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Premier League Round Up (Feb 20-22 2021)

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So after the derby I switched off from footy completely until today. Ignorance is bliss and I’ve had four days of it. I barely knew any scores before writing this and I certainly haven’t looked at the table. I genuinely don’t know where are and I don’t want to know.

 

I’m back to it now though, watching MOTD and getting pissed off at teams around us picking up points. Or at least that’s what I expected. In reality, I’m feeling surprisingly calm about it all. West Ham are above us and I no longer care. I’ve accepted our fate and I’m almost detaching the Reds from any of this now. Usually I see everything from the perspective of ‘how does this affect us?’ but I’m not feeling that now. 

 

Our season is done. We might have the Champions League to keep things interesting for a little while (I’m not even looking beyond Leipzig even with a 2-0 lead) but other than that, there’s no point to any of this now. I'm not going to let what West Ham or Chelsea or Everton or United or anyone else do get me down. Our season is a car crash, if we somehow managed to rally and salvage something then great, but I'm not pinning any hopes on it.

 

Not with players dropping like flies every other week and all manner of other shit continually being heaped on them I’m holding out no hope for that.  We defied the football gods last season by winning the league and now they’re just throwing everything at us. This week alone we’ve lost to Everton at Anfield, lost Hendo for months and now Alisson’s Dad died tragically in a freak accident. It’s just fucking relentless.

 

So I’m not living it day to now as it’s too depressing. There’s no diary his week because of that but I’ll do this round up because it’s almost as though I no longer have a horse in this particular race. I just want our season over so we can reset, regroup and start afresh.

 

I’m hoping that next season will be different because we’ll have fans back and hopefully a fully fit squad, but we’re still going to have the same cunt refs so that’s a concern. I’ve said a hell of a lot about the officiating this season and it’s mostly been about how we’ve been screwed by it. I’m leaving that aspect out of it out completely in this and just talking about it from a general viewpoint and not looking at it through red tinted glasses.

 

So I’ll start with Fulham’s win at home to Sheffield United. Lookman broke the deadlock on the hour mark but Sheffield United were denied a stonewall penalty late on when the Fulham keeper booted a Blades player. He did (unintentionally) block the ball with his standing leg, but the other leg (the one he was trying to tackle with) was high and reckless and just smashed into the opponent’s shin.

 

I don’t give a shit about Fulham or Sheffield United so I have no preference as to who won or lost and I can look at this from an entirely neutral perspective. And that failure to award a penalty to Sheffield United is just inexplicable. You just can’t explain that. It’s incidents like this which have really brought home just how much VAR has fucked the game and warped our perspective on it.

 

I don’t necessarily blame the ref on the pitch for that one as he might not have seen it clearly. It was a packed penalty area and I don’t know what his view was like. It used to be that an incident like this would happen and we’d complain a bit and say “I can’t believe he missed that” but we’d also know that a referee only had one look at it, at normal speed, sometimes not from a great position or with players obscuring his view. So you’d feel aggrieved but you could also understand how it could happen.

 

Now that’s just not the case. These things can’t be excused. They have someone else reviewing it with the best technology available and the ref has the chance to look at it again himself in case he’s missed it the first time. So really, appalling decisions like this should have been removed from the game. Instead, it’s gotten worse.

 

And the absolute worst part of it is when we have to listen to Peter fucking Walton or that bald headed little fucking weasel Dermot Gallagher telling us how the decisions were in actual fact correct and that we don't have a clue what we're talking about. 

 

You can argue it’s because they’re just shit and that’s certainly not something I would dispute. They are shit, relatively speaking. But that doesn’t explain it fully. We can all say that these fellas are fucking useless but these are the best referees we have. They’ve worked their way up through the system to the top level. 

 

Here’s the thing. All of these refs are fucking miles better than me or you would be if we were in the middle. Whoever was on VAR for this game is a much better referee than I am, yet he still saw that challenge and said 'no penalty'. How come they keep making these inexplicable decisions even when they have the benefit of replay? It makes no sense, and "they're just shit" doesn't cover it.

 

Seriously, someone please explain to me how come they can make decisions that are so bad that 99% of everyone else who watches it can see it’s wrong? I’ll use this incident as exhibit A but I could just as easily use the Man City offside goal against Villa the other week. Literally everyone who saw that said it was wrong and they’ve since said that they’re changing how offside is going to be interpreted so that can’t happen again. It didn’t need changing as THERE WAS NO EXCUSE FOR IT HAPPENING TO BEGIN WITH!!

 

There are countless other examples I could list if I could be arsed. I don’t need to because you’ve all seen them. It’s not like I’m making this up. VAR was supposed to reduce these mistakes but instead they seem to be doubling down on shit decisions. 

