Erratic Everton continue to infuriate

By Lyndon Lloyd 29/12/2018 136comments  |  Jump to last
Brighton & Hove Albion 1 - 0 Everton

My God, it’s hard supporting this team sometimes. (Most of the time?) A thrashing at home followed by an optimism-inducing 5-1 away win and now a third defeat in four games to an inferior team that means Everton have taken just five points from the last 21 available. Oh, and that team that embarrassed us 6-2 eight days ago lost 3-1 at home today to a team that was playing in the Championship this time last year. Merry bloody Christmas…

This trip to Brighton was every bit as difficult as it promised to be beforehand. Chris Hughton’s team have struggled away this season but only Tottenham and Chelsea have taken maximum points from the Amex Stadium so far and Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw on Boxing Day that suggested that this was going to be a much tougher assignment for the Blues than was Burnley.

Marco Silva elected to go with the same system as three days ago but against a different formation and it became apparent, particularly in midfield where André Gomes was largely smothered, that the extra centre-half against a lone striker was the wrong option. It was only the concession of the goal, another poorly-defended set-piece, that prompted the change to a back four and, as it turned out, that was too late.

Credit to Brighton — they set their stall out from the outset, compressing the spaces, collapsing around Everton players and snapping into tackles. Granted, they were favoured to a frustrating degree by a dreadful referee in the form of Andy Madley but they had clearly been instructed to be aggressive and fight for every ball and they generally made it very hard for the Toffees to establish any rhythm.

And yet, despite never really ever clicking into gear, Everton should have been ahead by half-time. Michael Keane should at least have hit the target from Bernard’s 11th-minute cross but planted a free header wide and you imagine that the Seamus Coleman of old would have put his foot through a gilt-edged volley opportunity with half an hour gone after a great run by Richarlison rather than trying to take a touch around his man and seeing his eventual effort blocked behind.

Idrissa Gueye, once again more advanced than Gomes despite his weaker offensive game, actually caught the ball well a minute later but his shot was saved by David Button in the Brighton goal. And there were other potential openings for Silva’s men but Gueye wasted one with a poor final ball after making an excellent interception in the middle of the park.

Bernard then tricked his way past his man but Theo Walcott overhit a cross looking for Gueye and the Brazilian was lax in not reading the potential for a chance in front of goal as his compatriot Richarlison cushioned a header back to him in the six-yard box and the ball was cleared.

Despite actually moving the ball better than Everton and finding greater success in playing out from the back, Brighton had been restricted to just a couple of chances of their own in the first period.

Jordan Pickford was called into action to push Pascal Groß’s cross away at the feet of Florin Andone in the 13th minute while Yerry Mina had to come across swiftly to take the ball off off Davy Pröpper’s toe later in the half.

The hosts were the better of the two sides in the first quarter of an hour after the restart, however, and it falls on Silva for not reading the writing on the wall that portended a Brighton goal, almost predictably off a corner just minutes after Pickford had bailed Mina out with a terrific point-blank save.

Not for the first time, the Colombian steamed across and inexplicably played the man instead of the ball, leading to an obvious free-kick that found Andone in the middle but Pickford reacted superbly to push it over.

The keeper was left stranded, though, following a 59th-minute corner that came from a loose pass by Bernard that required an emergency intervention from Keane to knock the ball behind. Mina couldn’t get contact on the resulting set-piece, it bounced off Gomes’s leg and fell straight to Jurgen Locadia who sliced it past Pickford. The goal was initially chalked off for offside but the referee awarded it after consulting with his assistant.

Everton were almost level within three minutes and it might have been a different story if Richarlison hadn’t been foiled by Button. Mina had come forward and found the Brazilian in the Brighton area and his shot through a forest of legs was turned onto the post by the keeper.

Silva made the belated change in formation shortly afterwards, withdrawing the erratic Mina and introducing Gylfi Sigurdsson but with the a goal advantage, Brighton had the Blues where they wanted them. Hughton’s men were adept at winning a succession of cheap free-kicks and were generally able to frustrate Everton by pulling men behind the ball and daring the visitors to break them down.

The extra gear that was needed was never achieved and the quality required to pick the lock was fleeting. After doing all the hard work by skinning his marker down the left flank and feigning another left-footed cross before cutting back inside, Bernard made a mess of his shot, one which threatened the corner flag more than the goal.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin came on for Gomes and Oumar Niasse replaced Bernard with 10 minutes to go but the supposedly greater firepower did not translate to more chances. Walcott did next to nothing all match – again! – Calvert-Lewin barely had a sniff inside the box and Niasse’s first touch was comically awful, to the point where you wondered once more how the hell he ended up in the Premier League and is even still considered as an option on the Everton bench.

So many passes were over-hit or misplaced by black-shirted players, the decision-making in the final third remained suspect and yet Everton came within a few inches of grabbing a point when Locadia fouled Sigurdsson and the Icelandic international swung the resulting free-kick into the box where Kurt Zouma rose highest to plant a header off the crossbar with five minutes left.

Button was tested once more in stoppage time when perhaps the only ball Niasse was able to trap was fired the ‘keeper’s way from just inside the box by the Senegalese striker but the keeper gathered it at the second attempt before referee Madley blew for full-time.

As mentioned on another thread on these pages earlier, the term “transition” has become an irritating cliché for many Evertonians, particularly when Blues fans watch teams like Wolves, Leicester and Crystal Palace can travel to places like Wembley, Stamford Bridge and the Etihad and record wins over top-six teams while Everton struggle to even score at places like Brighton.

Each team is different, however, and while there is undoubtedly an element of psychology and, perhaps, a lack in coaching versatility at play in the Blues’ case, Silva is still presiding over a squad very much in transition from two failed managerial tenures.

There clearly was not enough time or money for Brands and Silva to ship out the dead wood last summer and bring in the quality we require across the board to compete with the top six. They did pretty well in the three months they had but both needed this season to fully assess the entire squad so that they can see where we still need to dramatically improve.

Everton desperately need a reliable goalscorer whose name isn't Richarlison because if he's not scoring or Sigurdsson isn't producing magic from midfield, there are few goals in the side. It was surprising to hear Brands came out as definitively as he did in saying he doesn't see any incoming signings next month but it would also be very difficult to sign the one player most teams are after – a 20-goals-a-season striker.

You could argue that right-back, right-wing and central midfield also need to be significantly strengthened before this team is capable of winning consistently and that takes time and money.

In the interim, however, as those afore-mentioned teams have shown, there is plenty to be said for having the right mindset and the right approach in games and combining it with a bit of killer instinct in the final third and a bit more solidity at the back when it comes to defending dead balls.

Too many players aren’t producing where it counts and as long as that continues, the more frustrating this season will continue to be.

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Reader Comments (136)

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Phillip Warrington
1 Posted 29/12/2018 at 20:26:40
Yes, we need a striker, or yes, we need blah blah.

The problem for Brands is that we have already accumulated too many underperforming overpriced players who are on ridiculous wages who don't give a shit and can't be moved on.

Brands realises that bringing in more high priced players who will demand high wages to play for Everton will be financial suicide unless he can offload some players permanently.

I have never been so despondent supporting Everton in the last 50 years as I am now, and can't really see how we can bridge the gap with our neighbours – never mind the other teams in the top 8.

Tony Duffey
2 Posted 29/12/2018 at 20:46:59
How the hell does Walcott get picked week after week?

He was absolutely awful today, and the five or six previous games, but seems rooted on the right wing. I can't remember one significant contribution today from him, admittedly the same could be said for several others. I have always been an admirer of Seamus but this season, since his awful injury, he has not been able to reproduce the electric form of the last few years.

I know we need to be patient – Silva cannot perform miracles overnight – how long has Klopp been across Stanley Park without winning much? (Maybe different this season!) but I believe he is moving in the right direction compared to the last two managers!


Tony Abrahams
3 Posted 29/12/2018 at 20:52:28
Lyndon, did the ref, consult with the linesman, or was it the 4th official who gave him the nod?

No complaints it was the correct decision, but I saw Chris Hughton nod and wink at the 4th official, so maybe this was a goal given by VAR?

Lyndon Lloyd
4 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:02:32
It wouldn't have been VAR, Tony, but it's possible that the fourth official communicated with Madley via headset and told him to confirm with the lino whom the ball had come off last.
John Raftery
5 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:03:22
Tony (3) It was the assistant.
Paul Birmingham
6 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:05:07
Tony, agreed.

If we are all honest and realistic, then the rebuilding process will take a couple of seasons at least, if not three.

It seems a long time in life, but football seasons come and go faster these days than in the 1970s and 80s.

Tonnes and tonnes of hope and belief won't be enough on its own, but I'm sensing this is Marcel Brands's biggest challenge, and I'm sure he won't fail.

But the constants such as the so-called Big Six getting more and bigger sponsorship deals, coupled with teams making up the numbers also turning every stone to become successful, makes it very tough times.

I hope we can win the FA Cup this season, you never know, but the club needs a boost. Perhaps Bramley-Moore Dock could be part of that boost, with a green light given for the approvals of ground design, but a consistent and reliable team is what Id like more than anything else as prime priority.

That takes players, monies and churn, rebuild and focus. Father Time waits for no-one.

We have hope, and Marco Silva is almost 6 months in, and it's half-term report time. For me, after today it's C–, and needs more improvement in the way the team plays! In every aspect. Clearly some players we have don't have the qualities needed but it's only half-way through the season. Plenty of time to improve and we must focus on us and no one else.

Leicester regardless of today's result is a massive game, as the first game of 2919.

By God, EFC, needs a big tonic.

Jim Bennings
7 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:07:38
Nobody is asking Silva to perform miracles and the stupid comparison with Klopp having three years (when along the way he's had two European finals and arguably going to win the league this season) is just a pathetic comparison.

Silva is not going to have Everton challenging for the top 4 in three years, no more than Martinez, Koeman or Allardyce would have.

The concern for Everton and it's board these days is we don't seem to be able to progress forwards anymore despite having spent millions upon millions of pound on managers and players.

We were finishing 5th, 6th and 7th regularly with little money to spend under Moyes and it feels like in the three years since we have been splashing cash we have gone further backwards from the Moyes era as crazy as it sounds.

There doesn't seem to be a clear strategy anymore.

It's just throwing money at this that and the others without someone at the club having a clear identifiable target.

We could finish anywhere between 7th and 12th, I'd stick my neck out and say we'll finish about 9th if we carry on as we are with inconsistencies.

That can't be deemed as progress by the chairman, not with all the money he's thrown at the manager and the playing side.

A mediocre finish to the season then we face yet another monumental summer of trying to steer the team in the right direction to avoid yet more of the same next term for 2019-20.

