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Ten-a-side & Change

By Tony I/Anson :  27/08/2010 :  Comments (62) :
It's that Friday "AAoTW" feeling again. So here goes... Is it just me getting older, or is everything getting faster?

Cars; time; the Web; 100-m sprinters; changes of football managers; service in restaurants; Stirling to Liverpool (3hrs); time between failed marriages; growth of nasal hair; time between visiting ToffeeWeb; "quality time" with the wife; Tory time to pay off national debt; home deliveries from Internet orders; tax return dates; marathon runners; Hoodies running from shops; X-Factor being on again; BT calling after the bill comes in; Sopcast; startled rabbits at the sight of my dog; propensity to complain at everything, especially when we lose; and generally speaking......footballers.

With this in mind I've been thinking about how much faster that football matches become when 1 or 2 players get sent off, creating that bit more space on the pitch. So here are just 2 suggestions of how I predict it will migrate its effect onto the football pitch.

1. Footballers are like race horses and getting faster. So, start with 11 a side. At half time, each team has to remove 1 player and not replace them. 2nd half is ten-a- side creating a bit more space on the pitch for the race horses to gallop in. Donkey's not welcome thank you.

2. Do players save themselves for that last gasp raid on the opponents goal as the games' end is getting near? Ends of matches are probably the most exciting time and we all wish it would go on a bit longer (unless 1 up). Why not make the 1st half 40 mins and the 2nd half 50 mins + stoppage? We still get 90 mins of play. That should get the race horses frothing at the mouth and supporters screaming down the rafters.

Changes in the football arena may create some heart attacks for fans and decide some league titles. But is change not good? To cope with this faster pace of life should we take things slower, like on the continent, gracefully stroking the ball about the pitch in a pass and move motion Or having 2 hour pasta lunches with red wine, followed by a siesta and a stroll around the shops wearing chinos, open neck white shirt, shades and Jesus sandles with no socks on.

People generally don't like change, yet change is inevitable. It's how we deal with it at the time of change that's important. Just ask Arthur Scargill if he would ever go around to Maggie Thatcher's for tea and buscuits. "Like some free milk with that, Archie?"

The question is: do Everton fans, the Everton players and the Everton owners want it enough ? change that is, or 10 a side?


PS. As I said, it's Friday and I've been Arsing Around on ToffeeWeb again, sorry.

Reader Comments

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 27/08/2010 at 17:05:48

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Err.. Somebody please wake me up when the Silly Season comes to an end.
Tony I'Anson
2   Posted 27/08/2010 at 17:14:21

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Silly Season?
Tony I'Anson
3   Posted 27/08/2010 at 17:24:16

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Michael, do you not think the rules of the game will ever change?

The bits before and after the 2 suggestions - silly maybe, lighthearted yes, Friday feeling yes.

For the "silliness" to come to an end, don't publish it, or am I being wound up by a website publisher trying to boost Friday's traffic, ratings, click through's and commission for over 1 million page views a month.

Don't goad me, don't goad me. EJ, EJ just hold me back will ye.
Nick Entwistle
4   Posted 27/08/2010 at 17:33:38

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Bollocks season. You may want to arse around on Toffeeweb but doesn't mean you have to bring every one down to your level Tone!

Only major rule changes have been the off-side, subs, and passing back to goalie. These change the fabric of football.

Why don't you go ruin tennis by introducing a tiger to the court in a tie-break instead?

Tony I'Anson
5   Posted 27/08/2010 at 17:39:01

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Nicky, there's no way the 2 suggestions I made change the fabric of football. Players get sent off all the time nowadays. And 4/5 minutes stoppage is a regular occurance. Anyone care to produce stats of how this has affected matches.

As for tennis, I couldn't care less if Tiger snecked off with the Umpire and his wood in toe.

If you call what we all do on TW a serious use of your time, I beg to differ. If it is, you have too much of it - Time that is.

Andy Crooks
6   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:10:34

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Michael,you can end the silly season. Now, perhaps?
Gerry Quinn
7   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:15:37

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Would bringing Osman on at half-time count as going down to 10 men?
James Flynn
8   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:15:04

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Tony - Always interested in something new; especially in here.

Can't go as "radical" for change as you have, but I'd like to see a change that would get rid of the worst thing in competitive team athletics. The tie.

