The best thing about the 2017-18 A-League season is that it’s over

Mike Tuckerman Columnist

By Mike Tuckerman, Mike Tuckerman is a Roar Expert

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    Nothing sums up a trainwreck of a season like sending out a media release that says the championship-winning goal shouldn’t have been allowed.

    “Media Statement in relation to the A-League 2018 grand final,” read the subject line of a press release that landed in plenty of inboxes on Sunday morning.

    “Football Federation Australia has conducted a review into the goal decision by the VAR during last night’s A-League 2018 grand final between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory,” it read.

    “It has found that a technical failure in the VAR system meant that the Video Assistant Referee did not have access to the camera views which would have enabled him to make an offside ruling in the ninth minute goal scored for Melbourne Victory by Kosta Barbarouses.”

    Plenty of fans reckon the finals series is a waste of time, but no one could have suspected it would be proved quite so literally.

    And on the back of an A-League season in which everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, we’re left to unravel the latest cavalcade of excuses from a governing body that feels like it’s run by Mr Bean.

    In fairness to the FFA, they said the blame for technical failure lay at the feet of “technology partner” Hawkeye – which apparently suffered a 30-second software blackout in the vital half-minute just before the goal.

    “We are extremely disappointed at this failure of the VAR technology,” said O’Rourke. “And we understand the disappointment and frustration of the Newcastle Jets, their fans and indeed all football fans.”

    He would say that. What else could he possibly say?

    Never mind that the VAR created more problems than it solved this season.

    Forget the fact that the overwhelming majority of fans don’t want it used at all.

    Melbourne Victory fans A-League

    The biggest problem this latest fiasco has caused is to eviscerate what little credibility the FFA had left suggesting they can adequately run the A-League.

    This is an organisation that only recently implied the ten A-League clubs can’t be trusted to run the competition themselves.

    Those ten clubs should always be scrutinised, of course, and any ulterior motives brought to light.

    But if you had to sum up the current FFA regime with one word, you’d mark the file ‘incompetent’ and then toss it into the nearest dumpster fire.

    I had lunch with someone well versed in A-League management recently – who would no doubt prefer to remain anonymous – but who neatly encapsulated the feeling around those in charge of the game.

    “The problem with those at the top of the FFA,” my dining companion told me, “is that you can’t escape the feeling they’re just waiting for their next job”.

    “They never defend the game or its fans, they never say anything controversial… because they’re all just waiting for their next big role in sports administration.”

    In other words, some of these executives are squatting on jobs.

    And it will be all that O’Rourke can do – and he’s been noticeably proactive in the media of late – to turn the tide of resentment now threatening to swamp the FFA.

    As for the game itself, congratulations to Melbourne Victory. They were the better team on the night and in Lawrence Thomas, they possessed a worthy Joe Marston Medal winner.

    And commiserations to the Newcastle Jets. Perhaps the occasion got the better of them, but they saved one of their worst performances until last.

    Roy O’Donovan, meanwhile, deserves a lengthy suspension for his reckless lunge on Thomas, with the Irishman making a nasty habit of causing potentially serious injuries.

    And the less said about the rest of the season the better.

    It was a campaign in which the decent football on display on the pitch was overshadowed by some dire administration off it.

    Bring on the off-season. It’s surely the one part of the game we can’t mess up.

    Mike Tuckerman
    Mike Tuckerman

    Mike Tuckerman is a Sydney-born journalist and lifelong football fan. After lengthy stints watching the beautiful game in Germany and Japan, he settled in Brisbane, and has been a leading Roar football columnist since December 2008.

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    The Crowd Says (151)

    • Roar Rookie

      May 7th 2018 @ 6:40am
      Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 6:40am | ! Report

      To parody your early article title Mike, “this was the Grand Final we had to have”, anything better risked papering over the cracks.

      The game itself was largely a disappointment lacking in many areas, and the winning goal coming from a technology error summed up this season, the VAR and the FFA.

      The running of the game, from top to bottom has been a shambles and it finished in excruciating embarrassment. The FFA can blame Hawkeye all they like, but someone’s head should roll at FFA for deploying a software system that wasn’t ready.

      That’s what you get when you rush stuff just because you want to be first. That’s what you get when you don’t listen to the overwhelming majority of your fans.

