PGMOL dig another hole.

Published: Monday, 19 October 2020

I’ll get round to the PGMOL’s latest self inflicted mess in a moment - but first - a far more pressing issue for the PL.

It’s something that’s been creeping up on all of us - without anybody realising - thank goodness.

Am I the only person that looks forward to Monday’s PL reflections from Conor Moore and Darren Farley far more than listening to the guff that the real guys trot out post match? Here - listen for yourself to Moore’s      latest observations. 

How good is that? Klopp - brilliant ‘for sure’. Ole - ‘we’re backkkkk’. Lampard is like Charles Jolly’s Laughing Policeman and Jose - ‘reeespect’ Conor. Farley’s Brendan Rodgers is sensational. Shut your eyes and listen and it really could be him - ‘he’s a beautiful human being’.

I love it. Honestly, I’d rather listen to it because you know it’s what the guys are really thinking. The real thing is so anaemic now that it’s hardly worth bothering. And that certainly is the case pre-match. Those interviews are even worse. It’s not all the fault of the guys asking the questions ‘you’ve made 2 changes - what’s your thinking?’ - it’s as much the fault of the FA who jump on the coaches/managers the minute anyone says anything that’s worth hearing. Why can’t managers tell us what they really think? Viewers pay a tidy sum to access the game - even more now in Covid U.K. - and yet you’re not allowed to hear what your coach really thinks, because he’ll be hit with a disrepute charge. It’s nonsense. The people bringing the game into disrepute are those that stop us being a part of an honest debate - one that fans have a right to access.

It’s the same with the PGMOL. What a mess they’ve made of the incident at Goodison. I haven’t wavered from my view - Pickford’s challenge was a disgrace - and it merited a red card. I said as much on BeINSPORTS the moment I saw it. Any player that lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs - and here’s the critical bit - with excessive force or endangers the safety of an opponent - is committing an act of serious foul play. Never mind that Van Dijk may have been off-side - which he wasn’t - that’s a smoke screen.

That Michael Oliver saw it - and we are asked to believe he did because there will he no retrospective action - is bad enough. That the assistant and the fourth did nothing is a disgrace. That David Coote at Stockley Park didn’t view it borders on negligence. And that the PGMOL have tried to cover up their incompetence again is pathetic. Coote used the words ‘check complete’ when only checking to see if Van Dijk was off-side. Incredible. Stop digging guys.

There’s one simple way round all this - let us listen to the conversations that are being had. I’ve argued this before. Why not? What have they got to hide? It happens in Rugby and Cricket. We were told that’s why VAR was needed - because it worked so well in those sports - so let’s use it as they do.

I’ll tell you why not.  My guess is that although refs are now looking at monitors - they’re being told what decision to make as they jog across to the touch line. There still hasn’t been an incident of a ref standing by his original decision when checking the monitor. Again - why not? If I’m wrong - prove it Mike Riley. Let us listen in - all of us - fans and broadcasters. It’ll help educate us. It’s no good sending out pasty’s like Mssrs Foy, Walton and Gallagher to try and cover up the incompetence. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - things won’t get any better and until Riley is removed from his post.

Was Mane off-side? Was he hell. Again. Incompetence. As I’ve said from day 1 - it depends which frame you use to decide. Do you use the one as the ball arrives at the passers’ feet - is controlled - is leaving - or has left in a blur? Bin the lines. If it’s not obvious with the naked eye - then it’s not offside.

There is one interesting piece of news I’ll share with you. I’m told that technology is catching up and next season we’ll know ‘automatically’ if a player is off. It’s a system that Collina and Wenger have been working on and it’s all but ready to go. But - next will come the argument over what exactly is off-side. We all know Wenger wants to change the law so that any part of a forward level with a defender - ie - his trailing foot - is onside. That really would be a dramatic change - giving forwards at least a metre advantage in a chase.

Of course, all this in the pursuit of perfection - which isn’t possible. We don’t want perfection. We’re happy with ‘grey’.

What we want is honesty. So - Mr Riley - let us hear your conversations - and if a coach or manager has something to say that adds to the viewing experience, let’s hear that. Why not? I can’t think of any good reason. In the meantime we’ll have to rely on Moore and Farley. And you’re doing a fantastic job guys.