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Subs in injury time may be banned

Saturday, 27 October 2018 72comments  |  Jump to last

Football's governing bodies could move to outlaw the substitution of players during time added on for stoppages.

The International FA Board (Ifab) has found that substitutions are occurring after the regulation 90 minutes are up in one in four Premier League matches, with the belief that it is a almost entirely a time-wasting tactic.

Other measures aimed at increasing the amount of actual playing time include mandating that players who are being taken off would have to leave the field via the closest touchline rather than walk across the pitch, permitting goal kicks to be passed to players within the penalty area, and allowing free kicks to be taken while the ball is still moving.

The issue will be discussed further at Ifab's advisory panels next month, with the organisation's annual meeting to follow in March next year.

“Looking at ways to cut down on time-wasting, speed up the game and increase playing time is one of our priorities,” one board member is quoted as saying in The Times.

Reader Comments (72)

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David Ellis
1 Posted 27/10/2018 at 04:00:56
Good idea. Long overdue.
David Barks
2 Posted 27/10/2018 at 04:54:39
It would hardly make a dent compared to the 45 minutes of each half where players spend 30 seconds to take a throw in and keepers take nearly a minute for a goal kick. This would maybe add a minute back a match. This isn’t where the time is being wasted.

This isn’t hard guys. In many sports you can do this amazing thing where a person actually operates the clock and, wait for it, simply stop the clock when the ball is not in play, and start the clock once play resumes. Mind blowing I know. Of course, you won’t get out of the ground in 90 minutes, but you’ll get 90 minutes of football. You decide what you’d rather pay for. Players actually playing football or players standing with the ball out of play for nearly half of that 90 minutes.

Phil Sammon
3 Posted 27/10/2018 at 07:08:23
David 2

I completely agree with this. So sensible it shouldn't even need a discussion.

When I first started watching AFL I was blown away by a rule they have which encourages good time-keeping and respect. Basically, if a free-kick is awarded to the opposition and you have the ball in your hands when the whistle is blown, you have to give it to the recipient of the free-kick immediately. It's your responsibility to get the ball into their hands. If you so much as ‘accidentally' kick it past your opponent then you will concede a 50-m penalty (a pretty severe punishment in Aussie Rules).

On another AFL note, you also don't see opponents laughing, joking and helping one another up after fouls etc. Shake hands at the end of the game... that's fine. But there shouldn't be an ounce of love lost while there's a game to win.

Brian Porter
4 Posted 27/10/2018 at 07:24:01
David #2, I was about to make this point when I saw you have already made it. It's so bloody simple I don't know why the geniuses at FIFA or wherever haven't realised it.

Surely it is already incumbent upon referees, to stop the watch when the ball is dead as on a substitution, and to ban subs in time added on is simply cheating fans out of seeing a fair and balanced game.

If the proposal is accepted, we could see a situation when a player is genuinely hurt in added time but is not allowed to be subbed, so penalising his team by reducing his team to ten players, or less, depending on what else has previously occurred (sending offs etc). A totally ludicrous idea!

Jason Leung
5 Posted 27/10/2018 at 07:55:00
I think the point against stopping the clock for throw-ins, free-kicks and the like is that players will the take even longer off the clock to kill any momentum of the opposing team or for any other reason. In my opinion, you cannot compare it to the likes of AFL as that sport is so much more fast-flowing and so many more stoppages (free-kicks, throw-ins, goals, behinds etc). So for AFL it would be wiser to stop the clock rather than try to work out how many minutes to add on which would be almost impossible.

In football, referees need to just wise-up and, if it's so blatant that players are wasting time, then just add more injury time, which I think they do already and I think is far. Players waste time? Add more time at the end. Simple.

At first, I thought banning subs in added time was a good idea to help the flow of the game; however, I just read Brian's post about an injury and bringing the team down to 10 men and now agree that it is a quite an unfair idea.