      Sadly there is nothing new about the FFA’s failings, their problems have been evident for several years and discussed on these pages at length, often splitting roarites in to bitter factions for/against the ffa.

      It’s time for change, big change. Hopes lie with the FIFA committee but they seem to have gone missing-in-action like, well like the VAR in a Grand Final.

      Here’s hoping for a good off-season, we need it.

      • May 7th 2018 @ 9:10am
        Mark said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:10am | ! Report

        One thing you can be absolutely certain of is that any committee backed by FIFA would not abolish VAR. I suspect fear of displeasing FIFA at a very sensitive time is one of the major reasons the FFA won’t just walk away from it.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 7th 2018 @ 9:16am
          Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

          I think you’re right. But remember, FIFA is very relaxed over this, it knows only a few nations will be able to implement this which is why it’s not mandatory.

          But the FFA won’t want to lose face by abandoning this, ego took them in to it and ego will keep them there.

          • May 7th 2018 @ 12:09pm
            Mark said | May 7th 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

            To the contrary, given FIFA is pushing ahead full steam with the implementation of VAR in its competitions, and pushing more competitions (those that have the capacity) to implement it, I think it would be an embarrassment for them if an early adopter declared it a failure and walked away from it. Given its poor reception in other countries where it has been trialed, there’s also a chance that if one walks away from it, others will follow, which would be particularly embarrassing for FIFA.

            Notwithstanding all that, my own view is that I was happy to give it a go, but I think it has caused more problems than it has solved, and the FFA should walk away from it.

            • May 7th 2018 @ 12:29pm
              LuckyEddie said | May 7th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

              How long does the unwanted experiment go on for? It had it’s biggest test in the HAL final and it made football a laughing stock.

              Technology is not the answer to football or other problems. I mean Technology has been around for 30 years and the world is just getting worse.

              • May 7th 2018 @ 9:10pm
                c said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:10pm | ! Report


      • May 7th 2018 @ 9:11am
        kanga glitch/ malfunction said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:11am | ! Report


        I think the grand final opened up more cracks

        The standard of coaching in Australia, if that’s what Merrick does in big games ?? Yuk

        And we know Muscat coaches in the image of himself as a brutal player who breaks every rule

        You only seem concerned by administration lately , well I would love to see a lot better on field action. The A league can’t survive as a full time profession in Australia with the on field stuff . Crowds will drop again

        The tv ratings will drop again because of the on field stuff is mostly dire
        Sydney and Newcastle at times this season were the only teams who entertained with nice football.

        I think we are heading to a nsl semi professional competition unless we overhaul these coaches like Muscat and a few others,

      • May 7th 2018 @ 10:24am
        mattq said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

        No one at the FFA developed the VAR. Are you saying each country who voluntarily uses it is free to develop their own version of it? Bollocks. FFA can be blamed for putting their hand up to volunteer. They can’t be blamed for the concept of VAR nor it’s reliability. They can be blamed with how they respond to the performance of VAR though. a full review should be undertaken by FFA and submitted to FIFA and it’s use suspended until all the problems can be ironed out by the developers and FIFA.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 7th 2018 @ 10:42am
          Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

          “Are you saying each country who voluntarily uses it is free to develop their own version of it? Bollocks” ….. no where in my comments did I state that lol.

          The FFA are responsible for:

          1. The decision to deploy VAR. They did not have to do it.

          2. The quality of the officiating including quality of the VAR official.

          3. The interpretation of FIFAs implementation guidelines eg the instruction to linesmen to leave the flag down and let VAF sort it out.

          Each country is free to decide if they implement VAR or not. The FFA would be wise to exercise that freedom.

          • May 7th 2018 @ 1:08pm
            Midfielder said | May 7th 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report


            To be fair, even Fozzie said VAR is a FIFA problem, and said he felt for FFA as they are coping the blame for FIFA errors… stick the boot in as much as you like to FFA … but the whole think is FIFA i.e the appointment of hawkeye etc.. yes we appointed the officials … but other than fly them in from overseas where their has been similar issues its an FIFA issue.

            • Roar Rookie

              May 7th 2018 @ 3:07pm
              Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

              It’s not a FIFA issue Mid, this is where you and I have continuous issues Mid

              FFA need to be held accountable for their decision to deploy VAR. FIFA did not ask them to do it, nor force them.

