January has come and gone with very little football. Similarly, we are now three quarters of the way through February with the same scenario. In the main, the only matches played have been on the artificial 3G pitches and better draining natural grass pitches.
I must congratulate all those teams who have made sterling efforts to gets matches on.
Norstar London Raiders are really setting the pace with all of their three teams leading their respective divisions. They are a well-structured club, with very talented players who have the correct attitude towards the game especially towards referees. This filters down from the club's management and they are to be congratulated.
But they are not the only Club in the league with this structure. Luckily the majority, if not all, the clubs are well set up and if this is reflected by indiscipline, then our league leads the way. Dismissals for serious offences such as Violent Conduct and Offensive, insulting and abusive language are not the norm because I certainly do not include Second Cautions and Professional Fouls as something that we need to be alarmed at.
I was dealing with a case at the London FA some weeks ago where after the game there was one almighty fight which resulted in the Police being called. Quite correctly, both teams were thrown out of the competition. This is something we hardly ever have to deal with and any Violent Conduct is usually handbags.
Since there has been little football let me turn my attention to the sport of FUTSAL. Maccabi GB has entered a team in Division Two of the National League and has played most of their games at the wonderful new facility built at Barking as a training venue for the Olympics. Our team has excelled in every respect by winning every game in which they have played and thus gaining promotion to the top division. They still have a cup competition in which to compete and let’s hope that they continue to do well. I have been to most of their games (indoors in the dry!!) and have really enjoyed seeing so many talented players of all ages.
As far as 11-a-side is concerned, I have been out most weeks and am getting round the entire league. I have seen a mixture of games, but they are always enjoyable and it’s good to be involved.
Well, West Ham are up to 10th………YES up to 10th but so few points separate the teams. I am pleased that goals are being scored (even by Nolan, what would we do without him), but the quality of the play is not good. Too many away teams shut up shop making it difficult to break down and get through. Last week’s game with Norwich City was a fine example of this. BUT are we not playing "19th CENTURY football" when we play away……..well the Chelsea manager, that charming man, seems to think so. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. It’s a results-orientated game these days. Too much money involved so you dare not lose or worse still get relegated.
Can you imagine the Olympic Stadium with only 15,000 there? We would have to borrow some of Leyton Orient’s supporters and let them play there too!! Let’s stay at Upton Park - where we really belong.
What about that Andy Carroll incident with Chico Flores? Well Carroll did have his arm out but Flores made such a Matzah Pudding out of it by going down like a sack of potatoes.
Well since there’s not been too much football to talk about, I hope you like the light-hearted bits in this article!
Maccabi GB Southern Football League