Date: 12th September 2008 at 3:55pm
Written by:

And that will be the biggest title I write today. Martin O’Neill believes outlawing the back pass has made it harder for teams to kill off a game in the modern era.

With pointless internationals getting in the way of real football, Martin O’Neill has had time to get all philosophical about last seasons 4-4 draw against Spurs.

And this has led him to state that it was easier in his era of football for a team to kill of a game by letting the keeper timewaste.

Speaking on the official site, he said:

‘The Tottenham match last season shows that a game is never won until the final whistle.

‘In my day, when a team wanted to kill a game off, they found it a lot easier than nowadays because you were allowed to pass back to the goalkeeper.

‘He could pick up the ball, wander round with it for a couple of minutes, stick it up his jumper, come back and then roll the ball out to a defender.

‘And then the defender would pass it back to the goalkeeper again. So you could definitely kill it off.

‘Today is more difficult.

‘Another example, from this season, was our game at Stoke. We had one more throw-in to defend and we couldn’t manage it.

‘I suppose I have to counter that with games where we have also sneaked goals in the last couple of minutes. If it evens itself out over the season, I am reasonably happy.’

I’m not sure it does even itself out though, we have a habit, and have done for years of conceeding points in the final 10 minutes of a match and this is something that we are all hoping will be rectified this season.

From the fan perspective I’m not sure much has changed though given the rule change to the back pass. Teams thesedays use their heads and take it into the corner to timewaste.

A trick with John Carew, that we should employ more often to be honest.