Is football fundamentally boring? Plus other questions…

Editor F365
football fan sleeping

We have your mails on all subjects but mostly the idea that nobody actually watches live football. Send your responses to


Why nobody watches football on TV
I don’t get the point John Nicholson is trying to make when he reveals that the Premier League isn’t being watched by tens of millions of people. Of course it isn’t. Nothing is.

The days of the entire country being captivated by something on TV are long gone, but if a select few football games can still pull in two or three million live viewers, that’s on a par with The Apprentice, Peaky Blinders, Masterchef and the biggest soap operas. None of which I’d ever watch, but I’m certainly aware of their existence and that they’re among the most popular things on TV.

And obviously it’s only going to be the most important games between the three or four clubs with the biggest following that draw those numbers. When a pundit crows about the greatness of the Premier League, he isn’t talking about Burnley vs Norwich. Probably almost everyone interested in a match like that could fit in the stadium, while in the streets outside the local kids are wearing Man Utd and Liverpool shirts.

Also, football is a fundamentally boring sport. You have to be pretty into it to sit through a whole 90 minutes, especially if you don’t care about the teams involved, so games only really appeal to hardcore fans. I didn’t watch the Liverpool game yesterday but I read that it was a ‘classic’ between ‘two of the greatest sides in Premier League history’, so it must have been super exciting. But the stats say that that those two great teams managed a total of nine shots on target. They passed the ball more than 1,000 times between them but could only hit the target once every 10 minutes. Wow. Perhaps highlights shows are the way forward.
Martin, BRFC


What’s the matter, John?
Christmas must be fun in John Nicholson’s house.

The festivities are all around, people laughing, opening presents and eating too much.

Meanwhile, John sits, waiting and just as the celebrations reach their peak he shouts…

“This is all marketing isn’t…. you know Santa isn’t even bloody real don’t you” (don’t worry kids he his.)

You could argue, Yesterday was the pinnacle of modern football, two great teams ‘going for it’.

Two managers so confident in their own teams ability they dared to attack with so much at stake.

We had an absolute masterclass from De Bruyne, pressing that made some of the best in the world panic, the greatest tackle in football history (not because of its technical merit, but Van Dijk taking the ball off Stirling had me in hysterics) all in all, everyone seems to agree, a great game with two of the best teams in Europe.

Then along comes John, letting us know ‘nobody watched it anyway’.

The basic premise of John argument is of course flawed, to suggest Premier League football isn’t popular is silly, because bizarrely he seems to take what is a minority interest (in terms of Population) and try to fit it in the context of the whole nation.

But that’s not the point, it’s the general miserable tone of John’s article, after what was by and large a great football match.

An article on De Bruyne’s excellence? Nah.
On the fantastic evolution of Modern full backs? Jog on.
The tactical difference between Jurgen and Pep?
Don’t be so silly.

John has written this article before (many times from Memory – along with other articles on how the Premier League is basically rubbish and you should go watch John Smith play for the Dog and Duck 2nd XI instead) it’s repetitive and boring.

The truth is, even if it wasn’t watched by 7.9 billion people, those of us that watched it really enjoyed it…. except John of course.
Graham (all said with peace and love)


Liverpool need heavy metal v Man City
Well the Man City v Liverpool game was as engaging and good a watch as most people expected it to be. Can’t say I enjoyed the first half too much, as just like at Anfield earlier this season, Man City were all over us and could have been out of sight by half-time. This seems to be what happens in our performances against City recently, we start slowly and Man City come out the blocks fast and swarm us. In many ways, we used to do better against City earlier in Klopp’s reign when we played the more ‘heavy metal’ style of football and turned the game into a chaotic end to end game. This is borne out in the facts that we haven’t beaten them as often as we did then. Maybe we need to tweak our style in games against them, starting from next weekend.

As we showed, despite their excellent defensive record, Man City will concede goals under little pressure, does seem a fallibility of theirs in their otherwise quality football machine.

Man City midfielder Phil Foden looks dejected

The title race isn’t over, but we do need Man City to drop points and we need to be perfect. Can’t entirely see that happening, but you never know. Man City can have an off day, like against Spurs/ Crystal Palace recently.

