New ideas... surely hockey de­serves credit?

The Hockey Paper - - NEWS - by Claire Mid­dle­ton

YOU’D think Jur­gen Klopp would be a lit­tle more open­minded, but he pretty much trashed Marco van Bas­ten’s ideas for im­prov­ing foot­ball.

Maybe Sam Quek could have a word with the Liver­pool man­ager – af­ter all, she’s a pre­sen­ter on LFCTV – and point out that Van Bas­ten’s ideas are ac­tu­ally noth­ing new … if you play hockey.

For­mer Ger­many coach Mar­cus Weise could also give Klopp a call – for the triple gold medal win­ning hockey supremo works for the na­tional foot­ball academy in his home coun­try.

To be fair to Klopp, he re­ally just sug­gested van Bas­ten should “in­vent an­other game” and should have had the de­cency to ac­knowl­edge where his ideas might have come from.

How­ever, it does seem that foot­ball may be lag­ging a bit be­hind the times when its most in­no­va­tive change in 100 years has been the in­tro­duc­tion of squirty stuff with which the ref­er­ees mark the po­si­tion of the ball and wall at a free-kick.

Goal-line tech­nol­ogy fi­nally got the nod, only about 50 years af­ter it first be­came an is­sue when Ge­off Hurst’s World Cup fi­nal strike re­bounded off the un­der­side of bar in 1966.

Van Bas­ten, the for­mer Dutch star, is FIFA’s tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor and sug­gested eight rule changes, four of which will be fa­mil­iar to hockey play­ers.

Get rid of off­side – Hockey did this in the mid-1990’s. Fears that it would lead to goal-hang­ing have not come to fruition, how­ever as long as Sam Al­lardyce is a foot­ball man­ager it’s prob­a­bly a valid con­cern.

Get rid of penalty shootouts and re­place them with an eight-sec­ond shuf­fle– Chris Wad­dle and Gareth South­gate, World Cup and Euro spot-kick

fail­ures, would surely agree.

In­tro­duce or­ange cards and sin­bins for tem­po­rary

sus­pen­sions – Isn’t it about time that a player who com­mits an of­fence gets pe­nalised in that match and not against dif­fer­ent op­po­nents on an­other day? Get rid of ex­tra time and

go straight to shoot-outs– That change is most likely de­manded by TV sta­tions as view­ing fig­ures for live games have re­port­edly dropped in favour of high­lights and goal-snaps.

Van Bas­ten also pro­posed that play­ers should be in­volved in fewer matches each sea­son, chil­dren’s games should be re­duced to eight-a-side, the clock should stop ev­ery time the ball goes out in the last 10 min­utes and only cap­tains should be al­lowed to speak to the ref­eree.

These would go some way to­wards tack­ling the blights of foot­ball – time-wast­ing and un­sightly ar­gu­ing with of­fi­cials.

Van Bas­ten didn’t men­tion in­tro­duc­ing the self-pass rule but he has been dis­missed in most foot­ball quar­ters.

And the vit­riol wasn’t just confined to the Pre­mier League. Rennes boss Chris­tian Gour­cuff was the most damn­ing as he called the pro­pos­als “im­mea­sur­able bull****”.

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