Another week goes by in the Premier League with yet more controversy, this time handball.
Only this weekend Crystal Palace Manager Roy Hodgson added his name to the growing list of critics of the new handball rule.
Hodgson adds his voice to growing concern over handball law
The palace gaffer described the rule to be “nonsense” and “ruining the game. Hodgson was speaking after Palace had lost 2-1 to Everton with one of the Merseyside teams goals coming from a penalty for handball.
The penalty was awarded after Lucas Digne headed the ball down on to the arm of Joel Ward. The Palace defender was barely three metres from Digne and had his arms down by his side. The new rule states that any handball below the bottom of the armpit will be punished.
Totally ruining football at the moment
Hodgson, understandably so was furious after the game. “It’s completely unacceptable, it’s destroying my enjoyment of the game of football.” I can’t understand how everyone in the game-the Premier League, referees, managers and coaches have allowed this rule to come into operation.”
He went on to add “I predict what will happen is players will start flicking the ball on to a hand.” The referee doesn’t think it is handball either. He doesn’t want to give it, but he has to.”
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think anyone can disagree with the 73-year-olds words.
Needs more consistency
Remember last weekend when Palace were awarded a penalty at Old Trafford for an accidental handball by Victor Lindelof?. Yes, you could argue that lady luck got her own back on Saturday.
We also had another ridiculous handball decision in the Tottenham and Everton game on Sunday. Eric Dier is facing the other way when the ball brushes his hands. Jose Mourinho was raging with the penalty decision and headed straight down the tunnel.
It is getting to the stage now where players might just a well kick the ball at opponent’s hands. Players will scream for a penalty inside the area, with the man in the middle under more spotlight.
The handball law is surely there to stop outfield players catching the ball or punching it away deliberately.
When will common sense come into play
Isn’t it about time the whole of the football family used some common sense? Deliberate handball will always be a matter of opinion. If a player has his arm in an unnatural position fine, but what is natural then. Could this be arms behind his back.
Can we not get back to the handball law of many years ago? If the ball hits a player’s hand then if it is intentional then a penalty should be awarded inside the area. If the ball hits a player and he is trying to get out of the way and is deemed not intential then no penalty.
Hands up or not
In most cases this season penalty kicks have been awarded for players who have their arms or hands up. In most cases they couldn’t do anything about this- it is called balance.
When playing the wonderful game any player will tell you it is extremely difficult to put your arms down. Natural rhythm of defenders is to use their arms. Not intentionally one has to say.
So many times a spot kick has been awarded when a ball has struck the body of a player. Players reaction will never be to get out of the way of the ball in movement.
Let’s get back to the basic laws
In terms of this new handball law, can we please go back to the basic laws of football and stop complicating matters.
Fans, players, managers, pundits and the media are so confused at the moment. Make it simple and you will see a big improvement in the beautiful game of football.