In a recent Premier League match between Arsenal and Fulham, referee Phil Dowd perfectly illustrates why straying off the diagonal can be so very helpful. In the 66th minute, play was in the corner near AR1. Referee Dowd moved far off of his diagonal to be closer to play, and his positioning paid off. Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta lost possession to Fulham striker Bryan Ruiz, and while attempting to regain possession, fouled Ruiz in the penalty area. Dowd was perfectly positioned to see the foul and make the correct decision.
Of course, this was a routine call for a Premier League referee, but it is a good reminder to rest of us to not be “slaves to the diagonal.”