Modern football in the light of the 2010 World Cup
If you want to talk about football, you always encounter the problem that everyone already knows everything about it, so it is not considered necessary to read a text about it, to listen to the person you are talking to. You can’t expect any increase in information. “Football is boring? Today, on 18/6, shortly after the end of the first day of the preliminary round?” “Well, no wonder, the teams are afraid of starting badly, with a defeat, and thus losing their chances early on. So they’re playing a bit cramped. They play results football, wait for the other games, or best of all the co-matches, that’s when it really gets going.” The only thing is that this statement misses the real causes.
There is a bigger connection between what and how the media reports and what is seen on the football field. When success justifies all means and the winner is celebrated regardless of how it came about, with a commentary of the type “The main thing is that we won. Soon no one will ask how”, then this is partly responsible for this results-based football. “Whoever wins has played well.” Otto Rehhagel once said, recognising the fact that if you are at the top, you have done everything right according to the media, and if you are at the bottom, you can’t do anything, because you have long since been dismissed.
The reverse would of course also be possible: on the media side, you only ask how the game was played or, even simpler, whether you were well entertained. If a tired 1:0 was played, without any goal-scoring chances, with an early goal and then pure administration of the result, in which one only managed to keep one’s eyes open with difficulty, then the media would very well have the chance to talk about a sad, disappointing game. We do not want to see such winners.
In general, it is astonishing that the entertainment value is examined so little. One thing is clear: the fact that football is the number one sport in the world can only work because it is bought. It can only be bought by the multitude of spectators, with television fees, entrance fees or fan articles, sports equipment. If you were to scare away the paying spectator, then you could invite them to the funeral quite soon. There is a high responsibility to fascinate the spectator with exciting games, great scenes, dramatic progressions. And, very essentially, you have to take into account the neutral spectators who are neither for this team nor that team, who just want spectacle and run away from results football that the fans might just let pass. “I only watch the German games at the World Cup.” As an example, Why? Because the rest is boring. Unfortunately, that is the truth.
Questions of (lack of) justice are also raised here, discussed and, if one gets involved, with a few proposed solutions. The certainty is there that greater justice would increase attractiveness. It should always be kept in mind that, especially at a World Cup, which could even be the “gateway drug” for many young people, the neutral spectator should be far outnumbered and perceived injustices should have a deterrent effect. The argument that there would be nothing to discuss in pub discussions if things were fair cannot be accepted, especially since the counter-proposal has not yet been tried out to ensure more justice. Perhaps the issues would simply shift? Maybe there would also be something positive to say here or there, rather than just talking heads first and then letting them hit the ground?
There are several reasons to be concerned about football and its successful worldwide marketing and thus about the continued existence of the game in the form it has been accustomed to for decades as the number one sport. The entertainment value would have to be the central question to which (almost) everything would have to be subordinated. But in view of the still gigantic dimensions, those responsible do not (yet) seem to be paying attention to this.
Here is a short derivation of what can be observed, concluding with a few simple suggestions on how to increase this entertainment value with simple means. Questions are asked about the suspense content and the attractiveness, using illustrative examples, the question about other criteria that could make watching football interesting, then the quality of the individual matches of this World Cup is examined, the quality of the entire game of football, the quality of the reporting, in order to conclude by offering a few simple ideas on how one could provide more momentum and higher viewing figures.
1) The suspense factor
What makes a game exciting in general? To what extent are these criteria fulfilled in a football match? To what extent in general and to what extent in this World Cup?
In general, there is the possibility of playing a sport/game yourself. Among the games/sports there are movement games and thinking games. In thinking games, the interesting thing is whether you can successfully use your mental abilities to defeat your opponent. With movement sports, an important criterion will always be that one has moved and that moving is fun.
If a sport stands out because it is very simple and can be practised by anyone, or because it exerts a special fascination, then it is even suitable to follow as a spectator and not only to practise it oneself. In this case, those who participate in the sport are often spectators at the same time. In the case of outstanding sports, it may even be possible to fascinate spectators who do not even participate in the sport themselves.
Football is basically such a game. It is so simple that you hardly need any equipment, a ball and a field are enough. So much for simplicity, which means that almost everyone has kicked a ball at some point. As well as many people doing it just like that, among themselves, you have plenty of spectator potential. Now it’s a matter of continuing to bind them to it. That basically succeeds all by itself. In this respect, the responsibility for this is felt only to a small extent. However, there is some reason to doubt the current execution of the game of football.
Tension is created by various elements. One such element is uncertainty about the outcome. When a game starts and the score is 0:0, one does not yet know who will win or whether it will remain a draw.
2) Other criteria
a. Beauty and aesthetics
c. successful actions
3) The quality of the individual matches of this World Cup
4) The quality of modern football
5) The quality of the coverage
6) Suggestions for improvement