Onto next weekend now, and this time there has to be a winner. Just hope we start the game more on the front foot, as we can’t afford to keep giving them head starts in games by playing so timidly.


Fanmail for R
I’m going to go ahead and assume that Rs mail about Liverpool was written in the Sarcasm font.


…Am I correct in summarising “R”s take this morning as: The only reason Liverpool are in this title race, have achieved one less point than City in total over four seasons and are revered as one of the finest sides in PL history… is because Offside Rules are being applied correctly?

I’m sure Klopp will be embarrassed should Liverpool succeed any further off the back of this unjust advantage.
JMG (Thiago’s fouls yesterday would be a better stick to beat us with but City’s vast history of tactical fouls plus a recent and inexplicable handball non-decision renders that point moot too).


…R, you obviously want someone to bite (as no one can be that unintentionally clueless) so I will.

Close to a billion spent? Or circa £480m and a net spend of around £115m.

So many favourable decisions with VAR? Maybe look at all decisions not just those that have you triggered. We were told we would suffer when VAR came in, now it’s helping us?! Make up your mind.

Since you like being a pedant, if Liverpool have only won the league once you’ll find Blackburn haven’t won it at all. They won a previous incarnation called the Premiership (ironically what you still think it’s called).

As for your criticism of Klopp, whether you’re a red or not, if you can’t see he has done and is doing a fantastic job I just don’t think you understand football.

Anyway you carry on with your bitter tribalism and don’t let the facts get in the way of your hatred. I’m off to watch a side that really isn’t that special compete for major trophies.


…Sorry, but yes I will bite on the mailbox’s regular letter full of falsehoods about LFC to garner a reaction, this time from ‘- R’.

‘Close to a billion spent’ – or in fact £479.56million as stated in the Planet Football article promoted by F365 at the end of last week. I think – R you mistook City’s spending for Liverpool’s.

As for the VAR assertions, that Sterling offside happens every week in the Premier League, literally nothing controversial in it at all. And all this season long VAR help we’ve had? Care to reference any of the specific incidents? I mean I can remember Creswell and Kane getting away scot free with knee and shin high studs first tackles that got nowhere near the ball v us, and a stonewall pen in the same Spurs game being ignored. And don’t get me started on that City handball at Goodison Park.

Ironically the one thing Klopp didn’t do was ‘reshape’ the whole team, we literally kept the same shape/formation in the period you refer to, and if you think Fabinho and Henderson are average midfielders I hate to think what your opinion of most other Premier League midfielders are.

And actually Klopp does have rather a lot on Tuchel, namely three league titles in Europe’s top four leagues.


Oops. Too late
Just a quick plea to my fellow Liverpool fans – do not take the bait set by ‘R’ in the morning mailbox.

Just leave it be. They’re not worth it.

As an aside – would I prefer to be two points ahead, yes, of course. Better than being 4 behind though. These two teams have played out 180 minutes of football so far this season with nothing to separate them. Seems fitting this one might go to the end.


Yesterday afternoon was a lot of fun, and I’ve got to say that as a Spurs fan it really was the perfect end to what’s been a glorious return to footy since the international break. This is how it’s gone down –


Nine lovely days
Day 1 – Chelsea get humped

Day 2 – Spurs score 5

Day 3 – Arsenal get humped

Day 4 – English clubs do well in the champs league

Day 5 – Chelsea get humped again

Day 6 – on loan Ndombele bursts West Ham’s bubble

Day 7 – Wolves lose

Day 8 – Arsenal get humped again and Spurs score 4

Day 9 – West Ham lose and we have a Man City – Scousers footy treat.

What a time to be alive. It’s been football jolly japes all the way.
Andrew, Woodford Green
Ps 16 conclusions was spot on in its evaluation of the differing approaches of Klopp and Guardiola to previous title chasers. Ferguson and Wenger were committed to playing nice looking football but weren’t afraid of a defensive shut down. Then came Mourinho and a win at all costs mentality that spread to anyone coming up against him. It was horrible. These two firmly believe that football is for the people and that it should be a spectacle. You have to salute that. The respect between the two of them should also be applauded. There is so much to dislike about football in this day and age that the Corinthian spirit that is alive and well between these two geniuses should be applauded.