VAR-y good start

by & filed under News Review.

Screen Shot 2018-06-16 at 11.46.17

Sooooo… VAR. Let’s talk about that. Looking kind of good, no? I’m watching Sweden vs Korea at the moment. There was a massive penalty shout, the ref missed it, he realised it might have been an error, he runs over to the giant screen and calls it within 30 seconds. Minimally invasive, accurate, and it might have given Sweden a vital 2 points they may not have picked up.

Like I’ve always preached on here, don’t fight technology, just work out how to use it better. How anyone can deny that augmenting human decision making with replays is anything outside a good thing is beyond me. If you can change the fuel and the tyres of an F1 car in 8 seconds, you can certainly work out how to get a decent replay into a ref so he can make an accurate decision.

Sure, there are going to be mistakes, but if you can reduce that number by 75%, the game is better for it. It’s simply not an argument to say football is better with more errors.  I’m glad to see that FIFA are getting it right. Hopefully, the Bundesliga and the Premier League can work out how to take it to the next level.

World Cup has been pretty interesting. Mexico dropped a dazzling display yesterday, beating the champs 1-0. Mesut was rumoured to be out of contention before the game, his meeting with wannabe dictator, Recep Erdogan, was not met with enthusiasm from German fans nor Joachim Low. When it came down to it, Joachim Low couldn’t let the bromance die. It’s like a better version of Wenger and Alex Song. Still, it didn’t help. The Germans looked pedestrian and were cut to shreds by an inventive Mexico. Leaving Sane at home looks quite the error at this second.

We were all Swiss for an evening, watching Xhaka and Lichtsteiner work hard to equalize against a star-studded Brazilian side. Coutinho scored an outrageous goal after the Swiss let him roam free on the edge of the box. Arsene Wenger apparently quipped that Lichtsteiner wasn’t quick enough to get forward, a bit of a barb at the new regime. I thought the 34-year-old had a pretty decent game looking after Neymar and Marcelo down his side. Xhaka had a ponderous first half, his mobility really is an issue. he was playing in a pairing with Behrami who looked to be more of the enforcer. He grew into the second half as the Swiss took to beasting Neymar.

Can you imagine the headlines around Neymar this morning if he’d been English?

  • Neymar’s new hairstyle inspires a flock of shite performance
  • Neymar spent $565 on his haircut, shame of Brazil
  • Neymar refused to listen to teamtalk as he preened wild haircut

I gotta say, I loved that both Neymar and Messi had later freekicks they botched. Ronaldo really led the way for pressure football. That said, he did well picking on De Gea at his absolute weakest.

Back to Ozil and Xhaka. It’s not a unique view to think these two are the most under-appreciated players in football. It’s comfort intellect people belch out to make themselves feel like they’re part of a special club. Opening an Opta stats pack and picking two numbers you like doesn’t paint a full picture. If you’re genuine in your view that both of those two showered themselves in glory last season, you need to get out the spreadsheets. Ozil was average last night, Xhaka was ok… we should expect more from both next season if we want to push on. There’s no second reality in football, you’re either doing it, or you’re not. Both of those guys didn’t do it last season, stop trying to alter our 6th placed reality.

ENNNNNGGGGUUUUURRRRRLLLLAAAAAANNNNNNNDDDDDDDD play today.

I don’t have any real expectations for anything special. That said, I do like the cut of Southgate’s jib. I think he has interesting opinions on football, I don’t think he’s stupid and he’s clearly fine doing things his way. Hopefully the boys drop an exciting performance against a strong Tunisia side.

271 Responses to “VAR-y good start”

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  1. Victorious

    My God! watching Engerland is like paint dry, I’m almost slithing my wrist in boredom and utter frustration of how clueless the team seem to be playing ,i hope they lose this.

  2. qna

    England is like Arsenal in the EPL. They have 15 players that are of higher quality than most. But they have only one top quality player (Kane). Compare to say Portugal or Argentina. England’s bottom 6 players are better than these teams. Maybe 7 or 8 in the case of Portugal. But they have more high quality players, so when it counts they will go further.

    Alli and Sterling are the best options. England will still get out of this group and win this game. They will probably get to the quarters. But they won’t go further than this.

  3. Bamford10

    I think Southgate should change the set-up so that there are two holding CMs (Henderson and Alli) and one advanced CM (Lingard,) rather than the opposite. England need more possession, and Alli is better on the ball and in passing than Henderson.

  4. Victorious

    ‘England is like Arsenal in the EPL. ‘

    No offense mate but I stopped reading right here, the similarities between the two sides are nothing alike, more like night and day.

