There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year to watch football in the UK. The most obvious is the Premier League, the UK’s most prominent and well-known football competition which plays from August until the following may. There are also other events which supplement the Premier League such as the UEFA Champion’s League and also the World Cup that occurs every four years and which is in full swing at this very moment.
It’s unavoidable if you spend your time in a workplace with even one football fan: you’re going to be pressured into joining a fantasy football team, and you’ll either dive in willingly or fake a smile as you’re doing so. Fantasy football teams are often the talk of an office, usually the last-ditch attempt at conversation after classics like “how was your weekend” and “the weather, am I right?” have been covered.
Straight-up football simulations somehow don’t seem to cut it with today’s consumers of the sport. Soccer Superstars cuts through the idea of the ‘norm’ and offer simulated football action with dramatic and fantastical twists.
While there’s nothing wrong with ambition in a sports simulation game, I often find myself being put off by just how hardcore and exhaustive most of them are. It’s one thing to introduce people into the world of football management, team training, club finances and thoroughly-simulated match-play, but I possess strong feelings towards football that range from disinterest to unending doubt towards its ability to even remotely entertain me. I involved myself in a fair bit of the gameplay that Soccer Superstars has to offer to see if it manages to buck this trend.
Recent controversies in football are nothing new; the same grey areas have plagued the game since the onset of the TV broadcasting age. Despite this, different forms of the same problems continue to fill the inches of newspapers, websites and magazine columns on an almost weekly basis.
Here is the second of a series of articles which attempt to cut through the folly and provide objective solutions to what are, in effect, simple problems:
Recent controversies in football are nothing new. Racism, standards of refereeing, off-field behaviour, diving, goal line incidents…they are the same grey areas that have plagued the game since the onset of the TV broadcasting age.
Pundits point to such incidents as fundamental parts of the modern football game – talking points for the pub or living room, or topics for banter amongst work colleagues. Yet these controversies have also made the game a bit of a soap opera, resulting in a movement away from the sporting values of fairness, justice and respect, which we saw in such abundance at London 2012. It should also be noted that, for every pundit there are multiple fans that disagree, and who would like to see a return to the core values which elevated the game to such heights in the first place.
“Football is a matter of opinion”
In general, football is never short of the odd cliché or two, with the above quote being one of the most well known. This is perhaps unsurprising, considering how it metaphorically embodies the draw of football as the sport which generates the most talking points, debate, rumour and judgement. If any evidence were needed for this claim, I point you in this direction of a publication by this particularly distinguished pundit.