Kolarov - "Football fans know nothing about football..."

Sky1981

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The problem is that no fans ever proven that they know nothing about football.

There's no lottery to manager united a month.
 

Rozay

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Just bumping this as I was watching a podcast with Andre Gray today and he stated that ‘95% of fans don’t understand football’. As we can see, he’s not the first player to say this, and I wonder what percentage of them actually have this point of view.

He is saying that until you are playing against these people at close quarters and seeing the nuts and bolts of the game you don’t realise how good they are. I posted his comments about Pogba specifically in the/a Pogba thread because those quotes are floating around - but his point started with him referencing Busquets. He was talking about how you can’t get near him on the pitch (not because he will fall over!) and the way he starts the play off is second to none.

Couldn’t find the excerpt, but the whole interview with threesixtytv is on YouTube if anyone wants to watch.
 

Sylar

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Back to Kolarov commenta I think it's a fair assessment for those getting criticised, and the criticism may be absurd.

The worst ones are those who just throw random stats as a way to justify analysis. The funniest is the ones who would say something like it's true except for a few (and obviously include themselves in the few)

I like to think I know something but in the scale of what there is when you're in the game, it probably is nothing
 

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Just bumping this as I was watching a podcast with Andre Gray today and he stated that ‘95% of fans don’t understand football’. As we can see, he’s not the first player to say this, and I wonder what percentage of them actually have this point of view.
A lot I imagine, and for the most part they’re right. I have a few retired footballers in the family, and I’m friends with some current and retired footballers also. None of them are exactly Beckham, but they’ve had strong careers in the likes of the championship and league 1 and they’re pretty disdainful of what your average fan thinks (myself included). So I imagine this is pretty much the general consensus amongst footballers.

To even it out a little, I’ve also known footballers who have a stunning lack of knowledge, considering their profession.
 

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The thing is, perhaps I’m just underlining my cluelessness - but I hear so many ex-footballers speak who seem to be totally clueless themselves. Especially on MUTV. The likes of Lou Macari and co sound like what I’d expect a 10 year old to sound like talking about football. Same with Paul Scholes. ‘Just kick the ball in the net’ seems to be the extent of their analysis.
 

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Just bumping this as I was watching a podcast with Andre Gray today and he stated that ‘95% of fans don’t understand football’. As we can see, he’s not the first player to say this, and I wonder what percentage of them actually have this point of view.

He is saying that until you are playing against these people at close quarters and seeing the nuts and bolts of the game you don’t realise how good they are. I posted his comments about Pogba specifically in the/a Pogba thread because those quotes are floating around - but his point started with him referencing Busquets. He was talking about how you can’t get near him on the pitch (not because he will fall over!) and the way he starts the play off is second to none.

Couldn’t find the excerpt, but the whole interview with threesixtytv is on YouTube if anyone wants to watch.
The opinion is right. Most fans don't understand football to a deep degree, however I also think footballers don't necessarily understand football deeply either, more so they just understand the roles of their position much better than others. If you want to hear deep insight into football you have to hear experts or managers.
 

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"If you listen to the fans, you'll be sitting up there with them" endures not only because it's a nice pithy line but because there's truth to it. The fans deserve respect as no football club would exist without them but the first thing I'd do as a coach would be to warn all players against reading forums, reading social media, googling themselves etc. They should listen to the coaches at their club, at their international team and perhaps certain people inside the game they trust if they want to improve, whereas entertaining the thoughts of every Tom, Dick and Harry on the Internet is almost guaranteed to ruin a player.
 

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He has a point. As fans we will never know the intricacies of all that's happening behind the scenes or be able to understand what the managers are thinking. I find it laughable when hardly a game can pass without some smug cnut criticizing Solskjær's lineup/tactic/subs.

Having said that though, there are definitely levels here. Some fans are obviously more observant and intelligent than others. And having played football yourself is definitely an advantage, even if only at amateur level. When you watch football with people who never really played themselves you can often tell.
 

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It's true. That is why storylines/narratives are all the likes of Sky focus on in their 'analysis', because that's the level most football fans understand sport.
 

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The thing is, perhaps I’m just underlining my cluelessness - but I hear so many ex-footballers speak who seem to be totally clueless themselves. Especially on MUTV. The likes of Lou Macari and co sound like what I’d expect a 10 year old to sound like talking about football. Same with Paul Scholes. ‘Just kick the ball in the net’ seems to be the extent of their analysis.
I agree.

Something doesn't add up.
Whilst I think I agree with Kolarov's comments; the amount of ex-pros turned pundits who offer nothing in their analysis is striking. I don't believe they are dumbing it down to the lowest common denominator.
 

