A question that is not so easy to answer. Because: in (self-conducted) surveys it was found: it is the case in football in particular that this one goal, if it is scored, can cause such an outburst of emotions that a higher number of hits may not be equivalent – i.e. in the form of then many more smaller eruptions – which could take their place. Well, probably this is also mostly voices shaped by the thought “football is so big and great, just leave it as it is” or something like “if someone wants to change something in this direction, then you would certainly have heard about it by now and the FIFA experts have been dealing with it for a long time and it’s new altogether = wrong or at least imprudent, immature”.
Nevertheless, it seems undisputed in principle that a few more goals would do the game good?! On the one hand it should be mentioned (again) that the introduction of the three-point rule shows more or less clearly that the rule makers were also interested in increasing the entertainment value and by tempting the three points (instead of two before) the teams wanted to infuse an offensive spirit, so that there is a little more spectacle here or there, primarily in the form of goals or at least more numerous goal actions as a result of the opening of the game. On the other hand, purely mathematically, with the current goal average in Europe of around 2.7 goals per game (in 2016/2017 in Germany, England, France, Italy, Spain the top flights were even 2,834, but in the previous season only 2,668; if you take a few more leagues added, Austria, Switzerland, a few second leagues, Germany 3rd Bundesliga, Holland, Belgium, Portugal so you get an average of 2,716 goals per game in the 2016/2017 season) the average waiting time for a goal is 90/ 2.716 = 33.13 minutes, so a good half hour waiting for a goal.
Overall, it is argued that this waiting time is basically too long to wait for a goal, from the perspective of the neutral fan. This would be lost to the game as a spectator. The “real fan” may accept this, especially since “his team” at least didn’t concede a goal during this entire period, so he remained in the joyful expectation that his team might succeed in scoring the goal with which the defense is working he agrees so far. Apart from that, there is a belief here that the “real fans” are more likely to get together for a social event and basically celebrate themselves or at least be enough for themselves in such a gathering.
That means: the neutral fan doesn’t even look at it, the “real fan” has his annual ticket, even travels to as many away games as possible with the laboriously saved money, but has a different motivation than experiencing a goal spectacle – in which one’s own goalkeeper also leaves and would have to get the ball out of the net, which could depress the mood, especially if it happens again.
Nevertheless, from a local point of view, the addressee should ideally be the neutral viewer. This could be won back, new viewers could also be brought on board and the “permanent watchers”, who might accept everything, would suddenly also have a long-missed but warmly welcomed additional reason not to give up their passion soon or one or the other game perhaps just out of habit to have looked, but now with joyful anticipation.
In short: it could only be good for the game all around. The only one to suffer when a goal is scored is the fan of the conceding team. However, he should be so far outnumbered that his needs can be ignored without further ado – especially since he can quickly regain his lost happiness potentiated by his team simply making up a goal or two – without this annoying endless waiting time, which here and despair: “Nothing’s going to happen anyway, they can’t score today.”
But first, here are a few words looking back in history.
The 1994 World Cup in the USA
Perhaps here is a little retrospective as an introduction: when the soccer World Cup for 1994 was awarded to the USA, they naturally had a chance in their own way to influence the rules, too. Certainly, yes, a major event in this category offers a huge opportunity, of course also commercially. Whereby “soccer” in the USA always led a shadowy existence between baseball, football, basketball and ice hockey. Even the attempts in the 1970s, with the engagement of a large number of foreign (ageing) top stars, could not significantly influence this picture. So the Americans don’t like “soccer”, not the European form of football? Well, they like everything – as long as it’s fair and entertaining. Of course belong
Of course, adequate marketing campaigns are part of it, but you don’t have to worry about that at first: selling an attractive product? That’ll work, no problem.
Now this simple undertaking failed because of that simple-sounding adjective: “attractive”. If there are no goals, then leave it alone in Europe. We need action here. But if this is required? That’s when it becomes big business.
First of all, they landed the big event, but then very soon made their possible influence felt. The requirement was: we want to see more goals. What’s wrong with that thought? Now the control commissions sat down together. How could this goal be achieved without completely turning football upside down? When the suggestion “enlarge gates” came up, even the proposers had to admit: no, that’s impossible. You could build/rebuild all stadiums this way here in America, but all the small village squares around the world? It does not work.
Or just this: decoupling professional football from amateur football? There this goal size, here that? Unthinkable. That’s exactly what people in Europe didn’t want to get involved in under any circumstances. According to the dissenting voices, this is exactly what makes football here: everyone can play it, with the same rules. It has to stay that way, no compromises.
