You know what gets Bayern fans just as worked up as an electrifying Phonzie run?  Him getting stuck in and physical and tackling tough. Likewise  I've watched Ireland-Scotland games that were just as entertaining for their intensity and forcefulness as any match between the Spains and Brazils and Germanies of the world.

Do I want the goons of soccer allowed to ruin the exquisite exploits of world-class talents?  Obviously no.  But do I want the inveterate divers of soccer to ruin the exquisite exploits of world-class, rugged, physical defenders? Equally no.  


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