Defensive Howler From Arsenal Shows The Danger Of New Goal Kick Rule

Defensive Howler From Arsenal Shows The Danger Of New Goal Kick Rule

The 2019/20 season is still relatively in its infancy, though the new rules and technology have already had a major impact on the game.

VAR has garnered all the headlines for obvious reasons, and rightfully so. VAR is the glamorous new toy that football at large has to get to grips with.

However, one new rule designed to improve the style of play has had a profound impact on the new season.

The new goal kick rule, introduced at the beginning of the season, allows defenders to take the ball from inside their own box. This rule should allow teams to build attacks from the back, but it does leave teams vulnerable. If a defender takes the ball from the goalkeeper in their own box, a high-press from the opposition could lead to an error.

Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi found that out yesterday against Norwich City. Otamendi's centre-back partner John Stones took the ball short from Ederson and passed the ball across goal to Otamendi. The Argentinian dawdled on the ball, unaware of the high press from Emi Buendia, who nicked in and squared the ball to Teemu Pukki for Norwich's third.


The high press was in full effect in Arsenal's match against Watford. Arsenal centre-back Sokratis took the ball short from goalkeeper Bernd Leno and was immediately greeted by a sea of yellow bodies. Rather than punt the ball upfield in an agricultural manner, the Greek international instead decided to try thread a suicidal ball to Matteo Guendouzi, despite the Frenchman being marked by two Watford players.

The ball was easily intercepted by Tom Cleverley, who slotted beyond Bernd Leno to give Watford hope of a result. The goal buoyed Watford into getting another, with the match ending 2-2.

You can tell the likes of Sokratis and Otamendi never played their schoolboy football in the DDSL. Any slight pressure on a centre-back with a football and that ball should be hoofed to the heavens.


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Sean Meehan

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