How to prove that VAR is garbage with just one video (What really grinds my gears #17)

So here we go again. Actually, I was planning not to write much about VAR in modern football anymore. I think I’ve sufficiently stated how much I dislike this new feature and how much I think that it’s rather destroying football than actually adding something useful to it.

But not too long ago, VAR has been confirmed at the World Cup in Russia this summer. How exciting… As we’ve clearly seen an the Confed Cup – nothing less than the official trial in international football for the VAR – the technique has way too many problems to be used at the most important and biggest football tournament in the world.

Well, apparently FIFA has another opinion. And from my point of view I only have one explanation for this decision: FIFA officials have not watched a single game of football in Germany, Australia, Italy or Portugal this year.

Because in these leagues, among a few others, VAR is being used since the beginning of the seasons. And failures haven’t been rare. Many people that were longing for VAR to be introduced have since changed their minds and see VAR – as it is now – as harmful for their beloved sport.

Why? Because it may provide a little bit more fairness in the game, having goals disallowed because of players being offside by five centimetres, not visible for the linesman to see. But what’s the price we’re paying for that? Emotions! Having to wait after every second goal of your club if some guy in front of a plasma screen a few hundred kilometres away will allow it or not kills what makes football so special – the power of instantaneous emotions.

Don’t believe me? Have a look at this video from last weekend then.

It shows AC Milan player Patrick Cutrone after allegedly having scored a goal. However, he, all his teammates and every Milan fan couldn’t celebrate it instantly. Instead they had to wait for minutes while the goal was under review by VAR. After the goal is allowed, Cutrone tries to celebrate. Well, he’s the only one who really does. No collective ecstasy in the stadium, no relief after having scored an important goal, nothing.

This episode proves how much harm VAR does to football. For a rather unimportant league game this might be not so terrible after all. But imagine if Mario Götze’s World Cup winning goal from 2014 would have been reviewed like that. Do we really want this to happen?

How do you feel about VAR being used at the World Cup? Let’s discuss in the comment section!

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Madness in Greece: Club president storms onto the pitch with a gun!

Ooooohh, Greece. The land where the sun always seems to shine. The land that brought us Aristotle, Socrates, science, theatre, culture and so on. However, nowadays Greece is rather known for its government’s debts and its shattered economy. However, from time to time the beautiful southern European country makes into the global headlines for other reasons too.

One of them being sports. But ever since 2004 and their sensational victory at the football European Championship in Portugal (however with playing a disgusting kind of defensive football that still has negative impacts on European football up until today. But that’s not the point now, I’ll eventually get back to it another time) these news have never been too positive. Especially the headlines from Greece’s national football league are mostly shocking and or ridiculous. Like this week.

https://twitter.com/FootballPersian/status/972970244275924994

During the top clash between PAOK Thessaloniki and AEK Athens, ranked second, respectively first in the league table, the world of football has been shocked once more by the sheer violence that seems to have taken over this country’s football. After the regular ninety minutes were almost over, the home side, PAOK, scored the alleged winner. But referee Giorgios Kominos decided not to give it due to an offside position. That was way too much for some supporters. They stormed onto the pitch and threatened the referee and the players, who eventually had to hide in the catacombs of the stadium.

So far nothing too special, aye? But wait. Among these supporters there was club president Iwan Savvidis, being escorted by bodyguards and threatening the ref. Still not convinced by the story? Well, he was carrying a f*cking gun at that time. Yep, that’s right. A club president storms the pitch with a gun (that he luckily didn’t pull though) which leaves referee and players with no other choice but to run into the catacombs fearing for their life.

Savvidis is now being searched via arrest warrant and the Greek league will be on hold for an indefinite time, as the national government confirmed today. This has been decided since it’s by far not the first incident of this kind. Greece probably has one of the least stable and most violent football leagues in Europe. Now this is where the violence and the power games have gotten league, clubs, presidents and fans: To a suspended league and to Greek football being the laughing stock of the world again.

Let’s finish our thoughts on this matter with the words of a philosopher. Not one of the ancient greek ones (even though they’d be disappointed of this scenes too, I guess) but with Isaac Asimov who said „Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.“ How true that is for club presidents storming the pitch with a gun.

 

GIF me the highlights – Champions League Matchday 6

Seems like we’re getting a GIF overdose here on my blog. Anyways, it’s been a funny Champions League week with many highlights to point out – so I hope you enjoy this week’s GIF me the highlights. It’ll be the last one for a few weeks, I promise 😉

Who doesn’t love the Champions League anthem? This lit af tune was played at the Old Trafford instead ahead of the game:

Silence ManUtd

When you ask Daley Blind if he has understood the offside rules yet:

Daley Blind

A visual representation of every Bayern Munich fan following the game against PSG and building up hopes for a miracle:

Bayern

How we say goodbye to Atletico Madrid as they get knocked out after the group stage:

Atletico

Absolute SCENES in Rome as AS Roma wins its group and goes through to the round of last 16:

Roma party.gif

However: Scenes in Naples as SSC Napoli failed to qualify:

