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In defence of VAR
I’m not sure what everyone is getting so worked up about. An extra five or so minutes added to the match to makes sure three or four important decisions were correctly made.
Everyone pretty much agrees all the decisions were correct, so surely that’s worth five minutes? Fraser Forster wastes that much every match Southampton are winning just for lining up his goal kicks, for goodness sake. And he’s not the only one.
Everyone needs to chill out, embrace the fact that some correct decisions were made and understand that the refs will get better at using it, so it will speed up.
Adonis (Liverpool’s defense however…) Stevenson, AFC
Start small with VAR…
I know it’s controversial but seriously VAR shouldn’t be used by the main referee. You seriously need to have a second guy sitting there and watching – and only have that. I know it takes some power away form the referee but it’s not like everything is solely observed and decided by the referee anyways. Some of the observations and stuff is delegated already such as UEFA’s goal line referee (and goal line tech in EPL), and well assistants for a lot of stuff.
Make it similar to how some referees ask assistants on what they see via the headset sometimes. Or even have the VAR referees basically “flag” the referees when they do something wrong much like assistances wave that flag in a specific way when a foul is committed near then.
VAR is going to have growing pains and the more precise and narrow the powers are are the better because people aren’t used to using them yet. Start narrow and then expand wider as time passes and people get used to procedures and it becomes a normal thing.
Football needs to learn from cricket
Before I begin, I understand that cricket and football are very different sports. However, it wouldn’t be impossible for the beautiful game to adopt some better practices from the gentleman’s game when it comes to VAR.
In cricket, each team gets a fixed number of reviews to ‘get wrong’ based on the format. For example, in the test version each team has two reviews per innings. If the team decides to challenge the on-field umpire’s decision and it turns out that the umpire’s call was wrong the team retains the review and does not ‘lose’ it (i.e., they still have two reviews left). However, if it turns out that the on-field umpires were correct, the team ‘loses’ the review (i.e. the number of reviews left goes down by 1). Only in cases where the video evidence is inconclusive, does the video referee allow the umpires to take a call and not dock the number of remaining reviews.
Now I am not saying that this is a fool proof mechanism, but it certainly helps address two critical aspects:
1. This stops unnecessary review requests. Since players know that if they are wrong, they will be penalised, it ensures that teams only question calls which have a high chance of being unnoticed/wrongly called by the referee and the linesmen. For example in cricket, the non-striker generally lets the batsman know if he should review.
2. Second, and more importantly, this shifts the blame to the players and managers rather than the referee. There was a time in cricket when each decision was analysed and criticised (leg before/low catches) and some series were tainted by shady umpiring calls (India in Australia every bloody time). But ever since the DRS (Decision Review System) was introduced, the commentary has shifted to how teams have wasted reviews on unnecessary calls or have not reviewed calls that they could have. So the next time, Arsene/Jose/Conte/Pep moan about how that was never a penalty or the opposition goal was offside, the answer is simple – You blo**y well should have called it then!
While there is no proof that this will stop all moaning by fans/players/managers, but it will help ensure that any howlers (Henry vs Ireland, Spurs vs. Carroll) do not happen again.
Gaurav (Suarez will stop biting) B, India
Oh Klopp…what are you doing?
There’s something to be said for Kloppo being his own man, but any other man would and probably should have addressed the fact that Moreno and Mignolet – when out of form – are less than ghosts. They can and have positively surprised us, but no elite club can gamble on whether key players turn up if picked.
And, again with the Emre Can holding midfielder trial? As captain no less. For every one game he looks good in the role there are four others where he offers less than no presence let alone protection. Beyond poor.
Well done to West Brom and their fans.
Klopp is a fraud
Q: Whats the favourite ever year of a Liverpool fan???
Ans: Next Year
Jokes and banter aside as to be honest you don’t need jokes to laugh on Liverpool fans for words like “better to be out of FA Cup so that we have a better chance for the fourth place trophy” pops up in their mind. How sad as a fan and how low mentally as a creature you have to be to think like this?
An FA Cup run adds a mere seven games to the fixture list that too most of the time on weekends with enough gap before and after for your matches. Please note you didn’t choose to go out, you were embarrassingly thrown out of the cup at your own so-called fortress. Kindly understand that your manager is a fraud who just has no idea how to organise a defense. I can imagine the media dogs salivating on the prospect of jumping on any such result for Conte or Mourinho but just cause Klopp believes in the power of hugs and hallelujah, they would rather just let him be. Liverpool as a club should be focusing on FA Cup with all their heart as it would bring a sense of winning something back to the club something which they have forgotten even exists! This result is nothing less than embarrassing for the manager and the club and should not be portrayed as anything else. Even if it is, it won’t stop being funny as f**k for the rest of us!
