Imagine the creative likes of Dele Alli, Phillipe Coutinho, Eden Hazard and more all playing on the same team. Now imagine finally getting an answer to long-debated questions such as “Who is the best passer in the league” and “Who’s got the most powerful shot”. That’s what a potential EPL All-Star Weekend would bring to the table – in addition to the extra TV cash it would bring to the league. This weekend would presumably be following the conclusion of the season (a gameweek 39, if you will).
We see American leagues such as the NBA and the NFL host these events, so why not extend that overseas to one of the most popular leagues in the world? There are two ways I could see this working:
- Two coaches are selected, and they participate in a fantasy-style draft, until they have 18 players each. Then, these two teams would go head to head in various skills competitions (to be discussed later on in the article), finally culminating in a head-to-head friendly match. Each skills competition would be worth x amount of points, with the match being worth y; at the end of the weekend, the team with the most points wins.
- 18 players are selected, through fan, player, and manager voting. These players each compete against one another in the individual competitions. There are no teams or anything like that, it’s all about individual glory. Finally, the players would come together to form a full EPL XI (and substitutes) and take on a similar side from La Liga, for example.
From a neutral perspective, I would prefer option #1, just because it involves more players, and would put some extra meaning into the skills competitions. That being said, I can easily see how someone would prefer #2 instead.
The Skills Competitions
I would envision the skills competitions to be similar to the minigames found in the FIFA series. The winners could either be determined by overall comparisons (fastest overall time, highest score, etc.) or through a bracket-style tournament (two players compete head-to-head, with the winner advancing to the next round.
Dribbling course: The first skills competition I would have would be an obstacle course that players have to dribble through. They would be judged based on how long it takes them to complete the course.
Shooting: Players have to take different shots from different locations, on the all-star keepers, to see who has the most accurate shot. There could also be a penalty challenge, a test to see who has the most powerful shot, and, of course, a free kick challenge.
Touch Test: In this competition, a ball would be dropped from different elevations, and the player would have to bring that ball under control inside a small box. If the ball rolls out of the box, then the player would be eliminated.
Passing: Players would have to complete both ground and aerial passes through different gates, to see who has the best passing accuracy.
Pace: How fun would it be to see players like Theo Walcott and Kyle Walker going up against each other in a straight 50-yard sprint? The winner would have immortal status and unthinkable bragging rights for the year.
1-v-1: This would possibly be the most entertaining of all. Players would be pitted against one another into freestyle-esque one-v-one battles, with hopefully no shortage of nutmegs.
FIFA Battle: Of course, who wouldn’t want to know who the best FIFA player in the Prem is? This would be an epic tournament, and a chance for EA Sports to gain some serious publicity.
I think this would not only be great entertainment for fans, but also a great way to end the season for players, and a great way for the EPL to make some extra money.
Vote above and let us know what you think in the comments!
Image Citation: Photo by Alejandro Razuri / Via Flickr