FOLLOWING the controversial disallowing of Cheick Tiote’s strike for Newcastle United against Manchester City, is it now time to go back to basics when it comes to offside?

For those who missed it, Tiote arrowed a left-foot screamer past Joe Hart from around 25 yards at St James’ Park, beating the England keeper all ends up.

But the effort was chalked off because Yoan Gouffran, one of two Newcastle United players standing in an offside position, was ruled to be interfering with play as he moved out of the way of the ball.

Referee Mike Jones made the call after consulting with his assistant who, crucially, had not flagged for an infringement in the first place.

The incident has once again brought into question the issue of when a player is or isn’t deemed to be affecting play by being offside.

Ever since the introduction of players being “active” during first or second phases of play, offside decisions have been ridiculously overcomplicated.

In addition, they have also become subjective as while Jones ruled in favour of Manchester City, a different referee might have let the goal stand.

If Sunday’s controversial match proved anything, it’s that there needs to be a return to the old rule — offside means offside, active or not.

At least teams and supporters would know where they stand, quite literally.