Bits & Pieces: Arsenal Lose Again, City Beat Chelsea, United Should Regain Second And VAR Is A Hot Topic

Posted: March 5, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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On the south coast Arsenal played Brighton in a game they were not favourites to win. This is a statement which, for the last twenty years or so, (and probably longer), would have been scoffed at by the vast majority of football followers.

This Arsenal, however, have taken their game to a new level which is decidedly lower than it has been for decades.

It wasn’t long before they were 2-0 down to Brighton thanks to some decent finishing and awful defending. Fortunately, for The Gunners, the hosts switched off just before half-time and allowed Arsenal to pull one back.

The second half, however, ended 0-0 thanks to an improved performance by the visitors who lost yet another game, this time 2-1.

Meanwhile up in Manchester…..

In a little publicised meeting of minds at The Etihad, Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte got together over a glass of Rioja to discuss the relative merits of their respective teams.

Given that City had just beaten Chelsea with consummate ease even though the score was only 1-0, the Italian may have been looking for a few pointers to take back to Italy with him.

He may well have been taking the opportunity to have a last chat with Guardiola before handing over the Premier League trophy and disappearing into the distance to take over at his national team.

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Pep Guardiola returned the double beating handed out by Conte last season

Conte’s problem is that he has nowhere else to go if he doesn’t stay with Chelsea. The only step up in England would be to one of the Manchester clubs or Liverpool and that isn’t going to happen. As Chelsea manager, he is unlikely to be offered the Arsenal job even if they do belatedly come to their senses and show Stubborn Old Man the door.

So a return to Italy is on the cards for him.

Tomorrow…..

Monday night sees any Manchester United fans not from London having to make their way there after a hard day’s work, in freezing cold temperatures and using train services which may be cancelled due to the wrong type of snow falling on the tracks.

It is no surprise that many find the trip just “not worth the hassle” particularly when the game is being shown live on TV and the only subscription really needed is the one belonging to the local pub.

The game itself is one which Manchester United need to win to go back above Liverpool into second place and, judging by the way Tottenham Hotspur toiled to a 0-1 victory at the same ground not too long ago, it will be difficult.

It shouldn’t, however, be beyond them and we fully expect them to be back on track and, hopefully, back in Manchester, by Tuesday morning.

And finally…..

VAR is going to be used at the World Cup. FIFA will rubber-stamp the decision and every game will last at least five minutes longer than usual. Is that OK with everybody? Of course it is, as long as it gets everything right! After all, what’s the point of delaying the game only to reach the wrong decision, that can be achieved without delay, surely.

VAR will not be used in the Champion’s League because UEFA, presumably, don’t feel it is ready yet for such a big competition. As per usual with football the left hand and the right hand are trying to multi-task without communicating with each other.

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VAR is set to light up/ruin the World Cup

It is hardly surprising when you consider that the two organisations have managed to disagree on some of the most fundamental things. There have been players, for example, who were voted as the best in the world by FIFA, but were only the third best in Europe according to UEFA! How can you be the best in the world but not the best in Europe? Ask football’s governing bodies, only they have the answer to that one!

Anyway, like it or not, your World Cup viewing is going to be extended by the use of VAR and, if it is successful, it may even be accepted by UEFA.

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