As football fans we are all aware of the rough basics of the offside rule, the attacker is ahead of the last defender when the ball is played is just about the minimum requirement you need. Most keen football enthusiasts can tell when someone is offside without the use of video technology, Andy Gray however has developed the incredible knack of not knowing the offside rule when video technology shows it to him on a plate.
The first incident comes from the incredibly heart pounding and entertaining Liverpool v Arsenal match and Andrei Arshavin’s first goal. Cesc’ Fabregas is shown a good half a yard onside by the computer generated line accross the pitch. Andy Gray however found it, shall we say difficult, to understand how Fabregas was onside and went on to declare that it was “tight probably just offside” and the goal was very debatable (at this point I am hoping the reader trusts me enough that i dont have to draw a diagram of the incident). This went on for most of the game, enfuriating those of us with eyesight and a brain cell. You can tell what a ridiculous facade the whole thing is when Jamie “look at me im on tv” Redknapp also goes on to state that it was offside, along with the other 2 ex-Liverpool “pundits” on SkySports’ wonderfully balanced panel.
The second incident happened in the recent Champions League game between Manchester United and Arsenal ( I know your seeing a pattern here and yes I am an Arsenal fan). Ryan Giggs was played through on goal and the linesmans flag goes up. Ryan Giggs with his 45 starts and 19 goals this season (you really have to feel sorry for Frank Lampard) is furious and wags his finger of the year at the linesman. Andy Gray is clearly also furious, and blinded by this rage he fails to see that Ryan is a good yard offside when the video (with its helpful computer generated offside line) is shown to him. He then once again goes on to explain for the next 10 minutes that Ryan was onside in a passionate and scottish way so that people will believe that he is always correct.
I am all for video technology being introduced, as long as morons are not the ones looking at the technology and getting it wrong. Next week Paul Merson on why ‘Boro aint done good defending lately’.