51 minutes! That, according to reports in the Daily Mail, is how long the ball was actually in play during the Arsenal v Newcastle Utd match. Just over one half of game which is daylight robbery for football fans who pay to watch, a rip off too for fans who can’t get to their clubs ground so pay for television subscription instead each month. Would I bother to subscribe to Sky Sports each month, or BT Sport if they didn’t show Arsenal fixtures? Absolutely not.
David Dein has come up with a plan which The Times has printed:
The time has come for transparency via a countdown clock so the public can actually see how much time is left. It should not be a national secret. I’m not saying the clock should be stopped every time the ball goes out of play, but certainly for those incidents which cause the greatest delays: goal celebrations, substitutions, penalties, injuries and now VAR checks.
Time wasting is infuriating but nearly every team does it, especially away from home when trying to hang on to getting something out of the game. I’m pretty sure though, if we started to see the kind of numbers we saw added onto each half which we saw in the World Cup, the amount of time wasting in the Premier League would lessen pretty quickly. I think just knowing the wasted minutes will definitely be added on to each half would stop a lot of it. It’s all very well dishing out yellow cards, but that won’t give the team trying to win a game, or snatch a draw, time on the pitch to do it. That’s one of the reasons why Mikel Arteta was angry on Tuesday night. So yes, I hope FIFA referee chiefs like Dein’s ‘Pure Time’ presentation and approve it in time for next season.
Something else which might come into play next season is a change to the domestic cups as according to an article in The Times, English football chiefs are set to hold talks over whether to scrap FA Cup replays, restricting clubs in European competitions to only fielding junior sides in the League Cup Cup and moving the Community Shield from its regular slot as the season’s curtain-raiser. Scrapping FA Cup replays makes sense although lower league clubs could potentially lose revenue but if fielding a ‘junior’ side in the League Cup becomes compulsory, what’s the point in clubs involved in European football taking part? The option to play the under 23 players is there already isn’t it so what’s the point in changing it? The only positive I can see for this idea is that it could potentially provide stronger opposition for the academy players therefore making the step up to the first team a bit easier but, I can’t see managers holding their best younger players back from going out on loan just to play in the League Cup.
In other news, Cesc Fabregas has popped back to Arsenal where he joined Jack Wilshere who was training with the under 18’s. Jack posted on social media:
Learning from the best football brain I know! As a player, I wish I had the chance to play with this guy for longer but having the chance to pick his brain about certain situations and how he thinks about the game is invaluable. Thank you @cescf4bregas.
I guess it’s only a temporary arrangement as Fabregas is still signed up with Italian club Como 1907.
Lastly, Man City defeated Chelsea last night to close the gap at the top to five points. So what, it’s not like Man City were ever going to continually drop points just to help Arsenal out. Chelsea had seven players out injured before the start, Mount, James, Fofana, Chilwell, Mendy, Kante and Broja. Sterling and Pulisic suffered injuries during the game and Aubameyang, having come off the bench, was substituted. Yet still City huffed and puffed for a win. All I’m saying is, respect City when they come to The Emirates next month, but there’s no reason to fear them.
Catch up in the comments..