Letters - Monday, January 3, 2020

More goals by getting rid of off-side ruling

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 5:00 pm

The arrival of VAR on the football scene has been something of a mixed blessing. There is no doubt that its accuracy is beyond reproach and many of the decisions it has made have proved to be unerringly accurate and are to be applauded.

However, many fans would argue that it has also taken the spontaneity and free-flowing action out of the beautiful game and who knows what crazy decisions this all-seeing monster will be called to adjudicate on in the future?

However, the one aspect that appears to be causing the most upset and controversy among fans is the offside ruling.

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Wonderful goals have been disallowed because the scorer forgot to cut his fingernails the previous night and, as a consequence, protruded a millimetre or so beyond the last defender. Perhaps the sweep of an eyelash that VAR considered was ahead of the full back’s knee would chalk off yet another memorable goal.

But fear not, I have the perfect solution - do away with the offside rule!

Now before the soccer traditionalists and purists fall down in apoplectic fits, let’s consider the prospect of such a sweeping change a little closer and with an open mind.

Firstly, every goal scored would count unless some other infringement occurred, which VAR could certainly rule on. It is likely that more goals would be scored which, let’s face it, would certainly make the game more exciting and would probably attract more fans to the game.

Tactics in both attack and defence would need to be modified and it would be intriguing to witness the efforts of the Jose Mourinos, Jurgen Klopps and Pep Guardiolas of the Premier League in deciding as to whether attacking or defensive strategies would prove the most effective.

I know that this is most unlikely to happen, but wouldn’t it be great to attend matches with higher scorelines, such as a 7-4 thriller in 1947 that will live longer in the memory than some of the 0-0 yawn-inducing matches I have also witnessed.

Derek Rogerson

via email


‘Attacks country

he benefits from’

Royston Jones (Your Say, January 28) launches another of his tirades against armaments.

He also queries the inclusion of pressure groups such as Extinction Rebellion, and Greenpeace in the Foreign Office’s list of known terrorist organisations.

He clearly knows nothing of both groups being involved in several instances of violence to property and humans. Presumably as a Corbynister he approves of such actions. To describe them as ‘social justice’ seekers is utter nonsense.

Does he understand that if, as he suggests, we abandoned the arms trade it would mean several thousand UK employees would lose their jobs? This clearly doesn’t bother him.

He claims that the problems in the Yemen are caused by UK -made jet fighters. I have news for him. The majority are Russian. Of course, he couldn’t be expected to criticize a left-wing dictatorship. Why no mention of the far worse situation in Syria? Answer, because the bombing of innocent civilians has been carried out over 12 years by Russian and Syrian planes backed by money from Communist China. These countries escape his criticism because perhaps he prefers their undemocratic, totalitarian systems of government.

One wonders why he and many like him can put up with living here.

Again and again, like Corbyn, he attacks this country while personally benefiting daily from what it provides.

Dr Barry Clayton

Thornton Cleveleys


Is coronavirus a bit of crying wolf?

Yet again we have a worldwide virus panic, which is energising the media. Trouble is we seem to have one every few years that rarely amounts to much, so far as the UK is concerned. So if we are warned of a Spanish flu-type disaster in years to come, will it be a case of the boy crying wolf?

Tim Mickleburgh

Address supplied


Loneliness and words of wisdom

It is widely accepted that we have an epidemic of loneliness, not just among older people, but younger people too.

But our research shows a chink of light.

Almost half of 22-35 year-olds we polled spend time with someone aged 65-plus who they are not related to - like a friend - every week, and turn to them for advice. With a lifetime of experience, older people have a wealth of knowledge that we can all benefit from.

The people in our care homes, retirement living and community support services across Britain have shared their life lessons as part of our Words of Wisdom campaign (mha.org.uk/WoW), encouraging people to value the wisdom gained with age.

We’re calling on people to reach out to older people and ask for their life lessons.

Even small acts like having a chat and a cup of tea with an older neighbour can have a huge impact on bringing people together.

Sam Monaghan

Chief executive of older person’s charity Methodist Homes (MHA)