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That was the Week that Was (Apr 22-26 2024)



Monday Apr 22:


So no Amorim then, who flew in for talks today with West Ham. No idea if he’ll end up there or not, don’t really care. Not even sure this is real, feels a bit like a bargaining ploy to try to force our hand. Apparently he’s hired Pini Zahavi to represent him so there’s bound to be some sort of shenanigans going on here. I can’t say I was sold on him for us anyway, so how come I was pissed off when I read that he was now off the table? I suppose it’s because he seemed to be the distant second to Alonso and I’d reluctantly talked myself into him, and then all of a sudden it’s not him.


No idea who the fuck it’s going to be, I just know it’s not going to be someone that will excite the fanbase (or the players, for that matter) because other than Alonso that man does not exist. You can’t replace Klopp the man, but maybe the nerds will find something close to Klopp the coach? Was that Amorim? Probably not, the 3-4-3 was perhaps a sticking point as it would have required some fairly significant squad tweaking and that costs money.


So who’s next then? Is there a Klopp-lite out there? Someone who has maybe been heavily influenced by Klopp’s style? All I know is I don’t like any of the names being linked with us. You can get to fuck with De Zerbi now, I tried to talk myself into that but couldn’t. It’s insulting he was even mentioned. What the fuck has he actually done? I like Gary O’Neil, but not enough that I’d want him managing us, and again, he’s achieved fuck all really. Beheddie can fuck off as well, obviously. Some of our online fans are now talking up Mourinho just because he was at the game yesterday. Don’t be silly. There is more chance of FSG hiring me than there is of them going for Mourinho.


Tuchel has a decent CV but is an absolute belled with no friends and everybody hates him. He might be an amazing coach but when everyone thinks you’re a twat then they’re not going to listen. Maybe there’s someone in Italy or Spain, I have no idea. I don’t even like thinking about it to be honest as my overwhelming thought is that we’re probably fucked whichever way we turn. We needed the greatest manager we’ve ever had and in my view the best manager in the world just to be able to compete with City. How are we going to do that with a lesser manager?


Meanwhile, the fall out to this Forest stuff is just so depressing. Football is in complete crisis. Some of the officiating this season has been genuinely disgusting, so what you have now is every contentious decision is being over analysed and people are crying corruption at every turn. That is then met with outrage from the “you can’t question the integrity of the officials”. Why can’t we? They’re human beings, just like the rest of us. It’s like saying you can’t question the police. Of course you can, just like you can question the integrity of referees. Those who say you can’t simply don’t want to even contemplate for a second that there might be some sort of, at best conscious or unconscious bias, or at worst blatant corruption.


Most of the noise around corruption is nonsense and it’s generally just bad referees making bad decisions, just as it’s always been. But the introduction of VAR plus the arrogance of Howard Webb has added extra layers to this and you can’t rule anything out now. The problem is that anyone who hints at something untoward happening is immediately labelled a lunatic.


VAR was supposed to improve things but it’s done the opposite. Why? Mostly because of Webb and how he instructs his officials to use it. Let’s take the Doku challenge on Macca as an example. Oliver should see that and give a penalty, but he’s never going to do that in the last seconds against Man City (irrespective of whether he’s deliberately favouring them or not). So then you’re relying on VAR to tell him he’s got it wrong. Instead, from the moment it happens you’ve got Oliver saying “no no no no” to Atwell on VAR, and Atwell immediately goes into “protect the ref” mode instead of judging the incident on its own merits. Listen to the audio, he’s instantly trying to look for reasons to back up Oliver’s view that it’s not a pen.


Why is that? No-one knows, which is why some will say it’s corruption. City have paid off the refs, the refs just want to fuck Liverpool because they don’t like Klopp, Atwell is scared of Oliver, they bottled the decision because it was the last kick of the game in a potential title decider and the scores were level… there are all sorts of things being bandied about. No-one knows exactly what happened there, but it isn’t an isolated incident and it isn’t only Liverpool that have been fucked by it. This is a direct result of the culture that Webb has set.


VAR should be there to ensure the correct decision is made, instead it’s about backing up the official on the field. Webb’s little TV show serves the same purpose, so does Dermot Gallagher on Sky. Everything is about protecting the on pitch referee. PGMOL is just like the fucking Met, which is no surprise considering who is running the show.


Then you’ve got all the main pundits (Shearer, Neville, Carra etc) all slaughtering Forest for their statement. I get that to some degree as the statement was a shitshow, but there was a valid point in there that is being completely ignored. Why is a Luton fan involved in the officiating of a game that directly impacts the club he supports? None of the media seem to want to ask that because by implication it suggests that refs might be biased. It isn’t even about that though, Atwell almost certainly wasn’t acting to help Luton, it’s about the optics.


