How many goals is too many goals?

16 October 2020 | Performance
How many goals is too many goals?
If the first few weeks of the Premier League have taught us anything, its that attack is the best form of defence and with an abundance of goals being scored before the international break, it has generated a number of talking points. The obvious one is whether or not these additional goals have been scored by the lack of supporters within stadia and although there is perhaps a modicum of truth in this, there is another strand of thought that may soon need to be debated.

Because if the plethora of net busters continue, we may finally need to ask a rather pertinent question and one that suggests that although an increase in goals is easy on the eye, do we run the risk of seeing too many goals?

With football being such a low scoring sport, it is the tension that comes with willing the ball into the net that makes it such a spectacle and the more goals you see, the more supporters would become desensitised to its most pleasurable act.

That’s not to say that that football will mimic basketball and the final scores will be in the double or treble figures. However, if victories such as Aston Villa’s 7-2 reverse of Liverpool or Tottenham’s 6-1 thrashing of Manchester United become the norm, it will present something of a joy overload.

Admittedly, we all love to see goals and freak occurrences such as the two examples above will generate an incredible amount of discussion thereafter and it is the wow factor behind such scorelines, which subsequently piques the interest for so many.

Then again, if we were to see a largesse victory on such a scale each weekend, the wow factor would quickly diminish and with us collectively seeing it all before, it soon becomes a mere footnote in history.

Of course, this is not just an issue that is consigned to all things COVID-19 and you only have to take a look at the Pep Guardiola era at Barcelona as further evidence of this, as a Lionel Messi led side would roll over opposition by sixes and sevens with increasing regularity.

While it is acts such as these as the Camp Nou which perhaps ask a further question – at what point does steamrolling the opposition lose its intensity and although Barcelona may not have this dilemma currently, it can be found elsewhere across Europe.

A case in point would be Bayern Munich and their stunning 8-0 win over Schalke on the opening day of this current Bundesliga season and although the mitigating circumstance could be that the latter outfit have been poor on both sides of the summer, the status quo certainly remains in Germany.

Such a status quo has a habit of diminishing the entertainment levels and with Bayern aiming for a ninth successive Bundesliga title, there is a sense that the more things change, the more they end up staying the same.

Then again, in terms of the Premier League and their recent results, this is not simply a case of the biggest teams in the land showing early dominance and the goal glut that has been displayed, is seemingly open to all.

But for each seven-goal thriller or defence that has been destroyed, there is a sense that football has become like the equivalent of the last day of school and any logic or restraint is simply thrown out of the window.

With an average of 3.79 goals per game already scored, it will be interesting to see if this is just an initial statistical quirk or the start of a new trend within the English top tier and if it is, we may have to get used to an assault of the senses in the very near future.

Written by Dan Tracey

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