 

Chris Wilder was rightly furious but he’s wide of the mark when he said that the small clubs just don’t get the decisions. It’s not a big club v small club issue. Shit, so many small clubs have benefited from scandalous decisions against us this season and we’re the fucking champions. There is no bigger club than us and we’re suffering more than anyone.

 

Wilder is right to call out the officiating but he’s undermined his argument by playing the ‘downtrodden little club’ card. Just call them out for being egotistical cunts who are making it up as they go along and that they are virtually untouchable. That’s the point he and every other manager should be making. 

 

They should be campaigning weekly about getting rid of VAR because it’s managers and players who can force that issue. There’s fuck all the fans can do other than refuse to go back into stadiums, but that’s just not going to happen.

 

Anyway, moving on. Taki scored again as Southampton drew with Chelsea. Lovely finish it was too. Not sure about him patting the badge though. What’s that all about? Bit weird I thought. He’s been playing in midfield for them and he looks really dangerous. Bit annoying that we hardly ever played there for us and was often stuck out wide.

 

 

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Oooh. Thought you weren't doing one. Liar. 

 

Other than that, you're right. It's all totally shit, especially both the manc sides. 

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I've not looked at anything footy related apart from the TLW (and even then steered well clear of the Other games thread) but fuck me, what a blatant foul by cunt McGuire.  Fucking ridiculous.

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Thanks for this Dave. Like many, I only have a passing interest in what's going on and use your round-up to keep vaguely in touch. I haven't watched MotD for about three months. This is the first time I've seen that McGuire elbow. It's just laughable now. Until you remember that the media don't seem to think there's a problem. 

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'The best referees we have..' Are they? Of last weekends 10 refs, 4 came from the North West, 2 from Yorkshire, 2 from the North East and 2 from the East Midlands. As far as I'm aware only two of the select group officials come from the South. Can we really believe that  a vast chunk of the country is incapable of providing a single 'elite level' referee or does Mike Riley (a Yorkshireman) simply have a thing for Northern officials? The VAR at Fulham who connived in that indefensible decision was Peter Bankes, from Merseyside. I used to watch him in the championship and thought he was terrible, a poor decision-maker and a weak character and yet somehow he has been promoted and I refuse to believe that it can be on the basis of good performances.

Another thing I discovered this week was that the head of EFL referees is Mike Jones. That's the same Mike Jones who allowed the beach ball goal, despite it being against the rules. That's right, an 'elite' official who doesn't know the laws of the game. If you think the PL refs are poor some of the EFL make them look like Clattenburg and Collina rolled into one.

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44 minutes ago, Frank Dacey said:

'The best referees we have..' Are they? Of last weekends 10 refs, 4 came from the North West, 2 from Yorkshire, 2 from the North East and 2 from the East Midlands. As far as I'm aware only two of the select group officials come from the South. Can we really believe that  a vast chunk of the country is incapable of providing a single 'elite level' referee or does Mike Riley (a Yorkshireman) simply have a thing for Northern officials? The VAR at Fulham who connived in that indefensible decision was Peter Bankes, from Merseyside. I used to watch him in the championship and thought he was terrible, a poor decision-maker and a weak character and yet somehow he has been promoted and I refuse to believe that it can be on the basis of good performances.

Another thing I discovered this week was that the head of EFL referees is Mike Jones. That's the same Mike Jones who allowed the beach ball goal, despite it being against the rules. That's right, an 'elite' official who doesn't know the laws of the game. If you think the PL refs are poor some of the EFL make them look like Clattenburg and Collina rolled into one.

 

Some interesting insight there mate, I didn't know most of that.

 

My point about them being the best was more to do with highlighting that these fellas are miles better referees than you or I would be. There might be some in the lower leagues who are better but have been overlooked for whatever reason, but what I'm saying is these fellas are at the top of their trade. They've gone through all the various levels to get where they are, so it's utterly baffling how they can make some of these awful decisions even with the benefit of replay.

 

Honestly, 99% of people would give a pen for that Fulham keeper's challenge or would have disallowed the Man City offside goal against Villa. Yet a fully qualified ref sat there with all the replays and angles he needed, and came to a decision that has everyone completely puzzled.

 

I just find it really, really odd.

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I did a referees course back in the day , and they constantly told us that the unwritten rule of 'common sense' was the most important one. There is no way this would be a major part of the syllabus now , and at the top it would not  be taken seriously anyway as everything at that level relies on an assessor whose judgement will be as dry as dust relating to the rules.

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Dermott Gallagher is a right bell end. Smug "I know the rules and you don't so I'm better than you" twat. 

 

Like one of those BBC crime dramas where the police can't prove they know who the killer is even though they know who it is and the killer knows they know and the police know that he knows that they know. 

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Spot on. We all know we have suffered at the hands of these fuckers the most. We have differing opinions as to why.

