Archive for England

Bring Technology to Football

Posted in Football, sports, technology, World Cup with tags , , , , , , , , on June 28, 2010 by kemgooner

So far this World Cup has filled with me with plenty of joy, just one instance was watching my home country the United States make it out of their group in dramatic fashion before being knocked out by Ghana, but it has also left me questioning this sport I love so much.  It seems like the real highlights and memories of this tournament are going to be questionable to incorrect refereeing decisions, and that is a shame because while there have been some dull matches, overall this tournament has seen many displays of great football.

I understand that officiating errors have always been part of the game, and I have experienced both sides of calls that have changed and influenced matches.  In the past, there was nothing that could be done about this, but now we have technology that can put another set of eyes on the field and give refs the ability to replay key moments.  Personally, I do not understand why any  fan of the game would not want this, the best games are always the ones with little controversy, where the footballers are the ones who do they talking with the way they play.  If something can be done to help keep the ability to win matches at the feet of the players than steps should be taken to make that so.

One criticism of technology is that it would slow down matches.  However, I would offer yesterdays match between Mexico and Argentina as an example that matches can be stopped by players surrounding officials and berating them for what they felt was a wrong decision as well.  The time it took to get everyone back to their positions was longer than a quick replay would have been.  All that is needed is an extra referee in a booth with a television, it takes about 10 seconds for the replay to be seen on tv, and usually that makes it perfectly clear whether a call was correct or not.  ESPN even has a clever little line that they can pull up to measure where the defender and the attacker are.  If it is not perfectly clear whether the decision should be changed, then all that needs to be done is say the call is too tight and carry on with the match. And if the decision is made to change the call the extra official in the booth only has to send down his decision through the communication that is already used between officials.  This would make decisions such as the one that cost Mexico against Argentina a thing of the past, and all the whining and what ifs that go along with clearly wrong decisions could be left out of the picture.

Another criticism that technology faces is that there would have to be regulation on when it can be used, otherwise everything will end up being looked at.  Goal line technology would obviously be used in situations like its name describes, when a decision needs to be made about whether the whole football has crossed the goal line and a goal should be awarded.  Apparently, this technology already exists in a fashion that it could almost immediately be brought into the game, and if so it really should be.  Having a clear goal ruled out, or having a non-goal ruled as a goal has got to be one of the most infuriating things that can happen in football. Players are left screaming at the officials and fans are left screaming at their tv or computer, “How could you NOT see that!” If a team has done everything right, scored a good goal, and only has it ruled out because a referee and his linesman just simply can not see everything, it is unfair to the team and player affected. The only way to rectify this problem is to implement something that will  take the decision out of the hands of a referee who is only human, and into a technology that can quickly and easily be referenced.

While the players and team that are on the wrong side of a decision are obviously the clear losers of the situation, the referee is as well.  Usually when a controversial decision is made players on both teams will surround a referee or linesman and yell and argue with them. The referee is basically helpless in this situation, left only with the ability to say “that is what I thought I saw” and questioning whether they were right.  They understand fully just what implications their decisions can have, yet they have no way of knowing until they themselves see a replay whether it was the right decision.  Referees have a hard enough job as it is, using technology to make it easier should be an easy decision to make.

Apart from use in goal line decisions and offside/onside calls where a clear verdict can be made, I would say there is no other need to use replay in football.  Red/yellow cards and other disciplinary action is already looked at again after matches, and referees are able to say that if they would have seen something in real time they would have done something different.  Sepp Blatter and others say that the controversy surrounding refereeing decisions is what makes the talking points in football, but I know I would rather be talking about  the magnificent performance of a young German team than a goal that was clearly over the line and should have counted which could have hypothetically “changed everything”. Players, coaches, referees, and fans all want to see technology brought into football, and in the end, the only controversy is why the FIFA officials won’t institute it.

Germany win U21 European Championship

Posted in U21 with tags , , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by kemgooner

Germany u21 european final win

Germany U-21’s defeated the England U-21’s today 4-0,  with goals scored by Gonzalo Castro, Mesut Ozil, and two by Sandro Wagner.  It was always going to be a hard test for England who had three players out suspended for the match, two of them strikers, which left Theo Walcott up front on his own. Walcott was isolated most of the game and saw very little of the ball, and England had only one solid chance the whole match coming from a James Milner run and cross which found Adam Johnson whose backheel attempt deflected off his other leg and went wide.

Theo Walcott

Mesut Ozil was the star performer again for Germany, who along with scoring a goal assisted the first goal with a brilliantly placed pass to Castro who lifted the ball over the goalkeeper and into the net.  Ozil, who plays his club football for Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga, was certainly one of the best performers in this European Championship.  Tomorrow we will profile some of the other top performers in the tournament. And for our readers, which players stood out to you in this U21 Championship?

Finally, congratulations to Germany, winners of the 2009 European U-21 Championship!

Germany U21 winners

Don’t just blame Taylor, blame the system

Posted in Arsenal, Football with tags , , , , , , on February 26, 2008 by kemgooner

My first reaction to the challenge of Martin Taylor on Eduardo in the match Saturday was that of pure outrage.  Rage mainly directed at Martin Taylor for the tackle which had him sent off.  After having three days to think about the incident, which has been on my mind more than the two points dropped, though it has become clear to me that there is a far more upsetting issue behind the scenes in the mentality of the English media and football culture in general.

Somehow, through the twisting words of the media and others in the sport, Taylor has become more of the victim then Eduardo.  People are complaining about the comments that Arsene Wenger made after the match in the heat of the moment, or about the actions of William Gallas, and some even have the audacity to say that the tackle was barely worthy of a yellow card.  To me this is ridiculous, and it shows how much dislike there is out there for Arsenal.  I believe that Taylor went into that tackle with intent, not to horribly injure Eduardo, but to just give him knock, show him how rough the match was going to be. This is after all what there manager has said there plan was for the match, and is how teams play Arsenal all the time. Their basic motto is, well if you can’t play the ball, kick the player and we have seen this time and time again. It is what wrecked Abou Diaby’s ankle in the past and now has happened to Eduardo too. And the pundits call it “English passion”.  I’ll tell when you really would see some English passion, if that had been some foreign player pulling that tackle on Rooney. It would be like the situation after Beckham was injured and the press were calling for Duscher to be banned from Europe. The hypocrisy is astounding, but it still continues.

The only way for the FA to try and rectify this whole thing is to ban this type of play for good, and that would start with showing Taylor a hefty ban from football. Then they have to continue to implement the same penalty in the future. Managers and players must learn that playing football does not involve going into matches with the mindset to kick your opponent across the park.  Will they do this? I guess we can only wait and see, but if they don’t it is basically a guarantee that this same type of thing will happen again and another players career will hang in the balance.  It doesn’t surprise me that a player like Benzema has come out and said that when he leaves Lyon he wants to play in Italy or Spain. It also wouldn’t surprise me if more young players do the same in the future unless a change is made. Why would they go to a league where players can make career threatening tackles and be seen as a victim? Unless the FA does something, the league heralded as the best league in the world will be looked at as a league for thugs.

So you can blame Martin Taylor for the tackle on Eduardo, but blame the system in which he has been raised, coached, and seen as a victim for brainwashing him into thinking it was what needed to be done.