              The FFA, not FIFA, need to be pressured into suspending VAR for next season. The FFA have the perfect cop-out right now “we’d like to keep it of course, but pressure from clubs, players, fans, sponsors and broadcasters means we have no choice …”

              It’s not FIFA running football in this country, it’s the FFA and this is their mess. They should have followed the EPLs lead

            • May 7th 2018 @ 6:44pm
              Arto said | May 7th 2018 @ 6:44pm | ! Report

              Have a look at one Vince Rugari’s tweets where he shows tge IFAB rules for implementing VAR. It’s just another indictment of FFA’s handling of VAR and shows that notwithstanding FIFA’s own haphazard handling of rule changes, FFA are SOLELY responsible for the debacle that happened on Saturday (irrespective of Hawkeye’s technical problems).

              • Roar Rookie

                May 7th 2018 @ 7:21pm
                Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

                Agreed. The question has to be asked, with all the challenges and opportunities facing our game, who made VAR a priority and why?

    • May 7th 2018 @ 7:12am
      Christo the Daddyo said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:12am | ! Report

      I know everyone likes to put the boot into the FFA administration, but can we calm down about the GF result?

      Everyone agrees the Victory deserved to win the game.

      And while the VAR failed, so did the on field officials. So the VAR failure had literally no effect on the outcome of the game. If it hadn’t been used, the decision and the result would have been the same.

      • Roar Guru

        May 7th 2018 @ 7:28am
        Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:28am | ! Report

        The commentary on the VAR (from others) is conflicted. Many, perhaps most, don’t want it, but at the same time they are demanding that it pick up what the linesman missed, which is its main purpose.

        It failed, although in fairness to the linesman, it was barely a full body width in it at the time the ball was struck.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 7th 2018 @ 7:37am
          Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

          Where the VAR has failed is that we were promised an end to controversies, a reduction in the type of post match debate we’re having now, and an improvement in the quality of decisions made.

          I’d argue the refereeing situation has got worse and the number of controversial decisions increased. The hope and expectations of those that introduced VAR was flawed from the out-set; they didn’t understand the limitations of the technology … or the limitations of their refereeing pool which has proven wanting.

          The frustration at club level is enormous, it’s a frequent occurrence the Monday after the game for the clubs to be told “VAR got that wrong” just like Jets are being told now.

          There is nothing in our system that says next season will be any better. VAR use should be suspended in Australia, it’s damaging the game.

          • Roar Guru

            May 7th 2018 @ 8:00am
            Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 8:00am | ! Report

            It could all be a case of making promises which are impossible to keep.

            Things would perhaps have been better if used sparingly, and only to help clarify line-ball decisions – but where the decision has actually been made, so that it stands if the video evidence is inconclusive.

            It could certainly be used in such a way that it would help reduce the glaring errors.

            In that scenario, the ref would only go to VAR with the words: I’ve made this call, but just want to check this one thing…. and the VAR would only overturn a decision if it found that that one thing did occur.

          • Roar Guru

            May 7th 2018 @ 9:05am
            Chris Kettlewell said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:05am | ! Report

            You could always say that if the technology failed to overturn the on-field decision then it’s no more wrong than it would have been if it wasn’t there. Except that it’s existence does seem to change how officials make decisions. In a game like football that may be even more the case. In a tight off-side call, if you incorrectly call it offside when it wasn’t, there’s no chance for the VAR to intervene and allow the play to continue. So the official could be more likely to just let the play continue knowing that if a goal is scored they can check the VAR and make sure it was right. Thus the existence of the technology can change how the official will make the call.

            The issue with all video review situations in all sports is where people view the same footage and all pretty much agree on what the right decision is, and yet the video ref / ump gives a different decision to that.

            I don’t know that you can really blame this on technology since, just reviewing the footage, with whatever technology didn’t fail, seems to have been enough for them to categorically state the wrong decision was made, meaning it wasn’t the technology at fault but human error on the part of the person using the VAR to make the decision.

            • May 7th 2018 @ 9:14pm
              c said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:14pm | ! Report

              you are correct the existence of the technology does alter the decision-making process of the official wherein lies the whole problem

      • Roar Rookie

        May 7th 2018 @ 7:29am
        Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:29am | ! Report

        @ Christo

        The instructions to linesman, when the VAR is in operation, is when the offside is close is to keep their flags down and let VAR sort it out later if a goal is scored. (That whole scenario has several negative implications but let’s park those).

