Football is the best sport on the planet and always will be in my opinion no matter what trials and tribulations comeinto place. But what do have to admit is how much football has changed, now, whether it has changed for the better or for the worse that’s a decision you have to make for yourself as the term ‘modern-day football’ could have many different perspectives.
Some people would associate modern-day football with specific or singular things but to me, Modern-day football involves a lot more than that.
There’s a lot of factors that form the whole modern-day football thing it can be a simple as football changed because of money if you want it to be but here’s a few things that when you think past the money you come to realise:
- Money and football
- Player power in football
- Formation/position development
- Competitiveness in football
- Rules & Advantages & Disadvantages of VAR in football
- Top Football Agents
Now that you’ve seen the different factors, you might be thinking “I thought of these things already” or “wow, that’s crazy I never knew that many” either way, I’m happy with both.
If you listen to the older heads they’ll surely say “football is not how it was in my day”, “football ain’t the same”, “today’s footballers could never play in my time” and while all these statements may be true, we shouldn’t look down on how far football has come.
Whether you agree with the changes or not, the football world is a big family with branches of little families (the teams you support). And as the seasons go by we’re starting to see more and more teams competing rather than just adding numbers.
Anyway enough rambling on about that, let’s get into these elements of modern-day football.
Money in Football
I don’t want to talk about the amount of money in football too much because almost all things are affected by money whether there’s not enough of it or whether there’s too much of it, to the point that it’s getting abused.
Football just seems like a big money tree.
Money makes the world go round so it’s not just football where money is the underlying reason for things changingfor better or for worse, however, what is done with the money and how it’s being used is what’s becoming alarming to many football lovers.
Club buying players for double what they’re worth – players valuations have gone up massively which means bang average players are getting sold for 50/60 mil and sometimes more. Whether you think Harry Maguire is an average centre back or not paying 80 million for him is not good business in my opinion.
They do say spending 40 million on a player in the 90s is equivalent to spending 80 million on a player now, which might be true. But the fact is, 40 million back then would get you one of the best players, (Beckham, Henry, Ronaldo) whereas 80 million now would get you a decent player, you’d be lucky to one of the best players in the world for that.But the fact is, 40 million back then would get you one of the best players, (Beckham, Henry, Ronaldo) Click To Tweet
Players being overpaid?
There’s always this debate about how much football players get paid and are they being paid too much? It’s the only sport I hear about with such anger towards the salary when other sport like NBA, Formula 1, Boxing etc don’t receive anywhere near as much hostility towards their wage packet.
Saying that, I do feel the youngsters get too much too quickly. With all the money they’re earning in the early years of their careers it kind of hinders their progress because they take their foot off the pedal and become complacent, and who can blame them?
If you’re a young footballer getting a whole load of money each week in you would feel on top of the world and in your mind, you’ve already made it. This is the stage where a lot of footballers fail to make it to that next step, instead of putting extra hours on the training ground, finding ways on how you can improve as a player, or simply just resting and recovering properly they get complacent and don’t fulfill their potential.
These are just a couple of examples I have used on how money in football has a negative effect. There are things like sponsors, shirt and ticket sales, tv rights, too much for all to be discussed in this post. But for sure money does have some positive effects on football but I’m really not confident that the positives outweigh the negatives.This is the stage where a lot of footballers fail to make it to that next step, instead of putting extra hours on the training ground Click To Tweet
Player Power in football
Player Power is one of the biggest changes in football and definitely one of the main contributions to the term ‘modern-day football’. When I think about it, player power has always been a thing but it just didn’t seem like it because the player rarely came out on top.
Player power more noticeable now because more often than not, it’s the player that are winning these feuds. Player power comes in all sorts of forms and depending on what form determines how much power they have over a situation.
Contacts ran down – When a valuable player has run down their contract and free to talk to other clubs they can demand higher wages from their current club or leave on a free. On most occasions, neither options are which the club would want to do so therefore the power is in the player’s hands.