What could be worse? "Hey, how was the game"? "Not bad, not bad". "Who won"? "Oh. Nobody". Ugh. I say soccer adapt something the NHL did in hockey in eliminate the tie.

At the end of regulation time (with, Tony, 11 aside I'm afraid), the score is 1-1. Fine. Both teams get a point, as always. All tradition upheld.

But those other 2 points have to be gotten. I say take 2 players off per side AND give the manager back his 3 substitutions (having available all players including anyone he might have subbed-off during the game).

Now, just for fun, say DM is still sending out his "boys" game after game, as so many here are pointing out/complaining about. What 2 do we take off and the 3 substitutions being available, who do we put on?

OK. It's 10 minutes of overtime, that's it. A keeper apiece and 8 on 8 in the field. No one scores? Penalty shoot-out under the usual rules. Someone comes away with 3 points.

I agree players are bigger, faster and also coming out of a much, much larger talent pool. But I think it's made the game better without needing so many additional changes that an NHL has to make due to the new level of hockey player athleticism "shrinking" the size of the playing surface.

But Tony, the tie is the singular "tradition" of soccer where the answer to your question, "But is change not good?" a big YES.
John Daley
9   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:16:42

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Have some sort of heavy duty, psychotropic narcotics been slipped into local water supplies the last couple of days or what?
Charles King
10   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:19:22

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Tony I hear ya brother.

If you watch the '66 FA cup final when God was still interested in footie and supported Everton it is unbelievable the space the players have compared to now.

Football is shit these days, the grounds are filled on the back of history not the fare dished up, look at us.
I wonder if there'll be a "TV Big Brother" moment when realisation will suddenly dawn and people say what's the fuss about it's not value and stop going.
The vanishing Manu season ticket waiting list, the absence of a queue to buy Liverpool fc might be indicators.
Certainly those games not covered by a season ticket suffer.

What to do? certainly the answer is more space, the players CAN play but as seen in the world cup and Inter Milan putting 2 banks of 4 against Barca in the CL it's easier to strangle the game now.
The 2 obvious solutions reduce the numbers or increase the pitch size seem impossible to facilitate but be sure when people stop going something will be done.
Ben Jones
11   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:58:43

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Wow... jus when I thought Toffeeweb couldn't get any weirder at times
Kevin Hudson
12   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:26:52

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Exactly how many pints of "friday feeling," have you consumed Tony?

I bet the only person in the world who would agree with your certifiable stream of consciousness is Sepp Blatter!!

And James - let me guess: American?

First of all,it's draw,not tie.

Secondly, just because the US isn't nuanced enough to appreciate the subleties of football, doesn't mean the sport ought to fundamentally transmute to slake the appetites of the hotdog crowd.

The world roared in laughter at some of the idiotic suggestions made by the USA 94' team: Make the goals bigger, award two "points" for goals scored from 25 yards out, break the game into four quarters, and my personal favourite: The players have to remain in allocated "zones", like in "fussball."

As Maggie Thatcher famously said: "No, no, no!" No thanks, Yanks. If your attention span cannot last longer than a minute,and you can't stomach honours even ? stick to Monster Trucks or WWF.

Oh, and please stop calling it soccer.
Jon Cox
13   Posted 27/08/2010 at 18:53:54

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Here's one. We make the pitch bigger but the main difference is, is that it only has three sides. There are goal posts on each line of the pitch.

Instead of two teams playing there are three. As normal each team tries to score and defend. With the same amount of teams in the league it means less games per season and so much better for the international games.

This is already happening.
In my head.
John Daley
14   Posted 27/08/2010 at 19:22:51

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John Cox,

Throw in naked, female officials wearing goat masks for no good reason, and some futuristic hover boots for the goalkeepers and you've got yourself a guaranteed winner there.
Jon Cox
15   Posted 27/08/2010 at 19:52:04

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Thanks Jon
Tony I'Anson
16   Posted 27/08/2010 at 19:37:45

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Honestly, I must admit I'm surprised that people are thinking the suggestions are radical. But, as ever on TW the patter is second to none. Nurse.

Not so long ago there were no subs, then 1 sub, then 2 subs. Now we almost have another team on the bench. Just like the Yanks in baseball, so I don't think it's fair to slag them off. Plus - they gave us the SopCast!