Gordon White
6 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:10:33
I too think it's a good idea and long overdue.

Good point about when this goes on. However, Refs should be directed to pay more attention to time wasting during the entire game. We already have a solution for blatant time wasting, it's called a yellow card.

Not being able to substitute following an injury already happens, in normal time, when all substitution's have been used. And we're talking about a few minutes. Let's keep it in perspective.

Not so sure about the moving ball for free kicks rumour though.

Tony Everan
7 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:16:49
Referees should have more power to penalise blatant time wasting by tactical injury time substitutions, or by faking injuries. Add double the time on that was lost.
Steve Sweeney
8 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:26:28
How about if a team is blatantly time wasting – think of Stoke, Southampton, Palace to name a few – then, if they go behind to a late goal, don't add any time – just blow up at 90 mins. That would stop time wasting. 🤡
Steve Ferns
9 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:32:26
Wait guys, you need to be careful here.

There was a proposal at the last big meeting, last season, to do away with the 90 minute clock and to introduce a 60 minute clock. The proposal was that games last for less than 60 minutes (I think they said it was actually 55 minutes) of time with the "ball in play". The idea was the clock, as others have said above, was operated by someone else so that every second was "ball in play". It got rejected.

Now this, for me, is very significant. This is getting very close to an Americanisation. If someone else can operate the clock, and the time with the ball not in play becomes less urgent, then how long before we have a 5 second advert break? Then those 5 second advert breaks become longer and longer. Next stop American football.

No thanks. Football needs its urgency. Keep it as it is. Time wasting is a part of the game. Sure, try to reduce it with sanctions (yellow cards) and get refs to book more players. But let's not start down a slippery slope towards turning it into American Football.

Rob Dolby
10 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:48:04
Wasting time is a pet hate of mine, I pay my money to watch football – not a goalie or ballboys wasting time, no matter if we are winning or losing.

I was at a grassroots game a couple of weeks ago where the ref added every bit of time on due to the ball going out. 15 minutes of injury time and ironically the team wasting time scored 2 goals during added time.

Rather than add time I would turn over possession.
Wasted time on goal-kicks could turn into free-kicks from outside the box due to time wasting or a throw-in given to the opposition if they exceeded the time limit.

I can't see anything like that being brought into the game when things like diving are being classed as 'clever play' by commentators and condoned by managers.

James Hughes
11 Posted 27/10/2018 at 09:51:34
It would make so much sense just to stop the clock for injuries. It would save the long injury time in games, when most teams try to run down the clock even more.

The ref controls the stopping and restarting in rugby and it works well.

But then VAR works really well in lots of other sports and FIFA managed to make that a farce when used in football.

Tony Cheek
12 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:08:23
Absolutely, long overdue. In fact, I would like to see that two of three subs must be used before 80 mins (or only one sub can be used in the last ten mins). Seeing sub after sub used at the climax of an exciting game is so boring and takes the edge off what should be the best part of the game!
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:15:06
As in rugby (league and union), and American football (etc?) – if play stops, the clock should stop. Rugby has to deal with Sky etc broadcasts, advertising and scheduling issues. Can't see why they can't get a grip likewise in football.
Brent Stephens
14 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:16:55
And rugby manages to stop the clock without intrusive adverts. Get a grip!
Gordon White
15 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:18:37
Steve #8 very good points.
Steve Ferns
16 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:21:10
American Football is terrible, Brent. It is terrible because the game stops all the time. 5 seconds of action followed by a 2-minute commercial break.

You can bet your life that, once the clock stops, there will be massive money thrown at football to go to a commercial. Only a 5-second one we will be told. But they will get longer and longer.

Stopping the clock would be the worst thing to happen to football. It would lead to an unrecognisable game, in the way that American Football is unrecognisable from Rugby.

We can't allow it. Football needs the urgency. Sure, time-wasting is infuriating, but it's part of the game. Always has been. I'd rather that than wrecking the game with commercial breaks.

