Sunday, December 20, 2009

Whilst watching yesterday's Premiership match between Arsenal and Hull, the subject for today's blog leapt out at me - or maybe I should say leapt out of the goal.

One of my (many!) bugbears in football at the moment is the rule surrounding goalkeepers and penalties.

Penalty kicks have changed so much since I started watching football. It's great that the goalie can move around on the goal-line more now. It's not so great that the kicker can stop his run-up now.

The rule that the goalkeeper has to stay on his line is the rule causing me to shout at my tv screen or matchday official the most these days though.

It's not the rule itself. That I wholeheartedly agree in, as where does the movement off the line end otherwise? No, the problem I have is with the linesman, assistant linesman, clueless man who can't seem to see what's going on in front of him, call him what you wish.

How many times do we see the replay of a penalty kick which the keeper has saved and the keeper is way off his line, with the lino looking on just a few feet away from the action? How difficult is it to spot?

It really drives me crazy and yesterday's spot kick by Arsenal at the Emirates was yet another example.

What is the point in having that rule, and having someone particularly watching out for it, if it's not going to be enforced EVERY time?

You then have a situation, like in today's match at Upton Park between West Ham and Chelsea, where encroachment into the box by the attacking players causes a penalty to be bizarrely taken three times (don't even get me start on whether it was in fact a Chelski penalty!).

Refs pick up on this, admittedly rarely, which is harder to spot and doesn't really make much difference as to whether the kick is converted or not, but the thing that can with a goalie just gets glibly ignored.

So come on linos use your eyes and stop this farce now.

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