  5. Elmo

    Let’s put this in perspective: their ‘star’ player is Khazri, who has just been relegated into the English third tier with Sunderland, and all of their other players who have played in England have played below the PL.

    Their marking is terrible. To draw this match would be another national embarrassment.

  6. London gunner

    Stirling shits the bed whenever he gets the ball, panics and tries to pull too much off and inevitably dribbles into a wall of players or makes the wrong choice with the pass

  7. qna

    Seeing Harry McQuire makes me wonder if Rob Holding would be playing tonight if he chose a different club than Arsenal. Was tracking quite well until he got Arsened.

  8. TheBayingMob

    I’ve been calling Sterling out as shit on Le Grove for years; was shouted down a few times. He’s a tricky player but rarely has any end product. He’s all Theo, all mouth and no trousers.

  9. Nw9 gooner

    Sterling is really a rich man’s Walcott- awful anywhere but MC – I will also if fed by De Bruyne and Silva

  10. London gunner

    The baying

    Theo actually can finish he just doesn’t have any skills.

    Sterling looks great for city because he has all the space in the world from debruyne and sane and aguero. Allows him to run riot.

    Rate Southgate for subbing sterling off though

  11. London gunner

    Tbf Kane looks like he has just walked out of a pub, flat and lethargic.

    Vardy would be a good option as he has hustle and pace

  12. TheBayingMob

    Mmm I don’t see England pulling this off, I can’t see them scoring again and they could well ship a losing goal towards the end … and that will put them in a tricky position; they will have to beat Panama and prob get a result against Belgium which will be difficult. Been disappointed with this in the end even tho they started brightly. Just another shit team at the World Cup. I’ll revise my expectations. Last 16 will be above par if they even get that far …

  13. London gunner

    Tunisia scoring their goal. Killed the match for England.

    It allowed Tunisia to go ultra defensive, before that England looked like scoring quite a few

  14. TheBayingMob

    Ye i’ve never really rated Kane, typical of the British press to big up a Scum player like he was Messi just because he scores a few in the pub-tactics of the Premier League …

  15. Marko

    My God! watching Engerland is like paint dry, I’m almost slithing my wrist in boredom and utter frustration of how clueless the team seem to be playing ,i hope they lose this.

    Eh yeah but Arsenal… you know

  16. Sancho Monzorla

    What did you expect from Sterling, did you all not know that Arteta isn’t there to coach him through the World Cup?

  17. Alex Cutter

    “My God! watching Engerland is like paint dry…”

    Nothing that a few chickens couldn’t fix.

  18. Elmo

    We’ll take that, but the performance tonight tells us everything we need to know. Can’t imagine us winning a knock-out game.

  19. qna

    You might not rate Kane. But that’s what I like about him. He doesn’t shit the bed (usually). Twice there were opportunities to put away and he did. Compare that with all the miskicks and fluffed shots of the others on this team. Guarantee that Welbeck wouldn’t have put either of those away. Even better footballers than Kane like Benzema I wouldn’t trust to put those away as much as I trust Kane.

    I agree Kane is a limited footballer for a top striker. But he puts the ball in the back of the net. On big stages too.

  20. Bob N16

    Receding….I think our set piece play will provide most of our goals.
    Tunisia- defended well(apart from corners) created nothing., world class gamesmanship.

    England and Belgium have a really easy run to the last 16.

  21. TheBayingMob

    Why do fat middle aged men feel the need to get their flabby man tits out at England games … ?

  22. Bob N16

    Qna, just can’t stop yourself from criticising an Arsenal player….wasn’t even playing and you slag Welbeck….

  23. Alex Cutter

    “Why do fat middle aged men feel the need to get their flabby man tits out at England games … ?”

    I didn’t see Rooney out there?

  24. London gunner

    The header from Kane on second reflection was exceptional.

    That last quick flick of his head at the end directs the ball to the only part of the goal that the goalie couldn’t save from.

    Pinpoint technique

  25. karim

    Tunisians showed a lot of heart and courage but they were too limited against a promising and then disappointing England.

  26. Cesc Appeal

    Yeah the VAR was shit, some of the grappling on England players in the area was slap in the face obvious.

  27. Akilan

    RLC is a decent midfielder. Should be starting for this English side. Too bad he’s a chav cunt.

    Tripper looked pretty average. Shift young to the right & play Rose or Bertrand(he is there?).

  28. Pierre

    Though loftus cheek did OK when he came on, to me he looked a bit porky… Needs to lose half a stone I reckon.

  29. Marko

    Though loftus cheek did OK when he came on, to me he looked a bit porky… Needs to lose half a stone I reckon.

