Glenn Hoddle's 10 Football Wishes for 2014
With 2013 done and dusted, it's time to look forward to the year that will be in 2014.
Once the domestic leagues conclude—and it looks like we're heading for a dramatic finish in the tightest Premier League title race in years—it will be time for another World Cup.
Here are my 10 wishes for football in 2014.
Ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle is a regular columnist for Bleacher Report UK. Learn more out about Glenn's exciting new website venture, Zapsportz, here.
England at the World Cup
I hope England perform very well in the World Cup.
If they can reach the semi-finals that will be a real bonus, and I will be absolutely delighted.
A semi-final would be a very good achievement indeed under all the circumstances.
A lot of clubs are looking at this seriously, and the fans want it.
The stadia are safe these days—and let's face it, many fans stand up in any case!
FA Commission on the Future
Of course, it goes without saying that I would love to see a lot of the excellent ideas being put forward in the FA Commission on the Future of the England team implemented.
As you know, I’m on the commission and so cannot go into specifics. What I can tell you that there are some very good ideas being discussed and they would certainly take us all forward if they could be allowed to go through.
Managers and Sackings
Managers should only be sacked in the transfer windows, at the same time when players can be transferred.
In that way, once the season starts, at least there is a small degree of stability.
Far too many managers are being sacked far too easily and there needs to be some common sense applied, some guidelines, however small, to start with.
My greatest wish for the New Year is to see some more common sense and approach to the rules to make the game even better for everyone connected to the sport, including the spectators.
One issue that has rankled with me for some time is that goalkeepers should be allowed to pick the ball up from a back pass inside their own 18-yard area.
For me, this will move the game on a lot quicker.
Obviously if the goalkeeper cannot pick the ball up from a goal kick, he will dwell on it, or be forced to kick it, often wildly into touch, if he is closed down.
An End to Diving
We are all fed up with diving. We need to see less diving in the Premier League.
But I wouldn't say the answer is automatic red cards. The players need to act more responsibly and stop trying to con referees who have a hard enough job as it is.
The 10-yard rule is a must for me.
Any player who comes tearing up to the referee to remonstrate with him, the referee needs to have the power to move the ball forward 10 yards at a free kick, and keep moving the ball forward 10 yards until the players behave themselves.
There won’t be the need for a yellow card in these circumstances as the power will be in the rule.
More Application at Throw-Ins
This isn’t actually a rule change, but I would like to see more application at throw-ins.
This seems to me the most neglected area of the game. So often I see the ball pitched at players who cannot control it on the bounce and their team loses possession.
It needs to be thrown so the receiver can simply volley it back or take control far easier.
Traffic Light Cards
I would like to the a Traffic Light application of cards. In other words a third card.
This would send a message to the manager that the player only needs to step out of line once more and he is off. Then the manager knows where he stands and would need to make a substitution or run the risk of going down to 10 men.
With a middle card, I am sure the manager will take the sensible approach and make a substitution immediately.
Too often a red card spoils the game as a spectacle. If you went to the theater and paid good money for a ticket, you would be pretty miffed if one of the star cast members was taken off stage and not replaced!
Continued Growth for 'The Legends'
Finally, I would like to end with a wish for 2014 that one of my pet projects, The Legends, continues to grow and provide an extended career for players, very much the way Masters Tennis and Masters Golf does for those sports.
Football 30 is a competitive, shortened version of the game, 15-minutes each half but still 11 per side on a full-size pitch. We had a hugely successful trial London Legends Cup won by a Chelsea side bulging full of stars such as Franco Zola at Craven Cottage, and it was a big hit with fans and players.
So we are aiming to go with it again this summer if we can.