Fan Favourite – Being a fan favourite can give you major power. Fans are the heart and soul of a club so if the fans are riding for you it’s hard for anyone to go against you. Even the hierarchy of the club.
Big players & manager conflict – Big player(s) in the dressing room conflicting with the manager is probably the most popular form of player power. Often the club and fans tend to back their big players as in modern-day football 9 out of 10 times the player is seen as more of an asset than the manager.
Social Media players – Social media following adds to player power. A perfect example of this is Jessie Lingard. Not the greatest player or most valuable but his social media following boosts his attraction and name.
So what team do you support? I’m guessing every team has come across a player power situation one way or another. In the comments let me know a situation where player power is evident, even if it’s not your personal team.Player power more noticeable now because more often than not, it's the player that are winning these feuds. Click To Tweet
Formations and positions are always developing and being tweaked it’s what makes football exciting and sets managers apart. For example, the false number 9 that Pep Guardiola bought in, where he purposely doesn’t field a striker by trade and opts for an attacking midfielder covering the striker role. In plain English terms, he plays without a striker and his teams still don’t struggle to score goals.
Remember the days where the main formation was 4-4-2? Two CM’s that can do a bit of everything, two wingers whipping balls in from either flank and two strikers in the box causing havoc. Yes, there were other popular formations but the 4-4-2 formation was definitely the main one in my era.
If you’re reading this post now, let’s do a little task…
Thinking of the teams in the major leagues, how many teams off the top of your head play with two strikers? Not wing-forwards I mean two centre-forwards (Harry Kane, Aguero, Lewandoski type of strikers) you get my drift? If you know any drop the name in the comments section.
So, if not the 4-4-2 formation, what is the in fashion formation?
The common formations these days have swayed to 4-3-3, 3-5-1-1, or 5-3-1-1 where in all formations the wingbacks have become a fundamental part of its functioning and have also become a major face of modern-day football.
The Wingback Football Position
Attacking full-back/wing-backs is not a new thing, Roberto Carlos and Cafu are two names amongst others who use to be attacking defenders but the difference between then and now is wingers (Right Mid/Left Mid) are not as popular, therefore wing-backs these days are literally occupying the whole side of the pitch up and down.
They may get some help from the wing-forward but the output from a modern-day wing-back is definitely higher than a wing-back of 20 years ago because football wasn’t so much won and lost in this position, whereas it is now.Attacking full-back/wing-backs is not a new thing, Roberto Carlos and Cafu are two names amongst others who use to be attacking defenders Click To Tweet
According to Techno Sports the top 10 are:
- Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool
- Andrew Robertson – Liverpool
- Kyle Walker – Manchester City
- Jordi Alba – Barcelona
- Dani Carvajal – Real Madrid
- Achraf Hakimi – Dortmund
- Ricardo Pereira – Leicester
- Alphonso Davies – Bayern Munich
- Benjamin Pavard – Bayern Munich
- Marcelo – Real Madrid
If you know your football, how many of these players would you say are great at defending? Not many right?
Also out of these players, how many would you say play a vital part in the way that their team plays? I would pretty much say all of them, this is another big indicator of how the wingback position has developed.
Footballs Getting Less Competitive
I can speak more on the Premier League but this is definitely a global football thing. The players do not have the same passion, morals, dignity for the game which brings us to the question, why? I’m sure if you dig deep to find the answer it will come back to money one way or another.
Do players these days really wear their hearts on the sleeve and play for the badge or the pure love of football? I’d argue that football is just like work to 80% of players. Turn up, do your job and get your wage. Football is definitely less competitive than it use to be, and if you want a deeper insight take a look at this.
Rivalries in football
Rivalry is “competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field”
This is one part of the modern game that I don’t like and is more or less nearly extinct! Team rivalry on and off the pitch.
