Date: 27th September 2020 at 6:01pm
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It seems to me that the current way some of the most crucial rules in football are applied is turning the game into a shambles. The way VAR is used, and the way handball in the penalty box is interpreted, is rapidly becoming a farce, and both are major issues for the sport.

Most football supporters consider both issues require a reality check. Supporters are not happy and neither are the players. The detrimental effect on the game has been on view for far too long to continue to ignore it.

If the supporters and players find the rules confusing, then what about the clubs? Surely they must share the same concerns. Managers and Chairmen talk to each other. They attend various meetings to discuss football. Why then do they not make a collective effort to amend the offending rules. If ‘people power’ can be effective, then surely ‘club power’ can be equally so.

If the Premier League and Football League clubs made their concerns known to the powers that be why would they not be seriously heard? All clubs should be well aware of the concerns of their supporters and players. And all clubs would have been adversely affected by the way some rules have been poorly interpreted at some time or other.

There is a clear need for consistent and fair officiating of football matches. That would obviously be the aim of all football associations. Fair and consistent officiating is not currently the case and football clubs need to use their position to ensure action is taken to rectify the problem.

Too many decisions have been glaringly wrong! VAR is not a bad thing in itself, but the way it is often administered certainly is. If it takes a VAR five minutes to make a decision … then it should never have been involved in the first place. How is that a clear and obvious error. The referee’s decision should stand.

A penalty, given for an infringement inside the box, is a reasonable consequence. But the current rules in regard to handball (whatever that means) need to be realistic and clearly defined. My view is that a handball has to be intentional. Of course, this would be up to the referees decision (as it used to be) and there would still be some debate on occasions, but it would eliminate handball situations that are unavoidable. When a player jumps for the ball, his arms go outward to balance him. How can you penalise players for that? If the ball hits the arm of a player who has his back to the play, how can he avoid it?

And further …. how is it that play can go on for one or two minutes before an official can raise a flag for an obvious offside. That is utterly ridiculous! Who the hell came up with that idea?

There will never be a ‘mistake-free’ way of officiating football, or any other sport, due to the element of human error. That’s accepted. It always has been. But there has to be a significant improvement on what is currently on view. And if the rule makers do not act, then the clubs should use their collective clout to make it happen. It’s time to penalise the rules. It’s all for the good of the game after all.

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51 Replies to “Time To Start Penalising The Rules After Latest Spurs Shambles”

  • There is no pleasing some people on this thread.
    Last season in this game with the “godlike” Poch in charge. We lost.
    We had 2 YES only 2 shots on goal.
    This we got a, draw we had 12 shots on target nearly 70% possession. 10 shots off target
    They only had 5 shots all off target. Except for the Pen they did nothing, nil, nada.
    Look guys we were unlucky today. VAR did us yet again.
    Live with it but we cannot blame JM. I think now he is doing everything.
    What match we’re some people watching here.
    Wise up..

  • Niall D comparing our performance to last seasons game against Newcastle is setting a really low bar. We were good in the first half today but lost our way in the second. We should be punishing poor teams like Newcastle -‘they were one of the worst I have seen at Spurs. I have seen nothing so far to suggest we are progressing under Jose. I would put at least eight teams in the premier league ahead of us. We need to improve fast.

    • Not so sure we lost our way in fairness, we were the only side going for the win but we lacked the composure or luck to get the second. My main irk is our penalty was more nailed on than theirs. We go 2-0, they get the soft penalty, we are still 2-1. I understand with individual referee’s there will always be a consistency issue across games – but not during the same 90 minutes from the same nugget on the pitch and the same nugget at Stockley Park. I’m no Jose (the man) fan, but we are playing better in my humble and today the blame goes on the ref/VAR and the players.

  • I disagree Geoff that an infringement inside the box is a reasonable reason to award a penalty kick. The box itself has become the problem with TV scrutiny. It is outdated, an arbitrary line which bears to relationship to goal threat. A free attempt at goal from 12 yards for an infringement which was highly unlikely to result in a goal is ludicrous. The remedy should fit the seriousness of the threat denied. For example a clear deliberate handball on the line to prevent a goal should be given as a penalty goal as in rugby.

