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Premier League at 25: How Do ex-Pros View the Modern Game? 2

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Peter Addison
The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

The Premier League is celebrating 25 years.

As the Premier League celebrates its twenty-five year anniversary, there can be no doubt that football has changed irrecoverably over that period. It seems that the modern game is all about money, and the grip of the money giants means that plucky upstarts like Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers can no longer hope to challenge the elite as they have in the past (we’ll excuse Leicester City’s 2015-16 EPL win as an anomaly).

The question is, how do ex-Pros view the cash-cow that modern football has become? Are they resentful of the money that current pros earn – after all, Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga, a player who’s never even played in the top flight, is reportedly on £40,000 a week.

In a recent Emile Heskey interview at the fan-created site AskFans.co.uk, the former Leicester City, Liverpool and England striker gave his thoughts. “The game’s quicker, people are looking after their bodies better, and there are certain more athletes around then when I first started,” said Heskey. He also cited Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and new Manchester United record signing Romelu Lakuku as modern-day players he would like to have played with.

One player who has seen it all is George Haigh. You’ve probably not heard of him, but currently, at a staggering one hundred and two years of age, Haigh is the oldest surviving professional footballer, having made his debut for Stockport County in 1936. He doesn’t actually see much difference between the modern era and sepia-tinged times. “I would’ve found it easy playing today; centre-half would’ve been dead easy for me knowing what I know now, I’d have been an international!  And the equipment is so much better; the boots were so heavy in my day, especially when it was wet.  In the modern era, David Beckham is probably the one who stands out, I’d like to have taken him on.” Read the rest of this entry →

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      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

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      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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