Expert: New Premier League change to crack down on Aston Villa's 'strategic rule breaking'
The introduction of the multi-ball system means Aston Villa will not be able to time waste as easily in 2022-23 – but the new rule change is far from groundbreaking.
That is the view of training ground expert Ben Dinnery, who runs the Premier Injuries site and has a background in injury and data analysis.
The Daily Mail reported last Sunday (18 July) that the Premier League will introduce the multi-ball system from 2022-23 in a bid to cut down on time wasting.
As relayed by the same outlet, Villa had the ball in play for an average of just 49 minutes in 2021-22, the lowest figure in the top flight.
Dinnery examined how the rule change will impact play in the coming season.
“It certainly evens the playing field in terms of minutes the ball is in play,” he told Football Insider’s Adam Williams.
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“But it’s a difficult one. We are all about increasing the time the ball is in play, but that’s just one very small part of it.
“There is strategic rule breaking and delaying of the game. You have to factor in goal kicks, free kicks, and throw-ins.
“It’s a step in the right direction but we have the technology now to have a stop clock system that measures only when the ball is in play. That way you could eradicate any kind of time wasting.
“There’s been a lot of research and it’s no surprise to see that teams take longer about things when they are winning and are quicker when they are losing.
“If people are expecting this to have a groundbreaking impact in terms of it speeding up the game, they are going to be disappointed.
“Time wasting is multi-factorial. Referees need a way to measure more accurately. Often we can have games where there has been lots of stoppages and we don’t get much time added on, and vice versa.”