According to some, football is broken! Be it a lack of scoring, too much diving, too many red cards, too few hard tackles, too many hot female fans (scratch that—everyone likes them), too much 4-5-1…whatever “it” is, someone out there thinks there’s too much/too little of it, and that as a consequence the grand old game is in danger of capsizing and sinking beneath one-day cricket internationals in popularity.
(Actually, nobody thinks that last part. But you’d be forgiven for thinking so given the apocalyptic tone adopted here and there.)
There is, of course, no shortage of ideas out there for just how to twist the knobs in soccer’s cosmic control room to produce the exact magical combination of voltage, impedance, volume, brightness, distortion and torque that would thrust the global game into the Way-Back Machine, Destination Mexico 1970.
During the formative years of MLS, the few American reformers who timidly suggested that the goals should be made wider were mocked around the world; now, even that verboten idea seems to be gaining some currency. After decades spent hectoring rugby’s hated “egg chasers” for selling out to TV by instituting video replay and “sin bins” (better known to AmerCanadian sports fans as a penalty box), some soccerheads are now more than willing to discuss such heresies. The author of the Guardian blogpost linked above wants to get even crazier: he’d reduce the game to 10-a-side! (In his world, Italy would never make the final, based on their shorthanded performance against the USA.)
But who better to fix the global game than a bunch of keyboarding Americans with too much time on their hands? Let’s hear it, Eleven Devils reader(s): what would you change about soccer?