Bits & Pieces: VAR, Sánchez, Liverpool Have City’s Number And Two Of London’s Finest Score Four

Posted: January 22, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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Some Very Average Refereeing resulting in some Very Awkward Results has culminated in the introduction of a system known as VAR, which could stand for  Virtually Anything Really.

The Video Assistant Referee is a very highly technological innovation which, after years of testing, allows a bloke to sit in a room, miles away from the match in question, and watch it on the telly!

Millions of fans have been doing this for years so, apart from said bloke being able to communicate with the referee, in circumstances when he thinks he’s got it wrong, what is the difference?

Actually, none. Many fans communicate with the referee in this way, the only difference being that it is not a two-way thing!


The pitchside VAR for the benefit of the match referee

The VAR will have the benefit of replays of incidents although to replay anything as often as Sky Sports manage to do will probably have the poor man asleep before a decision is reached.

The system is still based on an opinion held by a human being and, when considering how often pundits are arguing about decisions after seeing fifteen replays, it still has the potential to get it wrong.

At least it’s a step in the right direction and just needs to be communicated better to the watching fans so they don’t spend a few minutes wondering what the heck is going on.

Alexis Sánchez has finally moved to Manchester United. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has finally moved to Arsenal so is that the end of the matter now? Hopefully.


Ed Woodward – Complete with perpetually smug look!

Ed Woodward has been praised for his part in this transfer despite it dragging on for a lot longer then appeared necessary and despite it being his job anyway.

In fact, all he had to do was agree a fee and a salary with a player who wanted to join and leave the rest to Arsenal.

It was they who had to persuade Mkhitaryan that moving to a club on the slide, with no Champion’s League football this year and not much prospect of it next year and a manager clinging on to past glories, was a sensible decision.

So Arsenal had much the tougher job of the two and it is they who deserve the praise.

Manchester City returned to winning ways by beating Newcastle United 3-1 at The Etihad. Because Rafa Benitez used tactics which involved getting ten men behind the ball every time City had possession, questions are now being asked by the “experts” as to whether City’s domination is good for the Premier League.

This tactic has been used by virtually every team who has visited east Manchester this season and by a few who have adopted it when playing City at home. Why is the question only being raised now? Is it, by any chance, because of the way Liverpool had a go at Anfield and ended up winning the game?


Liverpool’s main men

Of course it is. The problem is that the vast majority of teams in the Premier League do not have players like Mané, Firmino and Salah in order to take the game to City and, if they tried to, they would lose by a cricket score. So discretion becomes the better part of valour.

It is up to the rest to become as good as City and some are trying. Some will never be in a position to achieve it and others will just fail in the attempt.

The point being that watching the rest trying to catch up should be just as entertaining as watching City trying to stay ahead of the rest. Long may it last!

Both Arsenal and Chelsea won games without a couple of their “star players”. Arsenal managed to score four at home against a team fighting against relegation without any help whatsoever from Alexis Sánchez which proved two things. Firstly, they can score goals without him and, secondly, the team seems to be in a better frame of mind without him and the disruptive effect transfer talk can have.


Eden Hazard – When he is playing well Chelsea usually win!

Chelsea managed to score four goals away to another team fighting relegation which also proved two things. Firstly, their real star is Eden Hazard and when he starts the team usually wins. Secondly, Álvaro Morata is not particularly missed when not playing.

The two London clubs will be mindful however, that their victories against Crystal Palace and Brighton respectively, were not in games where there was any real danger they would lose. Let’s see if they can repeat these exploits, without a couple of their top players, against the better teams!

Have a great week!


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