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Roker Ramble: Is VAR alright if it’s annoying people you really don’t like?

Ian’s away on his jollies for the week so you’ve got Tom on the Ramble this week instead - and he’s chuntering on about various ways to take the p*ss, Hooters, and VAR’s ability to rattle Mags and Moyesy...

Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images

Firstly, let us (myself) apologise for this week's drop in Ramble quality. For reasons unknown, your regular ramble laureate has been granted a holiday from the slave camp that is Roker Report. So with the formalities out of the way, let us continue...

Taking The Piss

First up is the glorious incident of one of the most absurd red cards since Wes Brown was mistaken for John O’Shea. Men have been getting caught with their trousers down for years, but very few can boast that it got them sent off in a FA Cup game.

Unfortunately caught short, Blackfield & Langley’s unwitting keeper was caused to nip away for some light relief mid-game, opting for the relative safety of a nearby bush.

What followed was not to be foreseen as the referee deduced that Blackfield's number one partaking in a number one was a step too far and further relief was required - in the form of relieving him of his duties.

Fortunately for Blackfield & Langley, the final 15 minutes of their tie was negotiated with little incident - just the one touchline brawl and another red card, ending in a 0-0 draw.

Shades of Lineker at Italia ’90 aside, one hopes a reprieve is given to Blackfield’s keeper to allow him to participate in the replay of the now dubbed ”urinate gate”.

Taking The Piss (pt2)

They say no exposure is bad exposure but we aren’t sure that Nottinghamshire FA would agree after stepping in to prevent an Under 10s side from being sponsored by everyone’s* (*not everyone’s) favourite mammary-based diner - Hooters.

Hooters make you happy according to the company's official slogan, and whilst we would find it otherwise hard to disagree, sponsoring an Under 10s team does seem a little uncouth.

Luckily the sensible heads at Nottinghamshire FA put a sharp stop to inappropriate sponsorship but not before a rack of images surfaced of players standing six abreast proudly (and unwittingly) sporting their new shirt sponsor whilst flanked by an incredible pair... of waitresses.

On the subject of breast-related puns, this brings us to our next section...


That’s right - VAR has raised its ugly and unwelcome head yet again to ruin what would have been an absolute vintage weekend of Barclays.

Who’d have thought that putting utterly incompetent people flanked by other equally incompetent fools in charge of video technology then it’ll end up making a complete tit of things.

Thanks to the insatiable appetite for referees to be the centre of not only the weekend's action but seemingly the universe we are now truly through the looking glass as they willingly ignore what they see with their own eyes - often more than once - for what one can only assume to be the ”shits and giggles”.

Thanks to refs this weekend we were robbed of a wonder strike from the most Scottish sounding Argentinian ever to have lived, and potentially another Klopp meltdown.

Luckily for fellow Sunderland fans, the other (horrendous) decisions managed to shithouse some of our favourite friends so whilst being utterly enraging to most other football fans, one can’t help but enjoy some serious schadenfreude.

Firstly our good friend Mr Moyes was denied a famous win at Stamford Bridge for reasons still unknown to anyone. A second dose of delectable schadenfreude was promptly served as Eddie Howe's very own Victim FC were hit with a VAR double whammy, not only having a goal ruled out but also being denied a clear penalty on the process - naturally after all that has happened to poor old Newcastle this week the victim card has been well and truly overplayed, which is quite incredible when the real victim this week is Nourah bint Saeed al-Qahtani as she embarks on a 45-year prison sentence in Saudi Arabia.


Will Mike Dodds persist with Sunderland’s experiment with a back five?


Sunderland’s final fixture run-in looks tough, but can they build some consistency?


Editorial: Just another week in the history of Sunderland AFC

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