        With three players occupying off-side positions the assistant referee thought he had the safety net of the VAR. But of course he didn’t.

        So the most probable outcome, with no VAR, is the flag would have gone up for offside.

        Jets though did have 80 minutes to recover and failed to do so, that was more than enough time and they weren’t good enough. The debate in this incident should not be about this one game, but rather the VARs impact on football after 35 rounds of deployment – is the game better or worse with VAR? That’s the required debate.

        • Roar Guru

          May 7th 2018 @ 7:34am
          Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:34am | ! Report

          Precisely why criticism of the linesman is wrongheaded – it was very close, and in real time it would have been very difficult to discern, especially when other Victory players were more offside than Donachie, who was actually the last one to break just as the ball is being kicked.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 7th 2018 @ 7:43am
            Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:43am | ! Report

            We’ll never know but I recon he would have flagged that. Having run the line myself the easier off-side call is from set pieces.

            But since the Maccarone incident when a flag n Whistle disallowed a legal goal they now prefer to wait n see.

            Victory got lucky the VAR was “off” as O’Rourke now tells us it shows offside. But in this one incident that’s just the luck of the game and I can live with that in the same way it might have been a lucky bounce or say it came off the ref. It was freakish but it happens and both sides have to deal with it.

            Step back and look at VAR overall though and the picture is still very ugly.

          • May 7th 2018 @ 7:52am
            LuckyEddie said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:52am | ! Report

            Simple all three were off side, it’s not that complicated.

            • Roar Guru

              May 7th 2018 @ 9:04am
              Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:04am | ! Report

              But it’s only relevant if Donachie is actually offside.

              All teams use the ploy of having players in an offside position during a free kick who is not going to receive the ball, but which puts the defenders in two minds.

              • May 7th 2018 @ 10:13am
                LuckyEddie said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                True to a degree but then again passive off side was always going to be a bit of a disaster as well. Really as time goes on people are managing to make a pretty simple game complicated. I suppose a case of no set rules eventually anarchy.

                Passive off side, like the head knock ruling, were brought in with well meaning but then the smarties move in and destroy the concept.

              • Roar Guru

                May 7th 2018 @ 10:52am
                Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

                There is truth in that, but we all know that managers are constantly looking at ways to exploit the rules to their advantage, and that would be just one of many, many (and we can never hope to change that situation).

        • Roar Guru

          May 7th 2018 @ 8:03am
          Griffo said | May 7th 2018 @ 8:03am | ! Report

          Waz – I must have missed that directive for linesmen to keep flags down and let the VAR sort it.

          Did you have a quick reference for that?

          In line with your other post, a real danger of the technology making the officials complacent if they think they have a backup.

          But to be told to rely on it, and then to have no actual backup and fail safe technologically, you could not create a more perfect scenario for getting it wrong with no control over the final decision. It leaves the referee exposed far more than they ever were pre-VAR.

          FFA don’t appear to like to admit they’re wrong so yesterday’s statement is extraordinary in some ways.

          It would be easy out for them to suspend the VAR until further notice.

          • May 7th 2018 @ 8:30am
            Christo the Daddyo said | May 7th 2018 @ 8:30am | ! Report

            Yeah, I’m not sure that directive exists. However it may well be an unspoken thing.

            It would be interesting to do an analysis of a whole season to try and determine whether the VAR has resulted in more or fewer correct decisions being made.

            I think it’s important to acknowledge that technology isn’t a perfect solution. But if it can improve decisions over a period of time then surely that’s a good thing?

            • Roar Rookie

              May 7th 2018 @ 8:46am
              Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

              Griffo, Christo,

              The directive exists and came from the referees boss to all officials after numerous errors where offside was flagged incorrectly (Nix once, Roar 4 or 5 times plus some others).

              A quick google on the topic returns hundreds of VAR related articles and I can’t find one that is definitive for you but know they exist because I read them.

              The closest I can get is the following article from late February where Pourre is bemoaning the fact linesman can’t keep their flags down (“how hard is it to keep their flags down” he says in reference to instructions issued in December or January I think).


              The instruction has been confirmed to Roar supporters in two occasions via the club but if you want something better than that either ask your local club or go searching on the internet.