    A quick Google has him weighting less than Xhaka. Not that any of it matters

  30. Marko

    He weighs less than xhaka does he….. Next you will be telling me that he weighs less than özil.

    Not a chance that lad is nothing but skin and bone and blanket.

  31. KAY Boss

    it pains me that England won but Tunisia were too timid to explore the weakness in the English defence. what was Walker doing with his elbow up. I don’t like england and I don’t think they will go far beyond round of 16 but Kane did well to bury the only chances that came his way. England deserve the win but looked uninspiring.

  32. Pierre

    As per the Premier league website

    Loftus cheek

    Nationality England
    Age 22
    Date of Birth 23/01/1996
    Height 191cm
    Weight 88kg

    Xhaka

    Age 25
    Date of Birth 27/09/1992
    Height 185cm
    Weight 82kg

  33. Graham62

    Southgate got out of jail thanks to Kane.

    Why oh why did he keep Dele Ali on for so long?

    He could hardly move.

    Take the result though and amazingly got my prediction correct.

  34. Champagne charlie

    Karim

    Saw that. Announcement tomorrow apparently, Torreira still talking (but we don’t want to disrupt his WC).

    Ornstein says as much anyhow

  35. Marko

    Heard Torreira agreed terms we just need to do a medical. Caglar might be done soon too. Might have to wait until the world cup finishes before other business is done like Gelson. Also heard that we may have made a move for Fabian of Betis but it looks like he’s going to Napoli. Don’t know how legit the story is but I love the player he’s class

  36. TheLegendaryDB10

    Agree. I was hoping to see Vardy being subbed in to make us more incisive up front. Hope we do not underestimate Panama and I hope that we are a bit more clinical up front than we were today.

  37. Marko

    Just saw someone tweet that Emery is a big fan of Lacazette.. Rates him highly Guess no one told him you can’t have two 50m pound strikers in the same team

    He also said he wanted to build the team around Auba

  38. gambon

    Oh dear Lord

    Guess who it is saying Lacazette is one of Emerys favourites. None other than John Cross.

    John Cross who has a track record of always getting his facts wrong about Arsenal.

    John Cross who spews so many made up stories that there has been a movement amongst Arsenal fans on Twitter to block him en masse.

    This is the guy Receding Hairline is believing.

  39. Pierre

    “He also said he wanted to build the team around Auba”

    What happened to building the team around Ramsey?

  40. Marko

    What happened to building the team around Ramsey?

    I always assumed it was a typo to be honest. Probably meant to say Auba and really good players instead of Ramsey. No mention of your boy Ozil though. Can’t be good for his depression that

  41. raptora

    “Özil is a world cup winner and was probably their best player, does that exempt him from criticism….. Of course not.”

    Which year? Ozil has been nothing but consistent and you know it. If he was no one would question him. Why don’t they question KdB? Cause guy has been an absolute force for number of years now. 8 or even 9 out of 10 games he will be top class. Ozil for instance could do it in around 2 of the 10 games.

    Simple question though. Why do people celebrate KdB but have been critiquing Ozil for several years now? Honest question.

  42. Bamford10

    Raptora

    You’re joking, right? I don’t know how a person watches these two players, reads Le Grove and asks this question.

    One, DeBruyne has a cannon of a shot and looks to shoot as much as he looks to pass; this makes him a dual threat in a sense and highly effective; in contrast, Ozil has no shot and almost never looks to shoot, rendering his play all too one-dimensional.

    Two, where Ozil fades wide against better opponents and does not look to get into the most dangerous areas and take defenders on — settling instead for sideways, largely meaningless passes and hopeful crosses into the box, De Bruyne does not shy away from going at defenders, from playing right in front of the CDM or the CBs, and he is always looking to play incisive passes, not meaningless ones.

    Three, DeBruyne is not a pussy; he harries, he presses, he tackles — indeed at times he actually gets a bit chippy.

    There’s no comparing the two: for all of Ozil’s talent, KDB is a better and much more complete footballer.

  43. Steiner

    The negativity towards England here is incredible.
    I always thought negativity in the press was an issue for the boys, but fans like you feckers just rip them apart.

  44. raptora

    Bam,
    Probably this part mixed you up: “Ozil has been ANYTHING* but consistent and you know it.” I am, even more than you, convinced of how much a better player KdB than Ozil is.

    Anyhow, question was towards Pierre, since he brought up how commentators don’t trash talk KdB. I know that he meant how this is in contrast to what they do with Ozil since Ozil is a favorite of his.
    Well probably no one says a bad thing for Kevin because he has a place in any top team in the world, while Ozil doesn’t. Matter of fact, no top team really wanted or try to get Ozil when we were not the strong side in the equation.

