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Article Rating 3.67 Stars

Closing the gap

Just finished watching Liverpool.

Frightening performance. Scary to think Thiago is yet to come.

We really need to get this sancho signing done this week to even start to think about closing the gap. Even if we sign him it’s still going to take a long time.

Mad how far we’ve fallen behind them.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

JYAF

I used to hate playing on Astro Turf. Luckily it was rare.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I think Germany have the best infrastructure for pitches - artificial and grass - in Europe now, VC.

Germany radically changed how they coached and developed players in the 2000’s. It obviously was the reason for their world cup win and a massive pool of talent, but that seems to be drying up now.

The commentator in the Germany and Spain game was saying that the DFB don’t expect to be competitive at international level after the 2026 World Cup due to the lack of talent coming through in Germany.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Dazza

I would like to think they have replaced the shale pitches with artificial ones at least.

The purpose of the shale pitches was that they remained playable with constant use. Back in the UK at that time the council type of pitch would be a foot deep in mud come January. I would like to think that has changed.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

Problem in England is that there’s less access for kids to play whenever they want. There’s better infrastructure now but it’s not accessible to everyone as a lot of it is quite expensive to use. I don’t think Germany have that same problem.

Germany just seem to be in a bit of a down cycle. The talent pool for the top players in Europe over the next decade seems likely it’ll be highest in England, France and Portugal.

Though the annoying thing about Germany is that they don’t have to have the most talented players to do well at international level. But there is a worry on their side at the lack of talent coming through, which is made worse for them by many German clubs investing in young English and French talent.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

I've noticed more and more at grass roots level and amateur level moving into the lower depths of the league ladder, a lot more emphasis is on ball work and improving technique.

A few years ago when I was at a club before I stopped playing, we had coaches who were someone's Dad who would have you do laps of a field and then a game just to please all us young one's. No clue on how to improve players. That's fine for some Sunday League sides with a group of young lads who play for the laugh of it all.

I was recently training with a club at the bottom of the English footballing scale and they had a 2 hour pre-season session all about fitness, but working with a ball. On grass, with floodlights, excellent pitch and good facilities. It's the shame the manager wasn't right, but the purposefulness of the session to improve a young squad was good.

Even where I'm at now, we get 45 minutes of ball work, in-game scenario's improving individuals in a group. Coaches who really grasps and understand the game. We do spend 30 minutes running but that's more down to the dark nights rolling in.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

comment by Vidicschin (U3584)
posted 40 minutes ago
Dazza

I would like to think they have replaced the shale pitches with artificial ones at least.

The purpose of the shale pitches was that they remained playable with constant use. Back in the UK at that time the council type of pitch would be a foot deep in mud come January. I would like to think that has changed.
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Played on a couple of shale pitches in Portugal - like playing on a ruined car park. Most of the pitches were really good astroturf though.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

The commentator in the Germany and Spain game was saying that the DFB don’t expect to be competitive at international level after the 2026 World Cup due to the lack of talent coming through in Germany.

____________

I look forward to our second-round penalty-shoot-out defeat to Germany in Euro 2028.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

comment by Clockwork Red (U4892)
posted 5 minutes ago
The commentator in the Germany and Spain game was saying that the DFB don’t expect to be competitive at international level after the 2026 World Cup due to the lack of talent coming through in Germany.

____________

I look forward to our second-round penalty-shoot-out defeat to Germany in Euro 2028.
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Don’t be daft. We’ll beat them 1-0 and join them in a group stage exit again.

comment by Greg- (U1192)

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

It ain't AstroTurf it's 3g or 4g nowadays.
Not so much like sandpaper on the skin but easier to twist ankles and knees.
The black rubber balls are a pain. In the summer the pitches are like underground heating because the black balls absorb all the heat and give it off. So weird you can play on a pitch and it feels like a sauna, step off the pitch and it's back to normal.

posted 3 weeks, 2 days ago

comment by Greg- (U1192)
posted 30 seconds ago
It ain't AstroTurf it's 3g or 4g nowadays.
Not so much like sandpaper on the skin but easier to twist ankles and knees.
The black rubber balls are a pain. In the summer the pitches are like underground heating because the black balls absorb all the heat and give it off. So weird you can play on a pitch and it feels like a sauna, step off the pitch and it's back to normal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Those tiny black things? Always heard they were very carcinogenic as well. Other than that, I used to love playing on those pitches in Portugal. Didn't even mind a sliding tackle on it (though I do remember one twisted ankle, come to think of it). I'm probably in the minority, but I preferred it to grass, where everything felt heavy, slow and uneven.

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