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Messages - Leggy

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Elite sport, in football terms, was defined as Premier League, Football League and (all of the) National League - because these were the clubs not allowed fans in the stadia.

The logical assumption would be that football at these levels can continue, but then logic and this government have been two circles of a Venn diagram that never seem to overlap.

Certainly in England I think the government are desperate not to prevent organised sports from carrying on, after all football is still fine even in cities and areas in tier 3.  Problematic yes for leagues that span tier 3 and tier 1/2 areas as clubs from the former can't travel to the latter (but match officials can), but football is still being played.  Of course a full lockdown is going to wipe out non-professional sport, but I think they would allow everything above National League to carry on unlike the last lock down.

Where I am a little baffled is how countries are saying they are doing a two to four week lock down to get control back, as after two to four weeks following the March full lockdown it took the best part of four months to lift those restrictions and I can't see why it would be any different now.  I fear that if a full lock down is implemented that will be in place until at least March, they will just keep extending at the end of every period.

Very insightful post and I think that we are all baffled as to how they are going to resolve things.
I honestly don't think that any government in any country has the answer and they will just keep bumbling along until what? Strange times for us all.

New Zealand?

I think the change generally makes sense because the foul often has no material effect, although I think it would be worth allowing the referee some latitude for if an attack continued but became less promising because of the foul (a player being forced wider or defenders being able to get back etc.)

It was poor that the BT commentators didn't know about the law change.

Ref Fan - I think you're right that it would make little difference with a second yellow card as referees generally don't paly advantage.

That's a fair point.  Although I would add that part of the original thinking in sanctioning DOGSO with a red card was deterrent - it was preferable to seek the obvious goal scoring opportunity through than to have a stop in play, a red card and a free-kick / penalty kick.  It also supported the fundamental object of the game, which is to score goals, not prevent them illegally.  This law change does somewhat undermine that ideal.

From law 12 ....

 If the referee plays the advantage for an offence for which a caution / sending-off would have been issued had play been stopped, this caution/
sending-off must be issued when the ball is next out of play. However, if the offence was denying the opposing team an obvious goal-scoring opportunity,
the player is cautioned for unsporting behaviour; if the offence was interfering with or stopping a promising attack, the player is not cautioned.

Advantage should not be applied in situations involving serious foul play, violent conduct or a second cautionable offence unless there is a clear
opportunity to score a goal. The referee must send off the player when the ball is next out of play, but if the player plays the ball or challenges/interferes with
an opponent, the referee will stop play, send off the player and restart with an indirect free kick, unless the player committed a more serious offence.

The logic is fairly obvious: if you play advantage you cannot caution for stopping a promising attack as the promising attack has still happened.

We had this debate about 30 years ago when a red card for DOGSO was originally introduced.  The logic of the argument at that time was that the foul had terminated the first goal-scoring opportunity / promising attack and should be sanctioned as such.  Anything resulting from the referee choosing to play advantage was a new opportunity / promising attack.

It made sense to me, but then it was always said that I was a bit too quick with the cards  ;)

I don't say this very often but after Wednesday's spectacle it was a pleasure to see a balanced display from Anthony Taylor.  West Ham could well have had a penalty though it probably fell within the ubiquitous "not a clear and obvious error" category much beloved of VAR - I can think of one referee who wouldn't have hesitated to give it.  Rhodri (I think) should have had a yellow card for a pull back where advantage was played. 
Other than that I can think of a handful of free kicks which seemed to me to have more to do with exaggerated reaction to minimal contact than the severity of the challenge.  Simulation seems to be a part of the game now.  Whether Taylor was more perceptive than the Latvian or whether Porto - who appeared to have been schooled in the dark arts by Lord Voldermort himself - were simply more adept is a matter of opinion.

If you play advantage for a foul that would be classed as stopping a promising attack, you cannot go back and caution the player - new rule for this season!

If that's true its a nonsense.  Correction - another nonsense.

