The offside law was introduced as a way of redressing the imbalance between attack and defense. Over the years, the changes in the rule have tried to keep up with football's historical swings between these two extremes, with mixed results. But now after almost a century and a half it maybe as perfect as it gets.
According to Jonathan Wilson, "A modern offside law may be the best thing that's ever happened to football."
Italia 1990 provided the impetus to liberalize the offside law further and further to ease goalscoring and in 2005, a further tweak shifted the onus onto the defense to make plead their case.
The modifications have proven beneficial to the game. It encourages passing and defensive intensity. Skill over physical prowess. In short, the British game has left its shores.
What it has not done is to make refereeing easier. In fact, violations of the earlier iterations of the offside rule were easier to spot. With every refinement, the interpretation has become more and more subjective with far more errors. Murkiness centers around what constitutes active play.
Angst over these decisions may have contributed to the disillusionment and the unappreciated qualities of the changes alluded to by Wilson.