How much more time and how many more money spent later would these L fans realise Klopp’s failure?
Vatsyayan MUFC ( The L stands for loser)
Here we go…it must be January
Ah! The days are slowly getting longer, the first shoots of early spring blooms are peeking from the soil and the wheels are coming off the Liverpool bus. Must be January.
Enjoy Alexis…for now
Firstly yes, I am an Arsenal fan and as I as I settled with an ill-advised amount of beer to watch Alexis’ maiden appearance (this is the amount of beer that would only be appropriate if I somehow booked a quite dinner in a restaurant alone on a business trip only to find my ex and guy who subsequently proposes in the middle of my meal). Sure once you fight off the gag reflex, it isn’t such a bitter pill to swallow. Sure, we exchanged some delicate touches that drew some “oohs” and “aahs” before getting into the box and hitting that sweet sweet spot and revelling in ecstasy. I sincerely thought it would be unbearable watching Sanchez doing that for a respectable club with a garbage person for a manager but was I wrong! Boy was I wrong!! Cue kick-off.
If you were fortunate enough to be with Man U fans especially in the first half then congrats! That ball of energy was everywhere on the pitch and demanding the ball. There was fancy footwork and even in the tightest of areas, Alexis somehow found a way to make some ranged passes to find his targets, the ad boards, the stands, the linesman, an opposition defender and occasionally his teammates. Have you ever run into an ex who yells you she is seeing someone and yet both of you are overcome with nostalgia to the point of planning a date together? By the time toy get home after the date, you have reaffirmed your conviction to stay away from that ex.
In other words, there will be magic, there will be gasps, you will fall in love; but soon you will find that for every piece of wonder with Sanchez, you have to wade through a Shawshank-Redemptionesque tunnel so good luck with your shitty marriage.
Tiny Dawn Gunners (we still have Özil for a few minutes, get your own)
When was the last time England had a world-class player?
Let’s assume that a world-class player is one who is globally recognised as the best player in a particular position – Neuer, Xavi, etc.
Judging by this harsh criteria, how many world-class players have England had in the past 30-40 years?
Shilton (probably), Seaman (possibly), Terry/Ferdinand (probably), Cole/Adams/Campbell (probably not), Lampard/Gerrard/Scholes/Beckham (should have been but never quite made it), Gazza (unplayable for a moment in time), Robson (not really), Hoddle (not really), Keegan (Multiple European Footballer of the Year…but really?), Owen/Rooney (possibly for a short while), Shearer (maybe), Lineker (probably).
A pretty short list (and I’m sure I’ve missed players)- but as for nailed on certainties…not one.
I’m sure people will disagree with my scoring, but let’s look at our nearest neighbours Ballon D’Or winners (and other notables) of recent times.
France – Platini, Zidane (Henry, Ribery)
Germany – Matthaus, Rummenigge, Sammer (Kahn)
Italy – Baggio, Cannavaro (Buffon, Baresi, Maldini, Del Piero)
Holland – Van Basten, Gullit (Rijkaard)
What’s most interesting that we’ve had plenty of talent – but the likes of Lampard, Gerrard, Scholes , and Gazza never kicked on to global domination.
And where goes the players…there goes the national team.
Most popular footballer ever
Reading the article on Buffon on Planet Football has made me think about who is the most popular footballer ever? Almost everyone I know loves Buffon. I think he is an absolute hero and the greatest goalkeeper of all time.
What does it take to have a status like this in world football? I’m not talking about the best but the universally respected. My personal opinion would be that a mix of traits are required. Mercurial talent or consistency over a long period. Loyalty plus a dose of humility.
Buffon would be mine as he was the inspiration for this mail. I could name a few more but I’d rather hear from the other mailboxers what they think?
The highlight of the weekend
Beyond the headlines of Cardiff City versus Manchester City yesterday, let’s not overlook the real highlight, when Mark Lawrenson greeted a half-chance for a Cardiff forward with ’tis a pity Zahore’, a cross between a dad joke and a highbrow reference to either a David Bowie song or a play that is almost 400 years old.