Monday, May 14, 2007

More goals please, we're famished.

Here's my piece from today's First Post on why Manchester City, and not Charlton Athletic, should have been relegated from the Premiership.

Another domestic football season is over. But though the final day brought some great excitement, not least in the nail-biting Sheffield United v Wigan clash, let's not kid ourselves that 2006/7 has been a vintage campaign.

Manchester United deserved to win the title on account of their attack-minded football, but elsewhere quality - and in particular goals - has been too thin on the ground.

Just take a look at the goals-for column in the Premiership table and compare it to the end-of-season league tables of 20 or 30 years ago. In 1986, Oxford United finished in a similar position as Manchester City did this season (that is, just above the drop zone) but scored 62 goals to City's 29 (from four more matches). That year Watford, who finished 12th, bagged 69 goals, a total bettered only by Manchester United this year.

If you go back further, the comparison is even more striking - in 1975/6 Wolves were relegated even though they scored 51 goals. If we do want football to become more entertaining again, the Premier League needs to take radical action.
Instead of relegating the three teams with the lowest number of points, how about relegating the three lowest scoring teams? This year, that would mean that Manchester City, and not Charlton Athletic, would be relegated along with Watford and Sheffield United. Tough luck on Stuart Pearce's men? Not a bit of it.
A team that scores only 29 goals in the course of one season, and that fails to score a single goal at home after New Year's Day, doesn't deserve to stay in the Premiership.

"The game is about doing things in style, with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom," said the late Danny Blanchflower. It's time the practitioners of boring football got their just reward.


Anonymous said...

Well I see that Pearce has now been kicked out

Anonymous said...

It's a shame to see Pearce lose his job as he's a nice guy, but let's face it, he didn't do a very good job at City. If you're going to finish so low down, at least score some goals and entertain your home fans a bit. The team has gone backwards since Kevin Keegan left.