Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The beautiful game and how to make it better

We do not have much time for Mr. Mawhinney’s ideas of how to make football more exciting. Awarding an extra point to the team winning the penalty shoot out at the end of a drawn game will, in our opinion, give an even bigger incentive to the team playing for a draw to go for a draw! Let’s go for a draw lads and if we manage it we might even win the shoot out and end up with two points! Thanks very much.

Surely this beats the purpose of the exercise. Can you imagine what the last 15 minutes of a match will be like? Boring as hell.

One of the main problems with football is the off-side rule. We suggest that this should become operative only beyond the height of the penalty area.

The reason for this is that defences can, and do, squeeze the game into a very narrow playing field. They can push the attacking team all the way to the half line in some cases. This restricts even the most skilful attacking teams to a very narrow space in which to unfold their attacking skills and attempt to break down the tactics of the team that is defending. Moreover, the rule as it is applied today requires the referee’s assistant to focus at two very different, and often very far apart, points at the exact time the pass is played forward. This means that it is almost impossible to implement the rule effectively and therefore we have many wrong decisions.

The remedy to this is to widen the effective playing field. This will create a situation whereby the spectators can enjoy many more goals in a game of football. To achieve this, we suggest that the off-side rule should in effect become operative only beyond the height of the penalty area (rather than where it is now – the halfway line). Perhaps extending the horizontal line of the penalty area to the edge of the throw lines should be considered so as to clearly indicate to players where the off-side rule comes into effect. The space that will open up in the middle of the field will allow and facilitate attacking creativity which will result in more goals scored and a far more exciting experience for the spectators.

For less serious offences in the penalty area award a secondary penalty.

Another idea to improve football, is to have a secondary penalty (for less serious offences in the penalty area) where the referee will position the ball further out – say at the level of the penalty area or at the top of the arc of the penalty area. This way, while maintaining the penalty kick for goal scoring offences, defenders will not be able to get away with fouls which they would be given any where else on field but are not blown in the penalty area (because the only punishment that is available – the penalty - does not fit the crime). Attacking football will be encouraged for both teams this way. It would also be fairer for teams, and in particular those teams which are not too physical and find themselves at a disadvantage to teams who abuse this weakness in the rules.

Time wasting on the corner flag. Create another arc.

It is unprofessional and a very negative tactic to take the ball to the corner flag and exploit the tight space created by the arc in order to block the opposition players out. We recommend that a way to stop this happening is to add another arc equidistant from the flag as the present arc. The rule should be that no player be allowed to keep the ball between the new arc and the corner spot for more than six seconds. The punishment will be a free kick from the arc for the opposing team. The original arc will continue to be used for corner taking.

Award an extra point for each goal scored.

Surely this will give a big incentive for teams to come out of their shell and try to score as many goals as they can.

Did that cross the line?

Surely the technology is there to let us know when the ball has crossed the line. It is already used in a number of sports such as Rugby and Ice hockey. Why oh why the FA refuse to adopt it is a mystery. Are they tied down with the old fashioned idea of “the referee is the only one that can make decisions in the football field? Then why do they award red cards after the game has ended? Or is it their inability and timid ness that stops them. Whatever it is snap out of it. The game is a multi million pound industry where everything is decided on one single event “a goal”

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