Down south, a mere six and a half hour flight from England sits a small yet fairly industrialising country, Qatar. Those of you football fanatics will know of Qatar because of it’s grant to hold the 2022 World Cup, one grant that left us with a footballing world uprising. But nevertheless I have no doubt that this beautiful country will give us more than we are asking for in our beloved FIFA World Cup.
However, like most countries Qatar holds it’s on football league The QLS. This league gives home to 14 teams and 9 stadiums. The top two teams their equivalent in fame to Chelsea or Man City is Al Sadd and Qatar sc. Comparing these two in name is fair enough but in footballing ability now that would be taking a ‘dig’ at Man City and Chelsea. Little can I say about the footballing ability Qatar leagues hold, but they ignorantly refuse to use their wingers, instead an English amateur league approach is taken in trying to drive at the oppositions large and moderately effective centre backs.
And to move on to their finishing…god it really is terrible.
The two teams I watched Al sadd v Qatar sc were brilliant at build up play they were moving the ball into relatively dangerous areas but their decision making was awful, for the chances they were given they should have scored a lot more. In the Barclays Premier League and even the football league the attackers pull the trigger a lot quicker. Before the defence can think about dealing with the bouncing ball that has ripped their defence apart, the attacker would have already unleashed a deadly strike ripping the clean sheet recorded apart. This doesn’t happen in Qatar if an attacker is given a through ball they will stop and wait for support, allowing the defence to track back and save the day. Which leaves the QLS with very little goals to show.
What I noticed happening a lot was the players wanting the ball to be in the air as soon as that ball went flying into the air they were all over it wanting to head it back up, kick it back up anything to keep that ball bouncing. although a few experienced players do play in this league and will bring the ball down to play it along the floor, a large amount of players won’t. Leaving the ‘Barca way undetected in this area of football.
Where as in English football we are keen to get that ball down and along the floor playing the ‘beautiful game’ as Arsene Wenger would put it.
If I was to asses these teams and set up a fixture to shock the world in how incapable the team is at finishing and passing I would place my much loved local semi-professional side, Dorchester Town against them. This would not only give the fans a treat but I think Dorchester would give Qatar Sc or Al Sadd a run for their money!
However we must remember football has only been around for 10-20 years tops in Qatar and none of us were around to witness the first decade or so of English football so how are we to know if we didn’t play like this? But the question still lies in ‘our we giving out beloved World Cup to an amateur footballing country?’
Manchester City made a long 201 mile trip on a brisk October morning down to East London. They were here to face a reasonably in form West Ham side, who had just come of the back of a convincing away win to new premier league arrivals, Burnley.
Due to an impeccable form in City’s defence and being a team that only Bayern Munich could stop from scoring this season, the West Ham fans were undoubtably nervous. Man City’s form left them with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat in their last 6 Premier League matches. This accounted for 13 goals scored and just 7 goals conceded.
Whilst West Ham came into the game sitting themselves comfortably in 4th position a rank any Hammer fan would be more than happy to see them finish in! They were trailing off the back of a beautiful run of form, with 3 wins 2 defeats and 1 draw in their last 6 games. This gave them a total of 12 goals scored and 9 conceded. Given their performance this time 6 months ago this was an outstanding change. Nevertheless, Man City was still in the driving seat, even before kick off, to win this breath taking tie.
Once kick off arrived, the tension and atmosphere was rising, it felt more like a cup final than an average week by week League fixture. Positivity from the West Ham players was apparent, they were looking to gain more than a draw from this nail biting fixture. As soon as the referee had blown his whistle the Men in Blue went flying into West Hams half compressing the play to the final third, working the Hammers’ defence. The game looked as if it was decided after 20 long minutes – the Hammers left Man City struggling to get the ball up field. Then a moment of madness, West Ham broke away from a City attack, Valencia went flying down the wing at high speed – at the end of his he went flying into the Away fans, unable to slow down. This led to West Hams’ scrappy yet some what artistic goal. As Valencia played the ball in, City defender artfully floored his own goal keeper with an out of control slide tackle leaving an open goal for Morgan Amelfintano to tap home the ball that was dribbling towards him, the City players were in shock. After half time the deflated City players came out with less energy and commitment than they finished they finished the first half with. As for West Ham, they came out with fight and determination to score more goals and widen their lead. 75 minutes in and West Ham gave the world of sport yet another shock story, they had taken a 2 goal lead thanks to £3.5 million summer signing Diafra Sakho’s powerful header, which needed Goal Line Technology to confirm. Diafra also increased his impeccable record of a goal a start. The Happy Hammers were on set to take another well deserved 3 points. Could they hold off for 15 minutes? A goal for City finally gave the travelling fans hope when David Silva majestically danced through the East Londoners defence before curling home a well worked solo effort. But nothing else was to come for them and the happy Hammers grabbed another crucial 3 points, whilst the away fans travelled home with real city blues.
The game left West Ham fans with big grins and pondering thoughts on the performance from their loan Central midfielder, Alex Song, as he put in a majestic and classy performance to give the Irons what they wanted. He seems to have finally found his form at his loan club after weeks of trying to find it. Is this a mere coincidence after the week led West Ham fans to believe that this Talented Midfielder could be staying if a proposed £10 million fee is agreed for the end of his Loan spell? Who knows. What is set in stone though is West Ham go into their next fixture against Stoke City with high moral, a comfortable 4th place ranking one of which West Ham fans would be more than happy to see the season end in. And yet another 3 points under their belt with a bag of great form dragging behind them.