            • Roar Guru

              May 7th 2018 @ 9:13am
              Chris Kettlewell said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

              It really has to, simply because of the flow in a game like football. In cricket, if a batsman is given out or not out, it can still be reviewed (if they haven’t used up their DRS challenges of course). So it almost doesn’t matter which way they err. (Generally anyway. You do have a situation where someone was given out LBW where they got an edge on the ball and it ran away for runs, but because the umpire gives it not-out, even with it being overturned, they don’t get those runs as the ball is dead the moment the umpire raises the finger. But that happens occasionally, while in football it would be an all the time sort of thing).

              But if an umpire calls something as off-side, that will cause a halt to play and not allow it to continue as it otherwise would. So it makes more sense that if you have a technology that can correct a no-call error, but can’t correct an error of raising the flag incorrectly, that you’d have to err on the side of keeping the flag down unless you are 100% sure.

            • May 7th 2018 @ 10:42am
              Lionheart said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:42am | ! Report

              It exists, I remember quite clearly when it was issued. But the point I find strange with the so-called technology glitch is that they didn’t have a secondary system, like the same TV picture we all were watching. It may not help in a lot of circumstances, but it sure would have helped in this one.

              • Roar Guru

                May 7th 2018 @ 1:31pm
                Griffo said | May 7th 2018 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

                Agree here Lionheart – as a secondary backup the live TV feed/broadcast replay may have helped in just such a failure.

                Also what I wouldn’t get is not being aware of the missing camera/s (which is what I’m interpreting the glitch as) by the VAR official.

      • May 7th 2018 @ 7:32am
        AR said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

        “Everyone agrees the Victory deserved to win the game.”

        How do you figure that?

        • May 7th 2018 @ 8:59am
          striker said | May 7th 2018 @ 8:59am | ! Report

          HI AR how did the ratings go for a Saturday night final, i very much doubt they would be better than a Sunday afternoon final.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 7th 2018 @ 10:46am
            Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

            400,000 which is pretty good. Down about 15% on last years although there’s some confusion on what the figure was for the 90 minute match.

            All in all, no need for football to be scared of Saturday night finals

            • May 7th 2018 @ 10:49am
              striker said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

              I Still reckon Sunday arvo is much better hence the ratings as well.

              • May 7th 2018 @ 12:13pm
                Mark said | May 7th 2018 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

                Sunday afternoon is better for people who watch the grand final on tv.

                Saturday night is better for people who actually attend.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 7th 2018 @ 12:44pm
                Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Agreed. Put stadium fans first, not tv viewers.

            • Roar Guru

              May 7th 2018 @ 1:35pm
              Griffo said | May 7th 2018 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

              Well approximately 70k in Newcastle didn’t watch it – they were at one of the two live sites + at clubs and pubs.

              • May 7th 2018 @ 10:21pm
                Sam said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:21pm | ! Report

                They’re included in the foxtel numbers

        • Roar Rookie

          May 7th 2018 @ 9:23am
          Pedro The Fisherman said | May 7th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          I agree. That bad call by the Referee meant that the Jets were chasing the game from that point on.
          The non-call changed the way the game would have been played!
          Rubbish refereeing that can change people’s life – there are a dozen or so players hat had their opportunity to play in a Championship Winning Team snatched away by a lazy linesman!

          • May 7th 2018 @ 10:57am
            Lionheart said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

            but decisions like these have happened every week throughout the season, involving VAR and refs. It happens all the time, it’s part of the game. Jets still had 80 plus minutes to score, and didn’t. A big advantage given to MV, but still hard to say they weren’t the better side.

            • May 7th 2018 @ 12:39pm
              LuckyEddie said | May 7th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

              Not the old ‘they had plenty of time to score’ non-argument.

              The simple fact in football is one goal can have major effects on a game and the tactics and structure of teams.

              That non-goal enabled MVFC to come out in the second half with the sole intention of time wasting and destroying any flow in the game. That non-goal resulted in a fractured time wasting expo that killed our main game of the year and made us a laughing stock.

              How about FFA had plenty of time to judge, a full season, that VARS was a failure?

              • May 7th 2018 @ 2:32pm
                chris said | May 7th 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

                Exactly right. My sentiments exactly. The whole game changed once the goal was scored.
                And that’s fine if it was a fair goal. And that’s fine if one of the officials gets it wrong etc.
                But to have to suffer the VAR and then find it wasnt working. I mean ff s.