LVGSdive

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I agree with him. If we had tactical knowledge we would be in the dugout instead of the stands or sitting on the sofa.
 

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The opinion is right. Most fans don't understand football to a deep degree, however I also think footballers don't necessarily understand football deeply either, more so they just understand the roles of their position much better than others. If you want to hear deep insight into football you have to hear experts or managers.
I agree with that, because as I said, many ex-pros seem totally clueless to me. It is funny how many plumbers and bricklayers have so much criticism for genuine football geniuses like Mourinho for example.

But I find it hard to believe that Paul Merson is some sort of philosopher on the game.
 

gza the genius

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I don't think the general point is wrong in that most fans are idiots. But I do mostly disagree in principle, if that makes any sense. You don't have to be able to do something athletically to understand it. The fact that there are so many great coaches who were barely average players sortve proves that and look at how many of the pros turned pundit seemingly have no clue what they're talking about.

It seems like an easy way to brush off criticism.

I think some of you are taking the point to literally too. I don't think many fans think they could genuinely manage any top flight clubs but that doesn't mean you can't watch a match and see an obvious flaw occuring within a lineup, a player having a bad game, an area open to be exploited, etc.
 

Rozay

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I don't think the general point is wrong in that most fans are idiots. But I do mostly disagree in principle, if that makes any sense. You don't have to be able to do something athletically to understand it. The fact that there are so many great coaches who were barely average players sortve proves that and look at how many of the pros turned pundit seemingly have no clue what they're talking about.

It seems like an easy way to brush off criticism.

I think some of you are taking the point to literally too. I don't think many fans think they could genuinely manage any top flight clubs but that doesn't mean you can't watch a match and see an obvious flaw occuring within a lineup, a player having a bad game, an area open to be exploited, etc.
I don’t think their point has anything to do with the quality of the player - more an appreciation of the pictures they see and the environment of the football field. And to that degree, it’s likely very true. Most of us have played football to some level, but playing it at a top level, understanding the detail in where and how to position yourself etc - the intricacies, the pressure, I think you need to experience it to fully get it.

I do agree though that many ex-pros seem absolutely clueless, but that may be more an issue of poor articulation than it is of understanding.
 

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What's not to understand? When you put the ball into the net, you score a goal.
 

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Most of us have played football to some level, but playing it at a top level, understanding the detail in where and how to position yourself etc - the intricacies, the pressure, I think you need to experience it to fully get it.
This is a big part of it Watching on the telly or even in the stadium doesn’t quite convey how fast the game is moving.
 

passing-wind

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Disagree, football is not a particularly complex science you could hardly say the game has been revolutionised tactically in recent decades, the format is primarily the same.

If it was a contact sport like boxing then absolutely because theres numerous foundations that proceed becoming a professional (amateur ranks, level of commitment to training, etc). Its a more diverse sport. I do think it can be unfair to criticise players without rationale to justify, but to suggest if a team was to replace a player or use a different method in approach is hardly way out of line.
 

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Over the quarantine I’ve noticed a lot of people being surprised about how skilful even the most ‘average’ of PL cbs are in things like ball joggling ball control and technique in regards to the normal person who played football to a good standard as a youngster, you’ve got the most lumbersome cbs doing crazy tricks and think that partly highlights that the average fan doesn’t know really how talented most footballers playing in the PL are let alone the truly top players.
 

Skills

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I don’t think their point has anything to do with the quality of the player - more an appreciation of the pictures they see and the environment of the football field. And to that degree, it’s likely very true. Most of us have played football to some level, but playing it at a top level, understanding the detail in where and how to position yourself etc - the intricacies, the pressure, I think you need to experience it to fully get it.

I do agree though that many ex-pros seem absolutely clueless, but that may be more an issue of poor articulation than it is of understanding.
I don't think understanding is necessary for the most part. Execution is more important, and if you make it to the pro level you've spent 1000s of hours practising/executing the same moves/drills/positioning over and over again. The biggest difference is that the best players are better at executing them. In fact, there isn't much difference in the hours you need to put in to have a career at Man Utd or a career at Southampton. So there's no reason why someone like Scholes should have a better tactical understanding than a journeyman who spent his career at a midtable club.

To make it as a coach though, you need to be able to understand the strategy behind all of those things. That's a much higher level of understanding, and most players don't have the aptitude or probably interest to learn that. The few players that do have that understanding, some won't necessarily have the presence, leadership skills or personality to make it as a manager.
 