  • VAR is here to stay and is fundamentally a good thing. What has changed is the amount of contact allowed compared wit yesteryear when Chopper, Tommy Smith et Al thundered into tackles taking man and ball. Penalties were never given for the finger on the shoulder pushes in today’s game. That’s here to stay too so the rules have to change to deny referees the ability to decide games on nonsense infringements. No penalty box, normal free kicks and penalty goal awards for obvious goal prevention sves the problem.

  • DH
    Shudda gone to specsavers.
    The stats are there and watching the game I saw a team trying to win. Even their own manager stated that they were lucky.
    Face it DH we were incredibly unlucky today.
    I seem to remember the post and the bar saving them.
    And hand on heart you can’t blame JM for this one m8.
    I can understand your point at times he has been negative, but I have in a, way been able to explain why.
    Today was a vintage cavalier Spurs performance and as usual ref decisions robbed us.
    I can’t see you justifying your opinion in this occasion.

  • Its a poor rule, we will be victims of this and sometimes we will gain from it. For me today was about not finishing end our chances, even if we won the game 1-0, this would still be the complaint. We have more than enough chances to kill off this game…in the first half

  • Like JM said, Spurs’ penalty box is special. Special in that it gets special treatment that other boxes do not receive. Wasn’t the arm in an offside position anyway ?

  • NiallD – vintage cavalier Spurs is some overstatement. We were good in the first half but we took our foot off the gas in the second. Newcastle were absolutely pathetic and we still failed to see them off. This is partly because we became too cautious. Yes the penalty was a joke but we should never have put ourselves in that position.

  • I agree with DH. We were good in the first half but allowed Newcastle to come back at us in the second half. The outcome became obvious..one goal was not good enough. Inevitably the sub Carroll was going to bully us into mistakes; that is all he can do. We fell for it and deserved not to complete a clean sheet despite the dreadful penalty decision. I am not a fan of Jose and will be delighted when he gets the sack with his usual massive pay off. He is not a Spur. He is his own man. A big head and a bore. Also stop bullying Dele. He is a top player and needs encouragement not humiliation. Jose has a track record of demoralising players he dislikes. I would much sooner lose Jose than Dele. Coaches are easily replaced with younger,modern, better tacticians. Top players are hard to come by at a Spurs. We need to keep the best players. We have no decent youngsters coming through. So Jose get off his back, you bully.

    • WW, I get the impression that any one who speaks his mind is a bully, that is complete bullshit, Oh I suppose its the way today, basically I give up, and I will admit I am no JM lover, but Dele is – if I don’t get my way I will stamp my feet and cry. COYS

  • I’m outraged at the officiating and the stupidity of FIFA and the rest of the associations. It’s time to boycott the matches and to stop going to them.

    Oh, wait—we can’t go to the bloody matches as it is as they’re all devoid of supporters anyway and the stands are empty. Never mind. The boycott is off.

    But it is the case that the rules as applied these days seem to make as much sense as the way Brexit is playing out. or as much sense as the way our societies are dealing with COVID. Perhaps the last time things made sense was when our Druid ancestors were unhappy at Caligula visiting Britain when he was a boy.

    The handball in the box decisions these days make as much sense as most parliamentary debates. The VAR is as popular as the VAT. I’m off to watch a video of the Spurs winning the FA Cup in 1961. I watch it once a year. The game made more sense when I was a lad. I’m not sure the world ever made sense.

  • There ya go DH and WW don’t agree. They thought we were crap.
    Like many here. Hopefully I can name PY, HT, and EJ here I am not a JM fan, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
    Today I think we deserved a win, when we’re bad I call it out, but today we were unlucky.
    There are those who just can’t accept JM no matter what. If the cap fits.
    Please accept that today we were better than decent and crated a lot of chances and had a lot of possession. Which is what DH and WW were complaining about all season.
    Maybe you need to change your initials to HK. Second name Kellar.

    • HD, you can name me, I am with you there.

      WE played well yesterday, ok our finishing was poor/unlucky, but add a GK having a brill day, but that’s football, not the crap that happened in the 96 min.

      As for poor finishing why is that JM’s fault. COYS

  • “There are those who just can’t accept JM no matter what. If the cap fits.”

    If we won the triple (PL, FA Cup, CL) with JM it still wouldn’t make him an honourable man.

  • TK …. He’d have to win the Ashes as well to be completely accepted.

    But ….