Brian Williams
17 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:22:20
Let's say 8 minutes of injury time goes up on the board. Yeri Mina goes down injured in the first minute of the 8.
He's won everything in the air throughout the game, a defensive master class.
He can't continue and has to come off.
We play on with 10 men because we're not allowed a substitution.
The shite bombard our box with crosses and hopeful balls.
They score the winner in the last minute of injury time with a header, following a cross into the box.
Seem fair?

Or instead of Mina, Pickford with one of the outfield players having to go in goal?

Steve Ferns
18 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:31:23
Don't worry, Brian. IFAB meet every year. Fundamental changes to the game are discussed most seasons. Things are kicked around and then they decide to retain the status quo.

For the uninitiated, IFAB is made up of 5 guys, one each from FA (England), IFA (N. Ireland), SFA (Scotland), WFA (Wales), and FIFA. So, as you can see we retain the domination of the rules as the inventors of the game.

This was last year

Brent Stephens
19 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:32:22
I disagree, Steve. I don't want American football's advert intrusions. I was only pointing to the stopping of the clock, as in rugby here.

I see the difference that football, not rugby, is the big money game here, so football and TV might be tempted to introduce in-game ads. But if you look at Oz and NZ, the big game is rugby – I may be wrong but I'm not aware they have in-game ads there.

Steve Ferns
20 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:37:32
No idea, Brent. But how much would Coca-Cola offer to have a "Diet Coke Break" in the World Cup Final? Are you confident FIFA would turn that down?

It can't ever happen now, because the clock is ticking. Once the clock stops, it can. If it can, it will. It's just a matter of time. I have no doubt that Football will be around for at least another hundred years, and I will be surprised if Football does not go the way of American Football. I just hope it doesn't happen in my life time.

Stopping the clock is step one. So we need to stop that from happening. Add time on at the end, as we do now. Just make a better job of it.

Gordon White
21 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:40:36
When was the last time this happened?

What would happen if we had 20 minutes of injury time and Mina's and Keane's heads collide going for a header? And Keane elbows Pickford. And all 3 have to go off?

We're talking about reality here, not if a comet hits Goodison Park.

Brent Stephens
22 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:45:41
"How much would Coca-Cola offer to have a "Diet Coke Break" in the World Cup Final?"

Slim chance!

Steve, you've now introduced the option of adding time on at the end, for all stoppages I assume. If applied properly (!), fine. But somebody needs to get a grip.

Brian Williams
23 Posted 27/10/2018 at 10:51:42
Gordon. There's a bit of a difference in your goalkeeper getting injured in the first minute of injury time and a comet hitting Goodison Park.

The example was used to show an incident that could easily happen, one that could decide the outcome of a game because a stupid rule was brought in because referees or official timekeepers can't control the game.
Your comet example was nothing to do with a stupid rule change... it was just stupid.

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:03:04
Brent, it's not adding the option, as it has always been there. To apply it "properly" though would see 35 minutes of added time each and every game.

I think things are fine as they are. We just need to add a bit more time on to stop sides time wasting so much, and book offenders more often. The same teams do it game after game, and those yellows would add up and cost them in the long term.

Alan McGuffog
25 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:09:42
Gotta love our “governing bodies”. Remember when you had to take a goal kick from the side of the goal that the ball went out on?

Hey!... we'll allow you to take it on either side. It's not like a keeper will spend an eternity dribbling the ball along the goal area to waste time, is it?

Gordon White
26 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:17:16

It wasn't stupid - it was ironic.

The analogy was possible, but improbable.

Looking back over several seasons, I think Steve's scenario is more likely to happen than yours. Stop the game and its only a matter of time.

As I've said above, there are already scenarios where there are no further substitutions long before injury time. And many outfield players have had to put on a pair of gloves in the past.

The team would need to do what they would do now. Deal with it.

Having said that, I really like the idea of turning over possession for time-wasting.

