2012 has been a remarkable year in Premier League football but amongst the stars, the goals, the victories and the defeats are a few things we could all do without in the New Year.
1) No more racism
This one is a bit of a no-brainer but, if anything, racially aggravated incidents and flashpoints have come to a head this year. I know footballers are not exactly renowned for they’re intelligence or moral fiber but, come on, it’s 2013 now, and high time the players, the authorities, and the fans evolved.
We need harsher punishments from FIFA, UEFA and the FA and more support offered from institutions like Kick It Out and Respect – fining nations, banning players and designing t-shirts is not working. Stop ignoring the problem.
2) No more diving
Diving or ‘simulation’ as it’s officially termed has now reached epidemic proportions if you believe the papers, the blogs, the managers, the pundits and anyone else with tuppence to spare.
Whether it’s Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale, Santi Cazorla, Ashley Young, Nani, or Branislav Ivanovic, let’s be fair – they all do it. Whether you think its cheating or just common sense to go do down, the amateur dramatics are becoming a bit tiresome.
3) No more fan incidents
I know all team sports are fundamentally tribal in nature but that doesn’t mean people need to behave primitively. Stop throwing things at players, referees and rival fans. Stop invading the pitch to attack people you have never met. Stop beating each other up before, during or after games.
You are not Danny Dyer and this is not Football Factory. Please refrain from bringing your pent up anger to watch football matches that people want to bring their kids to.
4) Bring in goal-line technology
It probably won’t happen this year but now that it’s had its debut in Japan, stop making excuses about how expensive it is to introduce it to the Premier League so we can do away with the phrase “we was robbed” once and for all.
5) Stop sacking managers
Stop sacking managers before they’ve even learned their players’ first names. Good things come to those who wait, patience is a virtue and overnight success is a myth.
Good teams take time to develop and mature, just like people, and chopping off the head of the team every season is counter-productive. Have a little more faith.
image: © Brett Jordan