Champions League and jeez, referees!


Martin Samuel, James Gheerbrant and Jonathan Northcroft join Gregor Robertson for the Thursday edition of The Game.

Manchester United once again take centre stage. Free scoring, but also conceding freely too and dropping a two goal lead twice in Türkiye.  Arsenal in contrast are less expansive than last year but more defensively solid, they’re also top of their group and top of the Premier League…can they possibly be under the radar?

Newcastle suffered at the hands of VAR and the team finish by discussing the attempts being made to attract more ex-players into helping VAR officiating.  

A bonus section includes Martin Samuel giving his fascinating memories of Terry Venables

 

Timeline

Man Utd

2’ Scoring freely away from home, but conceding just as easily.

6’ Bruno Fernandes and Onana

8’ A poorly set up team, too stretched. Everton game was a warning sign. Everton had tons of shots.

10’ United have gone backwards this season, if you look at performance not result. Emotionally unstable as a team.

14’ players have to manage games, less flash and volatility. More steel sense and game management.

Newcastle

21’ ludicrous decision. But Eddie Howe’s reaction has been fantastic.

23’ Group still wide open, anything could happen.

24’ Eddie Howe has done a remarkable job

25’ the differing interpretation of the handball law between UEFA and all domestic league. Not a sustainable position.

28’ how can there be ‘a version’ of the rules…?

 

Arsenal

 

31’ what happened to boring boring Arsenal?

33’ are Arsenal under the radar. Top of the league and through as top of their Champions league group. Very effective.

35’ Rice outstanding, allows others to play. Used to be very exciting, second most goals per game last season. This season much further down, but seemingly more managed, secure.

38’ Declan Rice is rhythm guitar, and he is essential and really good.

41’ Arsenal have bounced back two season running after disappoint/frustrating ends to the previous season.

 

Refereeing

 

44’ How to overcome the accusation of bias if you’re seeking ex pros to be referees.

47’ more trust required. Ex pros have a lot to offer.

53’ something needs to change and probably will. It is now to regular.

55’ economically not viable to be a referee, takes a long time to qualify and doesn’t pay a lot. For ex players that will be problematic.

59’ can we ever foresee a top player officiating and not being called biased.

1hr it works in cricket.

 

Terry Venables

Why did he leave England…


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