Brent Stephens
27 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:28:53
Steve, I know the option has always been there – I was just saying that you added the option, as you hadn't previously mentioned it. I wish our refs could consistently penalise the time-wasting but (a) I won't be holding my breath over consistency and (b) there's a lot of cute time-wasting which falls just within the rules so can't be penalised.

And Alan (#24) is quite right about goal-kicks being allowed from either side of the goal. Falls just within the rules so can't be penalised in itself.

Pete Lloyd
28 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:36:00
A pet hate of mine with time wasting is that, when the whistle is blown for a free-kick, a player can kick the ball away or impede the player trying to take a quick free kick and it's a booking. Same player can pick the ball up, have a little moan to the ref and then toss ball into the air and then take his position with the rest of his team – no booking!
Rob Halligan
29 Posted 27/10/2018 at 11:47:11
There was a Cardiff City player (can't remember who) who, during their game with Burnley earlier in the season, wasted an incredible EIGHT minutes taking throw-ins. He would get the ball, walk to a ball boy who would give him a towel to dry the ball, then lean back against the surrounding wall before running up to take the throw.

I thought drying the ball with a towel had been banned, as it's not considered to be part of a player's kit?

Alan McGuffog
30 Posted 27/10/2018 at 12:11:03
In a nutshell, cheating is endemic in the game. I suspect it always has been. The collective weakness of our squad of Premier League referees allows this to continue.

A simple solution would be to take time keeping out of the hands of the “men in the middle” and make it the responsibility of the fourth official. Some hope!

Brian Williams
31 Posted 27/10/2018 at 12:40:18
Gordon. It was stupid because, if a comet struck Goodison Park, the game would be abandoned and the shite couldn't then score! :-)

Anyway I was talking about the derby at their ground, lol!

Terence Connell
32 Posted 27/10/2018 at 12:46:58
I agree with the comments that the answer is that refs must demonstrate more control of the game and book people for time wasting. The possibility of genuine injury must be respected although managers will continue to abuse that right. Players will continue to time waste even if you book them.

I wish they would consider David Elleray's suggestion that players should be 10 min sin-binned rather than booked, which removes the incentive for time wasting right away and, in the last 10 mins, would effectively be a sending off. This rewards the team that is being offended against right away rather than some future opponent of the perpetrator.

Gordon White
33 Posted 27/10/2018 at 13:05:54
Brian #30,


John McFarlane Snr
34 Posted 27/10/2018 at 13:58:36
Hi all, I am old enough to remember when the use of substitutes was a thing of the future. While there are merits in each of the possible remedies to combat the abuse of the present system put forward on this site, I fear that there will always be those who will continue the abuse.

I agree that a firmer line should be adopted by the referees; any suggestion of time wasting should be punished by the production of a yellow card. Unfortunately, as with foul tackles etc, different referees will have their own view of things, and inconsistency will reign.

I believe that the answer lies with the managers and players, which means that – no matter what system is put into place – the abuse will continue. I have seen football go from a sport to a business and a science, and I can't say I've enjoyed the transformation.

David Barks
35 Posted 27/10/2018 at 15:46:18

Your comparison to American football is so far off the mark. If they wanted to they could do commercial breaks now. During injuries is when American football most often cuts to a commercial, because they know it’s gonna take at least 1-2 minutes, which is the same in our matches.

Also, American football doesn’t stop the clock after each play. They stop it after specific plays, scoring plays, injuries, incomplete passes. When they run the ball or complete a pass the clock doesn’t stop. It’s the changes in possession that stop the clock and are used for commercial breaks, along with injuries. It really holds not comparison to football as a way to say we can’t do better at not letting half the actual game be wasted by the ball not being in play.

There are so many other sports that use a clock. The NBA uses a clock. A player gets 5 seconds to put the ball back in play or possession is lost to the opposing team. They have a shot clock. They have 8 seconds to get the ball into the attacking half or else possession is lost to the opposing team.

