Date:Monday March 19 2007
I have heard some ludicrous suggestions and crack pot ideas put forward to improve the game of association football over the years but none more ridiculous than the one I read this week. What was it you say? Replacing drawn games with penalty shoot outs in football league matches. Now that is a real peach!
We have a number of issues in modern football that really do require serious consideration and firm action by the powers that be. Cheating and diving for example. I think most people would agree that this is a real cancer in the game at the moment at all levels. The re-introduction of terracing is another burning issue although not as serious as diving obviously. Perhaps even the widening gap between the super rich in the premiership and the rest of us riff-raff could be looked at as a real source of concern in the game. But no, some bright spark has woken up in a meeting after a particularly heavy lunch and said "lets have penalties instead of draws". Abso-bloody-lutely brilliant.
For starters, does anyone actually ever moan about drawn games? Sometimes getting a point can feel like a win if you have got out of jail or claimed a valuable point in the race for promotion. But then other ideas recently entertained are also similarly laughable. I remember some talk of increasing the size of the goals not too long ago because goal keepers are getting taller! Its not exactly like Gulliver in Lilliput out there is it! This is another example of a change that is utterly pointless and just a blatant attempt by someone to justify their salary. By that logic, perhaps strikers should be forced to wear clogs because modern day footballers are too quick?
Introducing penalties would create too many freak results and allow sides to put 11 men behind the ball and still win the game. This would make for boring, negative football and defeat the object of such a plan, which I assume is create more excitement and market the game at the US market for the umpteenth time.
In a week when the need for video goal-line technology was called for by Mark Hughes, and not without good reason, why are such things as penalty shoot outs being entertained as improvements to the game? When will they learn, there is nothing wrong with the fundamental rules of the game - please leave them alone. Instead, kick out cheats, racists and hooligans and stop WAGS from making TV programs - now that really would be a sensible move!
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