I couldn't lip read, but it has triggered me thinking that (and whilst women don't want to be treated differently from men I do think that the women's game is generally less physical) women's football could advance from 2 cards.
A yellow card - you've been warned that you're 1 card away from spending time on the naughty step.
An orange card - results in 10 minutes on the naughty step, either because it's a 2nd yellow or it's "worse" than yellow but not red.
A red card - dismissal, either because it's a 3rd yellow or 2nd orange or (obviously) serious foul play.
Most women players would, I think, want to play 11 v 11 unless something is warranted.
Perhaps the difficult aspect of this is DOGSO - personally I'd prefer orange to red unless there's serious foul play - for other sports (such as rugby & hockey) the advantage of having 10 minutes against reduced opposition does usually result in a benefit to the non-offending team.
Whilst the crowds are away (or significantly reduced) there are so many potential low-lying fruit which once harvested would really improve football for all concerned. And there's no real reason why a stand-alone competition couldn't trial law changes at any stage of the season. If VAR can be brought in at the latter rounds for instance ...... so can other law changes, or are my spectacles too tinted?

I think a 3 card system would be too complicated, subjective and lead to even more arguments etc. than we have now.

And errors .....

General Discussion / Re: Merseyside Derby
« on: Sun 18 Oct 2020 10:39 »
Liverpool have asked for an explanation on the VAR decisions for today, specifically looking at 3 areas.

  • Why no review and subsequent action on Pickford chall?
  • Which part of Mane's body deemed offside?
  • At what moment did VAR decide to freeze-frame?

Source - https://www.skysports.com/football/news/11669/12106875/liverpool-ask-premier-league-to-investigate-var-decisions-during-draw-at-everton

1st part is easy - VAR protocol does not factor it in.  To determine if it was a penalty/red the first thing to establish was whether he was offside or not. As he was then the check effectively ends as there can be no penalty. Hopefully if nothing else it will lead to another review of the VAR protocol as it currently stands and it will be extended to allow for review to determine if there is a red card offence that follows despite the offside ruling out a penalty. There has to be more common sense allowed to be used, imo. For me this is exactly what VAR should be looking at instead of seeing if a toenail or eyelash or something equally ridiculous is 0.1mm offside!

Sorry to disagree, but VAR is also available to check for red card offences.  The ball does not have to be in play for a red card offence to be (allegedly) committed and require the attention of the VAR.  His inattention was a grave error.

General Discussion / Re: Merseyside Derby
« on: Sun 18 Oct 2020 10:35 »
Player is marginally offside, however, the flag does not go up as per instructions these days, and play goes on and the keeper makes a genuine attempt to play the ball which results in the offside player being injured and having to leave the field.
VAR looks at the situation to see if a penalty should be awarded but the eveidence shows that the player was offside, therefore, that is the first offence and the offside is given.

Are we then going to dismiss a keeper for a genuine attempt to play the ball, bearing in mind that it could well have been the keeper who was injured and had to leave the field.  Those running the game have manufactured these situations  and the use of VAR is compounding the issue.

In the same incident in any game in England outside the Premier League, the offside would have been flagged but because of the speed of the game the keeper would still have challenged and it would be possible  that players are injured, however, the free  kick would have been given for offside and everyone gets on with the game.
The monster has been created in an effort to make the game 100% perfect.

I am not sure that it is a "genuine attempt to play the ball" - but that loses any relevance when considering Serious Foul Play:

Did the challenge endanger the safety of an opponent?  100% yes. 

Should Pickford have been sanctioned as such?  100% yes.

Should Oliver have seen it?  Almost certainly - he had a decent viewing eye-line.

Should Coote - which access to technology and as much time as he needs identified it?  100% yes.

I am not sure if the "collision" would not have happened had the flag been raised instantly and Oliver's whistle stopped play - there was very little time.  I am sure, however, that this nonsense of telling AR's to hold their flag and see what happens next is going to end with a serious injury one day soon.

General Discussion / Re: GIL MANZANO - England v Denmark
« on: Fri 16 Oct 2020 07:04 »
A performance of absolute garbage.... from England.

As for Manzano, very typical of Spanish referees, inconsistent and too quick to the cards.

Yes Maguire deserved to go, and if James has spoken out of turn at the end then he should be ashamed.

Penalty was a joke, and some Danish challenges were more severe than what was carded for England.

Agree.  The object of the game appears to be morphing from "score more goals than the opposing team" into "creating fouls and conning officials into giving penalties and red cards".
I agree with much of what you say there.  However, I can see why the penalty was given.  There was clear foot-to-foot contact from Walker.  I think it is a joke that penalties are given for incidents such as that, but it seems that's how the game has developed. 

