Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org…
RIP celebrating a goal, I loved you whilst you lasted
Gaz, CFC, Sidcup
…I’m going to be blunt here. VAR is f*cking sh*te and at this rate I very much doubt I’ll be watching football much longer
…For me, the V stands for vampire as it sucks all the joy out of the game for me. Especially as Citeh were the sixth leg of my, so far winning, acca.
No Spurs complaints, Pep validated, crowd go nuts, great finish, proper result, I’m off the settee – then VAR. Here’s three other letters that sum it all up.
…To start with, I’m a Spurs fan so VAR decisions have benefitted my team more than any other.
Taking this weekends game against Man City I have two points to make.
Firstly, the two stoppage time decisions that have gone our way against Citeh are both technically correct. The problem isn’t VAR, the problem is the fact that there is a massive delay and little communication on the pitch from the referee to make it clear why the goal was over ruled.
Which brings me on to my second point that the fans and players don’t have a clue what is going on. Why can’t the referees when making a VAR decision get miked up like rugby referees to at least make it clear to the paying supporters and players what is going on.
As for the new handball rules, I have no idea what they are anymore, I don’t agree with them and I don’t understand them. This rule change is the real reason fans are upset, not VAR.
Ross (who said Pukki wouldn’t cut it) NorwichSpurs
…I was at the Brighton game yesterday. One conclusion from me.
VAR is fundamentally flawed. We scored. Crowd goes absolutely mental. WE DONE A GOAL! WE’RE TOP OF THE LEAGUE! Linesman doesn’t flag, West Ham don’t apoeal. West Ham are about to take the kick off, and the ref blows up for a goal kick.
I completely get the concept of VAR. However, implementation is flawed. If the linesman doesn’t flag, it means he isn’t sure. Why don’t the West Ham players appeal? They’re not sure.
It shouldn’t be a 3 minute wait for a decision to rule out Trossards goal. Make it 10 seconds to review a video – if it takes longer, its not a clear and obvious error. Maybe just allow each team to make one review,which they keep if they’re right, and stop this nonsense of reviewing everything.
The emotion is being sucked out of football, and there is genuinely no point being at a stadium anymore. There is no point having a linesman if every goal is being reviewed anyway. As a fan, now i feel I can’t celebrate a goal. That is absolutely ridiculous.
It’s already getting old. It’s not sour grapes, Dan Burn WAS offside, but last year the linesman would have flagged, rightly or possibly wrongly depending on the situation, and we would have moved on. Probably would have moaned in the concourse, gone on twitter after the game, had a meltdown during MOTD. We certainly wouldn’t have spent 2/3 minutes celebrating and ridding ourselves of the demons of last season before realising it was all a waste of time.
Bring back the good old days of May 2019 when football made sense.
…Yesterday at Goodison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin was brought down in the box, or so we all thought as the ground screamed penalty. Lee Mason gave nothing, and the talk was ok well at least VAR will take a look.. and nothing happened.
Later on Mina tackled Geri and a corner was given. Watford players surround the Ref and suddenly you see VAR checking on the big screen.
Cue utter confusion and and anger in the stands. Who decided it was a review? Why one and not the other? Do the players harassing the officials make that call?
A very messy first experience of it.
…Well, if you’d told me beforehand that the game would’ve ended in a draw, I wouldn’t have exactly laughed in your face. Given last season’s matches between us, I’d have thought it a reasonable punt. And so it proved. I’m disappointed at the result, but not raging against some terrible injustice per se. In point of fact, I think Spurs fans will have more to mull over in terms of performance than their City equivalents. I’d love to know what Spurs supporters thought was going on in terms of team selection and performance in the first half. Personally, I wasn’t surprised at how flat Spurs were or how much possession they allowed City to have in the first 45 mins. I was shocked. What was that all about?
Secondly, and onto the goal that wasn’t and, by definition, VAR. I find the general shouting about this tedious but it occurs I may have missed the point entirely. I thought, perhaps naively, that VAR was there to support the referee not replace him. So, Michael Oliver doesn’t see a handball as, apparently, was the case with every player in the box at the time. I thought, in cases such as this, the ref would get a shout in his ear from Stockley Park to the effect of “Oi, Mikey. We think there might’ve been a cheeky little handball there mate”. At which point, Mikey goes over and checks for himself and either agrees or disagrees.
I’m perfectly willing to be corrected, but what happened throughout last night’s game was that Mr Oliver made his major decisions on what he was told in his ear, not what he’d seen. Now he may trust his VAR colleagues with his life but I still would’ve thought that he should at least check for himself. If not, who is in charge of the game? And, by extension, what is the role of the ref on the pitch now?
