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How good are you at reading football games?


Bloody furious
Although I've been watching stuff on the telly for 34 years, I'm pretty useless at saying what's going on.. apart from the bleedin' obvious. I can identify when a game is 'opening up', when its a 'tight midfield', when some player's crapping on another player, but that's about it.

However I was pleased to note that 'the experts' said this WC was mediocre, 'cause that's what I thought. And I assumed I was being nostagic for '82. :cool:



Pretty good when I'm a neutral, absolutely one-eyed if it's a team I support (the Alex and England).


Here for the football.
Pundits have been a lot worse then the quality of the football to be quite honest. They and the horns have pissed me off good and proper. Thought it has beena decent enough world cup and I like that a lot of the big teams struggled.

Its been tight throughout but very enjoyable.

As for the reading of the game i'm fairly good but its always a bugger to be properly insightful with televised games as your opinions are largely informed by the directors decisions, especially involving plauers who aren't constantly on the ball/positional play(the reason why lots of people don't get carrick!!!)



I could tell that Spain were gonna win the World Cup... pretty obvious.

But with most games rely on the pundits a half time to inform me. :)


Having just returned from ladbrokes with my £700 I'd say pretty good!

0-0 finally fucking well came in!
It can be hard to read games watching TV because it's hard to see who's marking who, who's making the good runs etc, and also television commentators are fucking shit at describing what's going on and are often just silent.

I like to think I'm pretty good at reading games, I seem to be able to see in real time (on telly) what most people need replays to see, even though I'm fucking blind and wear big chunky glasses. Since I've been playing five a side the last few years I've gotten a lot better at figuring out what's going on and what's going wrong, who's fucking up their marking particularly since that's one skill I've really worked on myself, wasn't something I ever thought about before. Also since I got a lot more used to kicking the ball and the particular way you have to position your body/foot relative to the ball to make it bend and travel the way you want I can see why shots sometimes go wrong.

I thought this WC was pretty poor as well, just not many goals, even Spain, the best team in the world didn't seem to score much, the other traditionally powers were also poor: Brazil had no magic, the Dutch could've been modeled on Blackburn, France were a fucking joke, Italy and Portugal were also very poor (and of course England are shit). On top of this most of the best individual players in European club football were somewhere between average and poor. I think the teams I most enjoyed watching were Japan, Germany (the only big team who really shined) Uruguay and South Korea.


Watching a match on tv is far less insightful than being there, and though the analysis and punditry has definitely improved over the years, initially due to Andy Gray, the in-match commentary has got worse since the days of Brian Moore.


Pleasant and unpatronising
I can read a game ok if I'm at the match and better if a neutral, but either can't or just don't if I'm watching it on tv.

tv follows the ball around which is fine for entertainment not great for the full dynamics.

I find it a really tough thing to do and it needs huge amounts of concentration, it's also an endless learning exercise. Wish I'd appreciated this side of the game more in my 20s.

happie chappie

Well-Known Member
I've been going to games regularly for 40 years and I'm still hopeless at reading a match, if by that you mean by that being able to work out the tactics, formations and so on just by watching the game unfold, especially when they're fluid.

In fact, it's bugged me so much that I've often thought of taking a coaching course just to get my head around it.

As for commentators, I'm not a big fan of most of them, especially Mark Lawrenson. But the one who really does know the game inside out, and has a great tactical awareness and an amazing, almost encyclopaedic, knowledge of players is David Pleat.

It's just a shame he mangles his sentences so badly.