Who had fun watching Ireland blowout England?
No one likes being part of a blowout. Last night, you know who felt good after Ireland's 14-0 thrashing of England? Not the WCP Cup Organizers. Not the fans. Not England. Not anyone who's considering coming to watch exciting soccer. Not Ireland(well...they probably felt alright). It hurts the tournament to see results like this.
WCP needs to do something about the disparity between teams. This is the background on it: People want to play in this tournament, and people want to win this tournament. Some people have the luxury of being able to recruit people from around the province to help them win. Some don't. Ireland picks up the best players they can to help them win. They don't need all the best players, because they're pretty good anyway, but they recruit hard nonetheless. Players will come play for them, and why not? They have a good chance at winning. You can't fault Ireland players for being skilled. England is a group of players who play hard, but simply aren't as skilled as Ireland. It's obvious there's a large gap in talent, but England doesn't go around trying to get the best players on their team. They can't. I'm not trashing Ireland, and I'm not trashing England. NOBODY WANTS TO BE A PART OF A BLOWOUT. It's a fault that has naturally occurred in this tournament. So what can be done about this?
OPTIONS: 1. There's been talk of instituting a rule that a team can only have a certain amount of out-of-town players. It makes teams take on more Regina players, and since fans are all from Regina, it creates a bigger draw to the tournament. The Saskatoon players could still come down, but they would play on different teams. Not that big of a deal. This is really just an Ireland rule. But it's been talked about.
2. A qualifying tournament. Each year, anyone can submit a team. There's no boundaries. You want to submit a team? Go ahead, you just need to find enough players. So how about a qualifying tournament for say...the bottom 12 teams? The problem with that is cost. What teams would be willing to pay essentially the same fee to compete just to participate in the WCP Cup? It's a tough call.
3. More pools. Pools are at 6 teams a pool. The World Cup has 4 teams in each pool. More pools would mean that each game is extremely critical. If a good team gets upset in WCP Cup, they can hammer on 3-4 other teams to gain that advantage back. Lots of teams have no chance of making it out of their pools now. But say you have a pool with Laos, Colombia, Austria, and Nigeria. Sure Laos will probably come out, but second place is lot more uncertain. It can come down to the last game of the group, whereas in the current format, you know who's out of the tournament long before all the games are finished. This option makes it more exciting for the weaker teams.
As a player, you don't want to blowout a team. You want to provide excitement for the people who come to watch, and you want to play good soccer. But what are you supposed to do if you're on a good team? Score on yourself? Play a man down?
Teams are getting better, make no mistake. I'd say there are 12-13 quality teams in the tournament, and it gets better every year. Look at how exciting Group D is. Group A too. We've seen good games in Group B and C as well. The tournament is still as good as it's ever been.
What are your thoughts on this? Is it an overreaction to a couple blowouts, ex. Ireland vs. England and France vs. Italy? Does something need to be done?