Napoli

How to sum up AS Monaco’s campaign in one GIF:

giphy (1).gif

Spartak Moscow be like: „Is Liverpool still here?“

giphy (2)

And finally: Arsenal thinking that winning the Europa League would be easy peasy lemon squeezy – until they realize who came down from UCL:

giphy

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GIF me the highlights: Champions League Matchday 5

Another round of this year’s Champions League group stage is over. And what a matchday it has been! PSG smashing Celtic, Basel shocking Man United and Dortmund losing yet another game – loads of topics to discuss! Forget about detailed match reviews, analyses and stats of the games. Because here comes the summary of this Champions-League-Week in GIFs:

Barca vs Juventus: Expectation

Barca expectation

Barca vs Juventus: Reality

Barca reality.gif

Griezmann responding to Atletico-haters (including myself) with that screamer against Roma

Griezmann

What should be done to Griezmanns barber

Griezmanns barber

Excuse me sir, could you tell me how many minutes PSG’s streak without conceding a goal in the UCL lasted against Celtic?

PSG minutes.gif

A message to Celtic Glasgow for finally ending PSG’s streak and silencing their fanboys a little bit at least:

PSG goal

What happened to Celtic after they scored

Celtic KArma.gif

Liverpool fans after 45 minutes against Sevilla

Liverpool 45.gif

Liverpool fans after 90 minutes

Liverpool 90

How it looks inside Liverpools defence

Liverpool defense

The only explanation I have for Besiktas winning a group with Monaco, Leipzig and Porto after 5 matchdays

Besiktas illuminati

Borussia Dortmund and AS Monaco in this year’s Champions League

giphy

Jose Mourinho when someone mentions playing FC Basel away

Mourinho

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Useless Rules: Refs aren’t responsible for stoppage time scandals in Spain and Mexico (WRGMG #13)

Stoppage time is one of the aspects that annoys me the most about football. Either a team on the bottom of the second Dutch division that had no attempt on goal so far and is 1:0 down goes full Real Madrid and scores a screamer of an equalizer ruining your combo-bet or a referee that decides to feel generous and gives two minutes of stoppage time after a game full of substitutions, treatments and time-wasting, when your favorite team is 0:1 down. You know what I mean. Somehow I feel that what happens after the 90th minute is a freaking curse for most football fans.

Additionally, as a football enthusiast from Basel, Switzerland, I’ve always had my personal trouble with stoppage time. Back in 2006 our rivals from Zurich took the championship from us due to a goal in the 93rd minute – in the last game of the season. A defining moment.

But hey, after all, that’s football. Knowing that a game can change entirely until the final whistle is blown makes it thrilling. So conceding goals in stoppage time is one thing, you could always be on the other side too and see your team score. Referees not having the balls to punish teams for time-wasting is another. A thing, that I feel needs to be changed in today’s football. What I’d wish for would be no fear of giving 8 or 9 minutes when a team has had 6 medical treatments during the second half.

But what I want to write about in this week’s What Really Grinds My Gears is even worse than this matter for the spirit of each fan in the stands or in front of the tv. In the last few days I’ve heard of two situations, where the referees took it to another level. I thought it was a joke or a huge misunderstanding at first. But apparently, it wasn’t.

In the Liga MX, the 1st Mexican tier, and in the Segunda B, the 3rd division in Spain, referees disallowed goals in stoppage time, because they blew the whistle just before the ball was shot on target. But I think this is best described in pictures. So see for yourself:

Mexico: Toluca misses a penalty and scores the equalizer from the follow-up. But in the meantime the referee had ended the game already.

At first, this looks like a huge joke. The referee ends the game straight away, after the penalty was taken and ignores the fact that there’s still explicit danger of a goal being scored by the follow-up. “Shouldn’t a referee know the football rules?” Well actually, he does. In the official FIFA rules it says that after a penalty was given in stoppage time it HAS to be taken, no matter if the added time would already be over and that the game cannot be ended UNTIL the shot has had its “effect”.

What that means: When he was sent towards the goal and either went in, missed the target or got deflected by post, crossbar or keeper WITHOUT the possibility of a goal without touching any other players than the keeper again, the game HAS to be ended straight away. So if the ball would have bounced back from the ground or the keeper into the goal, it would have had to count. But in our case a Toluca player took the rebound and scored. So we have to say: Having added 3 minutes of stoppage time and the penalty being taken in the 100th minute, the referee did do the right call. Well done, dear ref. But also: Dear FIFA, wtf is that rule?!

Spain: Ponferradina scores after a long pass, that seems to have been deflected by a defender at first. The referee blew the final whistle before the shot had been taken.

Also here, the referee’s car might not have survived the night, as players and fans alike must have got pretty upset with the decision that at first seems like a scandal. But again: According to the FIFA rules he didn’t have to let this attack be completed before ending the game, under the premise that this scene has occurred after the added time he indicated would have been over (doesn’t become clear with the video source we have, as you can see). Only for penalties, the game needs to be extended.

