LETTER: Football matches are too predictable

A reader discusses football.

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins and Chelsea's Jorginho
Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins and Chelsea's Jorginho

As a subscriber to Sky Sports I watch plenty of Premier soccer. However, I have noted radical changes leading to a dearth of entertainment in many matches. Most are becoming so predictable and it's obvious that all players receive specific coaching of the dark arts in order to gain numeric advantage.

Players are provoked, cheating is rife and players go to ground as if seriously injured but within a short time are running about normally. But heh, two yellow cards or a red card often determine the result. Even throw-ins are hotly disputed and corners of free kicks close to goal are considered a major gain. Too many matches are determined by penalties and set pieces, often awarded unjustly. A major London team scored from open play this week and viewers were informed that it was the first goal they had scored in open play for four months.

It was a pleasant surprise to see a match this week which was decided emphatically by a positive team that scored five goals from open play, possibly a record in this era. Yes, one was a comical own goal, but it magnified the negativity of 'possession at all costs'. A West Brom player received a back pass from a colleague and instantly about 25 yards from his goalkeeper, robotically without looking, he passed it into the net which was unattended. A classic example of the predictability of backwards and sideways passing which has become a feature of most games I can only summise that wealth provided by mugs like me has created a survival at all costs mentality for clubs to remain on the gravy train.

The entertainment factor is secondary and it appears that fans are prepared to accept the product. I believe that the governing body should devise strict new rules to eliminate blights on our beautiful game, restore sportsmanship and entertainment will follow.

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