The Premier League Ain’t What It Used to Be?

G'day tribe. This may sound like a rant, so hear me out if you're willing. It does get funny.

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I used to be an English Premier League fanatic. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy and watch it with a keen interest. But I used to wait until 2am every morning Australian time, or get a few hours sleep and wake up at 4am to watch games. It didn't matter if it was my beloved Chelsea playing in a blockbuster against ManUre. Or Blackpool vs. Wigan like in 2010 when Marlon Harewood scored two goals in a 4-0 win. Remember him?

My earliest memory of the Premier League however goes back to the 2000-01 season. The way I consumed football as a youngin' here in Australia was through the weekly highlights show on SBS which is how I remember it. The highlights show went for an hour and I used to get the popcorn ready, sit down and watch with my eyes glued to the TV.

The crowds, the chants...it literally gave me goosebumps.

Who remember Ade Akinbiyi? He's my very first EPL memory. Who else can say that? For the 00-01 season Leicester bought him in to replace Emile Heskey who left the Foxes to play for Liverpool. Akinbiyi came from the Wolves who originally bought him to replace Robbie Keane. I'm getting excited just reminiscing about all these players again.

Anyway, Akinbiyi went through streaks of not being able to score and can be considered one of the most "CLINICAL" strikers of his generation. Watch the clip below it's absolutely comical. At the 1:40 mark it starts off at the play where he bundles in a goal against Sunderland to break one of those streaks. No joke, he celebrates harder than Aguero did when he won the EPL for Man City. I remember this in the highlights show and will never forget the passion in that moment.

In reality the above is comical, perhaps mundane in the whole grand scheme of the Premier League. A pretty random memory with nil significance. Leicester got relegated in the next season.

As the years have gone on, I don't have the same appreciation I once had for the EPL. I can never recreate memories with the same sort of meaning. I still watch some highlights packages, but I won't stay or get up to watch games.

I'm trying to put my finger on why and these are some of the things I've thought of:

1. Have I Outgrown the EPL?

Am I too busy now to focus on the Premier League? When I was a kid I used to have all the time in the world to watch football and absorb it all. Like I said above, I'd stay awake or wake up at anytime to watch it. Maybe it's work and fatherhood and that I don't have the time nor ability to wake up at those hours and function properly anymore.

Maybe when my kids are older and they grow a passion for football will I enjoy watching it together with them, and reignite the passion that I feel I may have outgrown.

2. Is It Because Money Changed Football?

Back in November I wrote a post on how money is changing football for the worst. . I explained that English clubs aren't owned by local businessman, but rather by "overseas investors where financial gain is more important than sporting glory".

I understand there is a business side to things and clubs need to grow and support themselves. But I feel that some of the 'magic' from football has been taken away because of money. A European Suepr League re-proposal is also a continual sucker punch, and confirms to me that the game is mostly about money nowadays.

3. Did the EPL Outgrow Me?

Am I just too old fashioned? I'm not that old. I was born just before the 90's. That doesn't change the fact that the Premier League has changed drastically to what I was used to when I was growing up. Maybe all the glitz and glam of the Premier League is just not for me. I can't take away the fact that the EPL has had some amazing moments. Aguero 2011. Leicester 2016. But there is something that has changed, and I'm not willing to stay up or wake up early to watch Norwich City and Burnley play out a nil-all draw which I would've had before.

Don't get me wrong, I love football and enjoy watching the Premier League. It just doesn't evoke the same feeling I was once used to as a kid and I'm still battling trying to figure out for what reason or reasons. Perhaps it's one of the above, or a combination of them all.

How have your journeys been? Has your interest continued to grow or has it stalled?


THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

Wolfgang Sport started in 2017 as a way to connect my passion for American and British sports. Today it's evolved into a blockchain sports blog pushing the boundaries into the crypto world and embracing Web3 technologies.



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18 comments
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You need to see the way I was smiling when that guy bundled the ball home in the clip you shared. He was obviously a man devoid of confidence after those glittering chances he missed against Liverpool and Wolves. I must really admire his coach for keeping confidence in him and that was when football rewards loyalty. No longer these days when money has changed everything and loyalty has been kicked to the curb. Football is no longer what it used to be but we just have to stick with the positive aspect of things for now. I understand your "rant" haha.

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Haha man I'm pleased you had that reaction. I felt the relief he felt and you could see his entire team felt it too. Very good point too, his coach kept the faith. I read recently that Comoros had kept their team together for a long time through the downs and downs. They qualified for AFCON and actually beat Ghana!