I spoke a while back I was talking to Terry Butcher about his playing days and he said the only way you never played was if you still couldn't walk if the 2nd courtizone injection never did the trick. Subs were for wimps, he said, and never lose your place in a winning team. But, I suppose times have changed. Shock, horror, changes in the game of soccer. It'll never happen.

Kevin - sadly when I wrote this - not a drop had passed my lips.

Charles - thanks. Customer is King as they say. If the game is boring, we can always go shopping on a Saturday afternoon or even watch the local Rugby team.
Tony I'Anson
17   Posted 27/08/2010 at 19:54:07

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James Flynn(8) I think I know what you mean! Why don't we get rid of points all together and just do it on goal difference? Generally the teams near the top have the better GD and the relegation teams have the worst.

So even if you are 6 nil down away to Newcastle, there is no need to throw in the towel, because if you pull back 2 goals and lose 6-2, you have saved 2 points that may keep you in the PL at the end of the season.
Tony I'Anson
18   Posted 27/08/2010 at 20:08:54

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Jon(13) LCC won't allow it due to crowd control regulations, but apart from could be on to something. I feel you have played footy and been in some great training sessions.

Tony I'Anson
19   Posted 27/08/2010 at 20:12:25

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Kevin(12) did you roar in laughter when the goalie could only move 4 strides after picking up the ball? Or when he picked it up, then put it down again gave a free kick on the 6 yard line? Oh yes my man, I've seen it in Soccer.

Did you roar with laughter when they said they were banning even a clean tackle from behind?

Did you roar with laughter when they don't give a penalty for "ball to hand" for a handball offence?

And do you still roar with laughter when we now don't really understand what the flaming offside rule is?

What I suggested would not get anywhere near the "silliness" that has been suggested the article was. It would be a very subtle change that make the game of football what it should be - a form of entertainment and enjoyment for the spectator.

So long as we win of course, then I couldn't care less about the hand ball rule, what offside was, how many sides there were to the pitch or even if it was called soccer!!!

Dennis Stevens
20   Posted 27/08/2010 at 21:37:07

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I think the idea that the increased fitness of players should be offset by reducing numbers on the field of play is an interesting one, but it seems to me that if it were to be introduced it would just be as a change to team sizes, i.e. 10 a side, rather than taking extra players off during the course of the game.

Those sneering at the use of the term "soccer" by Americans & others should remember that it is actually an English term & dates back to the 19th century. The Americans understandably use the term as a convenient way of differentiating the game from their own peculiar form of Football, but it is not an American term that has crossed the Atlantic to Britain, quite the reverse.
Albert Perkins
21   Posted 27/08/2010 at 21:44:05

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I agree we need changes.
Cameras and another ref for me.

The replay would solve far more problems than it would create. Players would be called on their shit far more than they are now.

An extra official could count the numbers of fouls made by certain players and make suggestions to the ref. He or she could patrol the area of the pitch where the ref could not get to.

The extra official could work on particular issues of the day, such as holding in the box during corners.
(Why this is allowed to continue is a mystery to me)
Did the ball cross the line, etc? The ref couldn't see the incident clearly so ask the extra.

These changes would IMHO make the game more fair and provide a better spectacle.

James Flynn
22   Posted 27/08/2010 at 21:55:31

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Tony (17) - Tell me you're kidding. I took your article seriously. I can't see a reason to reduce from 11 to 10 players after the half. But changes can be made to make the game more exciting. And nothing could make that happen better than getting rid of ties.

The basic 90 minute game I can't see a reason to change. It's exciting as is. But the tie has to go. The NHL (as entrenched a "traditional" sport in N. America [Canada especially] as soccer in England) laid the template.

The tie remains and both teams get the one point. But both are then given the opportunity to grab the other two. If the EPL does it, the world will follow.
Jay Harris
23   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:03:49

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myself and Bill think it's a great suggestion just think of the saving on the wage bill.

Let's see 75,000 x 52 = 3.9 million

If we reduced it to 1 and had Goalie in and out we could save 40 million a year.

Forget that Billionaire we dont need him anymore.
Kevin Hudson
24   Posted 27/08/2010 at 21:58:52

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Give your head a wobble Tony,

Your article is utterly pointless. Stop defending it.

