West Brom won their first match at The Hawthorns with Sam Allardyce in charge on Saturday as Kyle Bartley’s goal secured a 1-0 victory over Brighton.
However, that was far from the big talking point in the Black Country.
Brighton missed penalties in each half but also had a goal controversially disallowed by referee Lee Mason.
Lewis Dunk scored a quick freekick after Mason whistled for play to continue. He ruled the goal out, then allowed it and then disallowed it again after VAR ruled that he’d blown the whistle again before Dunk’s freekick crossed the line.
Speaking on Match of the Day on Saturday night, Lineker shared his belief that quick freekicks should become a part of the game. He said: “It shows the silliness of this law that you have to wait for a referee. Why do you hinder a team that has been fouled and it also slows the game down?
“I advocated for a long time, even spoken to FIFA about it. I said footballers should be allowed to take free-kicks as soon as they are ready, even to themselves I believe, like we see in other sports.
“I think it would massively quicken up the game and improve it.”
Pros and cons
We can see why Lineker would push for this because when we watch a match of football, we want to see as many goals as possible. Allowing attackers to take freekicks when they’re ready benefits them heavily and should lead to more goals like Dunk’s on Saturday.
However, what about the defences?
As referees have to count out 10 yards for the wall, put down a white marker so they don’t move forward, it’s clear that walls are an important part of freekicks. Therefore, a goalkeeper should be handed every opportunity to ensure the wall is in the right spot.
It’s not fair that Dunk should have been able to take that freekick while Johnstone is still organising a wall that Mason had just moved back.
It takes time and all angles must be covered by the goalkeeper.
There are already plenty of goals in matches. We’ve not seen that many 0-0 draws this season so why do attackers need to have yet another thing go in their favour?
In other West Brom news, Kamil Grosicki’s confirmed a major update on his future.