Bits & Pieces: Dirty Leeds, Mr Roy & VAR, Holidays For Failures And The Carabao Cup

Posted: January 10, 2018 in Arsenal, Carabao Cup, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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On another ground-breaking day of football transfers Sky Sports News, having finally tired of leading with the perpetually “Breaking News” that Philippe Coutinho has signed for Barcelona, led with the equally earth-shattering headline, (to some people anyway), that once great Yorkshire giants “Dirty” Leeds had signed Yosuke Ideguchi from Gamba Osaka which, apparently, IS a football club and not a savoury dish involving prawns.

Now we are well aware that Leeds United is still a big club and is probably destined to return to the Premier League at some stage in it’s future but the signing of a 21 year-old Japanese player for an undisclosed fee, (£500,000 is the best press guess), who has immediately been loaned out to Spanish giants Cultural Leonesa until the end of the season, is hardly the stuff of which world headlines should be made.

But this is Sky Sports News and they are never shy of creating the largest of mountains from the tiniest of molehills!

Mr Roy and his video player

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VAR, or video assistant referee for the purists, was tested at the FA Cup tie between Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace. It was a roaring success for three reasons. Firstly, it was more inconspicuous than anybody ever thought would be the case. Secondly it proved, almost beyond reasonable doubt, that Brighton’s winner was a legitimate goal and not handled over the line by Glen Murray. Finally, it generated it’s first managerial apology, and on it’s debut to boot!

Mr. Roy had decided, purely judging from the reaction of his players, that Brighton’s winner should not have been allowed and he was, apparently, very vocal in his protests. Having watched the VAR he was later satisfied that the goal was good and immediately became an advocate of the system.

Proving that old dogs can, on occasion, be taught new tricks!

Congratulations on your failure!

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Manchester United’s players, obviously as punishment for being knocked out of the Carabao Cup by a Championship team, jetted off to Dubai for some warm-weather training.

Unfortunately the fates were not able to conspire to arrange that the temperature drop dramatically as they landed at Dubai airport. They did, however, manage to organise a torrential downpour to welcome the failures to their temporary home.

We have never ceased to be amazed at the way big clubs laugh in the faces of their fans. As supporters of teams like United, Liverpool and Celtic, (you know the ones, the mugs who pay their wages and foot the bill for these holidays), struggle to work on freezing cold January mornings, the players, having failed to reach the latter stages of cup competitions, (in the cases of United and Liverpool anyway), swan off to sunnier climes.

Not only that, but they do so leaving the “successful” clubs back home to play weeknight games in sub-zero temperatures.

No wonder the pictures from Manchester airport were of a happy bunch of players leaving the country!

Please let us know if you are aware of any other jobs whereby failure to achieve a target is rewarded with a five-star holiday in Dubai and we shall immediately request an application form.

We will, of course, take back all we say here providing United or Liverpool go on to win the Premier League or the Champion’s League, or if Celtic win the Europa League.

The Carabao Cup semi-finals

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It’s semi-finals week in the Carabao Cup and preparations are already being made at the home of Tottenham Hotspur to welcome the two finalists, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Yes folks, unfortunately we can’t see Bristol City overcoming Manchester City over one leg, never mind two, and their giant-killing days in this competition will come to an abrupt end, albeit with a narrow defeat.

Stubborn Old Man will want to make amends for his team’s woeful performance and exit from the FA Cup by beating Chelsea to reach the final of the Carabao Cup. It is with regret that we must report that this eventuality is highly unlikely.

Arséne Wenger’s song is sung, his role is played and it is time for the credits to come rolling down on his career. All he is doing at present is prolonging the agony of the fans while the club slides ever nearer virtual anonymity.

As regular readers will be aware, we have retired from the prediction mullarky, leaving it to the mugs whose game it really is. So this is our first forecast of 2018, Chelsea versus Manchester City will contest the final.

You see if we’re wrong!

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