The Warm-Up: Transfer revolution on the way as football has great idea for once
Change is in the air in the Premier League, while even the PGMOL admits VAR is making mistakes.
FRIDAY’S BIG HEADLINES
A new window of opportunity
It is rare indeed that football stumbles over an idea that is actually very good and an appropriate answer to a problem that genuinely exists. The 39th Game, VAR and Granit Xhaka playing at centre-back are not examples of this.
But one such idea has emerged from the morass of bad opinions and devious intentions which degrade this sport we love so much.
The tricky problem: Premier League clubs brought forward the transfer window to before the start of the season to help secure the integrity of the competition and ensure that clubs could effectively plan for the start of the campaign. However, with European markets not following suit, it left England’s major clubs at a disadvantage in the wider transfer ecosystem – they had less time to arrange incoming transfers from abroad, and left themselves vulnerable to losing players to foreign clubs in a window when they could no longer buy replacements.
The highly elegant solution: keep the truncated domestic window in place but allow Premier League clubs to buy and sell from abroad until the end of August.
" There is discontent over the earlier deadline currently in place because it gives foreign teams several weeks to buy players from Premier League clubs who cannot replace them. City hope their proposal will redress that imbalance while ensuring players still cannot move between Premier League clubs once the competition has kicked off. It's understood the plans were well received by other clubs on Thursday. They will be discussed further at the next meeting in November with a final vote expected in February."
City would need another 10 clubs to support the rule change for it to be approved, which should be a formality. It’s not often that an idea this good comes along.
VAR – what is it good for? Absolutely nothing
The big screen shows the VAR decision of No Goal for Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City third goal during the Premier LeagueGetty Images
The VAR haters (you know who you VAR…) were given a field day yesterday when Mike Riley, managing director of the PGMOL, admitted at a shareholders’ meeting at the Premier League that four mistakes have been made already this season.
If you are of the view that just because a system involves TV screens and computers it should suddenly be infallible and produce the correct result each time, this will have come as a shock. If you are of the view that anything which still applies a layer of human judgement will always be flawed, then probably less so. As The Independent reports:
" Riley highlighted two penalties that should have been awarded to Manchester City and West Ham respectively, and acknowledged that a Newcastle goal should have been given offside. He also told Premier League chairmen that a red card should have been shown during Bournemouth's match against Leicester."
"The decision not to award City a penalty when David Silva was tripped in the box by Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma on August 25th was judged to be an error, as was the failure to give a spot-kick to Hammers forward Sebastien Haller after he was fouled by Norwich’s Tom Trybull on August 31st.
"On the same day, Fabian Schar’s goal for Newcastle against Watford should have been ruled out for a handball by Isaac Hayden in the build-up, and Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans should have been sent off after a challenge on Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson."
The issue is that the Premier League has seemingly set a high bar for what constitutes a “clear and obvious error”, leading the VAR to decline to intervene in these incidents. But Riley was explicit in his view that the on-field referee should have been overturned.
"If you look at the four match rounds, 227 incidents have been checked,” he said. “Out of that we’ve changed six decisions – we think we should have changed 10 in total. That gives you the scale of where VAR can help and add value to the game, but it also demonstrates that this is still about refereeing a game of Premier League football on the pitch."
More VAR controversy incoming then…
Poch: Spurs took Trippier to a level he wasn’t at before
Kieran TrippierGetty Images
"I didn't see [his interview], but I heard about it," Pochettino said. "We had a conversation where he explained he was going to move to Atletico Madrid – nothing more.
"On Wednesday, when Harry Kane arrived back [from international duty] he said to me, 'Did you get Kieran’s text?' I said no because I changed my number. Maybe because he doesn’t have the new number.
" He was worried about whether he would play or not play [when joining Tottenham] - I said to him don’t worry we are going to provide the best platform for performance. Then one-and-half years later he was in our starting XI, he reached the national team, played the World Cup and now he’s with Atletico Madrid when he was in the Second Division when we signed him. I’ve got no problem with Kieran. I keep very good memories from him. We all feel proud to help him to achieve his dream and to reach a level that he wasn’t there at before he arrived at Tottenham."
IN OTHER NEWS
After months of uncertainty around his future, and having pulled out of contract talks earlier in the summer when it seemed as though a deal had been reached, yesterday Callum O’Dowda finally signed a new contract with Bristol City. Who promptly tweeted this:
IN THE CHANNELS
A curious piece of official club content came across The Warm-Up’s radar this morning as Napoli issued an official club statement from manager Carlo Ancelotti slamming... the state of their own stadium.
The Stadio San Paolo was used as a host venue for the Summer Universiade and the city-owned structure underwent some less than impressive renovations as a result. Just look at a video of the home dressing room posted yesterday, by Napoli’s own Twitter account.
Oh this one is a great episode of Grand Designs! The one where Kevin has that ‘I told you so’ look on his face as the club president and the city mayor fall out disastrously over the latter’s decision to host a large sporting event in the former’s home!
Carlo wasn’t a happy bunny...
" I accepted the club's request to play the first two games away from home to allow the work to be finished, as was promised. You can build a house in two months, but they weren't capable of renovating the dressing rooms! Where are we supposed to get changed for the games against Sampdoria and Liverpool? I am shocked at the incompetence of the people in charge of the work."
Arsenal's Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos runs with the ball during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham HotspurGetty Images
" I’ve been warned about the cold. But I love football here, the way they live and breathe it. I’ve never seen anything like it. You play away and there are at least a thousand fans supporting you. I don’t care if it’s raining or snowing. I’m looking forward to playing every three days over Christmas. It’s a great experience. I don’t know what I’ll say in a year but now I’m happy. They see the game like I do; I love football like they do. They respect you and a player has to feel wanted. You applaud them and they applaud you back."
Meanwhile, La Vuelta continues with Stage 19 live and exclusive on Eurosport from 1:45pm today.