How long do we take deciding whether certain players are never going to be good enough to take us further and keep making excuses about transition season after season?

How long will Moshiri be patient with his third manager in three years?

Mark Murphy
8 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:09:12
We brought on Niasse!

I can trap the ball further than he kicks it!


Tony Everan
9 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:20:05
Yes, Lyndon, It's Infuriating and hard work supporting Everton in recent years.

There never seems to be a plateau of consistency or quality. One step forward and two steps back, time and time again. Sometimes I think you could copy and paste your match report headlines from many games. Same old, same old stories... we have heard it all before.

What is there to do? Move to Mongolia, build a hut and live in a media-free zone? Or plod on supporting and hoping that we can become a top side again.

Mongolia's a bit chilly, so.... plodding on it is.

Darren Alexander
10 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:24:31
@Paul, 6: now you're talking, in terms of timescale – by the start of 2919 we'll hopefully have had just about enough time to sort out this shambles... and maybe even Schneiderlin's lucrative contract will be up by then?
Tony Abrahams
11 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:27:46
Does the 4th official still have a television screen to view replays? Or Is that now a thing of the past?
Mark Murphy
12 Posted 29/12/2018 at 21:54:31
Obviously I meant he can trap a ball further than I can kick it... But you get the gist! He was what we had to try to rescue this game!

Niasse! I nearly spat out me cornflakes when someone suggested Defoe but ffs he's a better option than Niasse! Surely??

Jay Wood

13 Posted 29/12/2018 at 22:27:03
Not being a fan of playing 3 centre-backs, against Burnley and the way they set up and play, I could understand it (all the more so in the wake of the 6-2 Spurs tanking) and it clearly worked well.

Leading up to this game, I recalled how we comfortably saw off Brighton with a flat back four in the home game and I hoped Silva would not continue with 3 centre-backs in today's game.

Unfortunately, he did. And he further compounded matters by replacing the player best suited to occupy Brighton's 2 centre-backs – Calvert-Lewin – with a player ill-suited to the inevitable physical attention he would face playing with his back to goal – Richarlison.

Richarlison cut a forlorn and frustrated figure all game, tiresomely going to ground under any contact and throwing a mini-tantrum each time he didn't get a free kick. Silva really needs to have a word with the young man that he is not doing either the team any service by continuing to do this, or his own reputation.

This was a game for Silva to demonstrate the faith he spoke of mid-week that he has in Calvert-Lewin, with Richarlison likely to cause Brighton more problems running at them from the flanks. And he chose badly.

Even so, we were the more creative side as the first half wore on, with Gana Gueye outstanding, but, after the interval, absolute gash!

Not for the first time, Silva's substitutions were too gung-ho, too early, and we closed out the game with a school playground formation without proper shape or balance.

We aided and abetted Brighton to comfortably defend their lead by giving away cheap free kicks to break up the possibility of getting up a head of steam and maintain pressure in and around their penalty area.

Finally, a word on the word that is being contested a lot on these pages: 'transition'.

Life – nature – a football club, they are all constantly in transition. It is a never-ending process. It should not be used as a blanket excuse but, given the governance, transfer policy, and personnel at the club in the entire history of the Premier League, never mind just on Silva's and Brands's watch, it is totally legitimate to express some tolerance and a call for patience this season. It does not necessarily equate to passive acceptance of poor performances and results, as some wish to oversimplify it.

It is way, way too premature to call for Silva's head as some are starting to do. And it is jaw-droppingly ridiculous to propose the return of David Moyes or the recruitment of Eddie Howe as possible replacements, as offered on the match day thread.

No need to expand on 'Moyes – never again!' (if yer know yer 'istory) and anyone proposing Howe is not following closely Bournemouth's recent results: since the start of November, their form has been worse than ours – P 10, W 2 (home wins to Huddersfield and Brighton) D 0, L 8, F 8, A 22. Not great, is it?

Ian Smitham
14 Posted 29/12/2018 at 23:52:34
Tony #3, how interesting. I am a qualified ref, nowhere near at this level – Park football for me – so issues like the goal or not don't really get there.

Anyway, my understanding of the laws of the game are that, if the ball hits a defender, rather than him actively being involved, then it does not count that it touched him, therefore, not playing the forwards onside.

So far as I can see, the goal tonight, on tele only, it hit Gomes rather than he played it, so, in law our defender did not play it, so the goal should not have stood.

Stewart Lowe
15 Posted 30/12/2018 at 00:49:52
We can't slate this team as it's a work in progress with a manager 7 months in, and one solitary transfer window to change years of poor management. Just because we get 5 new players, all hitting the ground running, doesn't make a team or squad. We all know what needs to be done, but it can't be done over-night.

This time last year, we had no left-hand side at all, and it will be imperative that Silva creates a new right side as well. Yes, Brighton are inferior, but they have a well-drilled, balanced, and experienced team, but with no back-up on the bench. That was Everton under Moyes, remember, and that can be stronger than an incomplete team and squad that we are right now.

There is still approximately 12 players we need out the door, which will be replaced by 6 quality players, but unfortunately, that can't happen quick enough for the impatient fans that we are.

Hywel Owen
16 Posted 30/12/2018 at 01:24:33
As I understand the rules the ball must be deliberately passed back by the defender to play an opposing player onside. Deflections and blocks by the goalkeeper do not play an opposing player onside. Except when you play Everton at home and the opposing manager is a very nice bloke!!!
Michael Kenrick
17 Posted 30/12/2018 at 01:55:46

I bow to your refereeing experience... but, if the ball went from the corner taker to the goalscorer without hitting Gomes, then how could it be offside? It's really hard to be offside direct from a corner...

Jamie Crowley
18 Posted 30/12/2018 at 02:54:07
Michael's correct. It was directly from the corner.

Very, very difficult to be offside from a corner kick. Nary impossible.

Yup, impossible.

Whether intentional or not doesn't matter in this case. When the ball was kicked, the player was onside. If the ball was played intentionally by Gomes and errantly so, the player is onside. If the ball was played unintentionally by Gomes, at the initial kick the player was onside (it's a corner FFS...).

Goal. End of.

Darryl Ritchie
19 Posted 30/12/2018 at 03:21:15
We can't seem to find a way through versus a defence that is disciplined and well coached. We are missing that bit of class that the top teams have.

I do think we have the players to make the magic happen, but we are in a bit of a rough patch lately, and the confidence level is as low as it's been all season. I had hoped that the Burnley bashing would give them the boost, but they played as if disinterested.

With all the talk about bringing another striker, it's interesting that Henry Oneykuru scored a brace for Galatasary today.

Steve Brown
20 Posted 30/12/2018 at 03:39:50
Jim @ 7, noting that you posted continually after the defeat yesterday but were conspicuous by your absence (as usual) when we thrashed Burnley 5-1, I am sure you will buck that trend and jump on after our next win to praise the team.

As for you blathering on about how good Klopp is, take it somewhere else. He HASN'T won a thing yet for Liverpool. What he has been given is time, faith and massive financial funding, all the things that you and plenty others don't want to give Silva.

So, if we beat Leicester, I will head straight to the report to see you speaking up for the team.

Brian Dagnall
21 Posted 30/12/2018 at 05:32:45
Gomes, who many believe will be a star, had a dreadful game and was rightly subbed. Whether the person who replaced him worked any better is difficult to say.

Richarlison, another star, also had a shocking game. He has had a few already. Walcott who is definitely not star material, had a shocker as well.

So the good players we have had to carry all that dross. The three backs played well; Gana, Digne, Bernard and Sigurdsson all showed some ideas.

Poor old Seamus looks lost. A great Everton man, let's hope he can get his form back. Does anyone believe that horrific injury has hastened his loss of form?

So, in my opinion, we need a few more quality players who can pass the ball around and keep it. When we get those and still it isn't working, I will begin to question the manager.

Peter Warren
22 Posted 30/12/2018 at 08:21:03
Seamus and Walcott (both who I have liked for some time) have been shocking all season.
Ian Hollingworth
23 Posted 30/12/2018 at 09:29:26
I am trying to be positive about all things Everton but, Christ, they make that harder than doing dry January.

In order for this team to progress, we need to start Lookman instead of Walcott for a run of games. We desperately need a new quality right-back and a top-drawer centre-forward.

The team as a whole needs to gain mental strength; they need to learn to fight for themselves, for each other and for us fans. They need belief.

Other than that, on a positive note, it is all going swimmingly well.

Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 30/12/2018 at 10:40:03
They sure make it hard for refs, but I honestly think some refs love having this little bit of room to manoeuvre, Ian!

I'd love to change some of the laws because they actively encourage cheating imo, and I also think it's time to give the linesmen more help, because the game is now that fast that I genuinely feel some decisions are now in the lap of the gods.

Brian Harrison
25 Posted 30/12/2018 at 11:14:28
As far as I understand the rules, if the ball is played directly to you from a corner, then you cant be offside. But this corner wasn't played directly to a Brighton player so when it hit Gomes, who didn't play at the ball, then both Brighton forwards were in an offside position.

Now I know it seems many rules seem to have changed without anyone knowing. Like when was the rule regarding taking corners changed? The rule used to be all the ball had to be inside the quadrant; now, as long as some part of the ball touches the quadrant, it's okay.

I would also love to know when the obstruction law was changed? Now, if a ball is running over the goal line, it seems its perfectly lawful to be able to stand yards away from the ball and obstruct the attacker from getting near the ball.

Just going back to yesterday's goal, I remember last season Liverpool played Spurs and Kane was in an offside position when the ball was played through to him but, because the referee had seen that Lovren had played at the ball and made contact with the ball, then the goal was rightly given. But yesterday, Gomes made no attempt to play the ball.

Jay Wood

26 Posted 30/12/2018 at 12:12:36
We wuz robbed!

In game yesterday, I conceded that the officials had got it right, believing that Gomes' non-intentional intervention played the THREE Brighton players onside, and so the goal was legit.

Reading Ian @ 14 and other posts I've just looked up The FA's own site on the offside rule. And categorically, the goal should not have stood. Here's the link:


Of course, you can never be offside from the original corner kick, but things change as soon as another player touches the ball, which in this case was the ball ricocheting backwards off Gomes. It was clearly not a deliberate play by Gomes.

The rule is very, very clear. Among a list of what constitutes an offside position is the following:

"A player in an offside position at the moment the ball... rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent"

The ball clearly deflects/rebounds off the unfortunate Gomes.

This doesn't excuse the pitiful second half display, but match officials officiating at a Premier League game should know this. The goal simply should not have stood.