              • May 7th 2018 @ 2:58pm
                Lionheart said | May 7th 2018 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

                Lucky Eddie, Roar has copped a whole lot of bad decisions this year, and last. Every time I’ve raised I’ve been told exactly what I’ve put here, by pretty much everyone including Jets fans, some of whom are quite vocal here. I’ve heard it so much that I’ve joined the club, so to speak. This happens all the time, nothing special this time.

              • May 7th 2018 @ 3:24pm
                fadida said | May 7th 2018 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

                Agree totally Lucky Eddie

      • May 7th 2018 @ 7:38am
        LuckyEddie said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

        No if the linesman had not been told to lets VARS make the call on situations like this the flag would/could have gone up.

        The problem lies in the fact that new technology is heralded as the the answer to all of our problems including in a football game, and it is not.

        So your assumption on what could/would have happened is meaningless. The simple fact is a goal that should never have been, and we were assured could not happen because of the new technology, changed the total structure and outcome of the game. The failure also led to disgusting time wasting that then overflowed into frustration and eventually disgust.

      • May 7th 2018 @ 7:38am
        j binnie said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:38am | ! Report

        Christo – The danger is that the on field officials could become overly dependent on the “machine” and perform accordingly. The offside rule has caused more football debate than any other aspect of the game and this latest incident is only the tip of the iceberg, for one thing is certain,nothing will be done to change the law and it’s shortcomings. Cheers jb.

        • Roar Rookie

          May 7th 2018 @ 7:46am
          Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:46am | ! Report


          You’ve been around longer than most and there have been several suggested tweaks to the offside law, have there been any you think might help?

          The ones I’ve seen just seem to shift the point of contention eg to allow onside if you are level didn’t help the linesman it just changed the point at which they had to decide.

          • Roar Guru

            May 7th 2018 @ 7:55am
            Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

            At one point there was an edict to favour the attacking team for all line-ball offside decisions (which in my view, is a good approach).

            Personally, I think it’s less about the rule as it currently stands, and more about being able to interpret events in real time (and even with the aid of video assistance, it can be tricky).

            I would like the rule to be interpreted in a manner where the linesman is confident of a clear offside, i.e. where he can clearly see space between the attacker and defender, which in turn would bring us back to the above edict of favouring the attacking team (and also why I’m comfortable about the events of Sat night).

          • May 7th 2018 @ 7:59am
            j binnie said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:59am | ! Report

            Waz – This is a good question. I don’t know whether you have noticed lately but it appears to be an “in” thing for attackers to stand in an obviously offside position and move back just before the ball is actually struck. One has to believe this is an attempt to “spread” the defensive wall.
            Is this “tactic” in the coaching manuals?. If so I would have thought that was the reason why “coming from an offside position” was part of that inclusion in the most recent changes to the law.
            Obviously not.
            I have my own thoughts on how the law could be altered to “help” the status quo but I have no chance of influencing the thinking of the “gods” in Zurich. Cheers jb.

            • May 7th 2018 @ 11:02am
              mad monk said | May 7th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              Standing offside before the kick stops the holding and blocking which occurs at every set piece. it also assumes the defenders will either drop immediately before the kick or step up to hold the line thus creating an opportunity for a deeper player to run through the line.

          • May 7th 2018 @ 10:00am
            Kris said | May 7th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            Wind things back far enough and the onside law was never intended to operate as it does now.

            It was never intended to be a method for defenders to step-out and catch attackers a meter offside. It was introduced to stop attackers standing a meter in front of the goalkeeper all day.

            Personally although the decision in the final was clearly wrong (on replay at least, or in one frame at least) I am comfortable with decisions like it. I want my defenders to actually defend the set piece – not wait for the moment the ball is about to be hit and effectively run away from their opponents in the expectation of being ‘rescued’ by a flag.

            Boogard(?) shouldn’t have committed the foul, and teams that foul SHOULD be punished by having to defend a set piece. The goal went in not because of the ref, linesmen, or VAR but because Merrick chose to play an offside trap, chose not to have defenders on the post (despite a backup keeper), Donachie outjumped his man, Barbourousas was unmarked ON THE PENALTY SPOT and 11 Newcastle players didn’t defend a set piece.

