Blog 1: How the goal kick changes football permanently

In the same year as VAR was introduced, another rule change had an even greater impact on the development of football: goal kicks. Much less sexy for the analysts to discuss at the talk show tables and, in the podcasts, but with consequences for every age. 

Previously, the ball was only considered "in play" when it left the penalty area. Now the ball is in play from the moment it is "kicked and it clearly moves". Goalkeepers can now play short to team-mates in the penalty area. Players of the opposing team must stay outside the area until the goal kick is taken, which means that the penalty area must serve as a kind of exclusion zone for short passes.

As a result, the number of long balls by goalkeepers has been greatly reduced. Defenders have a few seconds more to make their choices, and the goalkeeper himself is a fourth or even fifth point of play within the defense. Of course, the long kicks do not stop altogether, because if a team is shaky in possession and looking for a last-minute lead, you can still expect the goalkeeper to kick the ball as far away as possible.

Hardly anyone talks about the development in youth football. In youth football, defenders are now forced to look for and find more footballing solutions. Only defending man-to-man and quickly handing the ball over to the midfielders is no longer sufficient.The modern defender starts building up from the back line and is expected to make an attacking contribution to the team. As a result, these (often physically strong) players develop more quickly into more complete footballers. They get more possession, in an area where the speed of action must be high. The opponent often applies pressure faster and higher as the defenders must be able to play under this pressure.

But the goalkeepers also participate in the build-up from behind. The goalkeeper is expected to participate fully in the positional play and can also play into midfielders. The time when the central defender gave the ball a good groove when kicking it out is long gone, and the time where the average premier league goalkeeper will have a few assists to his name at the end of the season is fast approaching.



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