A viable replacement for the farce of the penalty shoot-out?
If you are a supporter of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Spurs, Newcastle, Everton, Manchester City, Leeds, etc. you have suffered by it. If you are an England supporter you would have seen your national team depart five times out of the last seven major tournaments because of it. And if you are a supporter of any other international side it is highly likely that you have also seen disappointing exits due to it. Maybe only Liverpool fans have been untouched by its fickle fate. Of course I'm talking about the contentious lottery of the penalty shoot-out.
Gunnerpete recently emailed EFT with a proposal for replacing the penalty shoot-out, and which has had support from a good professional footballer of the past. He would like to open up his proposal for debate among football supporters. Here it is….
Way back in 1980, I had the worst of all weeks when recovering from an operation, I lay there listening to AFC lose a European Cup Winner Cup Final by penalties. I vowed to help get rid of this farce, and set out to design a new answer. When I had a new answer ready, I contacted the FA ( is there better initials for a know nothing group) the League, FIFA, & of course my Arsenal.
Only one replied, the great Bob Wilson. He supported my plan and passed a copy to Jimmy Hill, who also liked it but had reservations. They both suggested that I get in touch with, Guess who?, The FA, FIFA etc. etc. etc. You know the rest.
A few years later, I tried again, but through the press. I know its like selling my soul, but it seemed the only way ahead. It wasn't! I sent a short copy of my plan to The Mirror, The Express, The Guardian, for a trial run. I never received one reply. I assumed it was my plan that was at fault, so I decided, enough is enough. BUT, here comes the Good / Bad part. 18 months after my letters to the press an article appears in the Express to say that one of the lower cups was to be experimenting with a 'NEW' idea of THEIRS ! It was 99% identical to my plan.
Naturally I called them immediately, and was told "the journalist responsible was away". I left my complaint with them. I called again a week later, to be told the journalist had left for another paper in the USA. Once again I was being shown how powerless we have all become. The outcome of their little test was failure, because they altered my plan just enough to call it their own, but that change ruined the whole idea.
My Replacement for the Penalty Shootout Farce
In 1980, I called it the 'Player Reduction Method'. A very reduced version is as follows.
AFTER 90 MINUTES IS DRAWN
1) Before commencing extra time, the manager / coach, HAS to take off 3 players. Who and why is his problem. There are 2 periods of extra time ( 20 minutes each way).
2) After the first period of extra time, the manager / coach, has to reduce the team by another two players.
3) If after the second period of extra time is played, it is still a draw, the manager / coach, has to take off his goalkeeper, and the first team to score is the winner.
Very Simple, and I know its works because my brother is Australia coaches a small local side and it worked every time he tried it. He also said it is fun to watch!
My theory & aim was one to rid us of this non football end to important competitions. Also to get rid of the appalling stigma that is attached to the poor devil who misses the penalty that sends his team into despair. This has always disgusted me, that one person is help responsible for failure. The supporters never forget this one moment, or the poor bloke who was the patsy.
The other benefits of my plan were ( a) The manager has the responsibility, that's what he is paid for ( b) You can only imagine the planning needed when making that decision, who comes off.......' do I go for a strong defence and one forward ( as George Graham would have)' or ' do I go for broke before the sudden death comes in after extra time 40 minutes ( this time can vary if required ). My feeling is that certain teams ( like AFC) would go for broke, and take off defenders? Who knows?
I think the subs bench would be involved in a big way too.......speed and lung power would be the order of the day. AND, if after extra normal time it was still a draw ( and my brother's games never came to this point) I can only imagine the fantastic amount of shots raining on the Goal from any angle by both teams. It is important to note that I feel that the players left on the field after the goalie has been taken off, should be allowed to use their hands to stop shots in the penalty area only. Just a thought!
Anyway there it is.......what do you think?