We’ll kick the day off with the disappointing news that the 18-year-old that sent death threats to Ian Wright was let off with probation.
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) February 3, 2021
White privilege my friends. The judge rolled out the usual nuggets that come with this sort of thing. The mega racist was doing well at school. He had a law-abiding family. Still young, a life to live for. He’s shown remorse. He’s a ‘good boy.’ Sure… let’s sweep under the rug that this kid is a massive racist menacing people with death threats in his spare time.
These sort of let-offs are why the internet continues to be a shitty place for a lot of people. If this disgusting human was doing that to you in real life, he’d be in prison… but because it’s on a phone, it’s perceived as being softer. When you do things like that, you are setting out to emotionally terrorize someone, it should not be trivialised.
He walks away without a record. This is a massive miss by the judge and a total misunderstanding of the harm this sort of behaviour inflicts on people.
Onto a trivial form of injustice… the conversation continued today around Dave Luiz. I think most fans realise the decision was an abomination. Arsenal are planning to appeal the red card, but who knows if it’ll be overturned. The bigger question Premier League clubs is how long are they prepared to accept such unbelievable mediocrity in their officials? Why is Mike Riley in charge of PGMOL? He was a shit ref, apparently very dim. Why is there no accountability? Where is the plan to make things better?
Improving the standard of reffing in this country should be a major agenda point. The straw the broke the camel’s back has been VAR. Not because video is bad for the game, but because even with tools, more accuracy, and more eyes… the refs still get it wrong regularly. It’s a circus. Officials should blend into the background. It should be an absolute rarity that we’re talking about them… yet week after week, they are the focal point, and it is not fans being unfair.
Reed Hastings who runs Netflix believes the better the talent you have, the less rules you need. This should apply to refs. We keep solving their lack of good judgment with more and more rules and sub-rules. Football should be simpler. Refs should use their initiative. The game would be better for it.
A penalty shouldn’t be distilled down to ‘any contact.’ It makes the game boring. It allows shit sportsmanship to be palmed off as ‘clever.’ If penalties were given for clear foul play and strikers were rewarded for staying on their feet, it’d take so much controversy out of the game. If you throw yourself at a bootlace, no penalty. Contact should be meaningful. Refs should be able to decipher between a real penalty and one that was played for… but they can’t, can they? Pawson didn’t even want to look at that Luiz decision, his main aim was to make the game about himself and stick rigidly to his gut instinct. It was appalling to watch. The very base level of being at the top of your game as an official should be to challenge your own ego because the truth is the most important outcome… Pawson wasn’t interested, because he knew he didn’t have to, because there is never a day of reckoning for these folk. They don’t even have to speak to TV after.
The whole officiating things has been broken for years. We need better talent. Smarter innovation. Training courses. More accountability. It is staggering a league that generates so much money can be so casual about how average it all is.
Anyway, enough whining about refs.
Joe Willock has gone to Newcastle. It’s always amusing to read how highly players who have done absolutely nothing with their chances rate themselves. This was what he said.
‘He spoke about how he was going to use me, where he sees me in the team, he had a whole plan for me already. I was really shocked, it’s the first time I’ve had a manager who had a whole plan for me’
‘I was disappointed with the number of games I have played for Arsenal in the Premier League.’
Mate… come on. You’ve blown every chance you’ve been given! Don’t whine about opportunities.
The good news is that you get the other side of the story from ESR.
‘I had a knock on my hotel room door on the day of the game. And it was one of the coaches telling me the manager would like to speak to you downstairs. I was thinking, am I in trouble, have I done something wrong. I went down and he [Arteta] was sat down in a chair and he’s basically looking at me saying I’ve got good news for you, you’re starting tonight against Chelsea. He had the tactics board in front of him and showed me where I was playing and what I should do. He gave me so much confidence.’
The idea that Arteta doesn’t have a plan for players is off the mark. Joe Willock has to take his chances. He has to be more focused than he is, rumblings I hear aren’t that great about his focus at training. Still, he can always do a madness and blow-up where he is.
Right, before you go, I’ve dropped a podcast with Away Day Gooner, Lee Meadows… it’s a good one. We cover a lot of ground on Wolves, the squad, and what we’re looking for from the season. ENJOY!