Ball-to-hand is fine; has been forever.

I used to admire Lawrenson's ability to tackle from behind, yet I understand the reason why such tackles were abolished.

I get the offside rule perfectly.

"It would be a very subtle change that make the game of football what it should be-a form of entertainment and enjoyment for the spectator."

No it wouldn't be a SUBTLE change. The game's been 11 a-side since the 1860's,am I to assume that you don't find it enjoyable or entertaining in it's present form?

So is the game fundamentally flawed?

If it ain't broke etc..

Some rule changes have been excellent; the back pass rule being the obvious one.

Your suggestion is the equivalent of my bird's annoying habit of describing to me her "amazing," dreams. Abstruse & irritating to listen to.

This hasn't been thought through properly, and is a product I suggest, of a bored mind,thanks to which, my "Friday Feeling," is now more akin to the Boomtown Rats ambivalence to Monday..
James Flynn
25   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:07:12

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Albert (21) - Good stuff. Scoring a goal is the only reason soccer exists. That there are no official cameras at the goal line to ensure the ball crossed, while TV networks absolutely have cameras trained on the goal line specifically to ensure viewers know if the ball crossed, is an embarassment to the game.

As far as the ref? The second embarassment. The way the ball and players fly around in today's game, that one man still has to control all that is laughable. A not-EPL-level athlete has to make split second decisions on critical matters because he's the only one out there? Hahaha.

A super-embarassment really. As easy a fix as replay at the goal line. Add another referee on the field.

Phil Hamer
26   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:30:12

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Well its great having new American fans off the back of the Landon Donovan and Tim Howard deals, but the flip side is logging on to toffeeweb and reading calls for 'an end to the tie'.

I would try to explain the satisfaction of the hard earned point away from home, or the buzz of the end-to-end 3-3 thriller; but I'd be wasting my time.
Brendan O'Doherty
27   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:54:48

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"the tie has to go."

Great. Hate wearing them anyway.
Brendan O'Doherty
28   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:59:38

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Albert (#21)

I was watching the Anderlecht v Partizan Belgrade penalty shoot-out the other night.

The new "additional assistant referee" was standing not 3 yards from the post on the by-line as each penalty was being taken. He was actually bent over, looking at the goal line.

He still failed to see the Anderlecht 'keeper jump forward 2 or 3 yards in a two-footed leap before each kick was taken, thus narrowing the angle for the taker. It was worse than Dudek in Instanbul 2005. He was so intent on staring at the line, he didn't think of looking at the ball being kicked as part of his viewing spectrum.

A total waste of time.
James Flynn
29   Posted 27/08/2010 at 22:37:19

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Kevin (12) - "And James - let me guess: American?"

Is that you guessing at your best dickhead? Where did you think I'm from? I've been in here with my opinions for 7 months.

"Secondly, just because the US isn't nuanced enough to appreciate the subleties of football, doesn't mean the sport ought to fundamentally transmute to slake the appetites of the hotdog crowd".

Tried to get mad here, but "the sport ought to fundamentally transmute to slake the appetites of the hotdog crowd" (while nonsensical) is good writing and reading.

"The world roared in laughter" . . . . . "Maggie Thatcher"??????

Whatever. Two fingers and a snap Bitch!!!

Dennis Stevens
30   Posted 27/08/2010 at 23:08:01

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"Scoring a goal is the only reason soccer exists" - James Flynn - complete & utter tosh! Some of the best matches I've ever attended have been nil-nil draws & some high scoring matches are awful. It's not basketball!

I do agree with the calls for goal-line technology as the referee should know if the ball has completely crossed the goal-line, obviously he would then have to decide whether it was a goal or to award a free-kick if an offence had been committed. However, I'm not at all in favour of the video-ref type of interruption to the game, especially as all too often even slow-motion replays don't offer categoric proof & so it still comes down to the referee to decide & the vagaries of human error still apply.

One area where video evidence could usefully be employed more frequently is in retrospective punishment of players, perhaps under some type of citing process.
Ciarán McGlone
31   Posted 27/08/2010 at 23:34:35

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My drunken Irish legs have nearly fallen off laughin at this genuine frontier gibberish!

Tony, great article mate. Made me laugh from start to finish.