 

My view is pretty much what you have written here. We have suffered, yes, but so have nearly all teams at one point or another (the only blatant one I can think of against either Mancs was the penalty given for handball against Utd early on). I'm sure every teams supporters (bar mancs) could give you a list.

 

These pricks have taken technology and used it to make them the stars of the show. They think they are the most important piece of the jigsaw. But as always with pricks, the power has gone to their heads and they are abusing it.

 

I am sure it will end. It has to. When crowds are back in the voices will grow louder and it will all come crashing down.

 

That's what I reckon anyway like. But I know fuck all.

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1 hour ago, dave u said:

 

Some interesting insight there mate, I didn't know most of that.

 

My point about them being the best was more to do with highlighting that these fellas are miles better referees than you or I would be. There might be some in the lower leagues who are better but have been overlooked for whatever reason, but what I'm saying is these fellas are at the top of their trade. They've gone through all the various levels to get where they are, so it's utterly baffling how they can make some of these awful decisions even with the benefit of replay.

 

Honestly, 99% of people would give a pen for that Fulham keeper's challenge or would have disallowed the Man City offside goal against Villa. Yet a fully qualified ref sat there with all the replays and angles he needed, and came to a decision that has everyone completely puzzled.

 

I just find it really, really odd.

I think part of the problem is that VAR is being administered by current officials. one problem is that they're knackered because they have to be involved in more matches, whether at the ground or as VAR, with more travelling etc. Another factor is that you have  a situation as at Fulham where a relatively inexperienced official is the VAR to a much more experienced official. Is Peter Bankes really going to feel confident telling Martin Atkinson he's made a mistake or forceful enough in telling him so. Atkinson will presumably (hopefully!) be retiring soon and then mifght be in a position to exercise some supervision over Bankes' career. I believe in America the VAR officials are not current referees and this might be worth investigating here.

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The flip side to that though is let's say the VAR is someone independent of the refs. Maybe an ex pro or a retired referee or whatever.

 

Do you not think these egotistical fucks will resent being told they've made a mistake and will just double down on it?

 

I think back to our game at Fulham when Mason wanted Marriner to over-rule himself and give a penalty against Fabinho. Marriner had a look and stuck with his decision, and it's almost as though Mason just took his ball and went home because he didn't intervene in anything after that.

 

Fulham's equaliser should have been overturned for a shove in the back on Mo and then later a Fulham player went over the ball and should have been sent off. Marriner missed them and Mason didn't do anything to help him out, probably because he had the hump about being ignored.

 

I reckon half of these pricks would be so resentful about a 'non referee' looking at their decisions that it will cause as many problems as it solves.

 

VAR has to go, it's completely unworkable in any form and even if it was working it still should go because its making goal celebrations (from fans and players) a thing of the past.

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Lee Mason has surpassed Andre Marriner this afternoon. How has this clown been part of an 'elite' group for over 10 years? It raises questions about how effective the assessors are if he has been allowed to continue for so long. I daresay potter will complain about him and the FA will fine him as they did Nuno earlier this season.

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3 hours ago, dave u said:

The flip side to that though is let's say the VAR is someone independent of the refs. Maybe an ex pro or a retired referee or whatever.

 

Do you not think these egotistical fucks will resent being told they've made a mistake and will just double down on it?

 

I think back to our game at Fulham when Mason wanted Marriner to over-rule himself and give a penalty against Fabinho. Marriner had a look and stuck with his decision, and it's almost as though Mason just took his ball and went home because he didn't intervene in anything after that.

 

Fulham's equaliser should have been overturned for a shove in the back on Mo and then later a Fulham player went over the ball and should have been sent off. Marriner missed them and Mason didn't do anything to help him out, probably because he had the hump about being ignored.

 

I reckon half of these pricks would be so resentful about a 'non referee' looking at their decisions that it will cause as many problems as it solves.

 

VAR has to go, it's completely unworkable in any form and even if it was working it still should go because its making goal celebrations (from fans and players) a thing of the past.

I think a lot of what you say is correct, but this sort of petty-mindedness among officials would be sorted out with stronger leadership at the top. The first step to improving standards is to sack Riley and Jones at the EFL. Someone else they should bin off is Elleray at IFAB with his constant fidgeting with the rules, which have made things worse rather than better, especially with relation to handball

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I agree, although who do you replace them with? Seems like virtually all of these fellas are absolutely power mad, egotistical, arrogant twats.

 

Getting of Riley and replacing him with Dean or someone like that is pointless really.

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1 hour ago, dave u said:

I agree, although who do you replace them with? Seems like virtually all of these fellas are absolutely power mad, egotistical, arrogant twats.

 

Getting of Riley and replacing him with Dean or someone like that is pointless really.

Just get one of those dunking bird things that Homer uses on his work computer - it'll do a better job than VAR currently.

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