Image: Offside Sports Photography
We’ve seen some moaning this morning about football’s rule changes, and your mate Dave has tweeted “the gamez gone” with three angry face emojis from a roundabout in Milton Keynes. But we reckon these five are alright, you know. Things have to evolve. We’re not fully sated mind, and reckon our five new rules need to be ushered in immediately.
Here are the five that will start from June 2019:
1. NO ATTACKING PLAYERS IN A WALL
Yep, 100%. Those routines with players wedging their way in or dropping to the floor and generally acting like rodeo clowns are tiresome. Get ‘em out.
2. SUBSTITUTED PLAYERS MUST LEAVE AT THE NEAREST TOUCHLINE
We’re all for cutting out time-wasting, though we’re not sure this will entirely end the shithousery. Unless players are injured they should be off the pitch in five seconds, if not it’s a booking. Or a clip round the ear.
3. YELLOW AND RED CARDS FOR MANAGERS
This is going to be great, and we cannot wait to see Mike Dean, legs splayed wide, nose in the air, waving his beloved red card about.
4. GOALS CANNOT BE SCORED WITH THE HAND, INTENTIONAL OR NOT
We thought this was already a rule, tbf.
5. NO REBOUNDS FROM PENALTIES
About bleeding time, because although the spectre of watching Joe Hart save one with his knackers, only to get chipped is something we are very much here for, the keeper has done his job hasn’t he? Also, if you can’t pass it into the corner from 12 yards, then you deserve nothing.
(Apparently this has now been scrapped, which is annoying).
And here are ours. We’ve had to sack someone for suggesting a sin bin.
1. MAKE CORNERS GREAT AGAIN
Corners are no fun anymore, are they. The wrestling and grappling and shirt-pulling and nonsense that would be fouls anywhere else on the pitch are allowed to continue because it’s an impossible situation for refs. We’d like to see the attacking teams rewarded for forcing the corner, and be given a slight advantage. One that causes chaos. One that results in some old-school big headed goals, and it is pretty simple. The attacking team have to start from outside the box, the defending team from inside. Imagine Virgil lining up a run from 25 yards out and banging one in, Phil Jones starting on the goal line and tearing towards the space screaming UNITED before heading the ball out of the ground. Much better than players holding their hands up and then lacing someone up the arse when Michael Oliver is looking the other way.
2. THE EXTRA TWENTY
It’s 1–1, your team’s been on top for the last fifteen minutes, but the referee’s blown. Gutted. Everyone’s gutted. The fans want more, the players want more, the manager wants more… and that, of course, is where the Extra Twenty comes in. The Extra freakin’ Twenty. Each club (importantly club, not manager) is given two Extra Twenty tokens at the start of a season to use whenever they feel like their side could go on to equalise or win the game with an additional twenty minutes after the ninety. Imagine it. Bournemouth fans screaming WE WANT MORE, WE WANT MORE as Eddie clicks the Extra Twenty button with them on top of Everton. Wild celebrations as Huddersfield scrap a 1–0 away win at the Emirates, only for Unai to walk over to the away end and yell WE’RE GONNA ACTIVATE THE TWENTY with white spit at the corners of his big mouth hole. It would be brilliant. More chaos, more goals, and most importantly: more football. Activate the Twenty, guys, activate the blasted Twenty.
3. FOUL THROW? INSTANT RED CARD
Listen, we’re sorry. It has to be like this. If you can’t take a throw-in, you have got to go. It’s that simple. Not sure what to do with your feet? Red. Little half lift back before you throw it forward? Marching orders. Stepped over the touchline? Get in the bath, you moron. It’s not that hard. It’s epidemic. Perhaps you haven’t noticed, we have though, and once you see it, you can’t unsee it. Foul throws, as far as the eye can see. It needs cleaning up, and the relevant authorities need to give Michael Oliver and the lads the power to do so.
4. GET RID OF TECHNICAL AREAS
Technical areas are stupid. Why hem in the greatest football tactical minds of our time into a tiny space in front of the dugout? Let them roam free, let them prowl the touchline wherever they see fit like your boss used to do on Saturday mornings when you were a kid… shouting things he shouldn’t shout into your ear. Get Sky to bring PlayerCam back and call it GafferCam, and then at the click of a red button we can spend 90 minutes watching Jürgen Klopp kicking every single ball, issuing instructions just yards away from his players. And with technically no technical areas, we should blur the lines even further and allow the manager onto the pitch to celebrate with his players after a goal. Imagine the fun that would ensue from that.
5. POWER PLAY
Picture it: once a game for five minutes every goal counts double. It would be absolutely terrifying. Man City are 5–0 up at home; PEP GUARDIOLA HAS CALLED A POWER PLAY. Suddenly it's 13–0 and the away fans are streaming for the exits, sad. On the other hand, though, Burnley have had five corners in a row and are well on top, they're chasing the game but no matter, Peter Crouch enters the field. SEAN DYCHE HAS CALLED A POWER PLAY BURNLEY ARE 4–0 UP, THE BIG HEADING BOYS HAVE DONE IT. Both managers can also call a power play at the same time, so a 0–0 can turn into a 6-4 really quickly. Maybe the fans could activate it. Maybe there is a massive button behind each goal. Maybe we’ve not had enough kip.