Good work.
James Flynn
32   Posted 27/08/2010 at 23:23:53

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Dennis (30) - I can't think of any reason a competitive sport exists except that there is a specific measurement of who is better; in soccer more goals, baseball more runs, etc.

That a game can be thrilling and result in Nil-Nil happens all the time. But why should that be the end?

I'd wager a survey of players in any league regarding ties, or some proof of superiority, would find the players rather a superiority conclusion. After all, how the hell did they get where they are in professional athletics except thru a brutal elimination process?

So, some small adjustments in the game. Finished tied? A point apiece. LIke always.

But, let's have the other 2 points chased after before we go home.
Dennis Stevens
33   Posted 27/08/2010 at 23:43:08

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Obviously competitive sport is competitive but, if a match is drawn that dosn't mean the competition is unresolved - sometimes the result is a draw, there doesn't always have to be a winner & loser, unless it's a knock-out competition & even then I feel the FA Cup has lost some of its magic through the elimination of successive replays. Everton's 4-4 draw with RS, leading to the departure of "King" Kenny was thrilling whereas the victorious replay was somewhat dull in comparison.

Football at its best is thrilling & entertaining, not necessarily due to the number of goals, if any, or even the final outcome, at its best football thrills & entertains due to the quality of the play & the ebb & flow of the match.

Kevin Hudson
34   Posted 27/08/2010 at 23:24:43

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"Two fingers and a snap bitch!!!"

Yeah,love that one..( 6 points from the Russian Judge)

Use it on your next Steve Wilkos appearance..Or to your neighbour in the adjacent trailer.

And coming from an American,the word "dickhead," sounds rather ironic. Try "schmuck."

You Go Girlfriend!!
Brendan McLaughlin
35   Posted 27/08/2010 at 23:58:14

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James #31
Because it would be unfair. Why should a team who can't on the day put the opposition to the sword within 90 minutes get the opportunity to gain the same points as a team that can?
Michael Kenrick
36   Posted 28/08/2010 at 00:03:29

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Flynn is spouting the classic American nonsense that there simply has to be a winner. The American psyche just cannot abide a draw... or a "tie" as they call it.

Flynn, that ship has sailed: look at the history lesson. and all the stupid changes you lot instituted in the embryonic MLS. What happened next? Well... if you wanted to play competitive football with the rest of the world, you had to play international rules... which is now exactly what MLS does.

I particularly like that they actually now put the team names the right way around (home team first, as it should be). What idiot decided you would list fixtures with the away team first? Complete madness.

You yanks ain't changing nothing!
James Flynn
37   Posted 28/08/2010 at 00:05:26

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Dennis (33) - Agree with that. If it ends in a tie, fine. But 3 points is the goal every game. The central emphasis should be on that.

NHL hockey is as traditional as England's pro leagues. They made the adjustments in many more ways than "who gets 3 points tonight?" And it worked. So: 90 minutes done and the score 1-1. 1 point apiece. Let's get after the other 2 points still sitting out there.

Believe me, my post in #8 isn't fantasy or projection. It's what's been done and worked. It'll work in the EPL.
Michael Kenrick
38   Posted 28/08/2010 at 00:24:09

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James: "If it ends in a tie, fine... Let's get after the other 2 points still sitting out there."

Oh if only you knew your history. It was always 2 points for a game: 1 each for a draw; both if you win. Then, back whenever, they changed it to get more wins (okay, I concede that was a step in your direction) by giving an extra point for the win: 3 pts instead of 2.

But in the event of a draw, the two points available have been awarded already and there are no more points to be had. Where are you getting this nutty idea that there are 2 more points available? It's not even logical as that would make it 4 points (available) for a draw.
John Daley
39   Posted 28/08/2010 at 00:35:17

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Dennis Stevens,

I'm a bit nostalgic for the days of FA Cup replays as well. Although it could get out of hand sometimes. I remember back in the late 80's (88?) where we just seemed to play Sheffield Wednesday constantly for about three weeks.

James Flynn,

".. my post in #8 isn't fantasy or projection.."

