Date: 30th June 2019 at 6:17pm
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With the new rules (article on sister site, Vital Villa) in place for the upcoming season, I thought I’d ask our Vital Spurs readers their opinions on the handball issue.

Goalkeepers are allowed to handle the ball inside the penalty box. That’s a logical rule. Outfield players are not allowed to handle the ball anywhere. That’s a logical rule, too. At least it’s logical if the rule applies only to the ‘hand’.

But the rule does not only apply to the hand. It applies to the arm and, often, the shoulder. So why is it called ‘handball’ instead of ‘arm ball’? Most players have the ability and instinct to avoid hand contact with the ball. But, often, they don’t have the same ability to avoid contact with the arm.

The body works in certain ways designed to maintain balance and avoid injury in all sports. The body uses the arm as part of this process. When a player leaps for the ball, the arm works unconsciously to maintain balance. When a player twists and turns while at full (or close to it) speed, it’s the arms that keep him on his feet. And if the movement is unconscious and natural …. why is it deemed illegal according to the rules?

It seems to be this unconscious movement to maintain balance that is penalised by current ‘handball’ interpretations of the ruling by officials.

Maybe a way to reduce the confusion would be to actually make the rule more appropriately fit its name. That would mean allowing players to use their arms and shoulders to play the ball. But deliberate contact with the ball by hand would be penalised. Decisions would still have to be made as to whether any contact with the hand was deliberate or not but it would eliminate so many other current controversies concerning any decision. A compromise rule could be that contact below the elbow is an offence. At least that would give the player more opportunity to maintain his natural balance.

I also believe the rules relating to simulation should be adjusted for the same reason. When playing the game I would sometimes roll out of a tackle to avoid a bad fall and possible injury situation. Players do that today and the whistle blows for an infringement. I believe that a simulation ruling should only apply if a player CLAIMS a foul … not if he simply gets up and plays on.

What do Vital Spurs people think?

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91 Replies to “Is It Really ‘Hand Ball’?”

  • If we sell Eriksen it’ll be because he wants to leave. Just as it was with Bale, Modric and Walker.

    He leaves, he leaves. We may be worse off , we could even be better off. But, he ain’t gone yet.

    Doncaster, I’m not being at all negative about Tanguy. I too think he is a fine player. But I’d rather see him play first before I call him a Spurs ‘great”.

    And to be honest I have never watched Lyon on a regular basis to make any definitive judgement on how well he could do at Spurs in the PL

    One thing is for sure though; I will support him through the good and the bad. You know, when he misses an open goal from 2 inches at one end and scores his first own goal at our end. AND, it’s v the Gooners!

  • Of course I meant to say… I’d rather see him play for Spurs first before I call him a Spurs great. I have actually seen him play.

    I think he is a very good buy for THFC. It’s just that I know what supporters are like. They get too carried away. There’s no middle ground. Players are often either shite or a genius. Mostly they are just very good players that either do well or don’t do well… Let’s hope he does well. Better than well…

  • BS, as far as Toby and Sanchez are concerned. I only pointed out that I thought Davinson could be Toby’s successor. Not that he would take over the role before Toby had left. And for 2 years now people have been talking about losing Toby and that we will need a replacement. I thought that Sanchez could be that player. I still do.

  • I should also say that it makes no odds to me how much he cost if I think he’s a top player. And I do… But it does seem a big contradiction to me when people like yourself constantly complain that the club doesn’t spend enough on players but then go on to complain that a player was too expensive.

    Maybe I should moan about Toby being too cheap!

  • HT – in my opinion, that’s not really fair to Eriksen. he’s said numerous times that he’d like to sign an improved deal at Spurs. Outside of Harry Kane, I’m not sure who has put in a better case for an improved salary than Eriksen.

    I don’t think he absolutely wants to leave. I think he is resigned to leaving if the club refuse to pay him what he is arguably worth in the market. it’s a big difference for me. We as a club could give him what he wants, without bankrupting the club. But we’d have to break self-imposed rules to do so, but it would immediately resolve the issue with Eriksen.

    As for Toby vs Sanchez, I clearly remember you saying that we’d be fine if Toby left, because Sanchez is/was there waiting in the wings. While we could do worse than Sanchez, it would still be going backwards at the position, in the short term.

    I think both Foyth and Sanchez are promising players with lots of upside. I also think that Eric Dier would be well served to go back to playing the position he grew up playing, and try to become the best CB he could be. We’ve got a strong succession plan in place for Toby and Jan at CB, for sure. But right now, they’re not superior options yet, and if we want to maximise our window of opportunity, now is the time to invest in good players who can help today, not 3 years down the line.

    In that regard, any player we buy is either going to help now or in the future (hopefully; in some cases it has been “not at all” but let’s leave those aside). Sanchez, for me, falls in the category of “for the future”, which was just a bit underwhelming for a club record. That’s not to say that he’s not going to be a crucial player for THFC some day.

