Are managers most to blame for football's age old home and away disparity?

Former Chelsea midfielder muses about reasons for its existence on Off The Ball

It's an age-old question. But why do home and away results over time often show a marked difference in football despite involving the same teams and broady similar pitch dimensions?

Manchester City are a team, for example, who have travelled poorly during the 2015-16 season, until their second half turnaround against Watford on Saturday.

Of course, distance travelled and the psychological effect of away fans are factors.

Football analyst and former Chelsea midfielder Pat Nevin had his say on that issue on Off The Ball tonight.

"Part of it, yes, the referee has an effect. The crowd have an effect on the referee, which has an effect. The psychology of some of your players has an effect," he said, adding that the very best teams and clubs can overcome those away obstacles.

"But the other guys it has the biggest effect on - and I have to be absolutely honest about it - is the coaches. I think the managers change their attitudes, their stance and their tactics for an away game. That immediately almost is not a surrender, but it's saying that 'we're not going to do what we usually do or what we're best at. We're going to do what we think's the best thing to do under the circumstances'. Well, if you're the better team, forget that. Just go out and beat them and that's the joy of watching the Leicesters of this world recently."

Pat also talked about John Stones' development at Everton and how he is likely to become one of the best centre-backs on the planet, although he expects that the young ball-playing defender will continue to make mistakes until his peak years.