Richard Wood column: Offside idea is Marco van madness, says the Rotherham United defender

Marco van Basten was a truly remarkable player.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 26 January, 2017, 23:00
Marco van Basten

I wasn’t old enough at the time to appreciate his class but I have seen many videos of him and his stand-out goal has to be from Euro 1988 with his sublime volley in the final against the Soviets.

For all his finesse, skill and scoring ability on the pitch, his ideas on how to evolve football are way off. He may have caught that volley sweet back in ’88 but he’s scored a major own goal now.

How would this help? The beautiful game would be lost!

Strikers would just stay in the penalty box and teams would resort to long balls, lumping it up to the poachers.

It’s a crazy idea that isn’t worth exploring.

The art of defending and attacking would be lost. You wouldn’t be able to squeeze 10 yards when you make a clearance, and it would be pointless for a striker to play on the shoulder of the last defender, timing their run to perfection.

As a centre-half, I’d want to play with the striker in front of me all the time. A forward would have every right to stand where he wanted - more than likely in the penalty area. I would, obviously, mark him goalside to stop him scoring. I’d hardly do any running as we’d just be stood close to the goal.

It’s madness.

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Abolishing the offside rule would change the face of football. It plays a significant and fundamental part in the game. Without it, chaos would ensue.

The current rule could do with tweaking, though. This season has seen some contentious decisions, with different interpretations occurring each week, leading to plenty of debate.

Is a player active or not-active? When does that player actually become active? The situation can be very difficult for defenders at times, but I understand the reasoning of giving the attacking team the advantage. It definitely needs more clarification to make it easier for everyone associated with football.

We have recently seen the introduction of goalline technology and vanishing spray, which have worked successfully. I would be willing to consider other slight changes and alterations to certain elements of the game.

However, there’s no need to make drastic changes and start messing with the rules of the sport. It is a concern that FIFA are communicating these ideas in public.

It’s fantastic the way it is. Leave football alone.

I’ve got to say I totally agree with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, who said last week of van Basten: “He can invent another game!”