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Disagree, football is not a particularly complex science you could hardly say the game has been revolutionised tactically in recent decades, the format is primarily the same.

If it was a contact sport like boxing then absolutely because theres numerous foundations that proceed becoming a professional (amateur ranks, level of commitment to training, etc). Its a more diverse sport. I do think it can be unfair to criticise players without rationale to justify, but to suggest if a team was to replace a player or use a different method in approach is hardly way out of line.
Can you elaborate on this point? I don’t quite understand what you’re trying to say.
 

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I’d guess he’s absolutely right. I design video games and lifelong gamers generally think they know exactly what should be done to ‘improve’ a game. They’re usually so wrong it’s almost painful. If you do something for a living you soon come to learn that what seems obvious or common sense can very easily be nothing of the sort.
 

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Just bumping this as I was watching a podcast with Andre Gray today and he stated that ‘95% of fans don’t understand football’. As we can see, he’s not the first player to say this, and I wonder what percentage of them actually have this point of view.

He is saying that until you are playing against these people at close quarters and seeing the nuts and bolts of the game you don’t realise how good they are. I posted his comments about Pogba specifically in the/a Pogba thread because those quotes are floating around - but his point started with him referencing Busquets. He was talking about how you can’t get near him on the pitch (not because he will fall over!) and the way he starts the play off is second to none.

Couldn’t find the excerpt, but the whole interview with threesixtytv is on YouTube if anyone wants to watch.
I absolutely believe that football fans that haven't been professional footballers can't really understand football. Many can analyze a game and make some conclusions based on hindsight but most of football talk is about things that they not only don't know but also can't know. Analyzing the feelings of players, relationships and what's generally going through their minds. All nonsense. I've been watching football all my life, I've played it for half of it but not at any important level. Working on a football TV show with former international players, some that have played in the PL, many managers that have managed for decades and hearing them talk about football. I've never heard similar talk on this forum. I can't participate in their conversation. There's no way. Managers are even on another level to former players for the most part. They see the game differently and know the game differently. Like Evra said in the recent United podcast when discussing his badges. He's a nobody now. Whatever he's done as a player makes no difference as a manager. It's not all correct, he's being somwhat modest but I get his point.

Don't get me wrong, talking about what's going on in the game is fine but it's mostly hindsight chatter and it only focuses on the match but not the rest of the workweek for a player or coach or manager. That's not what football is like for the players. There's no reason for fans to be offended about that. For some reason sports and politics are the two forms of occupations which people vocally talk about how it should be done with zero experience on the matter. That's just our culture. It's fine to talk about, just don't pretend to be an expert.

On the other hand the pros don't understand that much what it's like to be a fan with these kind of adult opinions. The last time they though about football the way we do they were kids. They've been living the life since they were teens and barely know anything else.
 

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I’d guess he’s absolutely right. I design video games and lifelong gamers generally think they know exactly what should be done to ‘improve’ a game. They’re usually so wrong it’s almost painful. If you do something for a living you soon come to learn that what seems obvious or common sense can very easily be nothing of the sort.
name one title in your portfolio and i'll tell you how to improve it :smirk:
 

RooneyLegend

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I absolutely believe that football fans that haven't been professional footballers can't really understand football. Many can analyze a game and make some conclusions based on hindsight but most of football talk is about things that they not only don't know but also can't know. Analyzing the feelings of players, relationships and what's generally going through their minds. All nonsense. I've been watching football all my life, I've played it for half of it but not at any important level. Working on a football TV show with former international players, some that have played in the PL, many managers that have managed for decades and hearing them talk about football. I've never heard similar talk on this forum. I can't participate in their conversation. There's no way. Managers are even on another level to former players for the most part. They see the game differently and know the game differently. Like Evra said in the recent United podcast when discussing his badges. He's a nobody now. Whatever he's done as a player makes no difference as a manager. It's not all correct, he's being somwhat modest but I get his point.

Don't get me wrong, talking about what's going on in the game is fine but it's mostly hindsight chatter and it only focuses on the match but not the rest of the workweek for a player or coach or manager. That's not what football is like for the players. There's no reason for fans to be offended about that. For some reason sports and politics are the two forms of occupations which people vocally talk about how it should be done with zero experience on the matter. That's just our culture. It's fine to talk about, just don't pretend to be an expert.

On the other hand the pros don't understand that much what it's like to be a fan with these kind of adult opinions. The last time they though about football the way we do they were kids. They've been living the life since they were teens and barely know anything else.
Can't agree with this. I've had conversations with ex footballers and one of my mates was our national teams' captain and nothing they say about the game is particularly mind blowing. We hear them all the time on TV say nothing out of this world.

