As easy as it seems to be to say anything at all about the world’s biggest sport, football – after all, everyone can contribute something – it seems impossible to say something new, to find out something interesting that no one has come up with yet, to find something original that fascinates and captivates the reader – and not just excites him, like so many other things on which he has long had his own, but ready-made opinion that cannot be shaken by anything at all. The fact that there are nevertheless some things that satisfy these demands can only be discovered through the efforts of reading. Of course – from my own experience – the success of the preface is already the entry step to be mastered, which should make the present work as palatable and irresistible as possible.
This book is divided into four major sections, all of which have their raison d’être and suspense, as well as originality, as explained below.
The first section will take a close look at the rules of football and how they are applied. Surely, you will think, you have heard and read everything about them, everything has already been discussed, debated – and mostly discarded. That this view need not prove true can perhaps be substantiated here by the approach of focusing on psycho-logical causes that affect both refereeing and player behaviour. Yet the word psycho-logical is deliberately written in this way to draw attention to the logic of the behaviour, and it is this that possibly trumps any other logic. It is neither funny nor surprising that one rarely encounters such considerations in the popular sport, the riding of the paraglider, which is so popular in this country.
There is certainly both a need to change/improve something — as FIFA has long since established and has also set out to find and work for — and the possibility. First of all, you should ask yourself at this point when and what you were most upset about, at which referee’s whistle, at which penalty, at which wrong offside decision, at which rough tackle that was not punished, at which penalty or goal that was not given, if it was not the other way round? As soon as you watch a game, there will be a number of scenes that – for this or that reason – go against your nature. There are things on which you have had a clear opinion for a long time, others where you are absolutely convinced that those scenes are being judged quite wrongly, still others that you have only just discovered at this moment or that have been taken up by the media on a daily basis – for a given reason – and always bring up new aspects on which you gradually take a position. In any case, there is always a heated discussion. And there is also excitement, hand on heart. Improvements are welcome, no question.
Here, too, it should be mentioned — keyword “made palatable” — that the means for improvements would be as simple as they could be, since they mainly call for the application of the existing rules.
The aim of the whole thing here, by the way, is to make football more attractive. A longer section dealing with tension elements, in general and specifically in football, is included. The message remains: The frequency of suspense moments in a football match is too low, the development of individual matches too little dramatic, which could be remedied in a simple way, by enabling more goal scenes. After the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, please ask yourself, which games really made you get out of your chair? Where was the surprising turnaround in a game, where was the high-scoring game, with goals scored in turn, constant goal scenes, where you were never sure who would win, and which ended in an inspiring but fair 3:3, after which you just wanted to congratulate both? Which was the game where you just couldn’t look away because there was such great football to watch? Which was the one where a tragic hero walked off the pitch crying at the end and you just had to cry with him – regardless of his background – because you felt so much for him?
Why the application of the rules was enough to create more moments of tension – unless the few proposed changes are also considered valid – is convincingly shown in this section.
In the second section, German reporting in particular will initially be scrutinised, but later – and this is to be said here blatantly and carelessly – pilloried. Surveys conducted in Germany, though not representative, but with such uniform results in all strata of the population, all levels of acquaintance and all age groups, have shown that it is simply unbearable in this country. Are there any objections? Objections would be gladly heard and accepted.
Comparisons are made with other countries, especially England, and research into the causes is carried out, just as with the rules, on a psychological level, which, here only as an example, highlights the simplicity of the task of attributing a failed attack to the misconduct of the attackers, but blaming a successful one on the collective misconduct of the defence. There is also a lot more to discover. This kind of black-and-white painting has a special “coating”: the black part is always emphasised…
The reporting is bad and can be improved with equally simple means. One keyword is objectivity, another enthusiasm. Even if you as a speaker had already seen, experienced, heard everything, there would still be the task of the audience to make a scene eventful. Emotion is an essential part of it, but all too often it has to give way to omniscience and sobriety, whereby the mere examination of the chain of errors during the scene nips in the bud any passion that the audience might want to feel.
In the third section, the predictability of football will be presented. This complex task has already been tackled by numerous academics and research groups, as can be heard more frequently in recent times. The results seem essentially unsatisfactory. However, the fact that there is a method that logically derives all the parameters, includes the calculation of them, and later expresses them absolutely flawlessly in the only possible statements in the form of probability estimates may sound complicated at first glance, but it is made comprehensible to the reader in simple terms and without the prerequisites of a higher education degree. The provability of the figures determined can be shown by some statistics, but can also – for the reader interested in more depth – be undertaken with a mathematical method that provides proof in its own way. In this regard, it should be mentioned with pleasure that the method, apart from meeting scientific demands, has stood up to a practical problem, namely long-term, successful, profitable betting. In this respect, the same section provides a quasi manual for successful betting, explaining the entire betting market, especially the betting market that has changed so much today compared to the past, and thereby bringing to light several aspects that are certainly unique in this form. However, it should not be misunderstood as an introductory drug for betting. However, anyone who dares to try it should at least familiarise themselves with the essential connection between probability of occurrence and payout ratio. Otherwise it would certainly remain what it is regarded as in wide circles of the population: As gambling.
The fourth section now deals with the performance of the German team at major tournaments. Although a highly individual view is provided here, which is very much concerned with aspects of luck, it is vividly narrated and also offers a little retrospection and insight into betting practice, so that the entertainment value is paramount here. The reader can enjoy his own memories and add to them. He is virtually drawn in, even if contradictions arise here or there.