The Penalty For Fouling!
There’s a foul in the box, the referee points to the spot, part of the spectators erupt with shouts of joy! It’s a penalty! Anticipation is high for some …. despair is high for others.
After the compulsory arguing from the penalised team members and their manager as the referee is surrounded by complaints, the decision stands. The ball is placed on the spot and the designated penalty taker steps forward for his moment of glory. Having decided where he will place the ball, and avoiding the disastrous effect of second-guessing himself, the player waits for the whistle.
What are his choices? Aim right (low or high), aim left (low or high), aim straight down the middle (low or high), or simply blast the ball and hope that the power of the shot will result in the desired outcome.
It’s all really exciting stuff. But is there another way penalties could be taken? What if football adopted a Hockey-style penalty kick where a player can dribble the ball past the keeper? It results in a goal scored from open play rather than a free shot …. or it results in a save from open play. It’s still a one-on-one goal scoring opportunity, isn’t it?
Of course, nothing happens until the penalty-taker touches the ball at which point the keeper can move where he wants. And the penalty taker would still have the choice of just hitting the ball, first-time, in the traditional directions already mentioned. A player who is not confident in shooting can try his luck at dribbling. But there would be a times limit (8 seconds?) for him to score once he touches the ball. It would just add a further dimension to taking penalties.
I am not advocating this …. just sharing a thought (after watching a Hockey match) for VS to consider. And remember, football is always changing.
So VS …. What might be the advantages, or disadvantages, to the ‘Taker’ or the ‘Keeper’?
And talking about fouls …. it will be interesting, after the World Cup, to see how referees are going to address all the holding and pushing that is rife inside the penalty area, and all the time-wasting that often happens when a foul has been given anywhere on the park.
In terms of ‘holding and pushing’, something seriously needs to be done about it. It’s not difficult. The rules are clear. All referees need to do is apply them. It’s that simple, and I cannot understand why referees make it so hard for themselves. It’s the lack of applying their authority vigorously that that results in making their job more difficult than it needs to be. The amount of game-time it wastes is ridiculous.
In terms of ‘dissent’ …. if I were a referee I would show a yellow card to any player who stood in my face and complained, unless it was the team captain or the two (usually) players directly involved in a specific incident.
So VS …. What would you do if you were the referee?