In your Coca Cola commercial scenario you claim it can’t happen now because the clock is ticking? Nonsense. When Keane went down with that head injury he was down for more than 5 minutes, clock was ticking, no play was happening. If they wanted to they could have cut to commercial, come back for 30 seconds, then gone back to commercial. Nothing about the clock ticking was stopping them. Those are the scenarios where the NFL takes commercials. Football doesn’t, but could if they wanted to. They just choose not to.

FIFA already implemented water breaks during international competitions when the heat is at a dangerous point. Is watching 22 men drink from sponsor labeled water bottles for 5 minutes different than a commercial? The pitch is literally surrounded with commercial adverts and the bloody shirts are adverts. The least we could get is 90 minutes of ACTUAL football.

John G Davies
36 Posted 27/10/2018 at 15:58:57
An average American Football game takes around 3½ hours to complete. Do you reckon football fans would be up for staying in the ground for over 5 hours?
Alan J Thompson
37 Posted 27/10/2018 at 16:20:43
Perhaps other points from AFL are that "runners" are allowed on the pitch to treat injured players without stopping the game (unless the injury is considered so severe it requires a stretcher/buggy) but a free kick can be awarded if they interfere with play.

They also have an interchange rule where players can be subbed/interchanged to a maximum number of times times during a game and the player coming on cannot take the field until the leaving player has left and this without stopping play. It is somewhat ironic that substitutes were first allowed to stop players being "clogged", taken out of the game by foul play but was so abused that subs could be made at any time.

Anyone who saw Revie's Leeds of the 60s & 70s would know the lengths that can be gone to to stop an oppositions momentum.

Drew O'Neall
38 Posted 27/10/2018 at 16:48:38
Link the ref’s watch to the clock on the scoreboard. Over time the rest will take care of itself.
Andy Crooks
39 Posted 27/10/2018 at 20:36:14
David, I would suggest that cutting to a commercial when a player goes down with could be life changing head injury would be too crass for even those who run things now.

I am with Steve Ferns on this. What, perhaps, someday,adds tailored to the injury? Time wasting is infuriating but is part of the game that can be simply dealt with by any competent unbent referee.

The notion that anyone pays to watch football and not the bits inbetween is ludicrous. How about dealing with the fouls committed at corners that would warrant a red card anywhere else on the pitch. It is the biggest blight on football now and is caused by the utter spinelessness of those judging referees.

If a referee missed ten instances of a player being wrestled to the ground anywhere other than corners, his career would be over.

Gordon White
40 Posted 27/10/2018 at 20:53:01
Good cross section of opinions as always.
As ever, it's good to hear other people's views.
Garry Corgan
41 Posted 28/10/2018 at 01:26:30
The most frustrating time-wasting tactic has got to be players feigning injury.

For non-head injuries, just play on (as they're supposed to do anyway!) When the ball goes out of play, have the player leave the pitch immediately by the nearest touchline and prevent them from rejoining the match for two minutes after play restarts.

I'm sick of seeing players rolling around on the floor for three or four minutes receiving treatment, then leave the pitch looking like Heather McCartney only to be ushered back on immediately at which point they break into a full sprint.

Colin Gee
42 Posted 28/10/2018 at 01:40:38
Do as they do in Rugby League, when a player is injured, play carries on and the Trainer is allowed to come onto the pitch to treat the player. So no time is wasted by players rolling around like they've been shot by a sniper from the Main Stand.

All the Officials are miked up these days so the Fourth Offical just needs to tell the ref: "Trainer on to treat injured player, play carries on."

Possibly the only time it wouldn't work is if the injured player is in the penalty box.

Chris Davies
43 Posted 28/10/2018 at 07:12:12
I remember when Sky (in the Andy Gray/ Richard Keys days) would show a stat at half-time & full-time called “ball in play”. I definitely remember feeling ripped off (and I was a child(!)), and thinking of a 120-min “80-minute” rugby match.

