Sunday, October 17, 2010

Video technology and offside

Now I'm not a great fan of Blackpool FC, seeing as how they beat us in the Championship Play-Off final this year, but you've got to hand it to them. They're making a great fist of playing in the Premiership, and for most of the game with Man City today, they were by far the better, and more entertaining side.

But, because definitely two, and possibly three big decisions went against them, they lost.

Tangerines boss Ian Holloway, always an entertaining person to be interviewed, aired his thoughts on the BBC website after the match where he, like millions of others is scratching his head wondering why football won't embrace video technology for key decisions.

Blackpool were way on top when their "opening goal" was ruled out for offside, although Taylor-Fletcher the man who "scored" clearly wasn't offside (I'll come back to the offside rule in a mo).

Then Man City scored to go ahead with a goal from Carlos Teves that clearly WAS offside, but that stood. Holloway's issue with the third decision, where he claims a foul on his centre half which led to Man City's second is more debatable, as 1) I thought Man City could have had a foul seconds before, and 2) the level of contact is almost impossible to see.

These decisions change games, but hey also change careers. A manager can be sacked if performances are poor, but what if performances are poor because of decisions like this?

And so to the offside rule. Confusing at best, this weekend has brought a rash of comments about goals scored when a player "technically" in an offside position, has been stood in front of a 'keeper in such a way as it "could" be argued that he's impeding the view of the 'keeper, but because he's not "active" he's not offside? Eh?

This weekend's example, and I'm sure there are more, include Gallas for spurs in their match with Fulham, an Everton player blocking Reina's view in the Merseyside derby, and even, dare I say it, Jay Bothroyd standing in front of David James in yesterday's Severnside derby (of course though it's all right if it's your own team (!). In today's Man City v Blackpool match, Taylor -Fletchers perfectly valid goal was ruled out because the ball had passed close by (but interestingly had not touched) another Blackpool player who was in an offside position when the ball was played, but who played no part in the goal (other than, presumably, the linesman, oops, sorry, assistant referee, though he was "active" (because he was on the pitch?) See above. Confusing? Sure confuses me.

This has got to be sorted. How can a player, deliberately and conciously standing in an offside position, bang in front of a 'keeper not be active in the game? As many a pundit would say, if he's not active, what's he doing on the pitch?

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