  • Similarly, imagine we were to break our transfer record in 2 weeks to buy Gianluigi Donnarumma (or any other highly rated young keeper). I wouldn’t be thrilled.

    We’d be dedicating a large share of our limited resources on a player, who while promising, doesn’t really help in the short term, at a postion which isn’t the biggest area of need, while disregarding other, more pressing areas of need.

    Great for the future (if the player pans out), but not an immediate upgrade on what we have, despite the price tag.

    That was my issue with the Sanchez deal. Not personal against Davinson, but more the recruitment strategy behind the deal.

  • Has Eriksen said that numerous times? I’m sure has been offered better deals. It’s been his choice not to sign them. I’m more than certain that the club would prefer him to stay.

    He did just recently say himself that he would like a new challenge. It’s not a question of me being fair or unfair. I say exactly the same with all players. If they want to move on. I wish them well and it’s adios amigo!

    And, yes, I did say that about Sanchez. And I just repeated it…. LOL

  • I think that both Eriksen and his agent have always been very diplomatic. Saying things like he just wants to concentrate on his game and who knows what may happen, etc.

    This of course is the shrewd thing to do if the club you’re at wants you to stay but a club like Barca or Real would like to sign you.

    Essentially (mostly via his agent). Eriksen has kept his options open. Not committing to stay and not saying he definitely will go. What the real truth is, could be anywhere inbetwween this stance….

  • HT. My comment on your negativity was somewhat tongue in cheek. One thing you will never be accused of is negativity.
    I first saw NDombele in the Champions League at Man City last season and I thought he was absolutely immense. if he can replicate those sort of performances in a Spurs shirt then wow.
    Re Eriksen, I believe he does want to leave, whether there will be any buyers at the level he wants to play is another matter. If he goes, it will be a loss but there are many talented players who could replace him. If Madrid are interested, I can see Levy insisting on Ceballos on a permanent deal as part of the deal. We also have Harry Winks who I suspect will revel in the increased responsibility. COYS

  • I did realise that DoncasterHotspur. I just wanted to make it more clear to all that it wasn’t Tanguy that I was doubting but just that I’m wary of us supporters initially having too high an expectation on certain players and putting pressure on them to be great for Spurs from the off. Especially young guys from another league, in another country. It doesn’t of course mean that he can’t or won’t be “great”.

    I also saw him in both matches v City and he was impressive. I’m also just a wee bit more wary these days when in the past I have got excited myself about certain new players and then they haven’t really delivered.

  • HT – “Essentially (mostly via his agent). Eriksen has kept his options open. Not committing to stay and not saying he definitely will go. What the real truth is, could be anywhere in between this stance….”

    I agree with this, but that is very different , to me at least, to saying “I am never playing another game for this club again. I want to leave. Now.” like others have done before. It at least implies that staying is an option, rather than try to force a move away, which he could have done.

    Even in the interview he gave to Danish media, in which he says that he’d like to try something new, he goes on to say that he’s happy at Spurs and wouldn’t mind extending. To me, that reads more as a nudge to Daniel Levy, saying “if I don’t get the deal I want soon, I’ll explore other opportunities, but I really wouldn’t mind staying”. It puts a little bit of pressure on the club, as if to say “get your act together”. That’s how I read it, anyways.

    There have been reports throughout the year about Spurs extending offers to Eriksen, but which fell short of his expectations. Apparently, if those reports are to be believed, he was just asking to be one of the top earners at the club, asking for pay parity with our current top earners. If true, is that so unreasonable for a player of his stature?

    If he leaves, there are indeed other good footballers around, as Doncaster says. But it’ll be expensive to sign someone as good as Eriksen, so you have to wonder why we’d be willing to spend a fortune on a player who has everything to prove, rather than rewarding a settled, performing player in his prime.

    Doncaster – just a couple of points:

    1. a player like Ceballos may look a fine player but who knows how he is going to adapt in the PL, settle in England, etc. It takes more than skill and talent (which Ceballos undoubtedly has) to make it at a club. Replacing Eriksen, who is both a very good footballer and an important part of our tactics, and very settled in London, would take more than an unproven commodity like Ceballos, in my opinion.

    2. I also expect Winks to be a big player next year, but not in the Eriksen role. Winks plays deeper. I expect Winks to start alongside NDombele, and Sissoko to push both for playing time. I’ll also be watching Eric Dier closely, as it’s a big “prove it” season for him, especially if he stays in midfield.

    • I think Dier is just a squad player. Some rumours doing the rounds Poch wants to convert him back to a CB. Doesn’t look like the lad wants to though.

      Van de Beek seems to be on our radar. I would love us to sign him.

  • BS …. I agree about Winks. I expect him to become a ‘vital Spurs’ player from next season. Hope he stays injury free.

    Also, who knows how any player is going to ‘adapt in the PL, settle in England, etc’. That’s the risk all clubs have to take when they buy from abroad, no matter how much research is done on a player.

