I hope you all enjoy reading my first column in the Citizen! I’m going to start with the new ABBA format for penalty shoot-outs in the EFL competitions, which was on show in our success over Stevenage on Tuesday night.
For a player, it’s probably less pressure because, apart from the first taker, you have another team-mate stepping up after you – the onus in this format is on the second of the two takers.
For the fans, though, it’s about entertainment so they may prefer the previous format as there’s more riding on each penalty.
Before penalties, another option could be to bring in golden goal in extra-time, like in previous World Cup and European Championships. It certainly kicks off and goes mad in training when the gaffer shouts that towards at the end of our games!
Let’s move on to a hotly-discussed topic in diving – I want to start by saying that I agree with yellow cards being shown when a player is caught trying to con the referee. This is far easier to monitor than feigning injury, which I was accused of last month when I went down in the 15th minute with a hip injury.
I would have understood a bit more in the 90th minute when they think the visiting team are wasting time but not as early as that. I was getting plenty of stick from the home fans but the only person that knows whether there is an injury or not is the player in question – and I was!
Goal-line technology is now in play and I’m a big fan of it as the correct decision is being made in an effective manner. The success of that has made me think whether technology could be progressed further, for reviewing decisions in the penalty area which would cover most contentious decisions including diving. A panel/individual could sit and watch the incident within a time limit and make the call either way.
I wouldn’t include a review of offsides on that, though, as I wouldn’t want to disrupt the game but I would be for it when it comes to the big moments as long it’s done quickly – it’s all about the integrity of the game. There’s lots up for grabs including people’s livelihoods.
>> Feel free to get in touch and offer any feedback, including possible future topics - my Twitter handle is @edupson.