The game at top level has a serious problem now, since we are seeing penalties given for the least bit of contact, much of the time having been played for by attacking players.  I seriously believe that the game is becoming so sterile that coaches are simply encouraging players to manufacture set piece free kicks and penalties at any opportunity as they are less and less likely to score any other way.  The England-Denmark match was the latest international that was tedious to the point of being unwatchable.  One pundit advocated picking Grealish because he gets fouled (or at least falls over) a lot.

I despair for the game generally because of these attitudes.  I saw a bit of the post-match discussion after the England-Belgium game where Ashley Cole started going on about how a player can feel a bit of contact in the penalty area so 'has to go down'.  I switched off at that point. What a situation!  Advocating diving, conning the referee, cheating....call it what you like but it stinks!   Suffice to say that I no longer pay to go and watch football, I've seen enough.

Ross' expenses will be low as he spends most of his time in London 😏

But then a quick turnaround ......

League C - Group 1
10 October 2020, 15:00 CET - City of Luxembourg (Stade Josy Barthel)
Luxembourg - Cyprus
Referee: Donald Robertson (SCO)
Assistant Referee 1: Graeme Stewart (SCO)
Assistant Referee 2: Douglas Ross (SCO)
Fourth Official: Andrew Dallas (SCO)
UEFA Referee Observer: Stefan Messner (AUT)
UEFA Delegate: Roland Tis (BEL)

General Discussion / Re: Peter Bankes- Tottenham Newcastle
« on: Sun 27 Sep 2020 18:54 »
I just saw it. Bankes decision is in accordance with the LOTG. No real complaints.

Then the Law - as Charles Dickens wrote in Oliver Twist - is an ass.

According to the VAR protocol, the review process can take place AFTER the final whistle.

Excellent intervention by Simon Hooper.

How long after? Could the players be in the shower and then made to come back?

IFAB doesn't say. Apparently they are more interested in accuracy than the time.

So common sense would suggest that the referee - even if he has blown the final whistle - tells the players to stay on the field of play while the VAR check takes place

Just as happens in cricket when the 10th wicket of an innings is reviewed - even if it is a wildly speculatively review because the team still has one to burn.

Opps - sorry, I have just realised that I have cited "common sense" - many apologies all  ;)

That will act as a deterrent to both Bilic and his counterparts ....... or maybe not.

I see that Bilic has "accepted" the £8k fine but still says that he has done nothing wrong.  That tells you everything you need to know about the effectiveness of the sanction.

At least it has made handball more consistent. There used to be lots of discussion about whether an incident such as Trent Alexander-Arnold's handling last season agI do find it easier to judge a handball offence now, even if I don't personally agree.

It's basically gone in the PL from a player getting a lot of the benefit of the doubt if the ball hit their hand to them being given very little. A lot was required for handball in England previously, but now if the ball hits your hand it's likely to be penalised if VAR is in use unless your hand is very close to your body.

Perhaps it makes it more consistent if the offence happens in the penalty area, however, there were several instances of handball, similar to those leading to penalties in the games discussed, which were committed in general play and these were not penalised. 

The question which then arises is are we playing to different laws in the penalty area to those used on the rest of the field because some are covered by VAR but others are not?

We are, because VAR has the ability to forensically review (from several angles) and spot contact that cannot be conclusively determined using the naked eye from a set position (be that a good or not-so-good one).  And VAR is only used to determine potential penalty offences.  As a result we get more handball "offences" in the penalty area than pretty much anywhere else of the Field of Play.

Not sure about the penalty -Lindelof is very close to Zaha, 1 yard away, and natural movement of his arm when running back.
The handball rule is an absolute con; we are going to see so many ridiculous handballs this season
I'm sorry - in what godly earth, is an arm bent at head height "natural" ?

If you look at it again his hand isnít at head height. When you run your arms are going to come up naturally, you canít run with your arms by your side

Agree.  Before the law-makers start quoting "natural / un-natural positions" and "enlarging the body silhoulette" they should engage bio-mechanic experts to determine - in all playing situations (running / stretching / jumping / falling) - what is / is not natural.

We are rapidly approaching the stage where a forward with not reasonable attacking option will just aim the ball at the defender's body in the hope of securing a penalty kick.  It has been a legitimate tactic in hockey with penalty corners for some years now ...... watch this space!

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