Mark (Can’t get a certain Shirley Bassey song out of my head!) MCFC
…So, I feel sorry for Manchester City. I thought the VAR official was right not to award them a penalty in the first half. Even if it maybe should’ve been a penalty, the ref made a decision and it wasn’t clearly and obviously wrong.
But then we come to the handball. Clearly according to the new rules, if the ref had seen the handball, the goal should have been chalked off. Fine so far. But was it a clear and obvious error? I don’t think so. The ref clearly sees that it hits something, and thinks its his body or the defender of whatever. Why is that mistake clear and obvious and getting the the level of contact wrong in the box isn’t?
I don’t know the answer, but it feels very unsatisfactory. I liked the new, light touch approach we saw in the supercup and this ain’t that. And I say that as a strong proponent of VAR in general
Dan, Plastic LFC
Please, please, please, please do not publish mails from man City fans bemoaning VAR!
I say this, not as a Liverpool supporter, but as a football fan, I’m not able to quote the exact wording of the handball law, now or previously, but recall the word intentional often being quoted along with “gaining an advantage”, in this case City clearly gain an advantage as had the ball not hit Otamendi, then it does not deflect towards Jesus and Ndomble clears, no arguments about this, the ball changed direction.
VAR is not to blame as the decision is correct under the new wording and probably under any wording ever used, Jamie Redknaps’ “harsh” is 100% incorrect.
If the same ruling had been in effect last year, then THFC get a penalty when Walker misses the ball and it hits his hand (with a 100% success rate) at the Etihad and maybe LFC do the double!
Howard (wonder how many LFC favourable decisions will now get mentioned) Jones
…It is not complicated.
Handballs = Not Allowed
Scoring goals from handball buildup = Not Allowed
TV commentator said that it was ruled out on a “technicality”. Um, if you wanna call one of the basic rules of the game called FOOTball a technicality, yeah sure.
VAR working as intended here and it was a great decision.
Yaru , Malaysia
I love good defending as much as a good goal. But can we all agree the quality of the defending in all games on Saturday was dreadful. Even Liverpool, and the almighty VVD, were brutal.
I am a Spurs fan and we were extremely fortunate to come away with a point given how we played and how City played. City were different class and Poch has a lot of work to do. As outlined in 16 conclusions, City had ten times as many shots, five times as many on target and six times the numbers of corners. The one stat that was not highlighted though was that they also committed nearly four times as many fouls. When you consider how little Spurs had the ball that is quite the stat. Could it be that one of the main reasons Spurs made minimal use of possession when they had it is because City fouled them so early in possession so as to prevent any momentum or counter attacks?
City are an unbelievable team and whilst their attacking prowess understandably gets all the plaudits, their ability to break up play and prevent opponents from building up any attacking momentum through ‘accidental’ fouls is equally impressive. These fouls are rarely punished (Sterling’s booking in the first half a notable exception) but are a critical component of the way City play as it enables them to push so many men forward as they know a foul or attempt at a foul will follow any loss of possession where the opposition try to counter and give them time to get back.
This is extremely smart play by City and they have perfected the execution of these fouls so they look accidental and not cynical. Make no mistake, even without this tactic they are vastly superior to Spurs but these smart fouls combined with the attacking ability and talent City have make them such a powerful team. It is going to take some effort for any team to finish above them this season
Steve B (THFC Chicago)
A Saturday well spent
Missus was out so had the pleasure of watching 3 prem games today!
– Ceballos looked great. An Arsenal fan friend said thats what they’d expected from Ozil. I think that’s probably harsh on Ozil as he’s never been that, but not critical if you look at what that position now provides. Unfortunately, Liverpool show that if you press high and have offensive players winning the ball you have less players to beat and a modern attacking midfielder needs to be able to tackle. Ceballos was that for Arsenal’s second goal.
– Sean Dyche played it very well to keep a straight face when blaming a handball before a free kick and two corners before his team conceded… but he does have a point that the handball rule is wrong. More in that later…
– Everton played great for 30 minutes. Then allowed Watford to push back our midfield behind the halfway line, and our threat deteriorated. Watford fans probably think they were robbed, but Richarlison missed 2 sitters which would have killed it.
– City can complain about VAR, but only about its lack of intervention for the first half pen from Lamela on Rodri. I do not understand why VAR is not being used to support officiating, but used to support inconsistent implementation of rules. That is not a fair system. We had a scenario in the Watford game whereby Mina went in on Deulofeu: the ref gave a corner. Mina did not touch the ball, but nor did he really touch the player and Gerry went down extravagantly. Lee Mason gave no pen. I think if you asked 20 neutrals; 10 would say pen, 10 would say dive. So it goes to VAR, and it’s given not a pen, but they don’t change the corner award which is mad .
– I don’t understand why we can’t have a cricket style system whereby it’s on the teams to challenge referees (umpires), this improves refereeing standards and cuts out moaners liker Dyche, Warnock and Hughes.
