By Tony Attwood
It was rather sad in a way to hear Alan Greene on Radio 5 doing the Liverpool Tottenham match and being utterly restrained in what he said about the refereeing in the game. Even if he thought all the decisions near the end of the match were completely right, in the good ol’ days he would have said something interesting about how long it took to reach the penalty decisions.
But he was clearly told some time back to lay off referees, as the PGMO clamped down on freedom of speech by broadcasters and newspapers. And he buckled down and accepted the new rules.
Mind you it will be amusing to hear the normal little crowd on the Monday Night Club on Radio 5 tonight as they “discuss” the Liverpool game, since their prime argument last week was that VAR would ruin football because of the long delays that would be involved in referring the decision to the fourth umpire, or whatever he is now to be called.
I am not sure that VAR would have taken quite so long to see what really went on at the end of the game late yesterday afternoon. And then get it wrong.
In a sense it was quite amusing, but also rather sad, to see the media now attempting to get excited by the fact that the lead at the top is now down to a mere 13 points with 12 games to go.
Arsenal have to make up a gap of probably six points in those 13 games, a feat which involves two of the teams above them dropping points as much as us gaining them if we want to get into the Champions League again. But that of course won’t interest the AAA for whom fourth is not a trophy. So I suppose they’ve stopped paying attention.
As things stand each of the three teams in 4th, 5th and 6th have only won two of their last five, so maybe there is a chance if we turn it around and the others don’t.
But I wondered, as I listened to commentators over the weekend, whether those employed to give opinions really had their hearts in it as they tried to maintain the facade of the top division actually being a race, rather than a parade.
Of course if we were watching Italian football it would all be quite different, because there they do have a bit of competition…
Italy has a two team league
In Germany likewise it was pretty much over before the season kicked off
So now, as we used to say, lets take a look at the gap
|Country||First club||Second club||Gap|
|England||Manchester City||Manchester Utd||13 pts|
|Germany||Bayern München||Bayer Leverkusen||18 pts|
|Spain||Barcelona||Atlético Madrid||9 pts|
|France||PSG||Olympique Marseille||12 pts|
Yep, Germany as we knew, is the least competitive major league in Europe, but now England has rushed right up to the top and is second. I wonder if that makes everyone very happy.
Mind you, it probably doesn’t impress the bookmakers whose odds on Manchester City winning the league next season are so tiny none of the leading bookmakers seem to want to tell me what they are.
Ah well. That’s what happens when you know you can win them all.
- The new squad: who has left, who is in the 25, and what happened to the youngsters.
- Arsenal/Everton: bonkers officials and a prediction we got right
- Arsenal’s finances: another loss but going the right way
- WSL 2022-23 Arsenal v Everton – Match Preview
- Which Arsenal transfer tale is being repeated the most often?
- How much have Arsenal’s rivals spent on transfers in recent years?
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?