  • Regards CE, I read only this morning that he is “supposed” to have said lately that if the transfer to RM does not come to fruition he will sign a new contract at Spurs, read into that what you will.

    I am another who thinks “our Arry mk2” will become a vital cog in our team mechanism next season, all be it staying injury free.

    Tanguy Ndombele the new lad is only 22 and from what I have seen is a very good footballer, but note 22 yrs old, still young esp for a newby to the Prem, so please you who are sharpening your knives already give the lad a chance.

    Toby, will he go, will he leave/be sold that is the question, I believe he will sign a newer improved contract, mind I could also be wrong, I have got my helmet on lol! COYS

  • It’s all very well talking him up and suggesting we give Eriksen parity with HK (or at least getting close to it) but we shouldn’t forget the number of times he gets mentioned on here for going missing in big games, and he does. I can understand him wanting to ‘try something different’, I think we all do at some stages in our life, as they say ‘a change is as good as a rest’.

    He has largely given us good service in what 5 or 6 years and I have no problem with him looking for another challenge and if that is what he genuinely wants then I don’t see pay parity with our top earner satisfying his need. I would be happy to sell him for as much as we can get and look for a younger version like Ceballos.

  • I think that is exactly what it’s all about with Eriksen, PY.

    He like most players would want to say yes to Real. And if they make the right offer he will leave Spurs to take that step up.

    I don’t think it’s a question of Spurs not offering him enough to keep him. Let’s face it, if we offer him 200 grand a week, it’s likely that Real will better that offer by a distance. But if that offer doesn’t come then it make sense to take second best which for him seems to be to remain at THFC. Which in turn suggests he is happy at Spurs. Which in turn suggests that the club are not sending him out of the door because they don’t want to improve on a new deal for him.

    With Bale and Modric it was clear that Real had made bids for them and they couldn’t refuse the offers. But even then, Levy ensured that Modric waited a season before the move and that with Bale, he got the very best deal that he could get.

  • Well going on all reports we have got ourselves a top box to box midfielder and technically excellent,I think getting him signed early will be a big help for him to get to grips with poch ideas and tactics.Fabinho only settled into Liverpool team after xmas last season ,so he definitely needs to be given time.Regarding Eriksen he has all the power with him only having 1 year left on his contract , Madrid seems to be his dream move and I will hold no grudge towards him if he gets his move,I’m unsure that Van der Beek would be the player to replace him ,to me he’s very similar to dele in regards arrive into box and scoring goals I don’t see him as a playmaker , haven’t seen anything of the betis player so can’t comment.personally I hope Eriksen stays and we sign a similar player as back up.i will wait till the end of the transfer window before deciding if where stronger as a squad for next season.its started well lets hope it continues along these lines

  • According to some reliable sources Eriksen is gone. We are just waiting for the deal to be finalised.

    Fernandes is the one I would love but apparently United are his first choice.

    It does look like Lo Celso is our number 1 pick. He looked average in the Copa America. But then have seen him play some blinders against Madrid last season for Betis.

    I think he would play as the LAM if we signed him. He is technically gifted, good in possession, can go past players and looks tenacious. He is very mobile and is very agile. Similar to Eriksen in some ways.

    IThe rumours are once Betis lower their transfer fee we will sign him. Will probably end up being 50m with some add ons. Which will be covered by the Eriksen sale.

    Jack Clarke transfer fee will be paid by the sale of Dembele in January, Ndombele transfer fee will be paid with the CL money.

  • TQ2Spurs – sure Eriksen has gone missing in games, but name one single player that hasn’t. In his time at the club, nobody has scored more game-winning goals than him.

    Last season alone, the late goal against PSV in the CL, and the late goal against Brighton stand out. For every time he’s gone missing, one could name another game where he has single-handedly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat. Anybody that only looks at the bad games is extremely biased.

    HT – I think that if a player is happy and his family is settled, that player may be willing to take less money to stay in a place they like, providing the difference isn’t too big. That’s just personal opinion of course.

    I also believe that Eriksen has more leverage than you think, in this instance. Remember, he’s only got one year left. Let’s imagine he doesn’t go this year, the club will still be stuck in an uncomfortable situation of risking losing him for nothing in 12 months’ time (which, let’s all agree, is probably worst case scenario).

    And as a final note, Van de Beek is a question mark for me. He seems quite slow and ill-suited for the PL – Italy might be a better bet for his playing style. I also think he’s benefited from playing in a very talented team, next to world class talents. If we are going to replace Eriksen, we have to replace what he brings to the table: technical ability with both feet, huge stamina, a willingness to run, great vision, great passing and decent set piece ability. A tall order. Sneaky bid for Kevin De Bruyne? 🙂

  • “HT – I think that if a player is happy and his family is settled, that player may be willing to take less money to stay in a place they like, providing the difference isn’t too big. That’s just personal opinion of course.”

    I believe that too, BS. But if that player feels he could be more happy elsewhere. He may even leave to go there for less money. I would.

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