Ben Burgess column: Premier League’s on another planet

Ben Burgess
Ben Burgess
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Could there have been a greater contrast between the Colchester United v Blackpool game and the explosive Manchester derby?

In fact, that game at Old Trafford between the two most expensive sides in the world was a million miles away from anything found in the football league.

As much as everybody enjoys seeing the best and most expensive players battle it out on English soil, I can’t help but worry that those 20 Premier League teams may as well be on another planet.

At a time when the amount of investment the Oystons have made in Blackpool has been criticised, it seems crazy that there was £1bn spent in the transfer window.

The disparity between the Premier League and the rest of the Football League is hugely concerning, but what concerns me more is how little of the vast amounts of top level cash filters its way down to the grass roots of football.

With the new TV deal, every Premier League club could give every match ticket away free and still make a massive profit.

So how many tickets are given to those next generation of fans who can’t afford the extortionate prices to watch their heroes?

Countless times I see run down facilities – at best – for the youngsters to play and train at.

When the weather deteriorates, game after game is called off for children and non-league teams. To correct these wrongs and to give youngsters from all backgrounds the opportunities to play sport would not cost the earth but probably just an average foreign striker!

Blackpool striker Amand Gnanduillet is one foreign striker who’s proving to be a good signing.

He managed to grab his second goal in as many games to give the Seasiders the lead at Colchester United. Sadly, the inconsistency that has blighted the start to the season struck again and Colchester hit back to eventually see out a 3-2 win.

If you look at the League Two table, it’s clear that every team can beat each other.

Even the top teams like Plymouth and Portsmouth have dropped seven or eight points already.

Blackpool’s mid-table position gives them a platform to climb the table when they finally have all their injured players back and playing regularly.

I have no doubt that this team is capable of finishing in the top seven and Gary Bowyer is an honest guy with great footballing knowledge.

He won’t be kidding himself about the areas that need improving and already he’s shown that he will make changes where and when he deems necessary.

Fingers crossed a winning run begins at home against a decent Carlisle side.

A lot has been made in the press recently about goalkeepers, especially in the light of Joe Hart being unceremoniously dumped by Manchester City and his replacement then having a debut to forget against Manchester United.

Not only has a goalie’s role changed so drastically since I first started playing, but also the size and shape of the keepers.

Up until a few years ago a keeper would be judged on three things: Their size/height, how far they could kick it and their handling.

Nowadays in modern foreign football the most important thing for a goalie is their ability with their feet; they have to be able to start the attacks and sweep up any danger behind their defence.

Size is irrelevant now, Claudio Bravo is small, David de Gea is built like a rake. Their handling ability has almost taken a back seat to the rest.

When you consider how often a goalie actually makes a save in a game, then you’re talking maybe seven or eight times, compare that with how many times they use their feet and you can see that maybe the coaching and philosophy of goalkeeping in this country may need to change.