Derek Knox
27 Posted 30/12/2018 at 13:50:56
A very appropriate headline, Lyndon; just when you start thinking that things are changing for the better, they turn in an abject performance like that of yesterday.

Okay, they hit the woodwork twice, and some of the refereeing could have been better, but you can't make those excuses all the time and blame bad luck; sometimes, you have to create your own luck.

It was so obvious that neither the formation nor certain players were good enough to persist with but, rather than change it while there was time to do something about it, he left the substitutions far too late in my opinion.

Next game is Leicester, who are arguably better than Brighton, but which Everton will turn up?

Jim Hardin
28 Posted 30/12/2018 at 14:10:39

The key is the first part of the rule where the explanation states "A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched by a team-mate." The rule does not apply to an on-side player.

The Brighton player was on-side when his teammate took the corner kick. Because another Brighton player did not touch the ball, when it deflected off Gomes (no control or deliberate playing off the ball to reset the off-side positioning line) the scorer was still in an on-side position at that point. So the part of the rule to which you are referring does not apply as it only deals with an off-side player. That is also why there was no advantage gained by an off-side player, as there was no off-side player.

If it had been a free kick from 25 yards out floated in and the scorer was initially in an off-side position on the kick, then the rule would apply and the goal would be waived off.

Admittedly, it still is hard to take. One would hope that Everton starts getting the luck the rest of the season so deflections go our way and balls that hit the woodwork go in, or at least to another Everton player to net an easy goal.

Best wishes to everyone for 2019, especially to those on here going through their various personal health issues. I don't contribute much anymore (some would argue that I never did anyway) but still read the posts and articles.

John Pierce
29 Posted 30/12/2018 at 14:13:24
Ian @14,

I think sadly the goal was correctly given. At the point the corner was taken, all the Brighton players were on-side, behind the ball. From that point, it matters not how intentional the touch was. The touch from the defending player is simply an extension of the corner, they were to my understanding never offside in the first place, they were never in advance of the ball played forward by the attack.

We might have more of a grumble how it was defended. Another goal from a corner, two from two — yet another concern running through Silva's team. For a manager who is mooted to be into detail, I think it's worrying concern.

Brent Stephens
30 Posted 30/12/2018 at 14:15:00
Jim, I was about to post similarly. My interpretation of the law is that there was no offside.
Jimmy Hogan
31 Posted 30/12/2018 at 14:22:33
John Pierce
32 Posted 30/12/2018 at 14:31:56
Jim, all power to ya, got there just before me! I cry offside sir.

Gordon Crawford
33 Posted 30/12/2018 at 14:38:02
It wasn’t offside sadly.
Jay Wood

34 Posted 30/12/2018 at 15:02:43
Jim @ 29. Originally, as I said, in game I accepted the goal was correctly given based on my understanding of how an attacking player can be 'played on' by a defending player.

Alerted by Ian's post @ 14 and looking up The FA's own site on the offside rule, I'm not convinced by your interpretation.

No argument from me that you can't be offside from a corner but, as the ball comes in and before it accidentally bounces back off Gomes into the six-yard box, the Everton defence has already moved out and two Brighton players are clearly offside within the six-yard box.

This is confirmed by the linesman himself, who flags for offside and initially, the referee disallows the goal. Correct?

Only after protestation from the Brighton players and the ref goes over to speak with the lino is the decision to disallow the goal reversed. Correct?

So, for both the linesman and the referee, the goal was orginally disallowed for offside – there was no other evident offence. Correct?

Only after consulting did the officials reverse their decision and award the goal and the only grounds they could have done so was because Gomes's touch played the Brighton scorer onside. Correct?

If the described sequence of events above are all correct (as I believe they are), then surely the first phase of the play – a corner kick from which you cannot be offside – is usurped by the second phase – Gomes's unintended deflection/rebound to the offside Brighton player, which activates the earlier clause I highlighted:

"A player in an offside position at the moment the ball... rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent"

Because the Brighton player was 'clearly in an offside position at the moment the ball... rebounded/deflected off... an opponent'.

As I already said, in no way am I offering the awarding of the goal as an excuse for yesterday's defeat. Just looking for understanding and clarification on the interpretation of this scenario because, based on the wording of the Football Association's own rule book, as I read it, the goal shouldn't have stood.

Phil Sammon
35 Posted 30/12/2018 at 15:20:22
Jay @36,

‘A player in an offside position at the moment the ball is played or touched* by a team-mate is only penalised on becoming involved in active play by:'

Hi Jay. I think the bit you are overlooking is ‘team-mate'.

As the player was onside when his team-mate played the ball, he is still onside despite Gomes's touch.

Brent Stephens
36 Posted 30/12/2018 at 15:28:33
Jay "as the ball comes in [from the corner] and before it accidentally bounces back off Gomes into the six-yard box, the Everton defence has already moved out and two Brighton players are clearly offside within the six-yard box".

Let's assume a situation where the defence moves out of the six-yard box at a corner, leaving an attacker still in the six-yard box, and the ball touches no defender on its way into the box – the attacker is still onside (as you can't be offside from a corner)?

Gordon Crawford
37 Posted 30/12/2018 at 15:41:48
You can’t be offside from the initial kick of a corner.
Darren Hind
38 Posted 30/12/2018 at 15:43:10
Ist phase - 2nd phase.

The touch from Gomes was never intentional in a million years. The "goal" was wrongly allowed to stand.

Jay Wood

39 Posted 30/12/2018 at 15:49:33
But Brent, that wasn't the scenario yesterday, was it? In your scenario, clearly the goal should stand.

Gordon: "You can’t be offside from the initial kick of a corner."

Yesssss...and...? See above and previous posts.

Andrew Clare
40 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:02:45
So often, we play these teams like Brighton and lose, yet not one of their players would be deemed good enough to play for Everton. They then have a substitute warming up (normally a veteran striker who is past his best) to come on and create havoc for us – admittedly it didn't happen yesterday but how many times have we witnessed this?

We haven't been a solid outfit for years. We look so fragile. I can't remember the last time we dominated a game.

Pete Hughes
41 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:05:29
Andrew, I would swap Knockaert for Walcott anytime!
Brent Stephens
42 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:19:11
Jim #29 seems to make a fair point:

"The Brighton player was on-side when his teammate took the corner kick. Because another Brighton player did not touch the ball, when it deflected off Gomes (no control or deliberate playing of the ball to reset the off-side positioning line) the scorer was still in an on-side position at that point. So the part of the rule to which you are referring does not apply as it only deals with an off-side player. That is also why there was no advantage gained by an off-side player, as there was no off-side player."

Len Hawkins
43 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:23:19
You can argue about rules from now to Kingdom Come... the final say is the ref's interpretation of the rules. Yesterday, every time an Everton player came into contact with a Brighton player, it was a free kick but every contact by Brighton on Everton was waved away. The Referee was the epitome of a homer.

At least we got an answer to the "Walcott doesn't track back to help the full-back" debate when he hooked the ball out for a corner instead of upfield – tells you why he should stay on the halfway line if he gets many more games.

Jim Hardin
44 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:27:37

There is no second phase. Had the scorer come from an offside position to intercept a forward pass from one Everton player to another, then it would have been offside. However, the initial positioning of the defenders and where they move does not matter from the corner.

The interpretation of whether the scorer was onside or offside is still determined at the time of the corner kick. The defenders could have all sprinted to the other side of the pitch and it would not matter. Because the ball did not touch another Brighton player and was not controlled by an Everton player, the initial position of the scorer determines the call. Your argument wrongly assumes a deflection = an event that required re-adjusting the offside line. It doesn't. It is no different than the ball deflecting off the post or from a goalkeeper deflection that is not controlled.

In fact, in the very rule you cite, there are examples. See Number 4 and simply insert deflection off a defender for goalpost. It covers the exact same portion of the rule you are relying upon. Onside is determined at the time of the initial kick in that example – just as it correctly was in the game.

We spend an enormous amount of time going over the rule at our re-certs and clinics because the rule is so difficult. As for the assistant referee popping the flag and then the referee coming over and discussing, that is actually quite common and should be encouraged. The object is to make the right call, and they did here.

We may agree to disagree on this. Unfortunately, the result will stand regardless. Can't wait for VAR so at least those watching on TV will have the rules interpreted and explained by some expert, probably Mark Clattenburg, or Dr Joe Machnik for US viewers. Won't help those at the pitch though.

Brent Stephens
45 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:32:49
Jim, "We spend an enormous amount of time going over the rule at our re-certs and clinics because the rule is so difficult."

Out of interest, Jim, you are a qualified ref??

John Pierce
46 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:33:32
Jim, I was about to post this?

Darren, where do you think a second phase began? There was no change of possession, as you rightly say the touch was entirely unintentional, a deflection. I would proffer the ball has to be under control for that to occur.

So when the ball was played by his Brighton team-mate, all three were onside and never became offside, the touch, therefor, is moot?

Good goal for me, pretty lame defending both from Gomes, almost turning his back on it and then the Easter island 🗿 trio watching and admiring the finish with a forlorn arm waving at their friends in the crowd.

Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:42:59
Especially the refs, Jim, who have got to put up with these very complicated laws.

I love football. I love skill, I love thought, I love fight, but I hate the cheating that goes on all over the park, and I think that refs need more help.

Anyone ever played midfield? It's hard when your opponent has the ball, he can go left, he can go right, or he can play little one-twos around you. You slow him up, you get closer to him and, if he gets caught in two minds or puts his head down, then you try and pinch the ball?

Now all's I witness when this happens is a dive, then a moan, or the player who has been tackled fairly, grabbing the ball with two hands as they slide onto the floor. This deceives most refs, especially when the big boys do it, and it fucking winds me up to death.

Let's introduce a sin-bin for football to stop the cheats and help the refs, especially because nearly everybody defends their own now, if they can get away with this horrible gamesmanship.

Jay Wood

48 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:45:25
But Brent, the rules don't stipulate that it needs to touch another attacking player (as Jim and you seem to be suggesting) to 'deactivate' the can't-be-offside-from-a-corner' clause.

And Jim is incorrect in saying (if I am reading him correctly) that the Brighton scorer was 'still in an on-side position' when the ball deflected off Gomes. He most definitely wasn't by the time the ball hit Gomes.

As I carefully outlined in my post @ 36, both the linesman and the referee initially flagged the Brighton players offside and disallowed the goal, so for them – at first glance – they considered the home players were in an offside position.

Gomes's touch constitutes a second phase of the play, which surely supersedes and thus makes redundant the first phase, the corner kick and the application of the 'no offside' rule.

The wording on this, taken from Football Association's own site, is not my own invention. For me, it couldn't be more categoric:

"A player [is offside if] in an offside position at the moment the ball... rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent."

