How Do We Enhance The Beautiful Game?

| April 16, 2018 | Reply

Today I’m handing over to our Head Reviewer, Chris Sowerby.

If you ever have any feedback or questions for Chris or I, you can reach us at bettingrant@agorapub.co.uk.

Matt Houghton


A couple of services currently making waves in the review section are AH Horse Racing and Rod’s Runners – two totally different approaches which go to show there’s no one right or wrong way to approach profiting from betting.

If you haven’t had a look lately it’s worth heading over to the website and seeing how much information there is on various tipster services…

New reviews due out soon include The Cricket Counsel and Northside Racing.

To supplement the review service, we now have The Tipster League hitting full speed and have added the exclusive Tipster League index rating for each tipster…

This is based on points profit, ROI, staking plans/levels and volatility. This will give a much more rounded assessment of each tipster’s overall performance. You will still be able to sort the data by points profit, ROI, ROC and strike rate as well.

If you haven’t taken a look at The Tipster League yet then head over to the site. You can also follow me on Twitter @betwithchris for regular updates, new tipsters added and more.

With the outstanding performance of The Football Guru in last month’s Tipster League I want to switch my musings to a trend I can see beginning to affect the beautiful game.

Professional or cynical?

Just recently I have perceived an increase in the occurrence of the “professional foul” whilst watching football – both live and on TV. This got me thinking about a number of points.

Is it really a “professional” foul?

Pundits and commentators often refer to a player guilty of a “professional” foul as “taking one for the team”…

This description makes it sound like they have done something extraordinary that makes them a true professional. Is deliberately taking an opponent out on a par with Ronaldo’s bicycle kick goal? No, I don’t think so.

So, to intimate in any way, shape or form that such a foul is acceptable and professional is, in my opinion, ludicrous.

For me, it is at best cynical and at worst blatant cheating. It takes away the advantage of a skilful player who has left an opponent standing only to be pulled back or tripped deliberately.

Does the punishment fit the crime?

The so called professional foul is always met with a yellow card. But is this sufficient?

You could argue that there is no dangerous play involved, although looking at some of the trips recently (Pogba against Man City springs to mind) a serious injury isn’t that unlikely given the player fouled is often running away from the opponent at full tilt and not expecting the foul.

On the other hand, a clumsy mistimed challenge is often met with the same punishment. Are the two really on a par? Not in my book.

One happens in the heat of the moment and can be borne out of a genuine attempt to win the ball. The other is premeditated and deliberate and designed to deny the opposition an advantage.

Ok, so if it’s not a clear goal scoring opportunity it can’t be on a par with a red card, but what would be the appropriate sanction?

Orange Cards?

With almost 50 years of watching football behind me, I must admit to being a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to the beautiful game. While I can live with goal line technology and think it adds to the game, VAR is, in my view, wrong for football in so many ways (but that’s another debate).

So it’s a bit counterintuitive of me as a traditionalist to suggest the introduction of “orange cards” and a 10-minute sin bin. But my reasoning is that I always want to see skill win over brawn…

If one of my team beats an opponent with a Cruyff turn on the halfway line and heads off towards the opponent’s goal I want to see the attack develop, not see him flattened by an opponent who gets nothing more than a yellow card and congratulated on taking one for the team!

A game of opinions

Football is, and always will be, a game of opinions. Even with the recent trials of VAR we have seen opinion divided as to what the correct decision should be.

Any attempt to identify a cynical foul would no doubt often be a cause for debate, but unless something is done to stamp out this deliberate foul then skilful players will once again be left behind.

Let me know your thoughts.

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