Fairly staggering incompetence in a courageous new period of accountability | Soccer

‘By all means enjoy it. But enjoy it by being effing disciplined.’


Contemplating the fixed forensic evaluation of refereeing errors was one of many principal causes Video Assistant Referees have been launched to the Premier League within the first place, it’s been amusing to observe, learn and hearken to assorted pundits conducting very public, forensic evaluation of the newish expertise’s obvious shortcomings following the weekend’s top-flight motion. Besides after all it isn’t really the expertise that’s flawed however the fallible people who’re tasked with utilizing it, lots of whom had prolonged “earlier” within the discipline of constructing officiating errors lengthy earlier than they got licence to begin twitching the curtains of their Stockley Park bunker.

After a few days during which Arsenal, Chelsea and Brighton all discovered themselves on the mistaken finish of pretty egregious errors they may justifiably declare value them factors and prompted a former referee to name for a colleague to lose his livelihood for the offence of failing to identify a Brentford participant who had strayed the mistaken aspect of an imaginary line. “Howard Webb is now answerable for the PGMOL. One of many first issues he ought to do is dismiss everlasting VAR operator Lee Mason,” thundered Keith Hackett on Social Media Shame. “This weekend, Mason lets one other referee down by not disallowing the Brentford objective for offside. These are choices that VAR ought to get proper.”

Whereas “these” are certainly choices that VAR ought to get proper, solely essentially the most paranoid tin-foil hat-wearing loons suppose the officers getting them mistaken are doing so intentionally. Earlier within the recreation, Ivan Toney ought to have scored however spanked the ball in opposition to the crossbar with the Arsenal objective gaping and at his mercy however no person referred to as for him to be handed his P45 as a result of no person died, the sport went on and … properly, generally this stuff occur. A factor that doesn’t usually occur is the PGMOL acknowledging their errors however below new boss Webb we appear to have discovered ourselves in a courageous new period of accountability.

“PGMOL can affirm its Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb has contacted each Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion to acknowledge and clarify the numerous errors within the VAR course of of their respective Premier League fixtures on Saturday,” droned an announcement. “Each incidents, which have been because of human error and associated to the evaluation of offside conditions, are being completely reviewed by PGMOL.”

As a part of that thorough overview, Webb has convened an emergency assembly so he can order his group of officers to up their literal and metaphorical video games, whereas John Brooks, who was liable for chalking off a superbly good Brighton objective in opposition to Crystal Palace because of an act of fairly staggering incompetence, has been stood down from his subsequent two assignments. As a substitute of overseeing VAR throughout tonight’s Merseyside derby and Wednesday’s crunch encounter between Arsenal and Man Metropolis, the hapless official will as a substitute be pressured to spend each video games making an attempt to establish numerous Palace gamers in his Panini sticker album.


Be part of Rob Smyth from 8pm GMT for decent Premier League MBM protection of Liverpool 2-1 Everton.


“That is my final job – there received’t be one other job for me” – Crystal Palace supervisor Neil Warnock in 2007.

“I’m actually enthusiastic about this problem. I’ve regarded on the fixtures and we’ve received some implausible video games to return. I wish to come again and put smiles on faces” – the yr is 2023, and Neil Warnock, really 74, hops again onto the managerial merry-go-round at Huddersfield.

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‘By all means enjoy it. But enjoy it by being effing disciplined.’
Guess who’s again. Again once more. Warnock’s again. Inform your pals. {Photograph}: Stanislav Kasala/ProSports/Shutterstock

“They work, don’t they? Promoting hoardings round soccer grounds, I imply. From the Reminiscence Lane {photograph} in Friday’s Soccer Every day of a snowy Bradford v Brentford, I instantly needed to know extra about Kurem Ointment (what, every thing?) and Hey’s Glowing Ales. I needed to analysis these and alas, neither is now accessible, although James Robinson was selling the Kurem stuff even in Queen Victoria’s time. And in line with the Telegraph & Argus of the early noughties, Bradford soccer hooligans have been referred to as ‘The Ointment’ – and possibly nonetheless are, if this was ever actually true. Maybe some native long-serving spectator can inform us” – Michael Dawson [the Michael Dawson?! – Fiver Ed].

“European Tremendous League – phrases which have been floating round in a roundabout way or kind that I recall for the reason that 80s. No matter you consider it, to me absolutely the stand out is {that a} consultancy agency was paid thousands and thousands to get the most recent model so very mistaken a few years in the past and now has been paid thousands and thousands extra to marginally enhance it. I fairly like the thought of being paid once more for having made a surprising mess the primary time spherical. Is that this why The Fiver was modified to Soccer Every day?” – Nick Livesey.

Ship your letters to the.boss@theguardian.com. At the moment’s winner of our prizeless letter o’ the day is … Michael Dawson [probably not that Michael Dawson].