In the 20 years since my first football match the beautiful game has changed almost beyond recognition, with the start of the Premier League clubs money flowed and this triggered clubs and players alike to start taking the game seriously.
Over time the game has adopted performance enhancement as a top priority, areas such as Sports Nutrition, residual fitness and performance analysis have now become key parts of clubs success strategies.
With so much at stake in the top level of the professional game these areas now key members of the coaching team offering a range of services.
This is a far cry from the 70’s professional footballer stereotype of the beer drinking, chain smoking, womaniser who occasionally woke up early enough to shrug off the hangover to run around a football pitch knocking lumps out of the opposition.
Like most bygone days, speaking to those who remember that time it was better than today, men were men and a dead leg was something you got from the bully at school not an excuse to have three games resting on the side-lines.
Check out this tackle by Chelsea’s Eddie Mccreadie where play just went on.
Now we have insanely rich players, who are stronger, fitter and faster than their stereotypical predecessors. Despite this the new age stereotype is to shy away from the physical aspect with protection from the referees and spend the game strolling across the penalty area like they have an inner ear infection.
Both forms of the game have their merits, the game today is faster and technically better, but I do miss a good old fashioned shoulder barge that does not end in handbags.
Old, rough and ready or New fit, fast but soft?
I’ll let you and the Sports Nutrition fraternity decide