Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Penalty decisions are in the lap of the Gods

I have to be honest, I don't like soft penalties and the new rules that have come in this season for holding and blocking in the box have caused a mountain of trouble already. AFCB themselves were the victims against Crystal Palace with Charlie Daniels being pulled up for a shirt pull, even though Benteke was running away from goal and he still managed to keep control of the ball.

I'm not against fouls in the box being punished, but I'd like them to be for goal scoring opportunities being denied rather than title-tattle. Strong holding around a player in the box and tripping and holding back is something that is now outlawed, and while the degree of holding and tugging maybe up for question, that is where the problem is at the moment.

Charlie Daniels had hold of Benteke's shirt and did not let go. In the strict interpretation of the laws it's a penalty, but it is down to the referee's discretion if he sees it and feels it is a foul. I can't defend Charlie in that instance - he knows the directives that have been given to referees and Mike Dean did not appear to give any warnings. Still he gave a penalty the week before at Man City for the same thing.

Daniels himself has admitted that he made the wrong decision to hold on to Benteke and Francis and Surman were furious with him. Whether AFCB get any decisions like that in their favour this season we will wait and see, but I'd be surprised as all managers should now say hands off players in the box. It's a moment when Charlie got wrapped up in just trying to shepherd Benteke away from goal but he must learn from this mistake.

Look Daniels had his arms down like this, okay! 
Too a large extent I believe players have brought the soft penalties on themselves. Fans want to see a contact sport but the cheating has gone too far. There is too much pushing and shoving and diving to get an advantage. The difficulty is that the laws are not easy to implement when in some games referees wave small fouls away, while in others they blow up for a penalty. Where do players stand? The confusion is a real spoiler on the game. In the match against Crystal Palace, AFCB got away with it, thanks to a great save by Boruc but on another day it will be a worse punishment, so I am sue Eddie Howe will be talking to his defenders about their discipline following this incident if he didn't before the game.

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