Jeremy over at SoccerWorld has a post up about the ‘new’ offside interpretation in use for the past year or so and how it allowed a goal to count when a player, uninvolved with play, was very offside:
There was much discussion this weekend of Newcastle’s controversial first goal against West Ham. For those of you who missed it, West Ham was leading 2-0 just before half time when James Milner fired the ball towards the goal. Newcastle’s Scott Parker was clearly in an offside position, but he didn’t touch the ball as it sailed past him and into the far corner of the goal. The linesman raised his flag to indicate Parker’s offside status, but referee Uriah Rennie let the goal stand because Parker wasn’t interfering with play. Those are the facts. Now let the arguments begin.
There’s nothing quite as fun and invigorating as a good offside debate. So hop on over to Jeremy’s site and join in! I personally think the referee in this case made the right call which I noted in detail at SoccerWorld. The ref followed the guidelines to the letter and any player clearly offside should be safely ignored by the keeper and defense. Easier said than done I admit, but that player isn’t getting an advantage by being there if they’re not obstructing free movement of the defense and aren’t blocking the keeper’s sight line.