Nope, it's good old fashioned lunacy.
Brendan O'Doherty
40   Posted 28/08/2010 at 00:45:39

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John (#39)

Didn't we have a 3- or 4-game round against Middlesbrough around that time? From distant memory it was utter drama.
James Flynn
41   Posted 28/08/2010 at 00:16:36

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Brendan (35) - I say the 3 points for victory is the way the game's laid out. Everything should be aimed at assuring one of the teams competing get those 3 points. Why else does the game exist?

Things equal or not, 90 minutes finds the score tied. No great tweak of the rules (I include my Post #8) ensures one team gets 3 points at the end of game; the whole point of the garne.

I consider my recommendations so middle of the road from an Amercian point of view. It's funny to see people from the country that formed American attitudes about what's possible, expressing wonder at new (and so minimal) changes in the game.
James Flynn
42   Posted 28/08/2010 at 01:43:18

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JD (39) My Man - Lunacy how? Do you go to Goodison for the games? If so, all or some?
James Flynn
43   Posted 28/08/2010 at 01:47:21

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Kenrick (38) - "Oh if only you knew your history. It was always 2 points for a game: 1 each for a draw; both if you win. Then, back whenever, they changed it to get more wins (okay, I concede that was a step in your direction) by giving an extra point for the win: 3 pts instead of 2".

Michael, you kidding or what? Even over here all those years ago, we knew why it went from 2 points to 3. Teams playing one another with everything to gain by tieing, fixed the game before going out onto the pitch; a disgrace.

Not sure why you're boasting about a decades-old disgrace finally righted. But righted it was, so accept this Yank's pat on the back there Micky-come-lately etal. Certainly don't want match-fixing a part of the game. No matter how "traditional".

With that in mind, and as inspiration, let's make it possible for every EPL game to end in one team garnering the 3 points the standings revolve around. If the EPL does it first, the world game will follow.

My post #8 (with Tony's article as inspiration) shows what's been done already successfully and will work in soccer.
Craig Harrison
44   Posted 28/08/2010 at 01:53:01

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The 1 point each for a tie and then play for the two extra is a complete waste of time. At the beginning it brought a great deal of excitment to the NHL for epenalty shootouts, now a majority of fans have left before the shootout begins. It makes it very difficult for teams to have a slow start to the season and make a late surge to get into the playoffs as most teams are getting at least one point each night. You even have some teams holding back and trying to get a tie to make it to the shootout.

A simpler idea would be to draw a line about midway in each half and only allowing 8 defenders and the goalkeeper behind the line. At least it would make Moyes leave someone on the halfway line for a corner.

James Flynn
45   Posted 28/08/2010 at 02:10:12

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Brendan (35) - I'm not trying to come up with something new.

The way scoring is to get 3 points for winning. Don't win should mean you get zero, not hanging on until I can't beat you and get 1 point. OK, that's not changing anytime soon (although it should).

So we have a tie game, which awards each team a point. OK again. But the pursuit of 3 points shouldn't be negated. It takes little to keep the game going for a few minutes (my suggestion in #8) to give the teams (and followers) a chance at the full 3 points.
Craig Harrison
46   Posted 28/08/2010 at 02:11:51

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Pardon me for posting twice but while we are on the subject of rule changes how about the following.
1) You go down and require the physio to come on the pitch you are off for 5 minutes
2) Yellow card you go off for 5/10 minutes
3) 1 video replay "challenge" allowed per team per game. No automatic goal line review. The replay to be viewed by the ref on the field
4) RS given at least one penalty before the start of each derby (oh wait they already do that)
5) Defensive zone with max 8d+1gk allowed in it
6) CALL the rules already in place for diving, fouls etc.
Craig Harrison
47   Posted 28/08/2010 at 02:23:57

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James (34) - but what you actually get is more teams trying to hold on for extra time/penalties knowing they get 1 point plus a chance at 2 extra. Teams would fancy themselves at penalty shootout victory over say Manure/Chelski rather than trying to attack for the 3 points in normal time.

You actually end up to something similar to the NBA with only the last 2-3 minutes being worth watching. It doesn't have the desired effect of opening the pitch up but rather the reverse.

The NHL introduced tag up offsides at the same time as the shootout ? this had a far more dramatic impact on their game as it allowed it to flow with far less whistles.

Brendan O'Doherty
48   Posted 28/08/2010 at 02:43:24

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"We knew why it went from 2 points to 3. Teams playing one another with everything to gain by tieing, fixed the game before going out onto the pitch; a disgrace."