Some 15 yrs later, Guardiola stepped in to show us that Barça could keep the ball in play for 80 mins. The result,.. they won. Always.

A real man makes his own luck, 'n all that.

Eddie Dunn
44 Posted 28/10/2018 at 08:30:24
There are many ways to waste time at present. An opposing player standing in front of the free kick to prevent a quick one, is one example. This could be eradicated by the ref marching them back another 5 yards.

I personally like the rugby union method of moving the kick nearer goal for dissent or if one is tackled after a tap- penalty within 5 metres of the kick. Our refs have enough power to prevent most of the problems by actually adding on time.

However, they are often so busy that they forget to do so. One also wonders if the TV broadcasters pressure them to not only start the game exactly on time, but blow-up for half time and full time as soon as possible to allow the adverts to be fitted in.

Frank Crewe
45 Posted 28/10/2018 at 10:56:59
I don't see the point. If subs were banned in injury time, managers would simply make them a minute or two before the 90 mins were up.

I do think it would be a good idea to make injured players leave the pitch from the nearest touchline though. Should apply it to substitutions also. Watching a player trudge slowly across the pitch whether injured or subbed while the oppositions players and ref tell him to hurry up is really annoying and is obvious gamesmanship.

To be honest I would take timekeeping out of the hands of refs anyway. Make the 4th official the timekeeper and every time the play stops for free kicks, injuries, substitutions etc. he can stop his clock until play starts again. That way any time-wasting would simply become part of the 90 minutes and there would be no injury time.

Hywel Owen
46 Posted 28/10/2018 at 12:02:36
Technically there is no such thing as "injury time". The game lasts for 90 minutes, no less, no more (added time excepted).

Look out for mass substitutions between 85 and 89 minutes on the clock!!

Andrew Ellams
47 Posted 29/10/2018 at 13:28:06
Aren't they also talking about increasing the number of subs to 9 for Premier League games? I'm sure it won't be long between that and allowing 4 changes per game.
Alan J Thompson
48 Posted 29/10/2018 at 13:45:06
Eddie (#44);

I think they tried to do something about players not retiring the 10 yards (9 metres) at free kicks. If players didn't retreat, the referee could move the free-kick forward 10 yards (9 m) but the plan was dropped, after initial use, as continental referees said they didn't know how far 10 yards (9 m) was but it was never clarified if that meant how far forward the kick should be moved or if it referred to how far back a player was from the kick.

And is it still a rule that the referee is the sole judge of time?

John Pierce
49 Posted 29/10/2018 at 15:58:43
Rolling substitions is the first step to erradicating some of the additional time at the end of games. They do no have to be administered by the referee and dramatically reduces additional time for injury time substitutions.

You then get to use all of the matchday squad and the tactical element of when you sub doesn't eat into time. It lessens fatigue in the game as not all players are playing the full 90, something to bear in mind when heavy schedues build up.

Again, much of the wasted time is for minor injuries were the trainer comes on, potentially reduced with the suggestion above. I think referees should ignore it... to a point as they are not doctors.

If the player knows he could be immediately replaced by a rolling sub they might be less inclined to roll around, they might not get back on the field for 10minutes! The choice is theirs.

Stopping the clock is for me a nonsense unless it's a serious injury, that's fine and then restart it so we only 'play' 90 minutes.

Another major source of delay are free kicks and kicking the ball away. If you want the game to be fluid then this has to be addressed. It's engrained for a footballer of any standard to kick the ball away or how long it takes to set up a direct free kick. Just let the players take it quickly, in many cases they'd prefer it, attempts to stop or impede need to be managed accordingly. I'd prefer that to be with a sin-bin, not a card, but that is way too much for most of the footballing fraternity.

If you want a more fluid game, it's the rules not the clock that's the problem.

