Tag Archives: Premier League

Should ex-pros help out VAR officiating?

VAR,  not for the first time this season, once again appeared in the spot light  following more controversy surrounding no less than three different incidents this week.

Incorrect penalty decisions were made by the video assistant referee in all three of Thursday’s Premier League games.

Tottenham should have had a penalty when Joshua King clearly shoved Harry Kane in the back, in their goalless draw with Bournemouth.

Bruno Fernandes won a spot kick, which should not have been given against Aston Villa.

James Ward-Prowse hit the bar after being awarded a disputed penalty against Everton.

With so many talking points raised about VAR, there has been a suggestion by former footballer Tim Cahill, than an ex-player should be involved to work alongside the VAR officials at Stockley Park.

Going forward, it would appear to make sense that somebody who has played the game professionally, and knows how players react in circumstances during a game, would know more than a referee, who in most cases would never have played the game before.

The only downside to this in my opinion would be would the VAR officials listen to what that person would have to say, take on board and put into practice.

Overall, on debatable decisions I am sure they would like some impact from the ex pro, but I fear that the final say on the decision would be down to the VAR official.

I am still unconvinced that they would generally be swayed by expert advice from somebody who has played and understands the game more.

It hurts me to say that I genuinely believe quite a few referees don’t know the game of football. It is not just about knowing the laws of football; it is also about knowing the game.

To simplify and eradicate even more controversy going forward, surely the on field official should be allowed to go and check the pitch side monitor, and then make his own decision.

All too often the man in the middle never goes ahead and puts this into practice. It is the VAR crew who in turn make their own decision, therefore undermining the person who is supposed to be referring the game.

My own solution to this mess would be simple really.

When an incident should be reviewed, let VAR tell the on field official how they see it.

The referee should then go straight to the pitch side monitor to make up his own mind and then decide what decision to go with.

The referee who is officiating the actual game must be the sole person in charge of events on and off the field, in my opinion.

Currently, it is a case of somebody many miles away making decisions that really should be made closer to home.

Vardy hits 100, But should Leicester be worried?

Jamie Vardy was back in the goals in usual fashion as the foxes comfortably dispatched Crystal Palace 3-0. However the fact this result was somewhat of a surprise represents the poor form Leicester have been in since the turn of the year.

Before the Palace game, Vardy had been on a barren run in front of goal and the race for top 4 was seemingly ready to kick Leicester out. So can they keep this run of form or is it just a rare win? Let’s take a look:

The pessimist and optimist view

Their start of season form saw them compete with Liverpool for the title but a huge drop off since then has seen them come within only 3 points of dropping out the top 4 entirely.

So should their fans be concerned? Yes, it was a convincing win but it bucks a trend of poor performances. Their restart began with 2 losses and 2 draws – scoring only two goals in the process and being knocked out of the FA cup.

A common critique of this Leicester side is where the goals would come from should Vardy lose his form, and that has been shown with their recent form. This included being knocked out of the EFL cup semi-finals by strugglers Aston Villa, and a February month with no wins from 4 matches – only scoring two goals and losing to bottom club Norwich.

Looking at them in the Premier League form table since matchday 20 until now they sit in 9th, whereas the teams they are competing with all sit in the top 6, so if they are to retain their position they could do well with picking up some form.

Vardy was struggling with form during this period and results reflected that. It’s no coincidence that they won this game comfortably with him scoring. Whether Leicester can pick up some form depends highly on their star man performing, which really shows just how good Vardy is.

Whilst this all stacks up as just a buck in the trend, those results have a history of kickstarting a season again. When a team goes through a rough patch, a win can completely change the mentality. Just look at Arsenal in the last few games.

So whilst you could say their overall form hasn’t shown the consistency needed, maybe this result was what the club needed to get that going again – you don’t become a bad team overnight after all.

A Fairytale story

Let’s forget the slightly pessimistic view for a second and appreciate the story of Jamie Vardy. He made his Premier League debut at 27 years of age and has flow into a prestigious 100 club.

Considering the relatively short amount of time he has spent in the top flight the company he holds now in Thierry Henry, Didier Drogba, Wayne Rooney, Alan Shearer and many more is remarkable.

His rise to prominence of course came when Leicester won their unbelievable Premier League trophy; with him, Mahrez and Kante being highlighted as key players.

He was even linked with Arsenal once the season had ended, but many brushed him off as a one season wonder. Despite his amazing goal record you could be forgiven for thinking he was a one season wonder.

He still remains quite the underrated striker, with many people talking about Aguero, Aubameyang, Rashford, etc.

Taking a look at his goal record you can see he has consistently been up there with the best strikers in the league:

Screen Shot 2020-07-05 at 17.31.17

Yet we don’t always here the same praise for him as we do for the other top strikers in the league. Maybe the unfashionable name and controversy with his wife has had some form of subconscious effect.

Whether he is talked about or not, the fact of the matter remains that he is Leicester’s key man, and if he can pick up the goals again, the golden boot and Champions League football could be on the way to the King Power.

We had a chat with FoxesFancast about Leicester’s season and form since the restart. The interview also features the fans relationship with the owners and the future.  

Full video here:

 

Starlet Jones Signs Long-Term Contract With Liverpool

Champions Liverpool received a timely boost on Saturday evening with the announcement that youngster Curtis Jones had put pen to paper on a new five year contract to remain on Merseyside for the foreseeable future.

