The Horlicks That Is The Current Offside Law

July 22, 2010

Offside (association football)
“It’s a couple of months old now, but my attention was recently directed to this article by The Guardian’s Jonathan Wilson, eulogising the current offside law, or more to the point the current interpretation of it. Before I get down to the serious business of slagging it off let me acknowledge: it’s an interesting article, and most of Wilson’s historical analysis is probably fair. In particular, I agree with him on the benefit of the changes in the mid-90s when the interpretation of “interfering with play” was relaxed. These changes addressed that part of the issue to most peoples’ satisfaction, as well as stressing that benefit of the doubt should go to attackers, but still failed to relieve all the frustration that all football fans have with offside decisions much of the time. Wilson is right in noting that something further was required, but goes badly wrong in his analysis of what the actual problem was and thus ends up applauding a cackhanded solution.” (twohundredpercent)

The Question: Why is the modern offside law a work of genius?
“Nothing in football is so traduced as the offside law. Most seem to regard it as a piece of killjoy legislation, designed almost to prevent football producing too many goals and being too much fun, while for the punditocracy it has become the universal scapegoat, the thing that ‘nobody understands’. Just because Garth Crooks doesn’t get something, though, doesn’t make it a bad thing. The modern offside law may be the best thing that’s ever happened to football, and it is almost certainly the reason Barcelona have been so successful with a fleet of players whose obvious asset is their technique rather than their physique.” (Guardian – 13 April 2010 )


The Ball Day 48 – Farewell Bamako

July 22, 2010

“The Ball says final goodbyes to friends made in Bamako as it heads off the beaten track ou route to Burkina Faso. This EP we have a great song from Mamou Sidibé and her new release on Akwaaba Music with “Mary” find the album on iTunes. ; Check it.” (Blip)

Angel or demon?

July 22, 2010

Mario Balotelli“If you are wondering what the fuss is all about over Mario Balotelli, you probably have not been paying too much attention to Italian soccer in the past three seasons. Despite being left out – no, make that ignored – by Marcello Lippi for the World Cup, Balotelli is probably Italy’s most exciting young talent at the moment and a certain member of new Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli’s squads for the upcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers.” (ESPN)

Joe Cole to Liverpool – Good Business? Twitter Reacts..

July 22, 2010

“So in today’s news, one of the biggest transfer deals of a hitherto quite quiet summer has taken place. Joe Cole has signed for Liverpool. Cole signs on a free transfer after his release from Chelsea in June, a parting of the ways that Cole described as ‘political’ in nature rather than for any particular footballing reasons. As is increasingly becoming the case these days, Twitter has proved an interesting source for news, opinion and information on Cole’s move to Anfield.” (Just Football)

World Cup Technical Ecstasy

July 22, 2010

“Now that you know what Martin Samuel and Alan Shearer think, you might not be interested in any more expert views on the recently-finished World Cup. But amid the small print on the ‘past World Cups’ page of FIFA’s website is a link to a series of documents which provide a more fascinating insight into past tournaments than the title ‘Technical Study Group Report’ suggests. These reports were first commissioned after the 1966 finals in England, when national team coaches from the 16 finalists were interviewed to gauge their views on competition preparation and tactics.” (twohundredpercent)