One image that always sticks with me is when I saw Harry Maguire hugging John Stones after a Manchester Derby. A Derby that lacked aggressiveness, passion, and determination was bad enough, then to see our captain smiling andhugging it out just sends the wrong message. I turned into Roy Keane pundit mode.
Any rival games I’ve watched I can cope with teams canceling each other out and not creating many chances but what I can’t cope with like I mentioned before is the lack of passion, I know the rules of the game have changed slightly and it’s a lot more strict which I’ll cover the next section but fans should always feel a certain level of hostility to a rivalry opposition whether you’re watching from the stadium or the comfort of your own home.One image that always sticks with me is when I saw Harry Maguire hugging John Stones after a Manchester Derby. Click To Tweet
Modern Football Rules & Technology
Firstly, football is a contact sport, which means participants are going to come into contact with each other, it would be impossible to play with no contact but it seems any contact made these days is being penalised.
Random question but, if football became a non-contact sport would you still watch it? The only way to win the ball is through interceptions and bad passes. Think I’d switch to NBA to be honest.
Football rules haven’t really changed but modern-day football has again made certain rules become soft. For example, a clean, forceful sliding tackle in today’s game would 9 times out of 10 be given as a foul. In today’s game, an unpunished clean tackle is celebrated like a goal because is such a rare thing now.
Don’t even get me started on VAR, I feel like this is a subject that needs to have its own separate article so I can get all my points across.
But anyway, there are occasions where VAR is used how it’s supposed to be, then in the same game it will be used and you’ll just be scratching your head like ‘how the hell did they come to that decision. I’d say the English weather is more consistent.
In today's game, an unpunished clean tackle is celebrated like a goal because is such a rare thing now. Click To Tweet
I don’t want to paint football agents in a bad light because for how many agents there is a high percentage of them just do what they’re paid to do. For the sake of simplicity, I’m going to use the most popular agent at the moment.
The top agents like Mino Raiola have a fiery side and he has become more public over the years, replying to comments via Twitter and doing interviews, on some cases speaking on his client’s behalf which can cause some issues with their respective clubs and he knows that.
Raiola also has a stigma to his name and has a bit of a reputation for only caring about the money and not having the players’ best interest at heart. But on the flip side, if that was true why do a lot of the world’s top football talents have him as their agent?
Here’s his top 5 clients;
- Erling Haaland
- Paul Pogba
- Matthijs De Ligt
- Marco Verrati
- Gianluigi Donnarumma
As you can see he has some very big names under his belt, and if you follow English football you would have noticed that there’s always controversy around Paul Pogba and his Manchester United future often fueled by his agent but Pogba is no innocent party either.there's always controversy around Paul Pogba and his Manchester United future often fueled by his agent Click To Tweet
Everyone will have their own views of what modern-day football is but for me personally, I think it’s multiple things rolled into one, some of the things have a positive effect on the game and some things have a negative effect. Simple as that.
I’ll be honest, modern-day football what it is today I can’t say I’m a major fan of it. It’s being diluted constantly and you know what happens to a drink when you put too much water in? It loses flavour and becomes watered down so you have to add the right amount of water.
This is the same with football. Too much has been added, Var, for example, has some good purposes but overall they’ve added too much dilute (offsides to the millimeter, absurd handball rule, and fouls given with barely any contact). I mean it’s all just ridiculous.
So with all these factors coming together to form this thing called modern-day football overall, it is having a negative impact on the game, nothing seems natural anymore. Clubs are caring more about commercial revenue more than anything else to goal celebrations where players and fans have to wait to see if the goal is legit. From top to bottom the life of the game is being sucked.
Like I said, football will always be the best sport on the planet for me but if you asked me to choose between the 1990s/ early 2000’s football or football from 2015 onwards Id choose the first one without a doubt.
With the world in an uncertain place with the Covid 19 pandemic, it’s possible things will never operate the same again which will mean more changes to the game. Whether it’s for development or safety measures modern-day football could be in for more unpredictable twists and turns.