Brian Wilkinson
50 Posted 29/10/2018 at 18:07:59
My big pet hate is an opposing player having to be so many yards away for a corner but a team mates can be within inches.

Now if you are talking about time-wasting, short corners are up there with subs walking from the other side of the pitch taking more than the 30 seconds added on.

Minik Hansen
51 Posted 30/10/2018 at 11:50:25
I don't know if anyone has mentioned this, but what about when an injury, a pitch invasion, or something like that, that takes time to start the game again, has occurred and the referee has added some extra time, let's say 11 minutes, there would be a bigger risk of somebody being injured, as everyone is tired, or desperate and making tackles etc.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
52 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:06:29
Steve #16

Sorry my friend, but you have obviously not really watched American Football.

I watched a whole game last night because my team was playing. Most of the time it is continual action until the possession changes hands. As is based on specialist attacking and defending players they need to change the personnel. It is how it is. Don't argue against it.

Breaks for adverts are:
1. During the time to change possession
2. Half-Time
3. With 2 minutes to go before the end of each half
4. When there is a VAR decision to be made
5. When a player is injured and needs lengthy treatment on the field.

That is all. To say 5 seconds of play and 2 minutes of commercials is just wrong.

Gerry Quinn
53 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:09:28
Eddie (44),

You personally like the rugby union method of moving the kick nearer goal for dissent or if one is tackled after a tap-penalty within 5 metres of the kick?

You will then know that smart ass defensive walls will deliberately flaunt this law if a free-kick is within range – so that the nearer the goal, the harder it will be to bend it over a wall...

Brent Stephens
54 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:12:23
Gerry, wouldn't the answer to be to give the team with the free kick the option of whether to move the ball forward or not?
James Marshall
55 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:40:47
Leave the bloody game alone, it's fine as it is, all part & parcel of the game.

The more they dick about with it, the less interesting it becomes. Football is interesting because of the human element, refs making mistakes, linesman making mistakes, players getting away with things, it's all part of the reason football is talked about, and why sites like this exist. Once you remove all that then there's no point in even having an opinion because your opinion will count for zero if it's all been cleared up on the day.

If you strip all that away you get a game with no talking points as it's all done & dusted so we're left with nothing to whinge about.

I don't even like goal-line technology, and VAR is ridiculous.

Brian Harrison
56 Posted 30/10/2018 at 12:52:02
I heard that a survey of the playing time in matches had come out saying the ball is only in play for 60 of the 90 minutes in an average game. There was a suggestion that the timekeeping be taken out of the hands of the referee as they do in rugby. But if the timekeeper stopped his watch every time the ball went out for a goal kick or throw in or while a player was being assessed by the trainer, then instead of a 3:00pm kickoff finishing around 4:50, it would be more like 5:20. Not sure fans or players would want that, and certainly not the managers.

As for subs, well, like John said earlier, I remember when no substitutes were allowed. Then subs were only allowed on through injury but managers soon used this as a way to make a tactical switch, claiming the player coming off couldn't carry on.

I think the initial use of subs could have been influenced by how many times in the FA Cup Final teams had to play with 10 men through a player getting injured. This also led to the likes Bert Trautman the Man City keeper playing on in an FA Cup final with a broken neck and Gerry Byrne of Liverpool playing on with a broken collarbone... tough men in those days.

Gerry Quinn
57 Posted 30/10/2018 at 13:38:07
Brent – you beat me to it! :)
Gerry Quinn
58 Posted 30/10/2018 at 13:44:12
Not sure what area to send this to on TW, so just watch our Tim Howard show his lurrrrrrrvvvvvv for us in America...

Brent Stephens
59 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:12:13
Gerry "Brent – you beat me to it! :)".

Actually, my wife beat me to it first. Makes a change - she normally just beats me.

Nice link to good old Tim Howard.