That, by a distance, is some of the biggest load of bollocks I have ever read on here.

So it was raised from 2 points to 3 for a win because teams were "fixing" games ?

Even Jimmy Hill would be pissing himself at that idea.

Strange that there were no prosecutions.
John Barnes
49   Posted 28/08/2010 at 07:17:22

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I think you are all forgetting, especially James Flynn, that a league game is only one of 38 (in the EPL case) in the actual competition which allows for a draw as the winner of the competition is determined by who amasses the highest points total at the end of that competition ( or season). Cup knockout competitions need a winner and are well catered for via replays, shootouts etc.
Dave Wilson
50   Posted 28/08/2010 at 07:06:21

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James: You're barking up the wrong tree mate, surely you`ve learnt by now how much we hate any change in our sports over here.

It took us over a century to abolish the back-pass law... and we only did that because the shite were winning everything!
Tony I'Anson
51   Posted 28/08/2010 at 07:16:59

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Good morning chaps. I see there was some debate as people returned from the pub. Here are my comments based on your performance's to date and attitude towards "change" (well, we do it to the players every week):

Nick Entwistle (#4) - missed the point completetely, but willing to offer opinion (5/10)

Andy Crooks (#6) - must have had a rough day. Give benefit of the doubt. Clear and to the point, subtle. (6/10)

James Flynn (#8) - good defender of his ideas. Writes well but should go more for the jugular when given the opportunity (9/10).

Charles King (#10) - visionary. Allows younger family members to choose his clothes to keep with the times (10/10).

Kevin Hudson (#12) - the doubter and traditionalist. Still using mobile phone from 2001 as it works (5/10).
(#24) - Boomtown Rats ambivalence to Monday.. (10/10)

Jon Cox (#13) - full understanding of the meaning of the article, and willing to contribute further (9/10)

Dennis Stevens (#20 & 30) - level headed, thoughtful, knowledeable. Every team needs one like him. (8/10)

Albert Perkins (#21) - he gets it. You can't stop change, so make the most of it (8/10)

Jay Harris (#23) - every group needs an accountant. But don't let them run the business (9/10)

Brendan O'Doherty (#27 & 28) - great understanding of both meanings of the article (10/10)

Michael Kenrick (#1,36) - Bit of a wind up merchant, but still willing to stand up for what he believes. Hint of traditional values in there (10/10)
[Had to give MK a 10 for publishing this "silly season" article.]

John Daly (#39) - nostalgic, like most. Would accept change if it brought success (7/10)

Craig Harrison (#44, 46, 47) Good ideas man, beats opponents with grace and style (9/10)
Would have been a 10 but for the "defensive zone".

Sorry if I missed you. Will try to get back for kick off. Great work, everyone.
Derek Thomas
52   Posted 28/08/2010 at 08:50:57

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Discliamer: I read the post and a few of the replies down to about #20 then fast forwarded the rest.


never happen??

'Americanisation' by the back door??

Cricket, MCC long room, stuffed shirts, etc etc.

rewind day cricket?? abomination... 50 overs??... when I was a lad we had a test match that went for 13 days before we got a result!!

Now we have the cricketing Premier League in India with bids for players, drafts (sic) the whole 9 yds (doh! another facet of Americanisation )

Come on down...

T20 (when it first came out derided as 'hit and giggle' )

Q. What happenned to the concept of Attention Span?

Moral; Never say Never.
James I'Anson
53   Posted 28/08/2010 at 10:28:29

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The game is being strangled by some of the lesser teams, the teams that go out to stop their opponents playing and anything else is a bonus. Probably has a lot to do with the fear of relegation and loss of money.

One thing has always annoyed me with these teams/managers is the way they are allowed to change the size of the pitch when the football playing teams turn up. So I would suggest a subtle change in that we all have to play on the same size of pitch.

Mike Allison
54   Posted 28/08/2010 at 11:34:38

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You can't have the two halves being unequal in any way, as it could be crucially unfair in certain conditions. A windy day being a prime example.

Also, your plan would make every first half pointless. Why bother risking anything in that period when everything will change after half-time?

If you want ten-a-side, the whole game will have to be ten-a-side, taking one off at half-time is silly.

