Category: Latest

Video Assistant Referees: A Clear & Present Danger? 

The recent refereeing conspiracy against Arsenal served a dual purpose. It re-affirmed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s not-at-all-crackpot theory that all of football is against him and his team (see the opening goal in last year’s FA Cup Final for detai…ah…wait). And it gave media pundits topical material for their “analyses” (heavy emphasis on the “anal”) of the potential impact of Video Assistant Referees (VARs), ahead of VARs introduction to competitive English club football this week (with Arsenal among the first four teams to be governed by the system. Of course). VARs themselves will serve a dual purpose. One more...

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What Arsene Wenger Did Next Will Amaze You

He may well have addressed the post-match press conference following his team’s humiliating defeat to Nottingham Forest yesterday afternoon by acknowledging that the result “hurts very much”, but for Arsenal supporters looking on as their team crashed out of the FA Cup at the very first hurdle, the question that requires answering once that familiar red mist has lifted yet again is this: was Arsene Wenger’s team selection for this match a matter of arrogance and hubris, or one of oversight and incompetence? It is entirely possible that Wenger saw this match through a very particular prism. A scratch...

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Brighton & Hove Albion vs Crystal Palace: An Impartial Preview

This evening at The American Express Community Stadium, Brighton & Hove Albion play Crystal Palace in one of the most eagerly awaited ties of this this year’s FA Cup Third Round. Not only is this a critical match for two clubs who haven’t won the FA Cup between them over a combined history of two hundred and thirty years, but this is also a (not) local derby match at which passions are likely to be running high and the Bantz™ is likely to be both spicy and fertile. With both clubs in the Premier League, though, even some more seasoned...

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Sent To Coventry: The End Of The Road For Mark Hughes

He’d been standing at the gallows drop for such a long time that yesterday’s result might have been considered something of a formality, but for Mark Hughes yesterday evening’s sacking by Stoke City still most likely stung all the more for the further humiliation heaped upon both his and Stoke’s reputation by their loss at League Two side Coventry City in the Third Round of the FA Cup. This was the day upon which Hughes ran out of excuses. Slumps in the league can sometimes be mitigated by promises of jam tomorrow, but cup football, with the harsh glare...

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Football Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas 

When call me negative, I simply say “no, I’m not” and wait for the laughter…and wait… But the just-finished festive football fun showcased much of the negative in the modern game. Some other negatives are on-going. In 2017, Rangers were confirmed as cheats when the UK Supreme Court ruled that their scheme to wilfully avoid tax on player salaries was illegally funded. Rangers failed to meet legal obligations to tax AND football authorities, admitting to doing so to sign players they, ahem, “perhaps” could not otherwise afford. Yet Scotland’s football authorities want them to keep the titles they cheated...

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