From: Google Beta User on
Has 4-2-3-1 made the game more "tactical" and less "fluid"?

From: Huw Morris on
HASM wrote:

> Very little changed, if anything at all, in the offside law, just the
> language was made more clear and what's "in line" or "not in line" was
> finally defined.

The language of the law has not changed. However, over the last 20 years,
the *interpretation* of that law has changed greatly.

>> The crucial difference now is whether a player in an offside position is
>> interfering with play.
> I'm old, and I remember this being discussed in games I watched in my
> youth. Players used to stop and stand still to signal that they were not
> involved in play all the time. I remember a 1-0 game in the largest derby
> back in my home country that was decided on such a goal, where the ball
> goes very close to a player totally in offside position, near midfield,
> but
> not involved in play. Lots of paper and ink were dedicated to that play.

A player not involved in active play is not offside. That's the law, and has
been the case for many, many years. (Maybe dating back as far as the first
codification of the laws?) Whatever FIFA say is the correct interpretation,
there will always be edge cases, and thus always arguments about whether a
player in an offside position is actually offside or not.

The case I mentioned is a quite specific one. Ten years ago, if a forward
was standing in front of the defence, looking to gain an advantage, he would
be deemed to be offside, even if the ball was played to an onside team-mate
down the wings. That is no longer the case, and I think this is what is
having a detrimental effect at this tournament.

>> The upshot of this is that offside has been effectively neutered.
> Not sure which games you're watching besides the World Cup. In the World
> Cup no one wants to lose so badly, and have watched defensive teams win
> trophies, that they just play a more defensive style.
>> Am I wrong about this? Is it just normal at this stage of the Cup?
> I'd say normal.

And yet, a statistic in today's Times, that after the first 14 games, there
have been *eight* fewer goals than at any other tournament at the same
stage. Yes, even Italia '90 was a goalfest compared to this year.

I know that coaches generally play defensively and that you don't always
expect wild attacking play at this stage. It was my assertion that this year
is even worse than normal - in goals, goal chances and attacking intent
overall. I hope I'm wrong and that things improve, as they usually do.


From: Huw Morris on
HASM wrote:

> I think we're arguing semantics here. Directives on how to interpret the
> laws didn't and don't change the laws, they're just clarifications on how
> to interpret them, i.e. telling referees how they should have done things
> all along.

That's not true at all. New interpretations can have as dramatic an effect
as a change in the laws. The only difference is that the new interpretations
are easier to implement than a law change. There's certainly nothing to
suggest that a new interpretation is how things should have been interpreted
in the past.

From: Alessandro Riolo on
On 16 June, 02:48, HASM <netn...(a)> wrote:
> This wasn't really a change, it was a clarification on what is active

I can ensure you that in Serie A, or in any Italian league for that
matter, before that clarification, the rule was applied in a very
different way.

From: Abubakr on
On Jun 16, 1:37 pm, Google Beta User <wanyik...(a)> wrote:
> Has 4-2-3-1 made the game more "tactical" and less "fluid"?

Whenever you 'specialisation' of roles the game becomes rigid and some
basic fluidity is stifled and 4-2-3-1 is very much geared towards
specialised roles. When Brazil starts peddling centre-backs as
midfielders you know things have gone awry.