An attractive game can only be characterised by no foul play, a free flowing attacking game and a lack of theatrics; something which is hard to find in the modern game, but when it is in motion, it is easy to find a quality game.
With the recent Euro 2012 semi-finals, everyone who watched both games can see how the Italy vs Germany game overshadowed the other semi final as the performance was much more enjoyable to watch. But what makes a game enjoyable?
No Foul Play
Comparing both of the semi-finals, the second semi final had 29 fouls, however the first semi-final had 47 fouls. As the first semi final went to extra time, it meant that one foul was committed every 2 minutes, therefore constantly dropping the tempo of the game and limited what attacking opportunities there were. The Italy game contained one foul being committed every 3 minutes, but as only 5 yellow cards were shown in contrast to the 9 shown in the previous game.
A game can only be decided by the number of goals scored. Whilst the defence is important too, a team cannot get 3 points without sufficiently pressing the defence and making use of every shot they have. Yet again, something which was not touched upon during the first semi-final. Considering that an extra 30 minutes was played for this game, it would be expected that there would be more shots on target than the Italy vs Germany game. However, the second semi-final had 13 shots on target, 4 more than the first one.
Lack of theatrics
With a total of 14 yellow cards being shown over both semi-finals, it means that almost 75% of the outfield players over both semi-finals were booked. Now even though some of these fouls were definitely bookable offences, there is huge concern over the accurateness of these bookings.
Did the referees want to show their authority or was it just a game of poorly timed tackles? Either way, the football had to be paused repeatedly to ensure that the advantage was played and no doubt this hurt Spain and Germany, who both play with short and fluid attacking football, something which the referee forbade.
So what matters to me when it comes to football? A cheerful free flowing game which with a lack of fouls, but attacking play, shows why football is one of the most loved sports in the world.
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