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Guest Article – The Increased Tempo Of Modern Day Football

Time for our first guest article of 2018 now as new transfer window signing Anthony Umoh takes a look at how the pace of the game has rapidly increased over the years. Thanks for getting involved Anthony, the floor is now all yours. Take it away.

Football has changed a lot from the past era’s, for example, there is no wage limit of twenty pounds, the equipment, nutrition and the training footballers receive is much  more advanced. When you look at premier league footballer you see the physical  specimen; you know that’s a person who has been tested to the limit in every possible  way.

Training and Equipment

When you compare how footballers from the 1960s to 2017 train, you will be surprised at how different it was, Footballers nowadays are much fitter. For example, there is a story that Jimmy Greaves felt that warm-ups would tire him out and refused to take part, this would be like Harry Kane refusing to take part in warmups because it would  tire him out.

Nowadays training is more detailed instead of a few laps around the pitch and some stretches; you have to complete rehydration, mobility drills and passive  stretches. Viper pods are used to test a player’s performance things like distance covered and your running speed it also measures how hard you’re trying so you can’t get away with slacking off in training. Footballers these days can expect to do a fitness  session after lunch, these are some of the ways footballers have improved their overall fitness.

Matches and Tactics 

A fact to start this off is in the average first division game in 1976; the average player will travel around eight to eleven kilometres that match. Surprisingly he would have  walked twenty-five percent of the time, and only eleven percent was spent sprinting,  Nowadays you can expect to cover twelve to fifteen kilometres per match. The tactics  have been one of the most important reasons why the tempo has increased in football.  Due to teams like Guardiola’s Barcelona and Klopp’s counter-pressing. Pressing  nowadays is part of modern-day football, and if footballers are slightly overweight or lack the fitness, then they could allow the opponent to play a pass that beats the press. Yes the Ajax and Dutch side of the 1970s pressed intensively, but they were the only side that did it, and the were pulmonary in their era, technically, tactically, physically and mentally better than anyone in the era. Even things like the ball were lighter. Which means it moves at a faster pace than the leather balls that were used, lighter shirts, lighter boots. Look at the current state of the pitches they are much better it is literally like a carpet, team spend a fortune on their pitch, by having a suitable surface the ball just glides along compare Wembley now to the 1970 F.A. Cup Final where Chelsea played Leeds. Nowadays you have too much fitter to last ninety minutes as you are doing much more running in a stop-start motion.


The nutrition of a footballer nowadays is perfect there is probably no off-day taken.  For example, before games, you will have a lot of carbohydrates as this will give you  energy. Ken Jones a footballer who played for Southend and Swansea talks about how  much steak they had before games. There have been footballers who have had beers  before games; you probably wouldn’t get away with that in your Sunday league. An  example of just how far nutrition has come, when Arsene Wenger arrived, he stopped  the players having chocolate before games and made then eat more vegetables. This  was twenty years ago, nowadays every club had a strict rule on a diet, when coming  back for pre-season you don’t want to be the one catching up because of the fatty foods you consumed.

Thanks Anthony for your article, certainly food for thought for everyone getting back on the scales after a festive period of gluttony.

If you would like to get involved as a guest writer in 2018 then please get in touch with me via email at realfootballmanwordpress@gmail.com and we can have you signed up as a member of the squad. Thanks, Dan.

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