The Brighton player was in an offside position [at that moment]...

The ball did rebound to him [unintentionally]...

Not from a Brighton player, but 'an opponent'.

As I said a number of times already, Brent, my curiosity on this point is not to excuse the manager, the team or the player yesterday. I'm just trying to get clarification for myself on how this rule should be correctly applied.

Brent Stephens
49 Posted 30/12/2018 at 16:56:34

"Jim is incorrect in saying (if I am reading him correctly) that the Brighton scorer was 'still in an on-side position' when the ball deflected off Gomes. He most definitely wasn't by the time the ball hit Gomes".

At the point just before the ball touches Gomes (say an inch away from Gomes), the attacker is onside.

The issue is then whether the deflection off Gomes turns onside into offside. I'm not certain on that so would need a qualified ref to guide me.

John Keating
50 Posted 30/12/2018 at 17:02:22
Sorry, Jay, it was a goal. No offside.

The linesman flagged as he just saw the Brighton players in an offside position and at the time did not know it was an Everton player who had played them on.

After speaking to the ref who had seen it touch Gomes last, a goal was given. Had the ref seen it touch a Brighton player before it hit Gomes, then no goal.

Shit happens. Sad we have to look at incidents like this when we should be cruising past teams like Brighton, Huddersfield, Newcastle et al.

Jay Wood

51 Posted 30/12/2018 at 17:18:14
Jim @ 46. Thanks for your detailed reply. I was typing my own post whilst you evidently were posting it, so I only saw it after submitting my last post.

So, to be clear in my own head, Jim, basically because there is no scenario from a corner that a player can be offside, it matters not a jot:

* how far up a defence pushes out after the initial kick from a corner, or
* how many attacking players are caught in an 'offside position' (in advance of the new defensive line)

...if the ball falls to a seemingly offside placed player as occurred yesterday, they cannot be considered as 'offside'?

Is that a fair summation, Jim?

Why then does the clause on which I express my doubts about the legitimacy of the goal exist? In which sort of scenario does it come into play?

And why did the lino and ref initially flag for and call against the offside? If the assumption was it came off an attacking player, why would that activate the offside call that was initially made, but the fact that it accidentally rebounded off a defending player does not trigger the same annulment of the goal?

Not looking to be argumentative Jim. Just genuinely looking for clarification on a ruling I thought I understood until Ian's contribution at 14 interested me to investigate more.

Martin Mason
53 Posted 30/12/2018 at 17:27:21
Whatever the intention of the law, what it actually says is that, if the ball is deflected from an Everton player, the opponent taking advantage of that is offside. If the pass back was deliberate (it wasn't) then he isn't offside. The goal should have been disallowed.
Jamie Crowley
54 Posted 30/12/2018 at 17:27:34
I stopped reffing about 3 years ago due to this very thread.

The Laws can be interpreted 1000 ways and are written so ambiguously it's a joke.

I went over this exact scenario 100 times in the reffing class. Jim Hardin is 100% correct - it is not offside.

Jay Wood's interpretation, despite not being correct, is a perfect example of how any intelligent, sane human being can read the exact same law and with certainty believe they are right. Were it not for being in the classes over here in the States and knowing the Law because I was told point blank "this is what it means", I'd have probably sided with Jay.

There are thousands of scenarios that can pop up where you simply have to be told what to do / how to apply the Law properly. It's a mess.

There's a test you need to take over here to pass. You need a 75 out of 100 (not a very high bar admittedly) to pass. When I took my test, I scored a 97. There was one question, I can't remember it, that I was absolutely pissed about and didn't understand how I was wrong. I took it to the man teaching the class (seriously qualified) and he agreed with ME that my interpretation was correct and that the test was actually WRONG.

When you really get into it, it's seriously fucked up.

So I quit. Between that and the stupid parents yelling all sorts of things at you, despite being wrong and not knowing the Laws, the $35 to $50 I received for centering wasn't enough money to me to take the abuse.


Jim Hardin
55 Posted 30/12/2018 at 18:35:55

I am certified nationally and also for high school. As for qualified, well that would be a matter of opinion.

Sorry, Jay and Darren, the onside is determined from the corner-kick in this situation, not where the scorer was when the ball hit Gomes.

Jamie, just be the assistant referee and shrug and blame the center for everything!

Brent Stephens
56 Posted 30/12/2018 at 18:45:47
Thanks for the explanation, Jim (and others). I've drunk from the fount of wisdom! Who'd be a ref? You guys must have thick skins.
David Hallwood
57 Posted 30/12/2018 at 19:17:00
Onside? Offside? Who knows, who cares — because the record books record it as a goal. But, yet again, we've conceded from a set-piece from a player with acres of space in the box. And I don't care how trendy or how 'right' zonal marking is, I'll never be convinced that it's better than man-for-man.

Onto Gomes, I don't want to be too quick to judge, but I'm getting a touch of the Schneiderlin buyer's remorse syndrome. Remember when Schneiderlin first came to the club and he looked like a proper footballer according to your (well mine anyway) deluded belief that you know a thing or two about the game?

I hope to god I'm as wrong about Gomes as I am about Schneiderlin, in a different way if course; and I almost certainly am because he is a top player but he's been bang average since the Spurs game.

Frank Wade
58 Posted 30/12/2018 at 19:35:47
Jay #51, I think the rule as outlined in the link you provided could have been a lot clearer. The key point for an offside decision, when I was playing, is that the ball is played 'forward' to a team mate in an offside position, 'ahead' of the ball striker. I searched for the word 'forward' on the rules page and drew a blank.

In which sort of scenario does it come into play?

The rule relating to what we used to call 'played on' (i.e. played onside) seems to have been clarified in recent years, as evidenced by the Harry Kane incident at Anfield. That interpretation is the one on which your argument is based. A player in an offside position, when a team mate played the ball forward to him, could be 'played on' if the ball touched a defender. That touch must be deliberate, even if the touch didn't result in the ball going where the player intended. e.g. Lovren intended to play the ball but only succeeded in playing it forward to Kane, so Kane was played onside.

No Brighton player played a ball forward to a team mate in an offside position, so the 'played on' rule is not relevant. A corner is considered to have been taken from the goal line so an attacking player cannot be offside from a corner, as he cannot be ahead of the ball, level at worst/best.

I learned a new term today from Jim Hardin and Jamie, Center, never heard that term before. I can add center to the long list of names for a referee. It's certainly an impossible job these days and not helped by the rules being so vague and ignorant parents/supporters raining down abuse or a lot worse - Google 'Mullingar referee'. As a golfer, I can access rule books and decisions on the rules with clear diagrams and discussion on the rationale. Every football player should have to pass an exam like Jamie and have a better understanding of the rules, oops sorry, laws of the game.

Jay Wood

59 Posted 30/12/2018 at 21:01:04
This discussion on the offside ruling has been an interesting and educational read.

I'll echo Brent's sentiments and offer up my thanks to those offering clarification and a ref's perspective and interpretation on the ruling of Brighton's goal.

In game and post match last night I accepted it on my understanding of the rule, but Ian's post (as a referee) @ 14 piqued my curiosity to look at it more closely.

As Jamie and Frank write, the wording of the particular clause that made me doubt the legitimacy of the goal does not give absolute clarity on yesterday's scenario. Even with the posted answers, I'm still puzzled as to why the officials flagged and gave offside initially.

Why? Because if the ruling about offside is to be interpreted as described by Jim, then there was no circumstance in which it could be called offside, whether the ball was played by a Brighton player or Everton player, and that a professional team of officials should know that.

It is interesting, in Jamie's case, that even those who study to be a referee question how the written rule should be applied and that, in some cases, trainee refs are effectively told: 'THIS is how it is, NOT what you believe it should be.'

I'll be watching with interest how the same ruling and scenario is applied in other games, with different officials.

Jim adds a good point that the introduction of VAR is likely to also see a rise in ex-refs explaining why the decision on marginal, contestable calls have been made, which in turn will hopefully further educate the football-watching public.

I for one thought that in the main VAR worked very well at the World Cup in Russia and will be happy to see it introduced to the English domestic game.

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 30/12/2018 at 21:38:21
I'll be watching with interest how the same ruling and scenario is applied in other games, with different officials, Jay.

I see the same official, in the same game, go from one extreme to another on a regular basis, but maybe I'm just paranoid.

It's a long time since I played but I still watch and that's why I don't really think I'm paranoid when I read Jamie say that the laws can be interpreted 1000 ways.

There is very little honesty in football and I might be wrong but sometimes I also think that this spreads through to the officials.

Paul Tran
61 Posted 30/12/2018 at 21:52:55
I don't know whether zonal marking is 'trendy', David, but plenty of top-notch coaches use it. The defence pushed out successfully, but for the ball hitting Gomes's leg and bouncing straight to the scorer. An unlucky goal in a poor performance in my view.

As for Gomes, my hope is that, after little football last season, we're looking at fatigue from his first spell in England, exacerbated by the knock he got. I don't think we'll see the best of him, Mina and Bernard till next season, assuming he's still with us.

Frank Wade
62 Posted 30/12/2018 at 22:12:01
Jay, The flag went up because the Brighton player was in an offside position. The Assistant Referee wouldn't have seen the Gomes deflection and in his mind assumed the ball was played forward by a Brighton player. The bunch of players who jumped and missed the corner would have obscured his view.

The ref could see that the ball was deflected off Gomes, so headed over to tell the Assistant Referee this. If the ball was played goalwards by a Brighton player, Locadia – in an offside position – would have been given offside.

The issue of a player not being offside from a corner only arises when the ball is played by the corner taker direct to the attacking player.

Phil Sammon
63 Posted 30/12/2018 at 22:18:19

I'm sure you're sick to death of this by now but the key thing you seem to be missing is that the ‘offside' is measured when the ball is played or touched by a team-mate.

In this instance, that was the corner kick. However, the offside was given because the linesman incorrectly adjudged the ricochet off Gomes to have come off a Brighton player. Had that been the case, then the goal scorer would have been offside as it would then be ‘measured' from the point at which the ball was last played or touched by a team-mate
Just to muddy the water further, Jim @44 puts forward another example of offside which I believe to be incorrect.

‘Had the scorer come from an offside position to intercept a forward pass from one Everton player to another, then it would have been offside.'

I can't think of how you could be offside in this scenario. You cannot be offside when intercepting one opponent's intentional pass to another.

Bob Parrington
64 Posted 30/12/2018 at 23:08:41
I haven't rewatched this many times but I thought the ball from the corner did not hit Gomes without a touch (however slight) by the head of a Brighton player. At this point at least one player was in an offside position. By the time it hit Gomes, at least 2 were in offside positions.

