The current rule with offside and the manner in which it’s being governed by VAR is clearly not working.
Time and time again, goals are being ruled out when the attacker is literally level with the defender – but a matter of millimetres leads to it being chalked off – despite the fact there is a 13cm margin for error with the technology – and that’s before mentioning the potential human error of the VAR trying to quickly draw lines under time constraint.
Liverpool have been stung by this and helped by it in equal measure this term. Goals from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have been disallowed, while opposition goals from Wolves and Chelsea were revoked, too.
Jurgen Klopp though, thankfully, has explained his feelings about a solution – and for us – it makes sense.
Liverpool’s boss thinks the VAR should draw much thicker lines, and that if the line between the attacker and the defender overlap, goals should stand.
“How can we help the refs to make the right decision?” the Reds boss told the Echo. “If it is slightly offside, he will still whistle if he sees it.
“At international level, that’s the main problem: they let pretty much everything run until the goalie and the striker nearly clash and then… flag. Wow.
“In an intense season, that’s like 500 more extra sprints and always a potential accident, or hamstring injuries.
“There are a lot of things they can work on but as long as it’s like this we have to work with it like this.
“When we had a managers’ meeting in Nyon, UEFA came up with an idea to make the line thicker,” he said. “It was just bringing something up that could decrease the trouble around offside a little bit.
“In that moment, it’s the first time I heard about it and then you start thinking. I just thought it brought back the old offside rule: (if) in doubt, favour the attacker – which is football, how I learned.
“It didn’t happen too often but when you saw it in a game and it was like the big toe offside, no footballer would say, ‘You have to see that!’ It is not possible to see all these offside decisions with the human eye.
“For me, it would give us a little bit of football back because when I learned offside it was in doubt of the offensive player. Now all the moments, such as in our favour against Wolves and against us at Aston Villa, it’s in favour of the defensive line.”
“We want to have clarification and right decisions. We get them now but it feels like half-an-hour before we see if the toenail is offside or not.
“The thicker line means a greater tolerance and we’d all have to adjust to that. If it doesn’t take too long, that will help obviously.”
This makes sense, right?
Something 100% needs to change in the summer before next season, of course, as the current implication of the rules is seemingly doing its best to ruin football.
Everybody hates it: fans, players, managers. Nothing can change mid-campaign, but referees could at least look to only try and make decisions that change ‘clear and obvious’ errors.