    Whatever it’s a stupid argument to begin with. Ofc you won’t hear commentators say a bad thing for a player that had a bad half an hour or so. Dude’s been rock solid and top drawer for seasons. You normally won’t hear people trashtalking Hazard or De Gea, or say Alexis unti this last season where he dropped the level of his performance.

    It’s all right there. Earn your fame of being top class, Affirm that by playing top class football game in, game out. Fans, manager, football people, commentators. Everyone will love you.

    If you regularly stop delivering, then people will turn their back on you and start picking at you. And for a reason. It’s how it works.

  45. Bamford10

    Raptora

    Got it. My bad. Yeah, for me that’s another example of a question that makes you wonder what some people see when they watch football. How do you watch football regularly and wonder why people view DeBruyne and Ozil differently? Like, it’s patently obvious why.

    In the build-up to this World Cup — indeed on Sunday morning, the morning of Germany v. Mexico — there was talk within German media circles that Ozil wouldn’t or shouldn’t start. And this talk is not new. If DeBruyne were German, do you think anyone anywhere would be talking about him not starting? No. No fucking chance.

    Further, if DeBruyne were an Arsenal player, do you think anyone here would be slating him the way many slate Ozil? No. No chance.

    Pierre is an example of someone who in a certain sense cannot see the world as it is — because his Arsenal-tinted glasses are just too strong, too tinted. I mean, when dipshit was still manager, one of Pierre’s recurring arguments here was that the media were biased against Arsenal, that other clubs didn’t come in for the criticism we did. Of course we came in for more criticism, for fuck’s sake! We were mismanaged by a deluded relic and everyone and his brother knew it, except for the AKB.

  46. Bamford10

    James Olley reporting that Arsenal are confident of signing both Leno & Torreira. Next season is going to be so much fun. For the first time in a long time, watching and discussing Arsenal is going to be genuinely enjoyable.

  47. mysticleaves

    Simple question though. Why do people celebrate KdB but have been critiquing Ozil for several years now? Honest question.

    Ozil was the best no10 before he came to Arsenal lol

  48. raptora

    “Ozil was the best no10 before he came to Arsenal lol”

    So good that the best team in the world decided to sell him. And to a trophyless for 8 years team. Come on!!!

  49. useroz

    Simple question though. Why do people celebrate KdB but have been critiquing Ozil for several years now? Honest question.Ozil was the best no10 before he came to Arsenal lol
    ________

    Because of performance on the pitch

  50. raptora

    For 3 years in RM he’s won with them 1 time La Liga and 1 time Copa del Rey.

    Season he left they won UCL and Copa del Rey. Then another 3 UCL and 1 La Liga.

    One would say they upgraded their team that year for many years to come.

    Anyhow I am not saying he was never a top player. He was for a couple to several seasons. And then he stopped. End of.

    A problem he’s always had though, is hiding when the going gets tough. People at Real saw that, and sold him. You cannot afford to play with 10 men in UCL Knockout games. Their decision worked wonders for them.

  51. Pierre

    Bamford
    I see you are making a bit of dick of yourself with ill informed comments along with a few others.
    “Pierre is an example of someone who in a certain sense cannot see the world as it is — because his Arsenal-tinted glasses are just too strong, too tinted. ”

    Maybe you failed to see my comment earlier when asked by TR7 “de bruyne or ozil”

    My reply was
    “De bruyne all day long …he’s a different level to the rest”

    Arsenal tinted glasses ,yeah right.

  52. Pierre

    raptors on ozil
    “So good that the best team in the world decided to sell him. And to a trophyless for 8 years team. Come on!!!”

    So what is your opinion of any player that Liverpool and spurs have signed ,are they all crap because they signed for teams that were trophyless for years and of course have remained trophyless unlike Arsenal who have won many trophies whilst ozil has been at the club..

    Mane, firmino, salah,ox, kieta, Fabinho , van dyke or for Spurs eriksen, Sanchez ,llamela,dembele,wanyama , the 2 Belgium defenders ….all crap are they because they signed for teams that have been trophyless for years . Come on !!!.

  53. Pierre

    I have said a few times on here that my choice for CAM for Arsenal would be mhkitarayan as I believe he has a better all round game for that position than ozil and Ramsey.

    He gives you goals, he gives you assists , he gives you good link up play , he gives you good technique , he gives you a good awareness of space and he will work back for the team…a very underrated player in my opinion who I think is wasted out wide .

    He can be wasteful on the ball ,unlike ozil ,but that’s because he is willing to take risks with the ball and not look for the easy option .

    Will be interesting to see who starts in the role under Emery.