But again, this rule doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense from a practical point of view. I guess, the whistle has been blown, because the referee thought that the defender would deflect the ball more clearly with his header, which he didn’t. An attack like that needs to be conducted. With ending the game before the shot (and the goal), the referee didn’t just not end the game from a neutral position (which would be what you’d expect from an impartial ref) but he influenced the entire outcome with disallowing the winning goal.

So today we’ve learned again that added time sucks. And that modern day referees can only lose. Like we saw with the Mexican example, referees need to be protected more with reasonable rules by FIFA. Every fan would at first curse the ref, for ruining the game when in fact he was just obedient to a useless rule. A bit of common sense wouldn’t hurt here at all, just as it wouldn’t have for the Spanish ref that, in my opinion, simply has misinterpreted a rule. Hence: It’s not justified to entirely blame the ref in both cases, especially not in the Mexican one.

What should have become evident is that the rules concerning injury time are outdated and to some extent even simply stupid. And that’s what I think needs to change in order to avoid a lot of trouble in the game. Gosh, how I hate stoppage time.

But as I’ve said before: All of this is a crucial part of football. Let’s close this article with the words of Carlos Terrazas, the coach of Ponferradina:

The referee has taken this decision and we have to respect it. We all make mistakes, players, managers, and also referees. It’s part of football and we have to respect it, because without referees we couldn’t play.

GIF me the highlights: Champions League Matchday 4

Another round of this year’s Champions League group stage is over. Forget about detailed match reviews, analyses and stats of the games. Because here comes the summary of this Champions-League-Week in GIFs:

What Dele Alli did to Real Madrid’s defense:

giphy (real)

 

The average Real Madrid fan on Wednesday night:

giphy-downsized-large (1)

 

How many games against Nicosia has Dortmund won in this campaign?

giphy (dortmund 0)

 

What happened to Dortmund’s ambitions on reaching the round of last 16:

giphy (disappear)

 

AS Roma’s ambitions on reaching the round of last 16 after takig the lead in a group with Chelsea and Atletico:

giphy (roma chance).gif

 

Celebration-scenes from Qarabag after the 1:1-draw against Atletico Madrid:

giphy (qarabag)

 

How everyone watched Napoli against Man City:

giphy napoli)

 

Benfica Lisbon with 0 points after 4 games be like:

giphy (feyenoord)

 

And last but not least: The weekly reaction to any game involving Atletico Madrid:

giphy-downsized-large (Atletico).gif

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10 Things that are less boring than a game of Atletico Madrid (Wednesday Shortlist #12)

It happened again. During this week’s Champions League round, Atletico Madrid, not so long ago hyped by half of Europe and actually achieving quite decent results made a fool out of themselves for the second time in a row by drawing 1:1 to Qarabag FK from Azerbaijan. At home. Against 10 men. Wow.

I must admit that I’ve never been a fan of the football Atletico has played under Diego Simeone. Defensively focussed, sometimes unfair and hardly ever entertaining the team failed to impress the football enthusiastic part of me. But the results spoke in Atletico’s favour. So I had to be quiet. (I do get that they’re one of Europe’s strongest teams after all, all I’m saying is that their football is one of Europe’s most boring ones.)

So before they eventually get back to their casual 1:0-wins against Levante and FK Rostov, here’s my shortlist of 10 things that are less boring than watching a game of Atletico Madrid:

1) Reading the entire patient information leaflet of your cough medicine.

C6kJovKWcAEeCpM
Source: Twitter.

2) Watching paint dry on a wall. 

background-98053_960_720
Source: Pixarbay.

3) Seeing through an entire game of Baseball or Cricket. Your choice.

baseball-1929542_960_720
Source: Pixarbay.

4) Waiting several hours for a delayed flight at an airport with your phone having run out of battery. 

technology-2752109_960_720
Source: Pixarbay.

5) Listening to that one friend explaining to everyone how his gluten-free, low-carb soya-tofu-quinoa diet has changed his life for the 30th time this week.

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Source: Twitter.

6) Watching a shopping channel on TV for an hour and actually ending up buying the belt that is granted to give you a six-pack without any kind of workout in 4 weeks.

maxresdefault (1)
Source: Twitter

7) Reading “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Twice.

literature-326075_960_720
Source: Pixarbay.

8) An 8 A.M. lecture about sentence structure in English novels from the 18th century.

university-105709_960_720
Source: Pixarbay.

9) Filling out your tax declaration.

forms-2004856_960_720
Source: Pixarbay.

10) Binge-watching an entire season of “Keeping up with the Kardashians”.

CY0xAySUkAIGm7r
Source: Twitter.

That was this week’s Wednesday Shortlist. Hit the comment section in order to tell me which one was your favourite, who I missed in my list and what subjects you’d like to see covered in an umpcoming edition!

If you liked the blogpost, please share the article with your friends – it would be very appreciated! Also, make sure to follow NeinSports via entering your Email address below and please subscribe to my Twitter (@neinsports), Instagram (@Neinsports_Blog) and Facebook (NeinSports) account. Cheers!