Too Many Substitutions?

From a football fan’s point of view pre-season friendlies can be a little bit tedious to say the least. OK, for the football junkie it may be exciting to see how the new reserve goalie does when he plays 20 minutes at the end of a game, but most of us just want a look at the new record signing to see if he is as good as we’ve been told.

However, it was while watching one of these pre-season games that I had a thought that might improve not only friendly games, but also games at all levels. One of the annoying things about friendlies is the number of substitutions made. The game can be stopped countless times in the last 15 minutes just to give some fat rejects a game in the bleak hope of selling them. So why not put a limit on the number of times substitutions can be made?

Please note I am not saying reduce the number of players who can come on, just the number of times you can make substitutions. For example, in league games where three subs would still be allowed to come on, these substitutions would have to be made on only two occasions, so if you want to use your full quota of three players, you have to make one double substitution.

If managers could only use subs at two moments in the game, they would have to be that bit more cunning in how they used those occasions. There would be fewer uses of the obnoxious time-wasting substitution in the last minute of a game, and there would be fewer breaks in the 90 minutes which could only lead to more intensity.

So what do you think? While everyone is going on about goal-line technology, there could be a minor change to the substitution rule which would lead to a minor improvement to our beautiful game. It could be known as the 1+2 rule, or the 2+1 rule if that makes more sense to you. Or maybe you have a better name for it.

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