Can somebody please clarify whether or not a "head" did make contact en-route? If it was a "Brighton" head, it should make it a clear offside after it ricochets off Gomes, shouldn't it?

Bob Parrington
65 Posted 30/12/2018 at 23:10:14
On another point... Walcott seemed to be having a stinker of a game so I'm left wondering why he wasn't subbed???
David Hallwood
66 Posted 30/12/2018 at 23:10:47
Paul (#61) to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to lose one goal is unfortunate, to lose two etc etc.

Like I said, I hope I'm wrong about Gomes, and I probably am, but his performance levels have dropped off alarmingly.

Brian Williams
67 Posted 30/12/2018 at 23:29:57
In an attempt to get back towards the subject of the thread's heading it's not just Everton that are infuriating and suffering "unusual" results. Look at some of our recent or forthcoming opponents.

● Leicester beat Man City at home then lose to Cardiff.
● We batter Burnley and they beat West Ham Utd, a team that embarrassed us at Goodison.
● Spurs annihilate us then lose to Wolves at home, a team that were very lucky to get a draw with us in our opening game of the season.
● Then there's Arsenal; they get battered 5-1 yesterday by a team that we matched in every department at their home ground.

There are very few teams this season (just one in fact) who haven't suffered very poor results either immediately after or immediately prior to a good win. We're just doing it on a more regular basis. 😉

Jay Wood

68 Posted 30/12/2018 at 23:35:02
Bugger, Frank @ 62! Rather than allay my doubts, I think you've just reinforced them, fellah!

My head hurts! I'm going for a lie-down!!!

Martin Mason
69 Posted 31/12/2018 at 00:07:24
The rule is clear, you can't be offside direct from the corner but clear too when it's not direct from a corner. The case of a ball deflected couldn't be clearer surely?
Frank Wade
70 Posted 31/12/2018 at 01:12:08
Bob #64, My understanding of the answer to your question. The touching of a Brighton head, they all missed it I think, would make Locadia offside only if the header from the Brighton player went forward.

Jay #68, apologies for hurting your head, it seems pretty clear to me, so just consider it retaliation for my having to read through the extensive Jay/Darren Calvert-Lewin/Positioning saga pre-Christmas.

I was at a game where a defender took a free kick and kicked it back into his own goal. Result given was a corner kick, which is correct, to the amazement of all concerned. Now, that's a head-wrecker.

Phil Sammon
71 Posted 31/12/2018 at 01:26:02
Frank @70,

‘My understanding of the answer to your question. The touching of a Brighton head, they all missed it I think, would make Locadia offside only if the header from the Brighton player went forward.'

It doesn't matter what direction the ball goes. If you're offside in the 6-yard box and your team-mate passes backwards towards the 18-yard box, if you are somehow the next person to touch the ball, then you will be adjudged offside.

Don Alexander
72 Posted 31/12/2018 at 01:27:05
Frank (#70), on which part of the pitch did his team-mates bury that defender?
Bob Parrington
73 Posted 31/12/2018 at 01:55:01
Thanks Frank. The one about the free kick straight in to his own goal resulting in a goal kick is amazing. I'd like to understand the logic, if there is any??
Ed Prytherch
74 Posted 31/12/2018 at 01:55:52
I watched the Watford game on the telly and I reckon that Deulofeu is twice as good as Walcott. We screwed up there.
Jamie Crowley
75 Posted 31/12/2018 at 03:46:44
Jim Hardin -

I actually did indeed do just that for about a year! I simply AR’d and ran the line. Much easier and they paid me (a pittance, but hey, why not?) to run 2-4 miles a game and exercise! Where else can you get paid to stay in shape?!

In the end, I’d have to AR for some pretty woeful centers. I always, always took the “team” side so I could explain calls to arguing / shouting managers to calm them down.

When I became exasperated as I couldn’t justify many center refs decisions, still got an earful, and couldn’t do a damn thing about it, I decided to jog and work out for free.

But the line is a hell of a lot less stressful than center. Just focus on offside calls and you’re gold.

Drives me batshit crazy when I see lazy 15 year-olds not stay level with the last defender.

And one last point on refereeing. These parents hurling abuse at the refs - do they not realize that a hell of a lot of these refs are kids? You’d not yell at a kid in the way they do in any - ANY - other circumstance in life.

And without the refs at these kid’s games?

There’s no fucking game at all.

Yell all you want at the pros. Next time you’re out at your kid’s or grandkid’s game?

Keep your gob shut. Without those refs, your kid isn’t playing. They’ll miss calls. But most often they’re trying like hell to get it all 100% correct. Cut them a brake.

Mike Gaynes
76 Posted 31/12/2018 at 05:10:30
To Jamie and the other refs here, spot on and thank you. I'm still blowing the whistle after 42 years, now for the local high schools. Many years ago I was briefly on the international track for linesmen -- in my early 20's I ran lines for minor-league pros and Division 1 collegiate.

Jay Wood, the best way I can answer your question is Sylvain Distin and the Backpass From Hell. When a defender plays the ball back towards his keeper, the attacker who intercepts it is in an offside position, but it's not offside. Why? Because the defender played it back. That's what Gomes did, by accident rather than intentionally, but intent doesn't matter. As Phil says, as an attacker you can only be called offside if your own attacking teammate plays the ball forward.

And Jamie, WTF were you doing putting up with yelling parents and coaches? I never have. If I'm the AR, I turn and laugh at them. And if I'm the center, I stop the game and go over to them and tell them to shut it. I don't restart the game until they do. And if I have to empty the sidelines of yelling parents, I can do that too, and the ball doesn't move until they leave. Nobody plays until I say so. I did it once only. After that, the reputation preceded me and it never happened again. Now at age 62 I get so much respect it's almost funny sometimes.

By the way, I just took the national high school test again before this season's playoffs, and those same three questions are still wrong.

John Pierce
77 Posted 31/12/2018 at 05:34:17
Mike. I was utterly astonished when I started officiating over here at the vitriol that raged from college parents! Good middle-class families apparently...

I actually stopped a game at Princeton a year or so back due to frat boys chanting some rather fruity stuff; I'm being polite, it was obscene. Wouldn't budge until they were removed, it's the only way!

I still chuckle that, over here in the States, they pay you!! In England, it's the ultimate act of volunteerism.

High school stuff baffles me, they all seem to have their own rules in each chapter, it's weird. It's like they don't know there's a world out there.

Give as good as you get! I agree. Too often officials are meant to be the paragon of virtue, I love a chirp back. Perhaps if the laws were updated and modernized it might just help.


Mike Gaynes
78 Posted 31/12/2018 at 05:55:29
John, didn't realize you're actually still working NCAA Division 1. Well done, sir! I bow to your superior qualifications.

Funny, those weren't just middle-class parents you were hearing from... but Ivy League parents! Apparently the upper crust lacks class as well. Do you work other college leagues?

You're absolutely right about the high school associations. I ref in both Oregon and California, sometimes in the same week, and I have to refresh myself on the differing rules each time. They have different procedures for substitutions, field administration, clock management, even the pre-game sportsmanship lecture (which is hilarious).

As for the pay, I donate it back to the local youth soccer associations. In this area they need all the support they can get. But at times in my life when things were tight, I briefly supported myself by working up to six games a week.

Darren Hind
79 Posted 31/12/2018 at 06:03:28
The reason you can't be offside from a corner is because the taker cannot play the ball forward.

Once that corner has been taken and played, that rule no longer applies... The corner kick has gone and now a ball can be played forward and therefore it is possible for a player to be offside.

The rule about players being "played" onside was first introduced as one of several attempts to stamp out the dreaded back pass which was ruining the game — The Suarez - Distin goal being a perfect example.

The rules clearly state that a player can NOT be played onside through ricochet or deflection by the defending team.

Gomes's touch should never have been construed as anything other than a deflection. NO goal.


Intent is like size... it most certainly does matter

John Pierce
80 Posted 31/12/2018 at 06:35:23
Mike, 100% not superior in any way!
Phil Sammon
81 Posted 31/12/2018 at 06:50:05
Darren 78,

Wrong on both counts there. The direction the ball is played is irrelevant when it comes to the offside rule.

Assuming you are in your opponent's half and no opposition players are playing you onside: If you are ahead of the ball when your team-mate plays it backwards, you will be penalised for being offside if you collect the ball.

The reason you cannot be offside from a corner is not because the taker cannot kick it forward. It is because, as the quadrant is considered an extension of the goal-line, an attacker cannot be ‘ahead' of the ball. Both explanations result in the same outcome, but I feel yours is missing the rationale.

Now for the Brighton goal in slow motion:

Corner kick is taken...
Ball is floated in the air and hasn't touched another player...
At this point, the Brighton players cannot be offside no matter where they are...
Ball hits Gomes's leg...
At this point, Brighton's goalscorer is standing in a seemingly offside position, however the offside is not measured from when Gomes touches it, it is measured from when his last team-mate touched the ball. As this was the corner taker, he is not offside.

Had the ball clipped a Brighton team-mate before hitting Gomes then that would have resulted in a new measuring point and a different decision.

Darren Hind
82 Posted 31/12/2018 at 07:22:25

Read my post. that's is what I said. I said the the ball cannot be played forward, I said that, because there is no more pitch, a player cannot be ahead of the ball.

As for your description of the goal, the law talks about ricochets and deflections. Absolutely no mention of which direction the deflection takes. Referees are there to apply the rules, not put their own interpretation of them. By the letter of the law, this should not have been allowed.

If a pass intended for an offside player is intercepted by a defender, no offside will be given, but if the defender who intercepts the ball, then turns around and plays it into the path of the striker still in an offside position. he will have been deemed to have played him "on" – even if he was offside when his last team-mate touched it.

Alan J Thompson
83 Posted 31/12/2018 at 07:25:35
Bob (#73); I think the rationale is that you cannot lose the advantage from a free-kick that is, the other team's foul play.

A much maligned I-Zingari coach used it (bloody 50 years ago!) to demonstrate that we really didn't know the rules and he may have been right as you can't play the ball twice from a free kick without another player's touch but I don't remember the penalty, if any, for doing so.

Also, I've never understood why if a player touches his own team's goalkick before it leaves the penalty area, that the kick has to be re-taken.

Derek Cowell
84 Posted 31/12/2018 at 11:08:50
Darren at 82, surely in your last scenario when the defender intercepts the forward pass and then presents it to an 'offside' attacker he has created a 'second phase' or even a wholly new section of play totally divorced from the initial forward pass by the offside player's teammate.

Brighton's goal was onside for me, for reasons already stated.