Depends what sort of fan you are. There are those that are analytical about the game and those that aren't. Obviously a fan wouldn't understand the more technical aspects of the game(i.e the breakdown of ball striking) but anyone can go on the course to try to understand the game tactically.
 

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I haven't read through the whole thread but what I imagine Kolarov meant is football fans know nothing about playing football - at the highest level. (By the highest level I mean anyone who plays it for a living)

Of course fans know about the game about rules and I would say many have fairly decent grasp on things like tactics and in game management but what many of us really don't know are specific things like the way to position your body when receiving a specific type of pass , how to make the pitch bigger with off the ball movement, positioning, when to accelerate and when to drop off etc - these are things that can often make the difference that footballers will have way more coaching, experience and analysis on then the average fan.
 

Eddy_JukeZ

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Fallacy.

And we've seen plenty of ex-footballers spew a lot of nonsense throughout the years.
 

SweetRightFoot

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Disagree, football is not a particularly complex science you could hardly say the game has been revolutionised tactically in recent decades, the format is primarily the same.

If it was a contact sport like boxing then absolutely because theres numerous foundations that proceed becoming a professional (amateur ranks, level of commitment to training, etc). Its a more diverse sport. I do think it can be unfair to criticise players without rationale to justify, but to suggest if a team was to replace a player or use a different method in approach is hardly way out of line.
I was 100% with you until you started talking about boxing. The thousands, tens of thousands of hours elite footballers put into training their technical skills, on top of the now widespread intense physical conditioning far exceed what it takes to be a similarly elite level of boxer. Now MMA? That's a different story, adapting to different styles, different schools of fighting, tactically and technically it's on another world.

If you were to compare learning a sport to learning an instrument, football would be guitar and boxing would be drums.

Kolarov is right though, most fans know f*ck all about proper football; particularly older fans. Younger generations have so much more to work with, not just stats and data but the ability to watch worldwide football and free and easy access to expert analysis online. Nouman on YouTube is fantastic.
 

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Can't agree with this. I've had conversations with ex footballers and one of my mates was our national teams' captain and nothing they say about the game is particularly mind blowing. We hear them all the time on TV say nothing out of this world.

Depends what sort of fan you are. There are those that are analytical about the game and those that aren't. Obviously a fan wouldn't understand the more technical aspects of the game(i.e the breakdown of ball striking) but anyone can go on the course to try to understand the game tactically.
I think this is some of the stuff the likes of Gray was referring to though. This is why you often hear players mention unexpected people when talking about tough/best opposition they have faced. There are many reasons why players land at different levels in the game, but I guess a person like Gray who has shared a pitch with them has a different perspective.

In that section, he mentioned Busquets, Scholes and Pogba. Now to be fair, all three of those players are widely recognised as top players, but they are still players some may consider under appreciated. He didn’t say this, but regarding Scholes for instance, I get the impression that he feels he was far better than the likes of Gerrard or Lampard, who many often place above him in the never ending debate. He says things like how people focus on the highlights etc, but Scholes is different class at the nuts and bolts.

Obviously we know that England doesn’t seem to think much of Pogba as a player at all, but Gray has said he’s on a different level everytime they play against each other. His teammates and just about every other active professional share that view.

He also mentioned Busquets. I think I’ve heard a saying before that you can tell a lot about how much a person knows about football from how highly they rate Busquets. He’s a midfielder the more philosophical fans rate highly, but others often don’t get the fuss.
 

flappyjay

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I agree.

Something doesn't add up.
Whilst I think I agree with Kolarov's comments; the amount of ex-pros turned pundits who offer nothing in their analysis is striking. I don't believe they are dumbing it down to the lowest common denominator.
Yeah every season and every game teams lose match because of attitude or not wanting it as much as the other guys. When a team is doing bad "they have downed tools"/"they are not playing for the manager".

I once saw an ex NBA player call out a basketball pundit on this type of boring analysis. He ended up explaining why they lost at a tactical level. Which left the pundit looking dumb and silly after he was spouting they wanted it more.
 

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Shouldn't be exclusive to only football fans.

I mean listening to some managers, players and ex-players talking about football... and giving those bizarre comments....

No doubt they have the advantage of direct experiences especially behind the scene and that's it. Not all of them will understand the intricacies of football in playing and managing.

Turns out, in the end, people are still people plus Football isn't too complicated. It's not a rocket science.
 

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Not true.

1) Understanding football is different to playing it.

