Football is a simple game that is usually made complicated by managers and coaches.
But now it is the game’s rule makers who are making it not just complicated but almost not enjoyable.
It is a mixture of these changes, VAR and bad refereeing decisions, which you will get, that are spoiling the game week in week out.
For example the new offside rule, where the assistant referee lets a passage of play run before putting his flag up?
Honestly, what is the benefit of that rule?
We all know the player is offside a lot of the time but the game continues to run until that phase of play comes to an end.
Imagine Liverpool want one more goal to win the title and they go through and score only for the assistant referee to put his flag up a minute after he should have done.
There would be outrage. There is literally no benefit from it.
If anything its made the game worse and can be dangerous. Four or five times this season when the assistant referee has delayed the flag, someone has been fouled or left injured in that time period.
At least one has had to be taken off, after being fouled in what was a needless passage of play.
The ball should have been dead, but because some busy body at IFAB fancies mixing it up a bit that person is now injured.
You’d think some rule changes would make things clearer, but they were as clear as mud at Elland Road on Sunday.
First Nick Pope comes out and takes the ball and a bit of Patrick Bamford for the Leeds United penalty.
He’s took arguably more of the ball than the man. There is nowhere in the laws of the game (I should know I read them last night – it’s been a boring Christmas), that states if you take the ball but a bit of the man, you should be penalised.
If you go over the top and shave the ball but clean out the man, fair enough. I’m not naive enough to think that isn’t a foul.
But he’s took enough of the ball to call that a fair challenge.
Then down the other end, the Leeds goalkeeper comes charging out and cleans out Ben Mee before Burnley scored.
He literally charged at and kneed the defender in the back, cleaning him out.
The rules of the game state if a player charges/jumps at someone and makes contact, it should be penalised.
There’s one. And the new IFAB rules for this season also state the goalkeeper cannot be challenged by an opponent when in control of the ball.
At no time was the Leeds keeper in control of that ball.
Yet after a quick look at VAR, and I mean a very quick look a free kick was given to Leeds.
If you’re Sean Dyche and that point is the difference between survival and relegation then you’re questioning the referee, VAR and the law makers of the game.
Some rules are better I’ll admit that.
Substitutes leaving from the nearest touchline and laws such as that.
But on one hand we’ve got an offside rule that has zero benefit, unless someone reading this can enlighten me.
And on the other hand you’ve got no rules whatsoever for a player who takes half the ball and half the player.
Why are we tying a simple game up in knots?