July 3, 2012, 3:28 am

I’ve just had something of a ‘Eureka’

personal moment.

Sitting watching Spain play Portugal in the

Euro semi finals I found my initial view of the crowd’s incessant whistling and
jeering of both teams when in possession nothing short of boorish, rude and
ignorant as to the nuances and artistry of the game.

But as the passes were racked up by both

teams and the jeering increased, I began to wonder if the crowd had a point?

Here was a game played between two very

good sides, one of them earning the right to greatness with Euro and World Cup
titles already in the bag.

Two sides full of attacking flair, individual

brilliance and tactical genius. And yet neither could go close to fashioning a
worthy goal scoring chance, let alone finding the back of the net

I have always been a staunch advocate of

the game and its traditional values. I have always been the first to defend the
attacks from the heathens who believe the penalty shoot out is cruel or that
FIFA needs to tinker with the rules to further encourage attacking football.

But I have reached tipping point after this

morning’s game. Quite simply this was a game that was deserving of more attack,
if not desperately in need of a clutch of goals to go with the touches of
brilliance (and the usual dose of petulance) from Ronaldo and co.

Right now I don’t have the answers but I

would love to encourage a debate as to what they might be. Does the offside law
change as hockey has done? Do you limit the number of players in certain areas
of the field similar to netball?

Such moves will be seen as controversial

and I’m sure will generate a reaction of horror amongst much of the football
community. But surely the majority of the crowd at the Spain Portugal semi
final were from that football loving section of society and they were voicing
their displeasure if not their boredom at what they were witnessing.

This isn’t some back water social

tournament that doesn’t mean a thing to the watching world; this is one step
down from the ultimate tournament, the
second most important spectacle that FIFA (and UEFA) have to offer, and the
crowd were booing, whistling and jeering two of the best teams in the world for
trying to maintain possession!

So let’s loosen the shackles, at least try

something in lower leagues around the world and see what happens. Who knows
what you might get, if 12 years from now we are watching a 4-3 thriller at the
Euro Champs instead of suffering death by passing, we might all agree that
change was the right way to go.



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