“You don’t want Roast Beef and Yorkshire every night and twice on a Sunday.”
At the time it was typical ‘Cloughie’… Ingenious and funny, but there was, in fact, a stark reality to the words of the Nottingham Forest and Derby County legend that would become more apparent more than 25 years after he first muttered the phrase back in the early 1990’s.
Of course, Brian Clough was already becoming aware of how too much football on the television was having an adverse effect on how people appreciated the beautiful game in which he had transcended from the touchline in a managerial career spanning four decades.
It is something so topical in the current climate, without supporters occupying the terraces they are exposed to more football than ever before but through their TV screens often twice or three times a day.
No longer is it ‘Super Sunday’ nor is it ‘Friday’ or ‘Monday Night Football’. These special events exclusive to certain days of the week when you can sit and enjoy the greatest teams in the country lock horns are no more.
There is a declining pleasure from being able to watch football from your living room, the days of a household cramming around a tiny portable to watch the FA Cup Final are firmly confined to the history books.
There is a lot to be said about the constant tirade of football steadily exhausting the charm of the FA Cup.
While some feel it is the lack of financial reward which has drained the interest of the competition, which is true to some degree, the way it is just another brick in the wall of football which meets us when turn on the box also causes even the finale to lose its appeal.
The majority of the football loving population now fail to sit and watch a full 90 minutes of action, we find ourselves browsing our phones, laptops, other devices because there is no pleasure and enjoyment in watching a full game, just look up when you hear the tones of the commentator altar from a monotonous description of proceedings to a brief outburst of excitement.
Hence the lack of need for old favourites like Match Of The Day; the nation’s go to football programme is being shunted to the sidelines like an antique steam train by the instant locomotive which is wall to wall live football.
Indeed, Gary Lineker has seen the show adapt and acclimatise to the times, but a Leopard cannot change its spots and few people need to see highlights hours after a game when they have viewed it live and the best bits can be easily accessed moments after the full-time whistle blows.
Many will feel this instant nature that we have become accustomed to is positive, football is now on the end of the world’s fingertips, particularly at a time when distractions from reality are most welcome.
Yet, we do not appreciate the game as much as we did 10, 20 or 30 years ago when fans waited for days at times to see the highlights of one game or to cordon of their full Sunday schedule to see the only live televised fixture that week.
Just as old big ‘ead, as Clough affectionately called himself, implied: the love for the game remains as strong as ever but the appreciation of it has diminished slightly due to the superabundant exposure to football.