On Rotation, Foul Play, Rotational Foul Play and Law Changes

Attention turns to the last sixteen of the Europa League with Thursday night’s trip to Rennes firmly in view. The foibles of form and the fixture list mean it is our last away game for one month while the second leg is our last game for 17 days thanks to the international break.

Little wonder our away game at Molineux is yet to be re-arranged. The longer our run in the Europa League, the fewer opportunities there are to reschedule. Indeed, the Premier League’s insistence that the season finishes on 12th May means the match is likely to be played on 4th April. That will be unpopular with Wolves given they face Manchester United on 2nd April.

It will also wind United, Chelsea and the way they are playing, Tottenham up something chronic. Which makes it imperative that we reach the semi-finals of this tournament at the very least.

A potential clusterf*ck because of regulations. It’s a genuine problem as well. We’re not defending a three-goal lead and complaining, just looking to fit a game in. How much of a winner are you when you take a three-goal lead with no away goals conceded and moan that you’ve played on a Saturday lunchtime?

Back to Arsenal after that brief interlude.

The trip to Rennes offers an opportunity for rotation. It’s a game where the decision on whether Ramsey or Özil plays is the centre of attention. The former’s inclusion against Tottenham indicates it is likely to be the latter.

There’s a strong argument supporting Özil playing. It’s less “physical” than United will be yet the guile he provides could be crucial on Sunday. The decision depends on how much Unai Emery is focused on the damage United’s counter-attacks wrought in the FA Cup tie.

I Fought The Law But The Law Won

Before we get carried away on this weakened team malarkey, can we just remember that in the past five away games, we have lost three and suffered defeat in five of the last ten. Taking victory for granted is jumping the gun a little, especially since Mustafi is likely to play in the centre of defence.

Elsewhere, the IFAB came up with some sensible and not so sensible rule changes. Sanity prevailed one point; the notion of a saved penalty or one which struck the woodwork gives rise to a goalkick is madness. They saw it that way as well. Eventually.

Several months too late, the IFAB ruled goals scored after accidentally striking a player’s arm won’t count. Think Aguero at City earlier this season; we’d have only lost 2 – 1.

Other changes include players “can” leave the pitch via the nearest touchline. Surely the more effective way of dealing with timewasting is taking timekeeping out of the referees control, as is the case with rugby league. Get an official timekeeper who monitors such matters. The guideline could be 10 seconds to leave the pitch and get the sub on; anything more sees 10 seconds plus time wasted added on. So 15 seconds to get this done adds 25 to the end of the game. Or if you are losing ten seconds is docked from time added on. Incentivise the coaches and players to get their arses in gear.

Jumping to the Wrong Conclusions

The intriguing change is banning attacking players from being within 1 metre of the wall. If you look at how badly these situations are often managed by officials, it’s not a bad move. Jostling in the wall, making a hole for the ball to travel through; all things of the past. Watch how many line up a wall in front of the wall, get the attacking wall to jump which the defensive wall will copy as the ball sails underneath. Footballing genius.

These things are major changes and will surely help fight the curse of modern football, namely referees who don’t apply the rules properly. Oh…

Three days on from Tottenham and Taylor’s mismanagement continues to be in the spotlight. So much so that we’ve been rewarded with Jon Moss taking charge on next weekend’s clash with Manchester United. To be honest, I can’t wait for VAR to come in although judging by Saturday’s fiasco, it won’t do much good.

“Yes, Anthony, there was a stamp on the goal-line you need to check.”
“No, it’s all good. I saw it and he was just disentangling his studs.”
“Really?”
“Yes, sometimes you must repeatedly stamp downwards to get them free.”
“You’re mental”
“Yes.”

’til Tomorrow.

19 thoughts on “On Rotation, Foul Play, Rotational Foul Play and Law Changes

  1. Jonnygunner says:

    I have now reas the post 👍🏻

  2. Pete the Thirst says:

    United on Sunday is a game we really need to win. They have a very hard game on Wednesday, which they are unlikely to win. We have an easier task on Thursday. They have some injuries. This is a great opportunity to get 3 points.

    United will sit back and hoof the ball in behind our defenders when they get the chance. We need to be careful we don’t forget about defending. This is a game for Monreal not Kolasinac.

    And don’t let that useless Manc Mini-Me Lindgard score!

  3. ferkov says:

    Ha. Great piece Yogi.

    and well done JG….. pffffffft.

    think we know my stance on mr Taylor.

    I would like to see a change to free kicks on the lines of Rugby rules. The old penalising dissent, march em ten more yards. But for football, move the wall back 5 yards, or the ball back 5 yards at the kickers discretion, to favour getting the ball up and down.

  4. Paulie Walnuts says:

    Pressure is getting to Poch. There’s no way he’ll be there next season.

    For Thursday it makes sense to play Toreirra as he’s banned on Sunday & I would start Kolasinac & Ozil.
    No Lacazette so Aubameyang up top. Two from Mikhi, Iwobi & Ramsey. Mustafi can make the tea.

    Interesting changes to the ‘laws’ of the game. Time wasting is a pet hate for me , with feigned injury in particular raising the old blood pressure. I reckon that was what the Kepa situation was really all about.

    You rarely see time added correctly, so as Yogi suggests keep stopping the clock whenever there is a proper break in play.

  5. Jonnygunner says:

    Introduce the sin bin…10 minutes to cool off

  6. thrill says:

    First off thanks YW for the post. The missed calls, bad interpretation of rules etc, glad to see it is getting cut off. It’s needless and quite insane really. The american football (NFL) suffers from the same issues as the EPL with rules. The entire basis of the game is throwing & catching a ball yet 10 people will have 10 different viewpoints on whether a particular play is a good ‘catch’ or a ‘drop’.