Derek Cowell
85 Posted 31/12/2018 at 11:11:54
Fascinating debate of offside rule by the way, irrespective of the original thread subject. I've certainly been educated by it so thanks to all involved.
Tony Abrahams
86 Posted 31/12/2018 at 11:29:36
Jamie @75, the stick that referees get is absolutely horrific, especially when they are doing little kids football. I've said before that “you refs” have never been my favourite people but the way some of the parents carry on is both pathetic and also very counter-active.

I believe it's got that bad, that the league from which Everton found Rooney now make parents register and they have to book-in, prior to taking their kids to football.

I have watched parents slag the refs, and then because of this, then the kids start. Little fuckers are getting the fight took out of them and it's being replaced by sheer hatred and horrible naughty aggression.

First thing I tell any kid, or adult, is it's easy to start swearing and blame someone else; it's a lot harder to keep going and keep fighting.

Loads of grass-roots football will be finished in certain parts of our country before I'm 60 and mostly because of a complete lack of respect.

Darren Hind
87 Posted 31/12/2018 at 11:55:58
Painfully accurate post, Tony Abrahams.
David Hallwood
88 Posted 31/12/2018 at 12:30:45
What's clear is that the offside laws need to be looked at, I get the active inactive concepts but when you have a debate generated after we've all watched it back many times at different speeds, it needs further clarification.

A thought came to me on the back of the goal: why not have 1 or 2 players positioned in offside positions and have a player deliberately aim for the defenders shoulder of other part of the body that a player would find it difficult to control in the hope that one of them plays the player on?

Worth a thought... not.

Jay Wood

89 Posted 31/12/2018 at 14:21:00
Frank @ 70. I'll take a stab at your free kick-own goal-corner decision: it was a indirect free-kick and without a second player touching it, a goal could not be awarded, but as the ball crossed the goal line 'off a defender', the corner was given.

How did I do..?

Mike @ 76. With respect, your example of the disastrous Distin back pass in the semi-final for Goofy to equalise is a poor one, not applicable to the Brighton scenario in any way.

You will hear no quibbles with me on that goal: a blind, mis-directed pass by a defender clearly 'played onside' an offside attacking player.

For me, the whole crux of the Brighton goal is when does offside become 'active' again following the taking of a corner?

As I've already repeated, in-game and post-game I accepted the referee's call on my understanding of 'being played onside'. It was a referee in this thread – Ian @ 14 – who first sowed the seed of doubt for me.

I quoted the Football Association's own ruling on the Brighton goal scenario (my bolding added):

"A player in an offside position at the moment the ball... rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent."

Now 4-5-6 referees have contributed to this thread and all but Ian are saying the goal was correctly awarded. I accept what you are all saying. I bow to your greater knowledge. You have had the training and match officiating experience.

However, no one has clearly explained how and when the above ruling is applied, other than Jamie @ 54 who acknowledges my reading of the above rule is a reasonable one, but that when he himself questioned his tutors on it he was told point blank: "This is what it means". Don't question it.

I am genuinely not being argumentative or merely indulging in an academic exercise in seeking clarification on this. I am truly interested in understanding the following which have yet to be explicitly answered:

1) The ruling clause I referenced is listed under many different rulings on what does and does not constitute being offside. In what kind of scenario does it apply? The counter from the referees in this thread is that it is not applicable from a corner because, by default, any players starting position from a corner cannot be called offside.

2) When does the 'can't be offside from a corner' become void in a play? I proposed that the taking of the corner constituted a first phase of play, but as soon as it touches a second player then that became a second phase and the 'not offside from a corner' ruling becomes null and void. Jim Hadin told me that is not the case, that there is no first or second phase in this scenario.

3) On pointing out that the lino originally flagged for offside and the referee annulled the goal, only to reverse the decision on consulting each other, I was told the flag went up because the lino possibly thought the ball came back in off a Brighton player (when it would have been called offside), but on confirming it came off Gomes, the goal was 'correctly' rewarded.

All sorts of confusion remain for me on this one. Surely, if as offered by refs in this thread, that a player can't be offside from a 'second play', then it matters not a jot whether the ball went back into the six yard box to a seemingly offside-placed player off an attacking player or defending player.

It is all the more confusing for me that you have the specific ruling I quoted stating if a ball deflects or rebounds of a defending player to (a by now...) offside player, then the attacking player should be called offside.

It strikes me if the interpretation of the quoted ruling by referees in this thread is correct, then it is both a redundant rule and one that doubly prejudices the defending team: the attacking team benefits from having a player in an apparent offside position following a corner, no matter if the ball comes off an attacker or defender.

As I said, this is not merely an academic question I am asking because potentially it requires a tactical response on the field.

As the coach of a side, based on the responses offered by refs in this thread, on an attacking corner, I would instruct a couple of my forwards to hold their position within the six-yard box, no matter where the ball went, or whether the opposition pushed up their defensive line, as there was a good probability the ball could fall to them unmarked to score and not be called offside (as David @ 88 proposes).

At the other end, when defending corners, to counter the above, a coach may instruct his defence to not move out to 'catch attackers offside' because the risk-reward favours the forwards.

Genuinely interested to learn why the quoted rule exists, when it applies, and why it does not apply specifically to corners, beyond the reply: 'It just is!'

Bobby Mallon
90 Posted 31/12/2018 at 14:51:16
We need to sack this manager now and go get a top top manger: Antonio Conte, Simeoni, Ancelloti, Wenger, Stefano Pioli, Adi Hutter, Mourinho... and my choice: Fonseca from Donetz. The list goes on.

Silva will not win us anything.

Mike Gaynes
91 Posted 31/12/2018 at 14:53:39
Tony #86, another side effect is that kids don't want to be referees. It becomes a rarity to see a good young official coming up.
Jay Wood

92 Posted 31/12/2018 at 15:33:10
And Frank @ 70, on the question of my tete-a-tete with Darren on Calvert-Lewin. For me, it's very simple.

TW is a virtual pub - The ToffeeWeb Tavern, if you will. A real scouse ale house with a mixed, diverse clientele with wide-ranging opinions on footy and life in general, with many favoured nooks and crannies for the regulars.

There may be a joining together of many tables with one large single group, but many individual and diverse conversations in flow simultaneously.

There may be two lads arguing the toss about things on a separate table, oblivious to the goings-on around them.

There will certainly be humour – ad-lib and wicked – laughter, mini set-tos and much more.

In the corner, there may be a respected elderly sage, given to reminiscing about the past, which many like to hear, but at the same time, they don't want to spend the entire evening in his company.

There may be others who sit at the bar, tut-tutting at the jarring music on the juke box, the language being used, the manner in which diverse topics are discussed, and who constantly complain to the landlord (or anyone else in earshot) asking why something isn't being done about it.

And yet when the landlord suggests the tut-tutter moves to the quieter more comfortable lounge bar rather than continue to endure the rowdier public bar, the tut-tutter replies 'But then I won't be able to keep a pulse on the juicy gossip in the public bar!'

For me, the exchange between Darren and I was two lads sat at a separate table from the rest, addressing each other and nobody else (at least, it was in my case).

Now in the virtual pub scenario, other punters have a choice: they can pull up a chair and fully join in the exchange; they can eavesdrop, decide 'What a load of bollocks!' and ignore it; or keep half an ear to it whilst concentrating more on the conversation around their own table and company.

I am steadfast in my liberal-anarchist view: for me, on TW, anything and everything goes. That comes with one caveat: each and every poster has to take personal responsibility for the consequences of their own words and actions.

No-one, but no-one, is under any obligation to read every or any post on TW. As Mike Gaynes said in the thread you referenced: everyone has a scroll button. If there is a particular poster or post that offends you, you have a choice: ignore, or engage with the poster.

Personally, I have never complained to the editors about a single poster. I have never called for any poster to be banned or moderated. There are posters I just blank. There are other posters most definitely worth reading. There are posters I can agree with on some issues, but vehemently disagree with on others. An exact reflection of real life.

I will close by saying I have contempt for one type of poster on TW, and one type of poster only: the poster who contributes nothing to the topic of a 200-300-400 post thread, other than to personally and crudely criticize posters who have contributed and added something of value to the thread.

It's the equivalent, in our virtual pub, of deliberately barging into a fellow drinker, spilling their ale on the other, and snarling 'WorrayaGonnaDoAboutIt?'

This self-same provocateur then bleats 'unfair!' when they get a virtual bloody nose and some choice words in response.

The ToffeeWeb Tavern is my regular haunt. And I'm not looking to exchange my virtual pub, or change my posting style any time soon, if ever.

Happy New Year to all. Drinks at The ToffeeWeb Tavern on Michael and Lyndon for the day!

And please Everton... get it done against Leicester tomorrow, any which way.

Ray Roche
93 Posted 31/12/2018 at 15:41:31
Bobby @90


Are you mad?

Brent Stephens
94 Posted 31/12/2018 at 15:43:19
Jay #92 which one is the landlady in our virtual pub, Michael or Lyndon? (just trying to get you thrown out!).
Jay Wood

95 Posted 31/12/2018 at 15:50:38
Brent, Michael is definitely the 'door man', bouncing rowdies on to the street. The cravated Lyndon can be found in the lounge bar with the more sophisticated clientele.

Definitely need more of the fairer sex in the Tavern, but they are probably grateful to see the back of their Everton-infatuated menfolk for a few hours!

And the response you baited from me probably will see me bounced by Michael!

Jerome Shields
96 Posted 31/12/2018 at 15:54:16
Lyndon, I read with interest your assessment of Everton's progress so far under Silva and Brands.

The players that have been brought in have added to the team and some of the inherited squad have improved, largely because of the new players they now play with. The poor transfer policy of Walsh, aided by Koeman and Allardyce, still haunts us and Brands is continuing his plan, sorting it out as he will in the future. So you are right that progress has been made and Everton are in transition.

The problem I have is with Silva's inconsistent team selection and tactics, the poor coaching of players, and no coaching at all. I was hoping that Silva would be able to develop Everton's existing players. As stated above, some have improved, because of the new additions, but others haven't, due to inconsistent selection, poor tactics, and lack of coaching — particularly in defence and the forward line.

The amount of crosses from the right wing is too high. Although the obvious fading of Coleman is part of the reason, the problem has never been addressed. The coaching of players to deal with such crosses, in cutting them out and defending against them, does not seem to take place. This also translated into defending set-pieces.

The play in the final third looks as if it is never coached, Silva's attitude seems to be "You're a forward. . . score!" Making space, getting into position, overlapping, one-twos, retaining possession, drawing defenders out of position, interchanging play — all seem uncoached and ignored. High press (in word, not deed) seems to be the order of the day; the players are not being coached to maintain it. Their play shows they are not aware where the emphasis should be.

