From February, 2003
Bradford City vs Crystal Palace was the ironic fixture. We had lost to a goal that never was, they had been beaten by Leeds after scoring a good goal.
Video replays, that was the phrase of the day.
Pause the game and take a look at a screen to tell you if a goal is good or bad. There is much weight on goals and results these days, lots of money riding on it, so it’s important to get these decisions right. So the thinking goes.
The thinking is right of course but it goes against the one principal of football. That the game played between Brazil and Germany in the World Cup final is the same game that AFC Wimbledon play at the bottom of the football pyramid. Unless you can do it at Wimbledon, you cannot do it at the greatest games in the land.
It’s good guiding principal. It keeps the mobility, or at least the idea of the mobility, between the levels of the game alive. “Once they cross the white line…” and all that.
Besides. Where is the goal not scored? It’s fairly clear that Palace should have had a goal against Leeds but had Michael Duburry, who’s hands were hit by the ball over the line, been two feet forward then would that have been less of a goal?
Should you not use video replay for that? Why would you stop at just goal line decisions once a precedent is set? Why not use it for decisions like the red cards that City suffered against Burnley. Yes Mike Dean is a rubbish Ref but it’s better than playing until seven thirty on a Saturday night because we stop every two minutes.
Besides, if video replays we useful for anything that weekend then it would have been the massed ranks of officials and Gooners watching Ryan Giggs miss and open goal again and again and again…