What if long-range goals counted double? Liverpool would be Premier League champions!
Of the many joys that football brings us, few are as pure and unbridled as watching a long-range strike be scored.
The moment you realise the attacker has the time, space and audacity to shoot; the futile attempt of the defender to make their block in time; the arc of or arrowed trajectory of the strike; the despairing dive of the goalkeeper as the ball flies past them into the net -- it feels like it's worth so much more than a scuffed tap-in after a botched clearance.
So why shouldn't those long-range goals be worth more on the scoreboard? It's an idea that can be played out in one of the "House Rules" modes on FIFA 19: "Any goal scored inside the box will count as one goal, but goals scored from outside the box count as two goals."
Indeed, the "two goals for long-rangers" idea does have potential, with players and teams rewarded for daring to have a go from distance -- a little like a three-pointer in basketball.
Olympique Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud even floated the idea as a way to improve football as an entertainment spectacle at a recent business summit where he was the closing speaker, where he said: "My problem is that in the face of all these new forms of entertainment, football remains extremely conservative. Football has a superiority complex. They don't change their rules or hardly at all.
"It's paradoxical that the FIFA game, a game of virtual football, decided that a goal scored from a shot from outside the penalty area is worth two points. Why is it FIFA -- Electronic Arts -- decided that? There is even a 'no rules' mode in the game. That's a bit chaotic, but what interests me is why there is this innovation... It's an example, there are a lot of others."
So, just for fun, here are the main ways the 2018-19 Premier League would change if all goals scored from outside the area were worth double.