Silva's inconsistency in selection, changing players in positions, and playing players out of position, doesn't help. How he can encourage players and take the carpet from under them? — that will never build anything. How he can show favouritism to certain players is detrimental to the team and motivation. There is no evidence of any coaching from the so-called loyal backroom staff.

Finally, Silva's lack of understanding of midfield and its importance in the Premier League is now apparent. It took a while for Silva to come up with a midfield trio that operated as they should, but it appears that this happened by accident rather than by design because, during the festive-season fixtures, opposition teams easily set up to nullify it and its influence on the team. In the last game, he did away with it all-together, even subbing to maintain the two. This lack of understanding or awareness has been the main reason for recent loses. Silva has not learnt.

Though Everton are in transition, consistency will never be achieved if the manager is inconsistent. The Everton team reeks of inconsistency in player selection, tactics, and coaching. Silva now spouts inconsistency in his press outings. There will be no transfers in because, in the Summer, Silva was given a budget which he has spent. Serious movement out hasn't taken place yet for any movement in. The panic buy of Walcott and Tosun last January is a lesson learnt.

Silva's main problem now is that his words ring hollow when he doesn't appear to carry them out. His inability to address recurring problems is becoming a hallmark of his tenure. Transition is a general movement in the right direction but there has to be evidence of addressing such problems or even evidence of knowledge of them. Other teams have worked out the weaknesses. They are not in the top six. Of course, this is survival bread and butter for them, but it won't take long for the top six to cop on as well.

Silva has a real problem.

Derek Cowell
98 Posted 31/12/2018 at 16:31:21
Jay @89,

With all due respect, there is some confusion in your understanding of the offside law in this regard.

If a Brighton player had got a touch on the ball from the corner and directed it either directly or off Gomes (inadvertently) to the scorer in his offside position, the goal would have been correctly ruled out as it would have been played to the offside player by a team-mate, which would constitute a 2nd phase after the corner.

Gomes is not a team- mate, therefore there is no offside and the action is still in the 1st phase of the corner. As I understand things from other posters musings anyway.

Clear as nud!

Derek Cowell
99 Posted 31/12/2018 at 16:49:29
This has been a great technical debate but I would love to know if the ref got his decision right for the wrong reason, ie, he allowed the goal because he thought Gomes played the ball to the offside scorer rather than because it was all part of the corner phase of play. I suspect the former.

What is clear is that he overruled his unsighted linesman as he had clearly seen the ball played off only Gomes.

I wonder if other fans forums engage in such detailed examination of the laws of the game! It makes a change from reading all the posts slagging off our players, which I have also been guilty of in the past re Lukaku at his laziest!!

Happy New Year to all.

Jim Bailey
100 Posted 31/12/2018 at 16:57:11
Yeah, Derek @90, we lost. Remember.

All the best to you as well.
Jay Wood

101 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:00:15
Derek (@ 98, not 97!).

I understand all that you say. But I have to come back to my original question and the verbatim quoting of the rule that muddies (or is that 'nuddies...? ;-)) the waters for me:

"A player in an offside position at the moment the ball... rebounds or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent".

The best a number of refs who have contributed to this thread can offer is: 'it just IS!'

If it can't be applied in the Brighton scenario, when does it apply? Otherwise, it appears a superfluous and redundant rule, IMO.

Martin Mason
102 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:00:27
I can see no other thing than the ref decided that Gomes's action was a pass forward and not a deflection. Whatever, it was all a very sad reminder of how far we have to go yet, also that just going out and buying players isn't necessarily the answer.

Reform to success has to be root and branch and I believe that now means people like Bill Kenwright being moved on from any position involved in running the club. He's made his contribution now but he is the past, not the future.

Kevin Prytherch
103 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:05:23
Jay - maybe this will clear it up...

An example from the FA

An attacker in an offside position (B) is penalised for playing or touching the ball that rebounds, is deflected or is played to him from a deliberate save by a player from the defending team (C) having been in an offside position when the ball was last touched or is played by a team-mate.
LAW 11 – OFFSIDE 115

Basically, in Jays scenario, the attacking player would have had to be in an offside position at the time the ball was played forwards by his teammate. He would also have to be in an offside position after the rebound/deflection.

As it was a corner, no players could possibly have been offside from the initial kick from the teammate, therefore they couldn’t have been offside from the resulting deflection.

If it was a free kick, and the Brighton player was in an offside position from the time the free kick was played, and still in an offside position at the time of the deflection, he would have been offside.

If it was a free kick and the Brighton player was not in an offside position at the time the free kick was played, but then was offside at the time of the deflection, he would NOT have been considered offside.

Hope this makes sense

Jim Bailey
104 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:09:23
Jay Wood (BRZ) various.

Sorry, mate, but I find the tone of the majority of your posts arrogant and dismissive of others' opinions, points of view. It's really tedious. Grow up.

It isn't big or clever to always have the last word. You must be a bloody nightmare to live with.

Remember Jay, we all have opinions and just because you sometimes go to the n-th degree to prove (or try to prove) a point, doesn't always, or ever make you right.

Tony Abrahams
105 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:30:56
Good point, Mike G, although I can never understand why anyone would ever want to become a ref!

It's snobbery, I know, not everyone who loves football can play the game the way they would like to (very few) but I just think that, once you have played football, then you should have a better understanding of the game.

I despise Martin Atkinson and often wonder if he has ever actually played the game. I don't like Clattenberg, but he looks like somebody who has definitely played a bit of togger!

Either way, you can't have a game without them – even if it wouldn't surprise me, to see a football ref sitting up above the pitch in an umpires chair (like tennis) in the not too distant future?

Jay Wood

106 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:39:42
Yep! Kevin, I understand all that, but how the whole thing played out with the officials, plus the comments by refs in this thread, contradicts a number of claims.

I know you can't be offside from a corner kick (or a goal kick or throw-in, for that matter).

I'm fully on-board with your description ~ 'as it was a corner, no players could possibly have been offside from the initial kick from the teammate.' However, it is the second clause you add 'therefore they couldn't have been offside from the resulting deflection' that continues to trouble me.

To be consistent, based on your own example above, and as I've already stated numerous times, it should not matter a jot if it was an Everton player or a Brighton player who deliberately or accidentally played the ball back into the six-yard box. The player WAS onside.

Therefore, an offside flag simply should not have been raised by the lino (but it was) and the referee should not have originally disallowed the goal (which he did).

Now the officials seemingly first ruled out the goal on the belief it was a Brighton player that touched the ball and some in this very thread have said if that was the case, then it should have been ruled out.

But then the single quoted rule I've used says a rebound/deflection off a defending player does not put the offside player onside and so again, the goal should not have stood.

As I previously mentioned, this strikes me as double jeopardy for the defending side, that the attacking side gains the benefit of being played onside, whether the ball comes off an attacker or defender, deliberately or accidentally.

So, sorry to belabour the point, but for me, there is a disconnect between the actual written laws I've quoted in this scenario; the claims some have made as to what would constitute offside in this scenario; and, taking all the above into consideration, the actions and decision-making of the match officials at Brighton on Saturday.

Michael Kenrick
107 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:55:04
Valiant effort to try and understand and explain this offside rule, Jay.

There have been a couple of goals disallowed in recent seasons where the ball has rebounded from woodwork or 'keeper to a player who had been in an offside position when the shot was made. I don't recall those being offside back in the day, because the redirection of the ball (especially from the keeper, "playing on") had reset the offside condition. That seems to be the fundamental change in the current law, which seems to interpret rebounds and deflections in a different way now.

I think calling it a 'rebound' off Gomes is what causes your interpretation to be wrong in the spirit of the law; I don't think it qualifies as a rebound. Although then the accidental nature of Gomes's intervention would seem to make it an offside goal. I guess I'm still very confused,

Just think what fun it would've been if Darren had come in guns blazing with righteous indignation on the other side?

[I think there's something wrong with me...]

Dermot Byrne
108 Posted 31/12/2018 at 17:58:34
Jay, glad to hear your "liberal-anarchist view".

Probably purer if you stop suggesting there are views that have value.

There are some on here who write some brilliant and funny posts that prick the pomposity of others who get carried away and become windbags for a while.

Derek Cowell
109 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:03:30
I'm giving up now as I thought Kevin at 103 had cleared up the rebound/deflection scenario quite well.
Jay Wood

110 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:06:08
Jim @ 104.

And you, Jimmy boy, are a prime example of the type of poster I referenced in my virtual pub post. Someone who contributes nothing to a thread, but only steps in to personally abuse another poster.

On the open discussion in this thread on the question of the legitimacy of the 'offside goal' at Brighton, I reject TOTALLY your charge that I am being 'arrogant and dismissive of others opinions and points of view.'

On the contrary, I have expressed gratitude for the clarification and education offered by trained referees in this thread, stating I 'bow to your greater knowledge'.

Show me ANYWHERE within this thread that I have made the claim that I am 'right' on this question. I am AGREEING with a great many posters and their comments.

I've confessed I thought I understood the offside rule as it played out in this scenario, but a referee in this thread led me to review that belief. Having evaluated all the contributions in circulation, I remain uncertain on a number of points I have repeated and asked for further clarification.

Does that sound like a man only desperate to be right all the time? Who is only intent on imposing his world view on others?

If brief Jim, get the feck away wid ya, and take your conceited, deceitful and hypocritical comments with you while you're at it.

Brent Stephens
111 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:07:25
Dermot, do you think the player might have been both onside and offside at the same time – until the linesman looked?
Kieran Kinsella
112 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:19:51

In 2017 they revised the language on offsides supposedly to clarify various situations. In regards to the situation you describe, the rules currently state that it is offside if

Gaining an advantage by playing the ball or interfering with an opponent when it has"- rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar, match official or an opponent- been deliberately saved by any opponent" [1]

Which makes me think of the famous goal years ago when Franz Carr (I think) was off the field, and ran back on to head the ball out of the open palm of Kevin Pressley (I think) as Pressley was preparing to punt it. Carr then scored and it stood. I am sure that nowadays if nothing else, Carr would be called for "interfering with an opponent" from an offside position.

Ian Jones
113 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:20:53
Happy New Year to everyone...
Gerard McKean
114 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:32:53
I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned this already but the contentious issue here is that the rules, or Laws as the FA pompously refers to them, are open to the interpretation of often capricious and preening officials.

We know the answer to the question as to whether Everton would have been given a goal in that situation because the likes of Thomas, Clattenburg, Atkinson et al have provided it over the years. It's the only refereeing consistency we've ever had!