The 19 year old, who became Liverpool’s youngest ever captain when he donned the armband for the FA Cup replay victory over Shrewsbury, had signed a new deal in August, but was rewarded for his performances this season with a bumper extension at the weekend.

It has been a breakthrough campaign for the Scouser, who has been at the club since the age of eight and worked his way through the various youth ranks to the first team. He made his Premier League debut against Bournemouth in December before scoring his first goal for the Reds, a stunning long range winner against Everton in the FA Cup in January.

He continues to shine at youth level also, netting nine goals and contributing five assists in 14 appearances in the Premier League 2 and scoring five in four games in the UEFA Youth League, including his superb hat-trick against Napoli.

Jürgen Klopp has huge faith in Jones, a centre midfielder by trade who can also play on the left or in a more advanced attacking role. He sees him as a direct replacement for the outgoing Adam Lallana, who will leave Merseyside once the current Premier League campaign ends.

Klopp and his staff and have been impressed with Jones’ showings this year and were keen to tie down his long term future at the club as they already look ahead to next campaign and the challenge of retaining their Premier League.

Upon signing his new deal, Jones told Liverpool’s official site, “For me, as everyone knows, it’s massive. It’s my boyhood club and it’s the whole of my family’s club as well, so for me it’s huge.

“I think the environment is all positive and keeps me as positive as I can. Of course, we’re working with a great manager and around the best team in the world, so for me it was easy and I’m extremely proud.”

 

24/7 football Weekly transfer round-up

Hello and welcome to the 24/7 Football’s weekly transfer round up.

English Premier League is all set to return from 17th June amid the pandemic and the games are to be played behind the closed doors. Despite the pandemic, the football operations haven’t come to a halt and has filled the football world with the rumors.

The traditional top six will be looking to end their season with European spots whereas the newly promoted sides apart from Sheffield United will be looking to avoid the relegation. However, these factors will not stop the rumour mill from discussing potential gossip and deals surrounding footballers.

Here are the top transfer rumours of the week

1) Chelsea close in on Timo Werner

After a quiet transfer window in 2020, Chelsea are expected to reinforce their side with few quality signings. Frank Lampard’s side have reportedly closed in on signing the RB Leipzig striker, Timo Werner, after triggering the €60 million release clause for the German striker.

 

The move to Stamford Bridge will come as a surprise for the Liverpool fans as they expected German striker to sign for the Anfield outfit. However, it is learned that the release clause was the major deterrence for Liverpool to sign the German international.

Also Read: CHELSEA LOOK SET TO SIGN TIMO WERNER FROM RB LEIPZIG

2) Gunners reportedly agree personal terms with Thomas Partey

According to the reports published in football.london, Arsenal have agreed personal terms with the Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey.  The midfielder has been a long term target for the three-time Premier League winners and reports are suggesting that Arsenal have made the breakthrough in the transfer.

 

The Ghana international has been phenomenal for Rojiblancos and their manager, Diego Simeone is a huge admirer of the player. He has asked the club to give a new contract to the player and extend his stay at the Spanish capital. However, Arsenal remain determined to sign the midfielder and increase their midfield options.

Despite the speculations, there is one major roadblock for Arsenal to sign Thomas Partey. According to Goal.com, Thomas Partey has asked for Champions League qualification before agreeing to sign for the Emirates-based outfit. So the major question remains, can Arsenal seal the deal for the Atletico Madrid midfielder?

3) Ole Gunnar Solskjaer targets Argentine wonderkid

It is no brainer that Manchester United have turned their attention to sign the prodigies and wonderkids across the globe after they saw the effectiveness of Daniel James, Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams in the Premier League. The low-risk signings have been a notable shift in Manchester United’s transfer policy and are expected to continue in the upcoming transfer windows.

 

According to Todo Fichajes, Manchester United are interested in signing the Argentine wonderkid, Thiago Almada from Velez Sarsfield. The player has a €22 million release clause and the Red Devils are willing to pay the hefty sum for the teenager’s signature. However, it has been revealed that Manchester United are not the only club looking to Almada but Arsenal, Manchester City and Atletico Madrid are also interested in the teenager. With this in mind, can the United Chief-Executive, Ed Woodward lure the player to Stretford End?

Premier League agrees to allow five substitutions in post-pandemic restart

On Thursday, all the 20 member clubs of the Premier League gave the nod for five substitutions when the League resumes on June 17.

The English top-flight is all set to restart their 2019-20 season on June 17th with Liverpool on top of the table, needing just two wins to secure their first championship since the 1989/90. 

The new decision comes as no surprise as the new rule is in the lines of temporary guidelines provided by the International Football Association Board (IFAB). The football body allowed the temporary amendment in order to facilitate the completion of the ongoing season.

 

There was approval to increase the number of players on bench from seven to nine by shareholders. The step is welcomed by managers and players as it will allow them to change their approach towards the game. It is also something that is approved by IFAB and Premier League, keeping the players’ welfare in their mind.

However, the rules also state that only three occasions will be provided for managers and clubs to make changes. This is a measure to avoid frequent disruptions during the match.

During the meeting, the clubs’ shareholders have also given their consent towards the neutral venue fixtures. Thought a vote has still to be held, the shareholders have agreed to host the games in a neutral venue if the situation demands.

For instance, one of the games that may be held at a neutral ground is the Merseyside Derby between Liverpool and Everton.  

It was revealed that discussions were also held regarding the promotion and relegation along with European qualifications if the season gets disrupted again due to the pandemic. However, no contingency plans have yet been finalised with the focus of the meeting being the resumption of the 2019/20 campaign.