VAR aside, one of the new rules to reach the Premier League this season has been the change in how goal kicks can be taken.
Previously, the ball wasn’t considered ‘in play’ until it had left the box, but now, players can receive the ball inside the area, with the play live as soon as it has been kicked and has made a clear movement.
This has been welcomed by a number of teams, especially those who like to build from the back, and that includes Leeds United in the Championship, currently managed by Marcelo Bielsa.
Bringing his high energy philosophy to Elland Road, the Argentine also likes to see his team have a lot of the ball, which starts with his goalkeeper, Kiko Casilla, occasionally taking advantage of this new rule.
That was on display against Millwall, for example, in their 2-1 loss, and it’s something the Leeds welcomed with open arms behind-the-scenes, as Gaby Ruiz, the head of European recruitment at Elland Road, told ABC in Spain.
He said: “It’s the right call. It gives teams more freedom to choose how they want to start up play. Being limited to receiving the ball far away was an unfair penalty for teams who liked to build from the back.
“Now they can look at more options and even take advantage of the fact opponents are in their own area to break that first line of pressure and gain an advantage”.
It’s certainly something Leeds have occasionally tried to do, but they’ll have to be wary of messing things up, which Arsenal have already demonstrated is capable of happening.