2) The difference is, we don't have the solutions but can only identify the problems. Having the solutions is where the money is at. Any fan could tell you Lukaku has a poor first touch or Rooney moves about the park too much. The pros however can understand how to use that information better and overcome the weaknesses.

3) There are some things we as fan don't know, but we also don't comment on those things: training drills, approach to the game, nutrition and overall professional aspect of football. I don't see us debating over who should be leading the next coaching session

disclaimed: I am talking about the fans who do have an understanding of the game beyond "lets sign Neymar, and all shiny players"
 

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Not true.

1) Understanding football is different to playing it.

2) The difference is, we don't have the solutions but can only identify the problems. Having the solutions is where the money is at. Any fan could tell you Lukaku has a poor first touch or Rooney moves about the park too much. The pros however can understand how to use that information better and overcome the weaknesses.

3) There are some things we as fan don't know, but we also don't comment on those things: training drills, approach to the game, nutrition and overall professional aspect of football. I don't see us debating over who should be leading the next coaching session

disclaimed: I am talking about the fans who do have an understanding of the game beyond "lets sign Neymar, and all shiny players"
So true, love that disclaimer..cos there are a fair few in the caf
 

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In the world where Michael Owen became a pundit and people actually listened to him and/or could be arsed to watch him, it's not surprising. Maybe not all football fans though. But to an extent, I agree with Kolarov because I saw it with my own eyes.

I suggest everyone should at least spend 4-5 months following the clearly fake ITK accounts on Twitter just for fun. Look at their tweets and the comments of their followers. Some of them followers actually look like normal human beings. Some of them put up a picture of them with their children which suggests They're dads aka the head of the family and surely are capable of applying common sense on the internet. I mean, taking care of your family is much harder!

But then you look at the comments and realize if They are getting jebaited by the ITKs over and over again without never realizing it and keep coming back for it. Praising the fake ITK and asking for transfer news that often don't materialize. You couldn't make it up. If They are knowledgeable about football, why did They even bother doing this? the only explanations would be : 1) They're bored 2) They're masochists 3) They're easy to trick and simply believes in the ITK. This is why IndyKaila has 302.6K followers when his bullshit have been so obvious since 2012. Eight years making money off selling fake stories to the so called football fans. It's crazy.

Edit: If anyone remembers, there's also used to be an ITK account named "corrinationstr" or something like that, that always had typos in his tweets. He had like 50k followers if I remember it correctly and all He did everyday was to tweet stuffs like "Thiago, to Utd. seems very close. Deal beetweeen two clubs will happen. sometime next week,". And his followers (also football fans) would react "The only source on Twitter I trust, keep doing what you do mate". Seriously?! Take a look at those typos and corrinationstr? doesn't that sound familiar? How could you trust him? just howwwwww
 
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If you want to see how much an individual knows about the game, have them try and call it before the events happen.

From the moment a pair of teamsheets are announced, some can tell you exactly what's wrong with the team; what will need adjusting; who will find themselves open and so on and so forth.

These events have yet to occur, but some can map them out and it's not because they're Nostradamus.

In terms of understanding the game amongst pros, there's a chasm of disparity some have compared to others. Perhaps it's better to say the vast majority of pros cannot verbalise or convey what they've instinctively done for decades where as others can break the game down to such minutiae, they can write an opus-sized book for others to follow.

Someone like this is not speaking the same language or giving the same insights as the average pro. The guy above is teaching others trying to get their Masters, the average pro is at some level between kindergarten and first years at school in comparison.

Thread header reminded me of one the World Cups when Johan Cruyff was in the studio with Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrensen. The two ex-scousers started of with their usual generic, cliches and vagaries whilst Cruyff sort of listened, but was clearly becoming more agitated as these two comparative dunces got into full flow. It got to Cruyff's turn to speak and not only did he poo poo on what had been said, he went into some complex breakdown of what he thought and left Hansen red-faced. It was hilarious, but also highlighted there are levels upon levels to understanding the game with someone like Cruyff or Michels sitting right at the top of the totem and others like Guardiola following their philosophies whilst trying to add a bit of their own to the mix.

In fact, the Dutch as far as punditry is concerned, are great at conveying insight and you have to go right to the best minds in some other countries to get the same kind of insight, which tells its own story.

Ultimately, what someone says on a forum/pub/TV show should be judged on merit. The range in terms of insight is just as vast as you get from professionals.

Having said all that, where even your most simple-minded professional would shit on the most insightful layman would be in coaching technique and the intricacies of the position they played on the pitch. This is where the cumulative knowledge of pre-teen into a full-fledged professional would show itself and make for night and day, as it should do.