Now the organizer had submitted a few more suggestions, which should not shake the foundations. They probably had to keep breaking down the big ideas into feasible, enforceable ones because the resistance was too great. Nevertheless, it was possible to change a few small things in their interest:
First, the three-point rule was applied for the first time in the preliminary rounds. For such small groups (of four teams) it makes sense (although this rule is vehemently questioned elsewhere; it should also be mentioned that the usefulness of this rule would also be irrelevant for such small groups if the other ideas were realized; the simplest: application of the existing rules).
The basic idea of this small intervention was as follows: even in the first game, neither team could be sure that a draw would be an advantageous, worthwhile result. The reason for this: if there was a winner in the other first group game, you would already be under a lot of pressure in the second game (one of the two with the draw against the winner). Another draw would confirm the opponent’s lead (a whopping two points). Now the third game would almost certainly mean a mandatory win (which then might be difficult, if not impossible, to force). The rule therefore had the positive consequence that tactics in the first game would have to be more or less omitted. If there were a winner, the principle would of course continue: at least the loser must then go for victory, without ifs and buts.
In fact, one can even speak of a realization of the idea. The teams understood this from the very first game and the World Cup itself became – from the preliminary round onwards – basically one with many goals, also thanks in part to this rule (average goals in the preliminary round in 1994: 2.58; for comparison in 1990 in Italy: 2.28 , i.e. 0.3 more goals per game).
The next change was that the goalkeeper was no longer allowed to pick up the ball with his hands if it was played to him by one of his own players. In any case, this is also an improvement and acceleration of the game. If you watch a game from before this change, in which a team was only trying to hold on to a result, you will soon inevitably start shaking your head. As often as the ball is returned to the goalkeeper, rolled off again, back again, back in the hands, back on the ground, played again, played back again, ad infinitum, this rule should inevitably have come sooner or later anyway. Nevertheless, it was a good change, introduced for the 94 World Cup, pushed through by the Americans.
The third change was actually the best and, in terms of the basic idea, the one that should not only cause the big change (per goal) at this point. It read as follows: “In the event of close offside decisions, one should lay out for the attacker in case of doubt. Keep the flag down instead of compulsively yanking it up.”
Whether this change was successful for this one tournament or not is actually not the most tingling question. It was the World Cup, it was sunshine, people accepted everything for the duration of the tournament anyway, especially since the majority of the spectators were foreign. There was no problem with that, everything was positive one way or another (although: the final was one of those tactical games between two teams at eye level who put their main focus on avoiding a goal; the 0-0 after 120 minutes between Brazil and Italy certainly not a football treat). Apart from that, a rule change is often followed immediately after it has been introduced (i.e. the correct interpretation of the rules is checked; after a while this clearly ebbs away).
So the effects for this tournament are left aside. The consequences worldwide, however: the rule simply “disappeared”, completely unnoticed, even if it is quoted here and there – even to this day. It’s just strange that even the rules officials don’t seem to be guided by it at all, no, they don’t remind themselves or, from time to time, in critical situations, point out: “It was close and difficult to see, but in case of doubt it should.” one decides per attacker”. The rule does not exist and its continued existence is even questionable in that respect: is it even noted, still or ever? In any case, the sentence was pronounced often enough, even by experts. “Actually, when in doubt, the striker should have an advantage.” However, if it happens in practice, then it goes into the seventh slow motion and perspective to finally determine: “That was a mistake and the man was actually offside.” None “Presumption of innocence”, no exoneration, no rule nuance to be interpreted in the interests of the attackers, but instead the angry index finger. That this doesn’t happen to us again, that an offside position is overlooked here! Logical consequence here too: everything can happen, just not that again. Flag up no matter what you saw. Feel free to discuss right or wrong afterwards. It won’t be to your detriment.
The thesis put forward and defended here is as follows: practically every case is a borderline case. It’s almost always tight, and it’s always tight when a chance to score could arise or is already there. Namely when the ball is “played at exactly the right moment”. The attackers are constantly on the borderline, on the lookout, while the defenders, on the other hand, do not want to move too far back – a line of defense on a line is the common defensive principle, compared to the classic libero — but at the same time must always be prepared for the moment , that the “deadly pass” is now played and, if it seems appropriate, take half a step forward to let the attacker run into space – i.e. offside – or to intercept the ball or opponent if the ball then was played at the right moment (which would then be “too early”).
In other words: every situation is a borderline situation, as long as it goes in the direction of a chance to score. So a pass at the right moment is indeed the one that could open up a chance to score, but also the one that conjures up the critical decision. In short: you could always lay out per chance to score or lay out permanently against the chance to score. The latter happens for the reasons mentioned and regardless of the rules or the referee’s instructions.
However, the motto “when in doubt for” is not heeded. There is only the subdivision “right” and “wrong” and then there is another one: a wrong decision, which allows a goal, which should therefore not have counted, causes a lot of waves. Conversely, an offside whistle that was not given correctly will only cause a shrug. Exactly then it says: “It was difficult to see, no reproach to the referee or the man on the line.” But that’s exactly how it should be, if the rule drawn up for the 1994 World Cup was applied correctly, if a very narrow offside was let through.
