Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Now Leaving the Reservation ...

Let me being by saying that I believe Franz Beckenbauer is one of the best players in history, and certainly the best German player of all time. Let me continue by saying that I believe his suggestions to "make offside simpler" (for the referees), and do away with send offs for non-brutal fouls is a bit misguided. See here from ESPN for his proposals.

While unquestionably well intended, Franz may have forgotten why those changes went in to the LOTG in the first place. Which is why most of the changes have gone in with recent history ... to score goals, or in the alternative to make the penalty so harsh for preventing them, people won't.

While correct in saying that offside is difficult to judge, his decision to place it on the FIFA agenda for discussion seems to stem from a particular incident (or at least ESPN portraits it as such) and not from a well thought out, and larger campaign of why it was changed in the first place ... again to score goals.

Der Kaiser may also be reminiscing a bit back to his days when sweepers were for the man and the ball, his comment of send offs for "brutal fouls" is somewhat dated. There are lots of sneaky and non-violent methods to prevent goals, and sending players off is to protect that goal scoring bid, not just punish brutal fouls ... and to score goals.

Same reason for implementing the "5 second" modification and doing away with the "4 step" modification for goal keepers ... to score goals. You can't score goals if you don't have the ball.

Let's face it folks, soccer is not a high scoring game, and FIFA recognizes for the marketability of the game, you need goals ... even I agree with FIFA on that one. Laws should be touched sparingly as I think FIFA has is pretty correct now. That said, I am always open to making it better. I would opine however Mr. Beckenbauer's suggestions would not make things better, but actually much worse.

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