Eric Paul
115 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:38:53
Tony @105,

A young lad at work (25) is a ref in the Welsh Premier League; he says, in order to reach that level, he never had time to play.

Regarding the offside rule, what if we react first and don't give the ref a decision to make?

Happy New Year to all.

Paul Tran
116 Posted 31/12/2018 at 18:39:18
I'd love to see you lot doing the after-match analysis on Sky.

"The next game has been delayed due to a healthy, detailed discussion about the potential interpretations of the offside law."

Cue to Carragher, Neville & Souness crying in the corner of the studio as the ToffeeWeb boys delight the viewing public with their unique brand of chat and expertise.

Andy Riley
117 Posted 31/12/2018 at 19:08:58
I think everyone is unaware of two rules that apply in football with regards to Everton which I have noticed have been applied consistently over the past 50 years:-

1. If there is any doubt or contention involving Everton, then the benefit of any such doubt will always be applied for the opposing team.

2. Any goal conceded by Liverpool later than the 85th minute which could change the outcome will automatically be disallowed and the reason made up and / or not satisfactorily explained.

Happy New Year everyone.

Kieran Kinsella
118 Posted 31/12/2018 at 19:15:22
Andy Riley @117,

I feel like that with the diving review committee turning a blind eye to Salah.

It is like last year, they make an example of Niasse probably thinking "mediocre player, medicore team" no one will make a fuss if we make an example of him.

In contrast, if they banned Salah, can you imagine the furore from the red media and fans if say Liverpool lost to City with him confined to the stands? We would never hear the end of how the FA robbed Liverpool of the title.

So instead they sit on their hands and in 3 or 4 months they will probably single out some poor mug from a mid-table team, "diving" in a meaningless game.

Andy Riley
119 Posted 31/12/2018 at 19:27:07
Think of all the new short-lived rules – four steps by the goalkeeper, moving free kicks 10 yards on etc which I can recall only ever being used to penalise Everton. I can also recall Dave Watson being sent off for two yellows after about 15 minutes at home to Leeds a few years ago.

You couldn't argue that the letter of the law was not applied correctly but it only ever was applied that way to Everton!

Tony Abrahams
120 Posted 31/12/2018 at 19:46:34
That's what's wrong with these type of refs Eric @115, they always have an answer to suit.

Ask the kid doesn't he even find time to play 5-aside?

Because the man in-charge, who has never been in amongst it, only ends up being a conceited, know-it-all, when they have never had the experience of the people they are meant to be in-charge of, IMO.

Gerard, Jamie C, told us they can interpretate the rules 1000 ways and that's exactly what I feel Martin Atkinson does whenever he referees Everton. I reckon Evertonians have had him on a train or in a service station and completely destroyed this man and this is the only way he can get them back?

Ray Roche
121 Posted 31/12/2018 at 19:47:30
I don't see why people are arguing. Don't these contentious issues always even themselves out over a season? Well, that's what us “small clubs” are told when we complain, isn't it?

When I was recovering from a cartilage operation, I was asked to referee a pre-season friendly because the ref was unable to get to the match on time.

It was probably the most difficult thing I've done in sport. Both teams, including my own, regarded me as the product of a relationship between two people who had decided marriage wasn't for them.

Martin Mason
122 Posted 31/12/2018 at 20:47:39

In the case of a free-kick, the player would have been directly offside when the free kick was taken regardless of the deflection.

In the Brighton case the players were onside when the corner was taken and any first contact from any Brighton player would have been onside. If the ball from Gomes was a deflection, then the law says clearly that the Brighton player who scored was offside.

If the referees decide then that he was onside they are overstepping their mark by interpreting something in a way that isn't subject to interpretation. I'm not trying to be argumentative for the sake of it but Jay is right.

It may be wrong in which case it should be changed but not misinterpreted. If not then the clause on "rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent", is meaningless when it can't be.

The old laws stated that if a penalty was taken and rebounds off the post the taker can't hit in the rebound as he is offside, if it was saved by the goalie he could, but he is offside in both cases now.

Phil Sammon
123 Posted 31/12/2018 at 23:22:11
Sorry Jay, but you seem to be reading what you want to read.

This ‘rebounding off a defender' thing you keep referring to is only relevant if the attacker is offside in the first place.

The best example I can think of is an attacker playing a through-ball to his offside team-mate. If it clips a defender, then the attacker is still offside.

Basically the rebound (or non-deliberate touch) off a defender is a ‘neutral' touch. It won't play you onside or offside – because the decision is measured when your team-mate played the ball.

I think you have disappeared down the rabbit hole and overlooked the more basic elements to the offside rule.

Eddie Dunn
124 Posted 31/12/2018 at 23:29:03
Gerard @ 114. Don't forget that esteemed boss of refs: Mike Riley!
James Flynn
125 Posted 31/12/2018 at 23:54:10
Jim (104) - "Sorry, mate, but I find the tone of the majority of your posts arrogant and dismissive of others' opinions, points of view. It's really tedious. Grow up."

Don't know Wood or you, but he takes a position and fights it. Always an interesting read, whether I agree with him or not.

Lecturing instead of arguing the this or that is a dead bore. Why don't you submit your opinion or point of view to counter his.

I'll read it.

Eric Paul
126 Posted 31/12/2018 at 00:16:00

That wasn't the point I was making. I was pointing out top refs have never played football because they never have time if they want a career in refereeing.

But I think you knew that anyway and 5-a-side bears no resemblance to Association Football.

Mike Galley
127 Posted 01/01/2019 at 00:39:23
Andy Riley 177,

I'm a 48-year-old Blue. Believe me, I'm all too well aware of them rules!!!!

Geoff Lambert
128 Posted 01/01/2019 at 01:03:38
Jim # 104,

You won't be the first or last to notice, mate.

Happy New year to all Blues.

Frank Wade
129 Posted 01/01/2019 at 01:05:09
Jay, The piece you quote and referred to correctly by Michael in #107 above.

"A player in an offside position at the moment the ball... rebounded or been deflected off the goalpost, crossbar or an opponent"

This refers to a situation where an attacking player is standing in an offside position. One of his team mates shoots towards the goal, the ball comes back off a post, crossbar or save by keeper or defender to the player who was in an offside position when the shot was taken. This player is now offside, even though the ball came back to him. He gained an advantage through being in an offside position when the shot was taken. This scenario is not relevant to the Brighton goal. As I said before, the layout and wording of the official laws are very poor.

I understand all about the barroom nature of the TW discussions. I didn't think my comment warranted the lengthy lecture.

On the own-goal direct from a free kick, the ruling of a corner kick is due to the defending team not gaining an advantage.

Jim, Mike, John, Jamie and other refs, you guys are the lifeblood of the game. Try this one if getting stick from a player. A response by a ref to me when I was whinging about a hand ball given against me, when the ball hit me in the face. "You're not having a great game yourself, Frank, are you". Gave me a whole new perspective on referees trying to have a good game, trying to get all the decisions correct, so difficult with the cheating as Tony Abrahams alluded to above.

Eric Paul
130 Posted 01/01/2019 at 01:59:27
Which Gentleman's Evening was that from, Frank? I've heard that same anecdote from at least 5 ex-Everton players.
Jamie Crowley
131 Posted 01/01/2019 at 02:24:12
The AR in this case who raised his flag -

I don't blame him.

He saw a man in an offside position and raised his flag. He didn't know, nor could see, that the ball deflected off a defender.

The center ref saw this, and correctly overruled the AR.

Had the ball been touched by ANY Brighton player as it travelled into the box, the play would have been offside.

I believe this to be correct, but would stand to be corrected by any contributor who has a HELL of a lot more qualification than I.

It's the team mate thing Jay. NO team mate of the corner taker touched the ball. The fact our player, a defender, deflected the ball to another opposition player, is the reason it's NOT offside. As the Brighton player was NOT offside when his team mate took the corner.

Had the ball been touched by a Brighton player as it travelled into the box, the goal would have been waived off and offside.

Again, I stand to be corrected, but I believe the above accurate.

It's all very dicey. It makes sense when you really think about it, but the wording of the Law is not good and causes confusion in my opinion.

If you think this situation is a tough one, there's 1000 others that can crop up that cause utter chaos. The refs have a truly difficult job.

Remember the goal that stood some 10 years or so ago when a ball was shot at goal, hit a fucking beach ball that was batted from the stands onto the pitch, and was allowed to stand? Wrong decision!!! The beach ball is an inanimate object and an "obstruction". There should have been a drop ball at the point of contact the soccer ball met the beach ball!

Who'd be a ref??? Makes my head hurt!

Eric Paul
132 Posted 01/01/2019 at 02:43:24
Clear the fuckin ball and it's neither a goal nor off-fuckin-side!!!
Jamie Crowley
133 Posted 01/01/2019 at 02:46:23
Yup. Succinct. Accurate. Yup.
Alan J Thompson
134 Posted 01/01/2019 at 04:08:34
Some years ago, a mate of mine told me the story of his brother-in-law who was Secretary, President whatever of the NW Referees Association.

He was in charge of a Central League fixture between Man City and Crewe reserves when he had to book a City player (in the days before cards) and when he asked his name the player replied, "Micky Mouse".

The ref wrote his name in the book and looked at him and said, "One more like that Mouse and you're off!".

5 minutes later the player sheepishly approached the ref and said, "Ref, my names not really Micky Mouse, you know."

Dave Lynch
135 Posted 01/01/2019 at 05:25:13

Your reading of the game is right, it came off an Everton defender so was onside. If it doesn't come off the defender, it's offside.

Unless, of course, you play for Liverpool, then every dodgy decision goes their way and the ref is always correct in his decision-making, as long as it goes their way.

These are the rules of football and I hope you are now clear on them.

The Liverpool analogy is brought about by the utter bollox that Dermott Gallagher was spouting on SSN when analysing dodgy decisions from the last Premier League fixtures.

Jamie Crowley
136 Posted 01/01/2019 at 05:37:53
Haha. Duly noted Dave. One set of rules for the horde, another for the shite.
Tony Abrahams
137 Posted 01/01/2019 at 09:27:59
Eric, sorry mate, I did’nt take your point the way you meant it, but even though 5-aside is different from association football, it’s still football.

In-fact, I would say it would be a great environment in which to learn, because one thing about 5-aside, is that it’s a very quick game, with most of the tackles coming in from the blind-side, which is surely what not playing any football, would give anyone? A blind-side.

Derek Cowell
138 Posted 01/01/2019 at 12:23:49
Jamie that beach ball incident was well within the rules of the game because it happened against the shite and upset Rafa!! It was at Sunderland and obviously the ref must have been new and was not fully conversant with the laws of footy as correctly stated by Dave above.

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