Wednesday 18 October 2017

Should we all make our kids wear cotton-wool helmets?

Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny (L) finds his path blocked by team mate Nacho Monreal (2nd L) and Manchester City's Micah Richards (3rd L) during their English Community Shield soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London, August 10, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Arsenal's Wojciech Szczesny (L) finds his path blocked by team mate Nacho Monreal (2nd L) and Manchester City's Micah Richards (3rd L) during their English Community Shield soccer match at Wembley Stadium in London, August 10, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett (BRITAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Any time you start to talk about the differences between football now and the football you played as a kid, you run the inevitable risk of sounding like Ron Manager: "Jumpers for goalposts…two at the back, three in the middle, one's gone home for his tea."

It's an inevitable part of growing older. And, as sure as the first grey hairs begin to signify the start of your inevitable decline into decrepitude and incontinence, once you start reminiscing fondly of the game you played as a kid, as opposed to the modern version which sees 12-year-olds wearing multi-coloured boots, then you know you've crossed the line between being an angry young man and a grumpy old fart.

But grudging admissions of advanced decrepitude aside, I can hardly be the only person to look at the latest suggestion for under-age football and shudder.

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