For me, you can watch soccer in 3 ways, which is as a fan, as a spectator, and as a student.
As a fan you want to see your team competing to win and representing the identity of the club. You will recognize certain things that reoccur because you watch your favorite team often but the end result is usually the main focus of the fan. Since the nerves and anxieties of wanting your team to win are present, the concentration tends to only be on the ball and what is happening in that exact moment. Every dribble, pass, shot is scrutinized or praised throughout the game and then referenced as the reasons for the win or loss. A narrow view of watching the game because the focus is on the end result!
When you are a spectator of a game it is a more casual approach where the game is on but you have no interest in who wins and what is happening until there is a goal scored or some drama occurs. The game can be on in the background while you are doing something else because you would like to know the updates of the game and watch a replay you missed but there is not much care put into the observations of the details of the match. This is often the approach to many games from people due to our capabilities of always watching the replay of a game. Your opinion on the game after watching only as a spectator serves little weight as you are either going off the information you heard from the commentators or media or by the little moments you did see.
The final way of watching the game is the most work! A student of the game is one who watches more than just the ball. The challenge is to not watch the ball but what is happening around it from both teams. The movement, the spaces, the time, etc.… First, you must be looking for something otherwise when watching the highest level you will get lost by just witnessing everything going on, as the speed of things happening is too much. You must narrow down what you would like to focus on for the game and then keep searching for when it happens, why it happens, where it happens and how it happens. Watching as a student is the hardest task, as it requires expertise, knowledge, commitment and effort. The best students are true practitioners of the game. Of course being at the stadium to watch the game live will give you the greatest chance to see everything!
Enjoy watching the game whichever way you prefer!
Yours in soccer,