            There are people saying that this goal is symptomatic of society (ie too dependent on tech), I’d say it was more symptomatic of a society that whenever any one stuffs up tries to shift blame, look for outs and expect others come to your rescue.

            Donovan is the devil for his kick to the fact of Thomas. Let’s have a conversation about the wonderful view he has of Kosta smashing the ball home.

            • May 7th 2018 @ 11:03am
              Lionheart said | May 7th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

              sure, all of that but they were still offside

            • May 7th 2018 @ 11:08am
              mad monk said | May 7th 2018 @ 11:08am | ! Report

              You lost me at suggesting you put defenders on the posts for a free kick 40 metres out. A sure way of having attacker standing on top of your goal keeper.

              The defenders held their line, as you are coached to do, they did not step up, Donachie out jumped his defender, because he was offside he had a clear run and jump at the header. If he is starts from an onside position winning those headers is a whole lot harder.

        • May 7th 2018 @ 6:56pm
          Arto said | May 7th 2018 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

          I’d argue the hand-ball rule is more divisive, but agree otherwise. 😉

    • May 7th 2018 @ 7:25am
      j binnie said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      Waz – Sadly nothing much has changed in the top echelons of our game in the last 60 years.
      Since the days when the game moved from the “association ‘ status, that is “amateur”, to “federation”, when politics first began to infiltrate the system, we have witnessed crises after crises as the game was supervised by individuals motivated ,not by improving the game ,but rather by improving their own status in the scheme of things.
      During that time we have had many good things happen in the game that have helped lift our spirits somewhat ,but to the interested parties there has always been a background of intrigue and “maneuvering” that offset greatly any gains that were apparently being made.
      Can things change? It is highly doubtful, simply because the grassroots fan has very little to do with the actual format of that same top echelon ,and nowhere on the football horizon is there an apparent “cure” to the malaise that surrounds our attempts for continued improvement.
      So we are left with the status quo, our professional game has improved at “on field” level,we have now almost guaranteed our country’s entry into the World’s largest sporting event ,the World Cup,we do have a professional game here in Australia that can motivate a youngster to a worthwhile career path, we have a huge increase in the number of entry paying spectators to our top league,,and a much lauded huge lead in participation numbers and yet,?????????.
      The one place where there has been no apparent improvement is at the top of the management pyramid where a complete absence of “football people” appears to be the norm rather than what one would expect, a group of people hell bent on taking the game to the levels that it could achieve.
      We will continue to support,to whinge, to complain, but when it comes to actually altering the way things are ,history tells us —-no can do. Sad, but true jb.

      • May 7th 2018 @ 1:11pm
        Midfielder said | May 7th 2018 @ 1:11pm | ! Report


        clap clap clap … great post …

    • Roar Guru

      May 7th 2018 @ 7:32am
      Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:32am | ! Report

      Headline: “The best thing about the 2017-18 A-League season is that it’s over”

      Bit of a harsh headline, I don’t really believe that MIke actually thinks that.

      Also, some editing on the second last sentence has gone awry: “It was a campaign in which the decent football on display was overshadowed by some dire administration off it.”

      Presumably the phrase “off it” would have been connected to an earlier reference to the pitch or field, which has disappeared along the way.

      • Columnist

        May 7th 2018 @ 8:19pm
        Mike Tuckerman said | May 7th 2018 @ 8:19pm | ! Report

        Thanks for picking up that mistake, Grobbelaar – I’ve fixed it up now. I try not to make too many, but appreciate you guys pointing out when I do.

    • May 7th 2018 @ 7:37am
      AR said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      What a farce. The FFA cant cop a trick at the moment. I await their next presser absout expansion. That’ll keep em distracted…

      • Roar Rookie

        May 7th 2018 @ 8:51am
        Waz said | May 7th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        The FFA said they can’t afford expansion and we’d have to wait for a new operating model which they haven’t figured out yet. In better news, we are now three years in to a ; year strategic plan which must be going swimmingly. Metrics David, it’s all about the metrics.

    • May 7th 2018 @ 7:40am
      Haydos said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:40am | ! Report

      In that picture of the Victory fans holding up scarves i mistakenly (but fittingly) read one of them as ‘VICTORY IS SOUR’ at first.

      • Roar Guru

        May 7th 2018 @ 7:51am
        Grobbelaar said | May 7th 2018 @ 7:51am | ! Report

        This might be one of the more illuminating post-game comments.

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