Dan Parker
60 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:23:11
What if your goal-keeper is injured in the 90th minute in a title-winning decider? I fear this rule would also serve the elite more than anyone else.
Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 30/10/2018 at 15:40:15
Tim Howard = class act.
Gerry Quinn
62 Posted 30/10/2018 at 16:38:33
An American Evertonian, Mike – all class acts when it comes to Everton. :)

How's that for crawling?

Mike Gaynes
63 Posted 30/10/2018 at 16:44:34
Love it, Gerry.
Rob Halligan
64 Posted 30/10/2018 at 16:49:44
Dan # 60. I imagine the ruling would be different for a goalkeeper? The law states there must always be a goalkeeper on the pitch. It's why you never see a goalkeeper leave the pitch following treatment.

So, unless this law has changed, then a team will be able to put their sub goalie on in injury time, unless of course, the three subs have already been used in the 90 minutes. I imagine the same ruling would apply if a goalie is sent off. That's my view anyway.

Martin Faulkner
65 Posted 31/10/2018 at 01:59:46
Rob, you don't need a sub to nominate a different player as your goalie.
We used to do it all the time in the late 80's when we were out of subs or never had any to start with, outfield player went in goal.

Can't call for the referees to take action on this as there aren't enough competent unbiased ones as there are, the reason that VAR was such a joke is that ultimately then it remained with the referees anyway. If you've got a biased or corrupt official giving them more power mandate won't change anything.

I'd like to see it go back to 3 subs but only if 1 of them was a goalie, otherwise 2 subs only and used before 90 mins are up.

Paul Baker
66 Posted 31/10/2018 at 10:52:27
Means you won't be able to waste 2 minutes of added time but will be able to waste the last 15 minutes before that on throw ins, goal kicks and pointless passing around the back line. Not the path to follow.

Let's face it - what needs to be done is stopping the clock when football isn't played. This, or leave it as it is.

Rob Halligan
67 Posted 31/10/2018 at 17:42:59
Martin # 65. I've been struggling to understand what you mean by "you don't need a sub to nominate a different player as your goalie"

I understand back before there were seven subs (including a goalie), if your goalie was sent off, an outfield player went in goal.

I think where maybe you are misunderstanding my post is that, if all three subs have been used, and all subs used are outfield players, then should a goalie be sent off in injury time, or any time for that matter, an outfield player MUST go in goal.

Kim Vivian
68 Posted 02/11/2018 at 10:58:45
Very late on to this thread, but for what it's worth I believe feigned injuries/cramps etc are the biggest time waster. If a player has to be attended to on the pitch I've thought for a while that an obligatory 2 minute "recovery time" should be spent off the pitch before said player can return to play. That would stop a good deal of the simulation.
Steve Carse
69 Posted 02/11/2018 at 11:37:55
Kim, a good idea. But a better one is surely not to stop the game at all other than for a possible head injury. For any other injury, the 'damage' is already done. Getting a physio on to the player immediately is an irrelevance.

I thought refs had been told a couple of seasons ago to follow this, but seemingly not.

Andy Crooks
70 Posted 02/11/2018 at 22:23:47
Mike and Gerry, I think we have been lucky with the Americans we have signed. Actually I think Americans have been generally excellent in the premier league. Why, do you think that us, Mike?
Dermot Byrne
71 Posted 05/11/2018 at 08:42:46
Excellent idea, Kim. For some, I'd make it 85 mins!
Tony J Williams
72 Posted 09/11/2018 at 12:58:19
It will never happen and we will still have goalies wasting time, just like Maik Taylor used to and get the obligatory yellow card in the 91st minute, even though he had been time-wasting since the kick-off and every fan letting the referee know this.

He was so bad, he used to time waste in the warm-ups...

This issue with the 2-minute "recovery time" is that dirty teams managed by the like of Mark Hughes would exploit this to the full. Go through a man, take the foul and he's off for 2 minutes.

It's trying to get the happy medium between time wasters and sides intentionally hurting/kicking players.

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