    Pete the Thirst,

    If I was playing against Arsenal, Mustafi and Kos in particular, that is exactly the strategy I would use. United has largely owning us for the past 10 years with this exact approach.

    Do we think Unai will go 4-4-2 again like against the spuds? I certainly would. Let iwobi and Mhki earn their millions, their job is to run around for 90 minutes, so get continue to work hard in attack and defense. Shut down all gaps between CBs, keep a tight midfield two in front of the CBs, dont be afraid to play a bit deeper to absorb pressure. Lets turn the fookin tables for once and take the counter attacks to them instead of getting it handed to us.

    And deary me Mrs. Alex & Pierre good sirs, tighten yer laces, gather yourself, maintain composure, and put that thing in the back of the damn net! Ramsey proves you dont have to be the fastest , you need good positioning, anticipation, control, composure… If we keep our cool and play a similar game like against Spuds, i’m confident in at least a draw. However if we see the 5 at back, wide open spaces, Kola camping out in Manure 18yd box, dilly dally in possession, we will likely get embarrassed. Stay compact, maintain position, steal possession and hit them quickly!

  7. ferkov says:

    Jonnygunner,

    That works too.
    For every yellow card offence? We’d get a hammering. RANT ALERT. Especially as it seems ….I only watch our games…. to me that we are the only team being fingered …ooh, bit unnecessary…..for simulation this year.
    Not Only maybe, but I’ll bet we’re top of the table.

    Start getting binned for these ref brain farts and I’ll have to up the meds.

  8. Wailesy says:

    “Goals scored after accidentally striking a players arm won’t count” Does that include the keeper’s?

  9. C says:

    I wonder if Emery is thinking Ozil and Aubameyang for the Europa League and Ramsey and Lacazette in the PL for the time being. Think it makes perfect sense. Rennes just want to attack and, they do have some attacking talent including Sarr, Niang, Ben Arfa and Grenier.

  10. ferkov says:

    thrill,

    Mrs? That’s a tad harsh….Maybe Aubas surprise costume was going to be Catwoman! We’ll never ferkin know now will we . Unbelievable.

  11. Dalm says:

    ah – Nirvana –

    Game ends when time is up and the ball goes out of play – a la rugby – not waiting for it to be hoofed up in the air & 4 mins added time being anything from 2-8 mins depending on how much the Utd manager wants.

    Timing out of refs hands – he (she) ref stops/starts the game but the clock is controlled on the sideline ‘central timing’ – the rugby league hooter is a nice touch – everyone knows where we are.

    Sin bin – field hockey has green card (2 mins minimum ) for minor issues & yellow for more serious (10 mins) & red for serious – get off and stay off (eg swearing at the ref, violent conduct) and an automatic ban.

    Hitting the ball away is an offence that gets punished properly and consistently

    all easy to run at this level and would make a difference….

    as an aside, playing in a 5 a side league this weekend and a young and clearly ‘coached’ teenaged opponent inadvertently mis-controlled the ball – it went above head height – ref blew it and as we went to take the kick, the opponent kicked the ball away – the youngster got a talking too – but – FFS what a reaction !

  12. ferkov says:

    Dalm,

    “as an aside, playing in a 5 a side league this weekend and a young and clearly ‘coached’ teenaged opponent inadvertently mis-controlled the ball – it went above head height – ref blew it and as we went to take the kick, the opponent kicked the ball away – the youngster got a talking too – but – FFS what a reaction !”
    Makes me want to play Bill a Harry Enfield sketch. All the honour is slowing being devoured by greed

  13. Welsh corgi cardigans says:

    For saturday I’d rather not see Nacho. Lukaku has owned him the last games and he’s been targeted by Lukaku in one on ones.

    Don’t think Kolasinac (if he can get persuaded to defend) will be so easy to showe/push for Lukaku.

  14. Bill says:

    Great post Yogi

    I like most of the new rules you describe. I think futbol should have a clock which is run by a time keeper and the entire stadium can see. The clock stops when the game is halted for any reason such as injury or goal celebration and the game ends when the clock runs out just like American football. Much more fair and transparent.

  15. Bill says:

    Thrill @ 2:03 PM

    “The missed calls, bad interpretation of rules etc, glad to see it is getting cut off. It’s needless and quite insane really. The american football (NFL) suffers from the same issues as the EPL with rules. The entire basis of the game is throwing & catching a ball yet 10 people will have 10 different viewpoints on whether a particular play is a good ‘catch’ or a ‘drop’.”

    That is why its impossible to get consistent officiating in both American and European football. A huge majority of the calls a ref makes some degree of subjectivity. In American football: Is it a catch? did the defender do enough to call pass interference? In European football: Was there enough contact to call a foul or a penalty? Was it a red card or a yellow or no card at all? Was the handball intentional or accidental? Many of those calls are debatable even when you have slow motion replays. If a true consensus can’t be reached even with all the time in the world and multiple slow motion replays then how can any ref possibly be consistent when he often has a suboptimal viewing angle and he only has a split second to make a decision? Its impossible.

  16. YW says:

    A final thought for Saturday. This is from the IFAB Practical Guidelines for match officials: http://static-3eb8.kxcdn.com/assets/documents/LotG2018/LotG_18_19_EN_Practical_Guidelines.pdf

    Free kick
    The AR’s position for a free kick must be in line with the second-last defender to check the offside line. However, the AR must be ready to follow the ball by moving down the touchline towards the corner flag if there is a direct shot on goal.

    It becomes more of a clusterfuck every day. And it’s us who gets shafted.

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