– We need to change the handball law. VAR will help with this with bringing to light it’s ridiculousness.
– City should have put away their chances in the first half, then there’s no outrage
Matt, EFC, London
Five bold-ish calls
1) Man City will win the title. What’s bold about that I hear you say? They’ll be invincibles.
2) Arsenal will do a Liverpool under Rodgers title charge. Scoring goals. Leaking goals. But always destined to come up short.
3) Newcastle will get relegated. Not bold enough? They’ll finish rock bottom.
4) Sadio Mane will end the season as player of the year and top scorer. He’s been brewing for a while and is starting to really strut his stuff.
5) VAR will be universally hated. I’ve always been an advocate for technological help. Other sports use it well. But something just isn’t working with VAR. It’s clunky, ill conceived and doomed to fail.
Ps. I’m not sure I believe number 2 myself.
Move on, Dyche
Sean Dyche needs to move away from the little englander paranoia that is slowly eating away at him and threatening to lump him in with the likes of Alladyce, Pardew, Pulis, Hughes. He’s a good manager, he has fashioned a very competitive Burnley team on a meagre budget compared to a lot of clubs but his one man crusade to seemingly cleanse football of those he deems as cheats is boring. As MOTD noted I also have no idea what game he was watching if his main gripe v Arsenal was diving.
His argument that football has basically said every player can go on the pitch and cheat once is nonsensical. Football rules are there to punish those that cheat exactly the same as they are for any other yellow card offence. What would Dyche say if the question was put to him that football allows every one of his players to cheat once a match by time wasting?
Get off your high horse and just get your team winning games, you’ve got a good team that will trouble any team in the league on its day.
Mourinho made a valid point
Sarah seemed to throw a lot of salt at Mourinho during her Cebellos article which I find weird.
Looking at the sentences she quoted, there wasn’t particularly anything unreasonable about what he said. All he said was that he thinks that they have other players can do what he does – nevermind that he also said that Cebellos was a good player. In addition, these quotes are what she has chosen in her own article to help her point, meaning they are likely to be his boldest statements on the matter. (Also it is two games in, the jury is still out on the matter.)
It is not as if you guys as writers at this site dont have opinions about whether players are good fits for the clubs (and are proven wrong sometimes). I mean you guys have a Transfer Window Winners and Losers out there before a season game ball is kicked.
Nothing wrong with that mind you, giving your opinion is part of the reason the site exists, it just that mentioning Mourinho that many times just as a reply to his mild opinion (given while he is doing his job, like you guys) from what I can see. I mean everyone pretty much has those types of opinions for some players for every team.
I am not trying to potray Mourinho as a saint or saying that Sarah’s optimism about the player is necessarily wrong, but you know you don’t have to zero in on everything he says all the time. It just takes that bit of attention away from the player and onto Mourinho.
Better away from Arsenal
Culk The Younger wrote an interesting mail in Friday’s Mailbox, where he stated that Wenger got the “best out of Vieira, Petit, Overmars, Henry, Cole…..What he did was realise they were on the wane way before the rest of the footballing world did. None of them were as successful after leaving Arsenal”.
This is just completely untrue, Ashley Cole joined Chelsea and was still the best English left back for many years, he won a league title, four FA Cups (one more than at Arsenal) a Champions League title and a Europa League title. as well as being included in the UEFA Team of the Year in 2010, he was hardly on the “wane” as he put it.
Thierry Henry certainly will be remembered for his time at Arsenal, no arguments there, however in his second season at Barcelona he was part of that iconic 2008/09 treble winning side, part of the front three that was Messi, Eto’o and Henry, you could say that his prime years were at Arsenal, but he certainly was not on the “wane” when he joined Barcelona.
…Vieira, Henry, Cole, Van Persie, Sylvinho and many MANY other players went on to great success after leaving Arsenal.
You’re being silly.
Doug, AFC, Belfast
Chuck ’em in
Seeing Pope in Arsenal’s box with 90 seconds left inspired this idea…what if the keeper could use their hands in both penalty areas?
Aidan, Lfc (imagine the possibilities)
Black Death Vodka
So a well-known company has started a campaign where they sponsor a club kit without requiring their company logo to appear on the shirt. Huddlesfield Town have recently partnered with the company on this basis and everyone involved seems to think this is all very cool.
I am of the reverse opinion and get nostalgic about previous shirt sponsorships. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Liverpool – Crown Paints tie-up (for the workers, pass’n move, John Barnes);
2. Arsenal – Sega (computer games, not being that awful JVC abomination, Berkamp)
3. Barcelona – Unicef (great cause, beautiful football, Ronaldinho)
Which are your favorites?
Albert (LFC, London)