BRB, going to send a text to my Ghanaian friends to give them a bit of a wind up 🙂

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Hahahaha this is not the good time to wind up the Ghanaians hahahaha. Wow... I was really impressed with Comoros... A population of just 900,000 did that one over Ghana hahaha. Please, remind your Ghanaian friend of that 🤣🤣😂😂😂

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Lmao, I sure will. They weren't too pleased and it was extremely disappointing for them. I'll never forget their reactions when Uruguay beat them at the 2010 World Cup. I'm sure most of Africa felt that.

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😂😂😂🤣🤣😂🤣 Suarez became the most hated man in Ghana.

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Of course I remember Marlon Harewood, Man was a beast at Westham. Honestly I think age affects these things sometimes. The enthusiasm one has for the round leather game while growing up was so so raw and intense but now it might have dwindled a bit due to certain factors. Its not only the epl , football generally . The round leather game has changed , technicality of playing on the pitch has also to a great effect changed

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Thanks for your input and I think it's so true. The raw and intensity has subsided a bit. Perhaps they were idols growing up but once we've grown up, who do we then idol?

The game has changed you're so right. I think I do need to try and adapt too though. Things like VAR for example makes the game unrecognisable to how it was 20 years ago.

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Honestly! In my opinion VAR came to soil football .

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Agreed! I think maybe the margin for error should be increased and elaborated on and loosened slightly.

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Prior to playing in the EPL Ade Akinbiyi was at my 2nd club Bristol City where he scored goals for fun! Unfortunately, he will always be best remembered for those comedy misses. Upvote for anyone who can name any other Premier League strikers who were at Bristol City prior to playing in the EPL.

Certainly the pandemic and lack of fans killed my interest in football for a while. That and of course Spurs being truly awful for a couple of years 😂

I think you’re right though, it’s not the same now probably for myriad reasons including changes in the style of play and fans being increasingly treated like a commodity. Ultimately of course what it does is paves the way for a European Super League. It will happen sooner or later…

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Commodity. That is it. It's killing the game as we know it. When writing in the past I've referred to the league as a 'product' because effectively that is really what it has become now.

DAMN! I tried to find ex-Bristol strikers without looking at google so full disclosure I am cheating right now.

LEROY LITA OMFG! FLASHBACK!!!!!!!!!! WOW! now that takes me back.

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Good one. I'd actually forgotten about Leroy Lita. Definitely get a !BEER for that one

You could also have had Shaun "Feed the Goat" Goater and Andy Cole was with Bristol City before joining Newcastle and then winning everything with United!

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Ooo yes Andy Cole! Love the old lads. Him and Dwight Yorke were just next level. Had the pleasure of watching Yorke at Sydney FC a while back.

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LOL I am on the same feeling where now I only wait for the highlight on youtube.
It is because the League is not broadcasted like it used to be by my national Tv channel. More over the excitement to watch a match is not as big as it used to be.

or maybe it's just my eyes that don't want to stay awake just to watch a football match as it is already aging. LOL

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Same feelings here, which is unfortunate.

A major factor though is that being in Australia I don't feel how things are locally. That pre-match vibe, the banter between games. That's what would help contribute to the experience which is hard being a world away.

The broadcasting is a main issue too. It used to be available on pay TV here until a mobile phone provider in Australia purchased the rights. You either had to sign up to their network or pay to use the app to be able to watch. That is the definition of a product right there.

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This is actually something I was talking about with a friend just a few days. I believe there's also the fact that there's almost too much football going on, not like the number of matches, but the news related to it. I don't think there's just watching anymore. I actually wrote a book called "The Complicated Game" as opposed to the "Beautiful Game" nickname for football highlighting how everything in football requires a deep study, that is quite frankly, isn't worth it.

Like there are countless of articles and news about Trent Arnold's best position lol! Honestly, if it wasn't part of my job on this platform, I wouldn't consume 90% of football-related stuff today.

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Wow I'd love to read the book if it was made available. That's fantastic.

Yeh I think I see your point. A player could be so forensically studied as to how he's revolutionising the right back position, how he's changing how the position is played. Conducting thorough statistics making comparisons to how the position has been played over centuries compared to how he is playing it. Next minute, he moves to a centreback position so everything that was just written is non applicable any more.

Maybe a bit hyperbolic but I get what you're saying. Let's just enjoy the game for what it is and take it back one layer.

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