I gotta wear shades. And it’s all because of VAR’s. Last weekend's International friendlies made the headlines for all the right reasons. France versus Spain was always going to catch the eye, but it stood out on the world stage because of the video assistant referee (VAR).
France were denied a goal after the referee was overruled on an offside decision, and then Spain's Gerard Deulofeu - initially ruled offside - was given the goal after the referee was again proved to have been wrong.
Didier Deschamps, the French coach, who came out on the wrong side of the technology said he had no problem with it’s use -
If it is verified and it is fair, why not use it? It changes our football a little. It is against us today but if we have to go through this it will be the same for everyone......it is the evolution of football.
FIFA intend to have the technology in place for the World Cup next year, and then who knows, maybe The Premier League will consider stepping up to the 21st century in time for the 2018-19 season. Happy Days.
A study just published claims to prove that foreign managers are likely to be more successful than British managers in the Premier League. The study claims that the average league points for overseas managers in the Premier League is 1.66 whereas is only 1.29 for their British and Irish equivalents. This translates to an extra 14 points over the course of a 38 game season.
So is it any surprise that the first seven places in the current Premier League are all managed by overseas managers, from Conte at Chelsea at the top down to ‘Big Ron’ Koeman as he’s known by absolutely no-one for Everton at seventh?
So, if Scotland get their second referendum and vote to become independent, does that make David Moyes an overseas manager?
And it’s not just the top of the league where foreign managers are having an impact. Hull's 2-1 victory against West Ham at the weekend saw Marco Silva stretch his unbeaten home run to 38 matches over a three year period – not all for Hull obviously, but a pretty impressive stat nonetheless, and adds weight to the already impressive reputation of the young Portuguese.
But how did he end up at Hull? They were on the ropes – they were leaking goals, manager-less, their owners were trying to sell the Club to anyone who would listen, the backroom staff had walked out to join Steve Bruce at Villa (nice move guys) and they were bottom of the league. And then in from nowhere comes Silva with a tried and tested backroom team, and blam - Hull are sexy again.
OK, maybe not ‘again’.
They were one nil down against West Ham after a poor first half showing and Silva changed it all around, brought in a four-two-four formation to be more of a threat, replaced one of the players and they dominated the second half with the substitute assisting on both of their goals. This is the sign of a good football manager, someone with the intelligence and courage to change a game plan that isn’t working, and I for one would love to see him do well in the Premier League.
Probably at the expense of Swansea, who were sailing under Paul Clement's tutelage but seem to have hit a brick wall lately – British managers you see? Technically any team in the bottom six are still in danger and there’s always one that goes into freefall about now, but I would bet money on it not being Hull.
It wasn’t a good week for ‘Big Ron’ at Everton - he not only lost Seamus Coleman to a shocking tackle in the friendly against Wales, but also lost James McCarthy in the warm up for the same game. The latter caused handbags between Big Ron and Martin O’Neill, who was accused of ‘not protecting his player’. O’Neill – making sure that Roy Keane was standing behind him, retaliated that Big Ron was ‘a master tactician of the blame game’.
I mean really? Do they have to revert to social media to have this discussion – what happened to picking up the telephone? And it doesn’t all have to be in the public eye. However, Ron seems to like the public eye for open and frank discussion as he then accused the Liverpool bench of trying to influence the referee in the Merseyside derby into producing red cards. I would have to say, the Liverpool bench were probably in turn influenced by Ross Barkley and Ashley Williams kicking their players up in the air at every given opportunity but that’s not to say it should stand in the way of an open and frank discussion.
Former flavour of the week Romelu Lukaku – ‘Big Rom’ - has been accused of going missing in big matches. ‘He’s not getting as many touches as he’d like’, spouted the commentator. Welcome to my world bonny lad. But Big Ron was not having any of it, claiming that Big Rom was knackered after playing too much. Big Ron should surely have words with Big Rom's international manager then? Personally I think Big Rom was put off by seeing James Bond in the Liverpool side of the crowd.
Knackered notwithstanding, Ron sees similarities between Rom and Zlatan and thinks Rom can follow Zlatan’s example. Which could therefore involve him selling his own perfume. Zlatan has two fragrances on sale in the UK. His debut parfum, Zlatan, is described as:
The result of two years of work. In its making, the football player was helped by famous perfumer Olivier Pescheux. The fragrance is announced as citrus cologne with woody and aromatic tones.
It opens with notes of lemon, spices and green grass. The heart mixes marine accord white lavender. The composition ends with vetiver, leather and woody notes.
For those of you aching to know, ‘vetiver’ is a ‘perennial bunchgrass of the Poaceae family native to northern and western India’ and it has ‘a woody earthiness’. So that’s that.
His second fragrance is called ‘Supreme’ and they both cost £46 a shot. But the good news is that his suspension is over and he’ll be fit to play at the Stadium of Light this weekend. If he scores I won’t buy any of his perfume – that’ll teach him.
Final word goes to Steve Bower, the BBC commentator, who had this to say when Spurs' Harry Winks was tackled and went through what looked like a crate of Lucozade in the match against Burnley, putting him out for the season:
And we hope that that doesn’t look as serious as it is.
I knew what he meant.