The Arsenal back four were always famous for raising their hands in unison as they took a step forward and trapped a player offside.
This was of course in the George Graham days when he welded his defence into a tightly knit unit.
These days I need to ask if you understand the offside law then raise your hand. As most of you will read this I do not want to fuddle those brains but does anyone understand the law as it is supposed to be interpreted by the officials.
Let’s look back at last weekend’s games and some of the decisions to see whether the law is being applied consistently. First let’s go to Fratton Park (of course) and a look at the Chelsea goal. When the ball was played long by Claude Makelele to Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka was clearly offside and active as he ran on and scored in the same phase of play and therefore the goal should have been disallowed. Chelsea fans would rightly say that Jermain Defoe was marginally offside when he scored the equaliser but I am afraid two wrongs do not make a right.
Now to Ewood Park where Andy Johnson had a goal disallowed that would have won an important game for Everton. Johnson had returned from an offside position before he scored from James Vaughan’s pass but no one including referee Alan Wiley could answer the question – when did Johnson became active? Both managers here had, understandably, different opinions of the incident. David Moyes felt the linesman got it wrong – saying ‘there was no confusion it was just the wrong decision’; his opposite number Mark Hughes felt Wiley had had a bad game and ‘the offside was the only decision he got right’.
Finally at St James Park in my opinion the Middlesbrough goal should have been chalked off. Julio Arca crossed from the right and Robert Huth rose above Stephen Carr to head the equaliser. Fine, no problem, there then but on the replay you spot that as Arca crossed Lee Dong Gook was in an offside position and rather than retreat and let the game carry on he remained active and made every attempt to get his head on the cross. Result goal should have been disallowed. There were a lot of bad decisions in that game to be honest – Owen did not foul the keeper and Wheater was not offside when scoring on the rebound of the bar.
Note to the FA – Please sort it out before this subsides into a farce. We must have consistency!!
Written by eastneydave.
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