It has always been the case that a ref who supports a certain team can’t referee that team or their local rivals, and it’s also always been the case that late in the season when the stakes are high, referees who support a team are not allowed to officiate games that can have an impact on their team. Keith Hackett spoke about this today. He said he knew which team every ref supported and that late in the season they made sure they were not given any games that could have an impact on their team. Jeff Winter is on record saying the same thing, and there’s even an interview with Michael Oliver a few years back where he says he isn’t allowed to officiate games involving teams that are competing with Newcastle.


Hackett also says that this policy has been kicked into touch by Webb. We’ve seen that ourselves with all of these manc refs getting games involving us and City/United. In most of those games the refs have been fine, it’s not like they’ve blatantly fucked us over to help their local team and I’m not suggesting they have. But you can’t have it. There’s a good reason it isn’t supposed to happen, because if that official does make an honest mistake that helps the team he supports then you’re leaving yourself wide open for accusations of corruption. It can even go there other way, the ref might be so concerned about being accused of bias that he could get a decision wrong rather than be accused of bias. A referee in that situation is compromised and it’s unfair to be putting them in that spot. That’s why it never used to happen until this arrogant bald cunt took over.


I have no sympathy for Forest as they’ve been acting like dickheads all season. They’ve also had points docked for cheating, so fuck Nottingham Forest. That’s not the point though. Clattenberg knows who all of these refs support and he called Webb to express concern about Atwell before the game. Now we’re seeing briefings in the media coming from both sides. Forest say they informed Webb and asked for Atwell to be removed. They also claim that Webb “didn’t know” that Atwell was a Luton fan. PGMOL on the other hand have briefed that Forest never requested Atwell was removed. I’d take Clattenberg’s word over Webb’s. Shit, I’d take Boris Johnson’s word over Webb’s.


Forest had a right to complain, but the manner of their complaint left much to be desired. I’d also say that Atwell being a Luton fan had fuck all to do with what happened at Goodison simply because Webb’s instructions are the reason he didn’t intervene. Anthony Taylor is the villain here. He looked at those three penalty incidents and gave none of them. Atwell’s hands were tied unless he chose to ignore protocol and send him to the screen. The club he supports isn’t the reason he did nothing. He did nothing because that’s what Webb wants. All of the clubs that have beef with the refs (everyone except City basically) should be going after Webb and getting him removed. That’s the first step back to respectability and credibility - remove the bent copper.


You’ve got Mike Dean going on Sky saying Forest have no right to question the integrity of VAR. Well they have every right, regardless of if you approve of the clumsy, moronic way they did it (and I don’t). Dean has admitted that when he was on VAR he once ignored a clear penalty because he didn’t want to have to send his mate to the screen because he was having a tough game. So yeah, the integrity of VAR is not above reproach and for this beady eyed little bald fuck - of all people - to go on TV and say that is mind boggling. It’s almost as though he’s forgotten what he did. Except he hasn’t forgotten it, he’s just wrapped up in this PGMOL bullshit of “how dare you question our integrity”. Your integrity is in the mud you soft cunt.


This whole thing is now toxic and fucking ludicrous. And it all falls at the door of that South Yorkshire Police twat. Some of us said when he got the job that football was fucked and here we are. He’s come in with that “don’t question my authority” police attitude and he’s made something that was already shit a million times shitter. All of this stuff with Forest is a result of the decisions he has made and his overall attitude to it. The entire league is a farce this season. There’s no integrity to any of it and there hasn’t been since what happened to us at Spurs. That league table is nonsense and so many results have been compromised by terrible decisions that have not been overturned by VAR, and some terrible decisions that were a direct result of VAR getting involved. Howard Webb has ruined Premier League football and everyone has stood by and allowed it to happen. Some have actually helped him do it by defending him.

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Thats a sad but true damning indictment of whar the refs have become these days. I only saw the Grealish non-handball the other day and that has to be the best example of 'clear and obvious error'

As soon as that phrase was suggested in the use of var i knew it would cause trouble. 

So the var guy is expected to say to Oliver, "that is an error, its clear and obvious" thereby making the ref look like a twat. Even the wording of it smacks of, 'what a twat he is for missing that'

And as for South yorkshire policeman? Not a lot to mention about integrity.

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Thanks Dave, it must be hard for you to write at the moment, it’s all so depressing, isn’t it ?


We’ll bounce back, we always have, but it may take a while though.



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The refs piece is brilliant and sadly its true; my view is Webb is there for life, the arrogant lying twat has the support of the refs and will keep it for the reasons you point out. The only thing that will change the situation is proof of corruption, Gulf state payments or the like. I despair, the Gakpo invident on Saturday was the straw that broke my back. It would be nice for Jurgen to go out on a high and chin Tierney.

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