  54. UTarse

    Well done England, in the face of a corrupt referee and no doubt stinging criticism had they not won, they found a way through against a dogged but ultimately there to make up the numbers team.

  55. raptora

    Pierre,
    it was re mysticleaves.
    If a player makes a transfer from Real M to Arsenal that’s a sizeable downgrade no matter how you look at it. One would say that he wasn’t all that hot at that moment to make that step down.

    “So what is your opinion of any player that Liverpool and spurs have signed ,are they all crap because they signed for teams that were trophyless for years”

    Tell me a player that downgraded from a top, top, best in the world team aka Real M, Barcelona, Bayern, being supposedly the best player in his position, to Liverpool or spuds and I’ll have my say on it.

  56. Pierre

    Raptora
    “Well probably no one says a bad thing for Kevin because he has a place in any top team in the world, while Ozil doesn’t”

    Does özil not play for the world champions… Or does that not count.. I would have thought that being champions of the world makes them one of the “top teams in the world” .

    Should that make özil exempt from criticism… Of course not but apparently de bruyne should be exempt from criticism because he plays for a team that have won one league title and 2 league cups in the time he has been at the club and plays for belguim who have won……. Nothing.

  57. Pierre

    Raptora
    Look, we all know that de bruyne is a quality player and has a better all round game than özil but is he as consistent at the top level as everyone thinks… I’m not so sure.

    If he had been then why have city struggled the last few years, winning just one league cup and disappointing in Europe.

    Does the fault lie with de bruyne or is he exempt from blame…..

    If de bruyne played for Germany Would he have been blamed for the defeat against Mexico as özil was…. No of course not.

    The manager of Germany should be to blame for setting the team up to be caught on the break regularly and for not rectifying the issue when you could see there was an obvious flaw with the set up.

    I only saw the first half hour but to me özil looked like he was having a decent game, obviously his game must have deteriorated dramatically in the final hour for him to receive such flak from the media.

  58. Steveyg87

    Quite obvious that England need to work on their wing play which was non existant last night. Sterling, if chosen again, should consider himself a lucky man, 2/10 for his performance last night. Would like to see me some Vardy and Welbeck, though I dont see Southgate playing both at once. Special mentions for Henderson who bossed the game and Harry Maguire who was Engurlands best performer and will be priced north of 30mill after the world cup

  59. TitsMcGee

    Up and down performance by England but got the result. Not exactly Spain but a lot more interesting to watch than WCs of the past where there was ZERO creative ability and they literally had to score off of a set piece or else they didn’t score.

  60. TitsMcGee

    Sterling has pace but he’s not as good of a dribbler as he thinks he is. He loses possession way to easily for someone whose bread and butter skills should be dribbling etc.

  61. TitsMcGee

    The manager of Germany should be to blame for setting the team up to be caught on the break regularly and for not rectifying the issue when you could see there was an obvious flaw with the set up.”

    I don’t know what he was doing there. Mexico were waiting on a loss of possession and then hitting the spaces. Didn’t help that Hummels/Boateng were taking chances as well they didn’t need to.

  62. raptora

    “Does özil not play for the world champions… Or does that not count..”

    When did they become world champions? 2018? Oh it was 4 bloody years ago!!!
    A lot of players rose and fell in those 4 years don’t you think. It’s a long time in football.

    And dare I say that Ozil was not the most impactful player even then.
    He started as a CAM only to get shifted to the wings because Germany couldn’t control the midfield with him in there.
    From the 18 goals that Germany scored as a whole he registered 1 goal and 1 assist. Impressive.

    Anyone knows that the leaders of that German team were Schweinsteiger, Lahm and Klose. Probably Muller as well because of his goal scoring form at that time. It’s also at this WC that Kroos emerged as top class and a week later he was a Real Madrid player.

    Another proof that Ozil didn’t set the pitch on fire is that he was placed at number 29 in the 2014 WC Castrol Index, where Kroos was number 1 and Germany had a bunch of players before Ozil in there including Hummels, Muller and Lahm.

    And most notably – that was 4 years ago!

    And finally if your real question is why do people blame him and not someone else from the German squad answer is:
    Because Ozil is a superstar that hasn’t been playing like one for years running.
    He was a top player, not a complete player but still a top player. It looks as if, like someone said after the Mexico game, he doesn’t like what he does. He doesn’t enjoy himself by playing football. At all.
    Problem for him is that since he was a top player before, and his superstar fame is still very much intact mainly because of his social media accounts, everyone expects him to play like a top player. But he doesn’t. And it’s only normal that the a lot of people keep expressing their disappointment when he doesn’t meet their expectations on the regular.