At least that was the intent of the new rule. It didn’t work, no matter how good the thought behind it was. Give the ref the alibi if he’s wrong, if he’s missed a narrow offside and don’t target him (‘ratted’ a team) when it could have been a few millimeters offside, like them want to occupy still images, but has NOT stopped it with a whistle.
The basic idea of laying out per attacker could of course continue to be used at any point. It would be sufficient to treat the attackers equally.
The rule changes introduced for the USA in 1994 were shaped by the right ideas. You have a simple goal: more goals. The consequences of this: increased entertainment value. This was simply assumed without having checked it. It would just have to work, one thought, and this idea is highly endorsed here. So this leads directly to the next point.
Those who doubt the basic idea “more goals – more fun” are put to the test here. So if someone says “it’s the low number of goals that makes it so much fun for me” you have to answer this question. Provocatively asked: “Which of these great 1:0 or 0:0 games do you remember?”. One would ask more neutrally: “Name a few games from memory that have stuck in my memory.”
Everyone may do this for themselves. Pretty sure it can only go like this: “Yes, there was that 4:3 between Italy and Germany at the 1974 World Cup” or “Bayern – Schalke, in the DFB Cup, wasn’t there even a 6:6?” Kaiserslautern – Meppen, the 7: 6 at the end of the season, or the 12: 0 from Gladbach – Dortmund (although there is a bad aftertaste here). Of course, this list could be extended considerably. However, the basic principle should be clear: there has to be something going on, also in terms of goal variety, so that it sticks in your mind. A side effect is usually: there were ups and downs, emotional fluctuations, a turning point that was not thought possible. A clear deficit for a team, in the end still a win or at least a draw.
Apply rules – then let’s see
This is now the decisive principle: first of all, the prescribed rules must be enforced. Of course, there is a general belief that this is the case, and if something goes wrong, is there a basic excuse: “To err is human”?
One could explain the problem solely on the basis of the penalty decisions alone. Because here there were (and there are, almost every day) so many examples that an objection would actually be pointless, but if it were raised, reference is made here to the still possible “principle of proof” (discussed in more detail elsewhere).
However, an example of captured voices is as follows (and it is in England that these voices first appeared, as is simply claimed here). It went something like this: “Everywhere else on the pitch that is a freekick.” Everywhere else that would be a foul (followed by a free kick). Of course, this means a foul situation in the penalty area. Everywhere it would result in a foul whistle, but in the penalty area there was not only hesitation, but in the end a decision was made against it (“continue playing”). How convinced the referee is of his decision and sells it that way can often be seen from this: he immediately gestures to the fallen player to get up off the ground, waving his hands up. This often convinces the commentators (who of course just as intuitively notice the imbalance but do not dare to investigate the cause): “The referee was very close and immediately decided: no penalty.” The additional unspoken subordinate clause would be: “Then want let’s believe him.”
Then comes the repetition, which of course shows “the contact”, but then at the same time the apology again: “Yes, there was contact already.” And then one of those sentences: “Probably wasn’t enough for him for a penalty kick” or “He did rated differently” or “the opponents shouldn’t have complained if…” and so on, all of which are always made for the same decision. This sentence here also only forwards the problem: “Another referee would certainly have…” But this “other referee” doesn’t even exist. That’s what you say to calm your own conscience: something isn’t right, but I don’t look any further behind it. It’s always been like that…
In this country, however, one hears this assessment often enough: “That would have been a free kick everywhere else. So why not in the penalty area?” The referees and game observers took this to heart at some point: “Penalties really only for clear actions”. And not with “everyday fouls”? According to this, however, the rules now state that the penalty area is evaluated differently.
Why all this? No reproach is made here, but only explanations and research into causes, with the intention, however, of opening one’s eyes and ensuring optimization. The explanation would be this, but already provided: a single goal has too high a value and occurs too seldom. At the same time, the chances shift (partly, depending on the score and the minute of the game, up to the limit of 100%; before the whistle one team was ahead, after the whistle the other; if you take an elimination duel in the Champions League, for example, maybe even in the semi-finals, where it’s obviously really “about the sausage”, like Chelsea – Barca once).
In summary: there would easily be more goals if the rules were applied first. While the increased fun that accompanies this could be guaranteed from this site, there would of course be no reason to change anything if the rules were applied as recorded. If there were 5 or more goals per game on average (like at the 1954 World Cup, by the way), who would think of getting excited: “We urgently need to come up with something. The spectators run away from us when we keep scoring goals. How wonderful the days when Helenio Herrera introduced catenaccio and Inter Milan won the European Cup with it. Always 0:0 or 1:0. Yes, the good old days, who will bring them back to us?”