Saturday, 26 May 2007

Football Madness

This post was inspired while talking (more to listening while she rants) with Nikki. She was trying to explain the unfathomable world of F1 racing. I thought it's basically whoever is fastest and stuff. Boy, was I a noob. *blush* I then gave her simple football questions, and she couldn't answer a single one. Even Stevens, but I thought the average girl should know more about the world's most wonderful game. Joga Bonito!

The Offside Rule.
The benchmark of being considered a true football fan. It's probably the hardest rule in football to understand but I'll try and explain it.
The offside rule is implemented to prevent an attacking player from camping near the defending team's goal. It prevents an attacker from gaining unfair advantage over the defending team. The offside rule says that an attacking player cannot be nearer to the defending team's goal than the ball and the second last defending player (the last being the goal keeper or an outfield player because some keepers are stupid enough to go way out of their penalty box).

Here we can see a Chelski idiot (blue) in an offside position trying to gain unfair advantage over Manchester United (red).

Note that being in an offside position is not an offense.
It only becomes an offense when the attacker is in the offside position while ball is in play. That means the ball is touched/kicked by a team-mate while he is in the offside position. It's this that proves controversial, as the referee or his assistants (called "linesmen") call (or not call) offside when the player is (or not) in an offside position while ball is in play. Of course, you can be Chelsea and pay referees.

There are 4 basic positions for a football player. Goalkeeper, Defender, Midfielder, and Forward. The latter 3 are also called outfield players.
For simplicity's sake, let's take Manchester United's typical formation, the 4-4-2.

Left and right backs (LB & RB) who go far out forward during attacks are also called leftwing / rightwing backs (LWB & RWB). Notable RWB player is Gary Neville.
The 2 centre backs (CB) can be further divided into south wing (SW) and/or a sweeper. Sweepers are generally extinct now, with the exception of CB Rio Ferdinand.
Left and right midfield (LM & RM) players who maraud the sides of the pitch (wings) are called left / right wingers (LW & RW). Notable LW is Ryan Giggs and RW is Cristiano Ronaldo. Notable RM is David Beckham.
In the central midfield (CM) position, a midfielder can either be an attacking mid (AM) or a defensive mid (DM). Notable AM is Steven Gerrard (Liverpool). He's also a a very good CM.
For forwards, they are usually called Strikers (ST) and, depending on their position, a left forward (LF), right forward (RF), and a centre forward (CF). They are the tooth and claw of the team and they are usually expected to be the goal scorers. Notable strikers are Thierry Henry (Arsenal) and Samuel Et'oo (Barcelona).
Goalkeepers (GK) are goalkeepers. Thay are allowed to use their hands to touch the ball only within their penalty boxes. Notable keepers are Peter Schmeichel, Gianluigi Buffon, Oliver Kahn, Santiago Canizares, and Victor Valdez.

Penalty Kick
When a player is fouled (or is thought to have been fouled) within the penalty box, a penalty kick is awarded. The goalkeeper and defending team's players almost always rush to the referee, causing one or more of them to be booked for their futile complaints.

A beautiful save. Not many keepers can keep out a penalty kick. It takes a lot of psychological strength for the taker to score too, so it's a 50/50 chance.
Notable penalty kick taker is Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Free Kick
During play, when an attacking player is fouled anywhere else on the field except the defender's penalty box, a free kick is usually awarded. If it's near enough to the goal, the goalie usually arranges a wall to try to block the kick. It works, sometimes.

David Beckham, arguably one of the greatest free kick takers of all time.

Goal Kick
The ball goes out of play behind the goal line. Simple.

Youth player takes a goal kick.

When the ball is played out of the line at the sides of the pitch, a throw in is awarded.

Here, a Chelsea idiot is preparing for a throw-in. They suck at those.

When a player is fouled, a free-kick is usually just given. When a foul is particularly harsh or blatantly illegal (like a body check or a hand ball) a yellow card is given and the poor sucker's name goes in the ref's book. Just like the idiot below.

When a player makes a challenge (or a tackle) that is deemed dangerous or possibly career-threatening to the recipient, or for fighting, or for committing a yellow-card offense twice, a player gets a red card. It's also called a sending off. This has 2 consequences. The immediate one is that the player is kicked off the field (sometimes literally) and banned a few matches. The other is he's guaranteed to make it into the ESPN highlights show.

That's all for now I suppose. *smiles*



  1. Jay! You didn't explain how long a match is (ok, I know it's 90 mins) and about the extra time given and how the championship is played out =)

  2. OMG.. Yeah ho.. I'll get to it. This post took me a few days. So tired.

  3. Okies. =) Probably will do it later. =)