James, #8, it'll be hard to explain to you, but your post encapsulates a key reason why many non-Americans have a very low opinion of Americans (this doesn't include me I might add). A draw is a perfectly reasonable result, and is part of a season-long context where everybody plays each other the same number of times and a final league table is produced. I much prefer this to the manufactured drama of the American sports. When football is dramatic, it's genuine, the drama that arises is special and rare and worth so much more because of it.

I'm a huge fan of Test Match Cricket, which can take five days and still be a draw, and if you talk in terms of a Test series, it can take 8-9 weeks and still be a draw. So be it.
Ray Roche
55   Posted 28/08/2010 at 14:28:51

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If we're talking about rule changes how about these;

NO substitutes in the last ten minutes of any game, for any reason. It'd stop ridiculous substitutions with 30 seconds to go.

The goalie takes a goalkick from the side where the ball went out, like we used to, which would stop time wasting tactics as keepers wander from one side of the goal to the other.

A red card for grappling in the area, along with a penalty. It would stop the WWF sessions overnight.

Go back to the old offside rule. Now.

A 10-yard gap between the free kick and the wall. What? That's supposed to happen now...?

Bring back the tackle from behind, above, any-fucking-where. It's getting to be a non-contact sport. It's a man's game.

No player bar the captain can say a word to the ref, let alone push him around.

Divers and "simulation" experts will be taken out and shot.
Ray Roche
56   Posted 28/08/2010 at 14:51:55

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"Simulation" expert... that doesn't include my missus.
Michael Kenrick
57   Posted 28/08/2010 at 15:02:58

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James Flynn (# ): It's rare that Brendan O'Doherty and I agree on anything but your revisionism regarding 3 points for a win would rank right up there with the creationist denial of history that is so rife in your country. Here's an independent source:

Another important change [to the Football League] was made in 1981, when it was decided to award three points for a win instead of two, a further effort to increase attacking football. (This scoring rule was not added by FIFA to the World Cups until the 1994 cup after the perceived dominance of defensive play at Italia 90)

I assure you categorically, it had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with match-fixing.
Nick Entwistle
58   Posted 28/08/2010 at 17:22:23

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So what you're saying Tony is that you gave me a Hibbert/ Osman rating to the debate?
Tony I'Anson
59   Posted 28/08/2010 at 18:46:02

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James I'Anson (53) - cheatin' rotton scoundrals. Fancy going for a pint?

Mike Allison (54) ok ten a side it is.

Ray Roche (55, 56) quality. 10 out of 10. But don't tell the missus.

MK (57) - solid performer as ever.

Nick Entwistle (58) - I would have been lower not for the quip about the Tiger. Demonstrates an inner self willing to look in the miror and say "yes, all us TW contributors are deluded".

As for the Hibbert/Osman comparison, to answer a question, with a question ? Do you see yourself as a loyal, hardworking, true to the cause type of person for your employer? Are you maybe not "Employee of the Month with your name on the wall in the staffroom" type, but you have the company's interest at heart at all times and willing to go the extra mile to fulfill late orders, keep customers happy and win local regional business competitions? If you are, then Yes.

Stephen Kenny
60   Posted 28/08/2010 at 20:03:14

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What about making the liner take all the corners and throw-ins. Or my personal favorite, multi-ball.

It's the most popular sport in the world for a very good reason.
John Daley
61   Posted 28/08/2010 at 21:33:20

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James Flynn (42),

I'm a season ticket holder James.

However, if, after ninety minutes and following a hard fought draw, i then had to sit through the nonsensical spectacle of "10 minutes of overtime...a keeper apiece and 8 on 8 in the field", i would be sorely tempted to snap said season ticket in half and shove it up right up a swans arse.

That would at least give me more satisfaction than some meaningless, falsely manufactured 'victory'.

It was impossible to separate two evenly matched teams. Honours even. We'll turn you over at your place though ya gobshites. That's the way it is, and always should be in my opinion.
Tony I'Anson
62   Posted 29/08/2010 at 08:09:00

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Derek Thomas (52) point well made. I'm in full agreement - Never say never.

John Daly (61) - If you do that John, be careful as they're vicious creatures. Away fans that is. I know what you mean about a hard fought draw, especailly a last minute equaliser making it feel like a win.

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