    As I commented on the match thread, yesterday we played ‘The Spurs Way’ for the first time with JM as the manager. That is very encouraging. Maybe he won’t need to win the Ashes after all!

  • What do people think about the delay in raising the offside flag ….. a delay that happens every bloody time!

  • JM could be coronated to replace Prince Charley’s mum and he still wouldn’t be redeemed.

    That having been said, at least the Spurs played football this match for a change. JM must have left the bus keys in his other pants pocket.

  • NiallD, I have constantly said that we played well in the first half and that even by the letter of the law it was not a penalty. My point was that we took our foot off the gas in the second half and were punished. This is a common thread of Jose’s management. We did it Leicester (understandable as we were three goals up) we also did it against Palace who had lost seven in a row and we did it yesterday against one of the worst teams I have ever seen at White Hart Lane. Any decent team would have killed Newcastle off yesterday. Yes I don’t like Jose but I still want us to do well under him. But I am convinced he will fail with Spurs, he is simply no where near the manager he once was.

  • Ossie…..we are only likely to gain from this awful rule if we do what others do and exploit it by deliberately playing the ball onto an opposition hand/arm in their penalty box. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with what is basically cheating because the rules allow it.

  • The Spurs played well. And my only complaint about that performance was that we didn’t score more… But we did bloody well try hard enough to. So I can’t really fault the players for that. And I can’t see how Jose is to blame for anything on the day. He wasn’t the one parking the bus on this occasion and he wasn’t the one between the goalposts making the saves. ………………..

    VAR and the refs interpretation of the latest version of the handball rule is what took the win from us…
    And this is where the problem lies for me… Some rules have been adapted or changed to suit the VAR. Whereas VAR is supposed to exist in order to ensure the rules have been carried out correctly, it has now made these rules a slave to it.

    Last season it was the “offside” rule that was invoking everyone’s ire. Because the rule is now based purely on a technicality. And if a big toe is past the virtual VAR line then the rule must be seen to be upheld. But this can’t realistically been seen as an advantage to the attacking player and is not a simple thing to judge for that player, if he is playing off the last line of the defence.

    This is why FIFA have now instructed the assistant refs to keep their flags down when an offside looks marginal. Essentially so that VAR can check the incident, once the action has played out. Decide after the fact whether or not the attacker was offside if a goal is then scored for example. And so the assistant hasn’t been seen to impede the play in any way. And therefore play will continue without players playing to the flag. Ie; defenders stopping defending or attackers not going for goal etc., because the flag was raised. Then VAR can do its job, but in retrospect and after the whole pattern of play being completed….. PHEW!

    Seems kind of fair, knowing that VAR will check for offside and a goal may well have to be disallowed (or indeed given) because of the VAR (seen and proved), “offside” or not. And without any of the play having been negatively effected by a raised flag, in real time. ???

    I’m finding this all very difficult to explain in any clear and concise fashion. And it could be that I’ve got it all (or parts of it) wrong.

    Herein lies the problem with VAR, imo. VAR is far too open to interpretation by the refs (and all of us), if it is not perfectly clear on a ruling. There would be too many variations on that ruling. Too many “what ifs”…. “What if the defender has his back to the ball but his arm is seen to be in an unnatural position when the ball strikes it”? Blah blah! The rule has to be clearcut to ease any chance controversy. And by not being too open to interpretation. Ironically, now it is the rule itself that feeds the controversy, even more so than how the VAR itself is being used to clarify it….. And the controversy, anger and confusion remains!

    And, even whilst I am trying to explain all this, I still can’t really make it clear, even in my own mind. And I am confused…

    I didn’t want VAR. I still don’t want VAR. But if it is here to stay, then we will just have to accept the good and the bad of it. And who knows, maybe in our next PL match we will get a last minute , added time winning penalty against Man U because the new handball rule says it should be a penalty, even if we all know it shouldn’t… Yeah right! LOL! Against MU?!

    Swings and roundabouts!

    At least we didn’t lose, eh!

    Up the Spurs!

    One thing that has just occurred to me from when I used to play the game… Is that we all fully understood the rules. Offside and handball rules etc. And, we would usually know when the refs and linesmen got it wrong and of course, we would complain to them. But, mostly the game continued as normal and human error was inevitably accepted. Accepted as part of THE game itself.

    I wonder… Is human error really such a bad thing in sport? Is it not inevitable?

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