Time-wasting in football: New rules are for fans, not players
Just a few balls have been kicked of a new season and already the fresh approach to time-wasting in football looks to be great fun.
For those unaware, referees are now clamping down on frustrating issues of time-wasting. Apparently all clubs met with referees to go through the measures and how they will play out. So everyone’s on the same page right? Well, of course not. This is English football after all.
Managers are already moaning and it’s only been the opening round of the Football League and a Community Shield match. But then again, moaning is very much part of the game.
Nevertheless, I’ve found it top viewing already. Take the shield match between Arsenal and Manchester City.
Watching Thomas Partey and Julian Alvarez get yellow cards for rolling the ball away looked more pathetic than ever. Why? Because the whole thing is pathetic.
Time-wasting in football is simply built into players now. Like a robotic reflex action. You could see that in Alvarez when receiving his yellow. At no stage did his brain click in to think: ‘Hey this is dumb, I’m going to get booked here‘.
This new approach is for fans of the game, not the players.
It’s been far too long in coming. Football fans are fed up of the rolling around, feigning injury and general ‘dark arts’. Yes it’s pantomime but it just gets people raging.
We want to enjoy the sport being played. We don’t want to watch grown men rolling around on grass. Well, not for the current price of the average Premier League season ticket anyway.
If you added a stop clock you wouldn’t get the anger of those added minutes. The reason they’re playing 8 extra minutes is because you’ve only seen 82 of 90. It’s not 98!
If referees continue as they should and apply zero-tolerance then players should get the message. Question is – how long will it take for the penny to drop? Stand by for an Opta table of the top offenders – it should make for a good read.
So when Manchester United’s Raphael Varane says it’s harming the game, it’s really not. What is doing damage is supporters getting tired of watching grown men play-act and adopt this underhand ‘win-at-all-costs’ mentality to football.
Just get on with it.