As we approach the third round of Premier League fixtures, how can it be right that we are already discussing a number of bad decisions by referees up and down the country?
Before the start of every season, I make sure that I am 100 per cent up to scratch on the new laws and the new rules. So it was useful when Mike Riley came on the television and showed us what the new offside rule is.
The first weekend of the season Marc Albrighton scores a goal against Sunderland, where the ball is played towards him in the box when he is in an offside position.
Younes Kaboul gets a touch on the ball, Albrighton then comes back into an onside position, takes the ball off Kaboul and sticks the ball in the net. Fine, that is as perfect as Mike Riley said it would be.
First phase, he is offside if the ball goes to him, which it didn’t. Once Kaboul gets a touch, he is now OK, so that offside is now gone.
The next detail Riley goes into states that any player in an offside position that attempts to make contact with the ball will be deemed offside.
Liverpool’s first goal on Monday night is then given, even though the fact that one of their players makes an attempt to get the ball when in an offside position.
Now we are only three games into the season, and already the officials have got it wrong between themselves.
It cannot be right that they can get it wrong so quickly, in such a short space of time.
When we have all been explained the new rules by the head of referees at the start of the season, how can they themselves continue to make mistakes?
The overhead kick of Cameron Jerome against Crystal Palace that was disallowed is another instance. They are clamping down on supposed dangerous play, but by clamping down on it they are stopping perfectly good goals.
They have got to get their act together, because it’s costing teams dear, and neither I nor anybody else for that matter want to have to deflect from great football to continually discuss the shortcomings of referees that are in charge of matches.
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