Should We Take Notice of Friendly's?

Saturday, although I didn’t go and had to “watch” via the medium of Twitter was somewhat of an eye opener. I’ll be honest I don’t see much point in going to friendly's. I’ve been to a few in the past and my view is any game that isn’t competitive, i.e. have anything to play for is boring. How can you get excited when there is absolutely nothing at stake?

But there are those who judging by this weekend seem to think that they are of the most vital importance. And then try and read a lot into games where we may have experimented, tried some new things out, using players differently, or just used it for a training exercise.

The fact that people have been reading so much into certain player’s performances is a bit odd. By this I mainly refer to Matt Derbyshire who is driving a wedge between sets of fans who recognise this may be a fresh start and those who can never see him doing well. I remain unconvinced either way. You cannot ascribe pre season form to what will happen in the regular season, it’s just completely different. You can’t replicate the pressure, or any of the circumstances.

I also have to refer to the droves of fans on Twitter who whilst were were losing 2-1 to Antwerp decided this means we should already write off the season, ship out half the players and start again. The Knee Jerker’s as I have often to referred to as must have blood pressure so high that I’m surprised their heads don’t explode if they get in such a tangle over a game that doesn’t even matter. They just veer from one extreme of emotion to another it seems.

I know footballers are usually not attributed with the highest of intelligence, but they surely have a higher level of intelligence on the game than you or I, it is after all their living. Therefore the fact some people seemed to suggest winning friendly’s builds confidence is a little churlish. Footballers know better than to attribute form from a friendly, onto potential league form, afterall if that was the case, why bother playing anyone decent t and just play non league whipping boys.

Another aspect to friendly’s is this. People see it as a chance to be able to trial tactics, but bear in mind their managers might therefore attend games to scout their future opposition. Throwing a couple of red herrings is also a potential tactic here.

And then there’s the mindless conjecture. A player misses the game; it must mean he’s off? Like what’s happening with Adlene right now, and coupled with the Post doing a none story about how Guedioura may or may not attract Premiership interest and Forest may or may not accept bids, its completely mindless journalism, commenting nothing, but making people sit up and no doubt attracting hits and selling papers. There is nothing in it. But people have put that news together with his absence this weekend and decided he must be off. It’s frankly ridiculous. Adlene was with Fawaz and Billy selling the club to potential sponsors in Kuwait apparently.

But as I say reading too much into Friendly's is a very dangerous game, trying to see what the starting 11 might be, or what the set up looks like, until that first starting XI starts against Huddersfield, we won’t know for sure. So it’s not worth getting aggro about games that don’t matter and don’t really affect anything.


  1. Very good reasoning writing. I am now a true follower. Is it possible though, beeing a little more indulgent writer when it comes to all rubbish from Twitter etc? Just for the tone.
    Keep on with a very good writing.
    Come on, Reds.
    Samuel Sehlberg, Uppsala, Sweden


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