Wednesday 16 October 2019

Goals dry up even with the handpass

'The goal-flow started slowly and has continued that way, certainly in the top two divisions.' Stock photo: Sportsfile
'The goal-flow started slowly and has continued that way, certainly in the top two divisions.' Stock photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Goals dry up even with the handpass

Remember the plaintive wailing by football managers in January as they predicted that restricting the handpass would lead to a dramatic decrease in goals? Figures were readily produced to show that fewer goals were being scored than last year,

We were asked to believe that evidence from a small number of pre-season games, featuring below-strength teams, should be taken seriously.

Obviously it was too, certainly by Central Council, who lost their nerve and scrapped the three-handpass experiment in the Allianz League. Still, now that football had been spared the goal-killing scourge, surely we could look forward to a bountiful spring. It hasn't worked out like that.

The goal-flow started slowly and has continued that way, certainly in the top two divisions. It's down from 1.9 to 1.4 per game after five rounds and while that may be purely coincidental, you can rest assured that the three-handpass rule would be blamed if it were in use.

So what's the excuse for the current decline?

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