No goals please – this is the World Cup

I am relieved there have been so few goals and exciting football in the World Cup, as I have been too busy to watch apart from the England match.

Why don’t they abolish the offside rule so we could then tune in and see more action in a new tournament? Cricket had to invent 20/20 to draw the crowds – now that does give you loads of action. They could keep a tournament on old rules for those who like the no goal game.

The BBC had a funny piece this morning on the joys of the goal free draw.

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15 Comments

  1. @JohnnyNorfolk
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I do not know how you can watch it with that trumpet noise. I am watching no more and its freedom.

  2. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Modfiying the offside rule yes – say not in the penalty area. The first matches are inariably cautious and boring. A point for every goal scored in your opponents net of course would liven matches up. As to goalless draws the American phrase comes to mind – draws in soccer are like kissing your sister.

  3. Bill
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I think that it is the comparative “rarity” of goals that makes football exciting.

    It would be a mistake to abolish it. Anway a lot of the English team are playing as if there was no offside rule.

    PS……….. stick to cricket

  4. Stuart Fairney
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    John, you are perhaps the best UK blogger on matters financial and in a medal position on wider politics, and I also respect the fact you don't pretend to love football like some of your westminster colleagues, but please, no more football suggestions

    ..abolish offside..

    No. Just trust me on this one.

  5. Wight Tory
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Indeed they did, I loved the bit about Ronaldo being booked for no other reason than being a GIT, a laugh out loud moment for me. The woman who did the piece, spoke well about football, if only my wife could share the same enthusiasm for the game 🙁

  6. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    Plenty of goals today – I think you wrote too soon!

  7. Sebastian Weetabix
    Posted June 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    In the 70s the North American Soccer League (forerunner of today's Major League Soccer) tried to make the game more exciting by adding a line 30 yds from the goal; you could only be offside between there & the goal, rather than anywhere in the opposition half. The only good it did was to save the likes of Rodney Marsh, along with other superannuated old codgers, from having to run 50 yards to get back onside.

    John, you are an economic genius and we all love you, but keep your mitts off football!

  8. manicbeancounter
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    One reason for the lack of goals is due to the ball. Look at how top players, who would bend the ball into top corner of the net from 40 yards out , manage to shoot wide by many yards, although nerves and playing withy unfamiliar team mates and coaches may play a role, it does not account for all the differance. Like with Argentina and Uruguay and Mexico in the last couple of days, the goals will come with familiarity. But you will not get the spectacular goals with a frequency as in the Premier League.

  9. John Hatch
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    They appear to have new rules for scoring goals. These days, a 'goal' doesn't seem to count unless the 'scorer' then runs around pretending to be an aeroplane whilst his team-mates, including the substitutes, chase after him in order to jump on him, hug him and kiss him. The TV highlights often dwell on these embarrassing antics in preference to showing episodes of play. Perhaps the players should abandon the football and simply take it in turns to chase each other around the stadium?

  10. Derek Buxton
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    20/20 Cricket was intended just as a quick money spinner, it has nothing to do with improving cricket or bringing in the cricket wise public. Bread and circuses, that is all it is. It also takes out a month or two of proper cricket. Stupidity, but then that is what we expect of the ECB.

    Reply: I don't agtree. As someone who loves Test cricket and appreciates dot balls and maiden overs I can quite understand why many people find slow scoring and few wickets tedious and want a different, faster dramatic game. 20/20 is simply the most exciting team sport there is.

  11. Freeborn John
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Abolishing off-side wouldn't make the game more interesting. The strikers would just hang around the goal line and the defenders would have to hang around there too. So the game would be all mad scramble in the 6-yard boxes with not much in between.

    If you want more goals then better to emulate sevens in rugby by reducing team size to make space. Or make the goals wider. Or goals from outside the penalty area score double. But in all cases you have to get rid of Sepp Blatter first.

  12. HJhj
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    It is not at all clear that abolishing the offside law would increase the number of goals. It might reduce the number because defenders would be forced to stay back rather than pushing forwards to support the attack.

    If you want to increase the number of goals, the one certain way to do it would be to increase the goal dimensions.

  13. JohnC_Up_North
    Posted June 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I'm surprised at you. Aren't you a conservative?

    Test cricket between two evenly balanced sides can be the most exciting version of cricket that there is. 20/20 is more like basketball and is a gimmick. In 10 years or so the new converts to 20/20 will lose interest and move onto something else. What then for cricket?

    Some of the most exciting matches I have ever watched have been 1-0 or even 0-0.

    My God, you'll be asking for bigger goals next!!!

    BTW: There is a good argument for bigger goals as the average goalie is bigger that he would have been 150 years ago.

  14. adam
    Posted June 20, 2010 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Very cautious start

  15. christina sarginson
    Posted June 20, 2010 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I know they change the rules for football often but fundamentally the off side rule is a must. The players need to understand the rules and play to them, they need standards and regulations to work to just like the government and when the standards drop they get penalised – quiet right too.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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