The one back game


December 28, 1918
Associations in the Home Counties are agitating for an alteration of the offside law, so as to provide that “a player shall not be offside in his opponents’ half if at the moment when the ball is last played he is behind it, or has at least two opponents nearer their own goal-line than himself.

The change here advocated is the substitution of two opponents in place of three, as at present. The idea, of course, is to nullify the one-back game, or to make its adoption attended with greater risk to the defenders.

If forwards would only use their brains as well as their feet few sides would play the one-back game, which is often successfully employed because opponents have not the craft to circumvent it.

Any defence that plays one back ought to be riddled by an intelligent line of forwards. I hope no alteration will be made in the law. We do not want the game to be stereotyped, but to be played with skill and intelligence.

If players will think what they are doing there should be few cases of offside.
(Lancashire Evening Post: December 28, 1918)

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