It’s one weird Premier League season having both a winter break and the world is on fire break, but at least it’s all finished. Now it’s time to look ahead to September 12th when it all starts again.
This means the Premier League, clubs and importantly the referees have six weeks to get their head out of their arses and give football fans a sport worth watching. Since I can’t see stadiums having full crowds for 2020/21, they need to increase the spectacle for fans at home.
I’ll be honest I’ve enjoyed the football for the past couple of weeks, and while I know football and sports fans think that’s blasphemy to say, I don’t care.
Which might be I don’t have a dying love for the game and the national sport, but I’m still a viewer and a Spurs fan, which has been as fun as watching paint dry, but it’s a winning style, so I have thoughts and ideas to give the 2020/21 season a bit of a boost.
For The Love Of VAR, Sort It Out!
I like VAR as an idea. It’s a smart, good way of getting most mistakes corrected. It’s a shame that the Premier League has the crappest referees in the sport, to the point it’s embarrassing.
Because we know it’s not the tech as other leagues are seemingly handling well. So it’s our officials and laws that need the change with the offside rule, penalties and disallowed goals, especially when you look at the restart of games, requiring a look.
Just take your pick, from the last six weeks alone, Sheffield United goal against Aston Villa not given, Man United getting a penalty that shouldn’t against Villa, Tottenham’s disallowed goal against Sheffield United for Lucas Moura’s “handball” when getting fouled, etc. etc.
So here’s a wacky idea, let’s bring back former World Cup referee Howard Webb to become the Manager of Video Assistant Referee Operations of the PL having been in the same job for the MLS.
Webb can train younger referees in the lower tiers to be sole VAR officials with changes to the laws like offside and bring the use of common sense to these decisions.
The important thing is all VAR officials sing from the same hymn sheet to their respective referees on the field.
Additionally, on-field refs must use the on-field screens for penalties and disallowed goals.
Mic’s Enough Ref
Staying with the refereeing, as football is still a TV sport. I think it perfectly reasonable for all officials to be mic’d up so fans and journalist can understand decisions.
We can hear what the VAR officials and ref are thinking when looking at the on-field screen and the on-field referees have the final say.
If the PL officials need help with the tech then again they should ask for help and bring in the company that works with the RFU and Premiership Rugby.
They can follow the Nigel Owens route and they can get some respect on the pitch if players knew their reactions could be heard.
I wouldn’t stop there if you look at sports like the NFL and cricket for every game one player will wear a mic so we can hear what players are saying and to the opponents.
Go For Five Bruce
I know a lot of fans, ex-pros and journalist are not for this “as it’ll give the top six sides dominates over the smaller clubs, but I like the idea of the PL keeping the five substitutions rule.
However, Richard Masters and the clubs must put in a rule that if you use three subs in a game one must be a young British/English player or if you’re going to use the full five subs then that number moves up to two players.
I Don’t Know Where Your Hands Have Been
During this pandemic football, handshakes have been banned with teams entering from two different entrance’s then maybe they should get rid of the handshakes altogether and make more of a show of it.
Similar to the NFL, each entrance will have a banner of the club logo with the teams running through with a song of the teams choice. It’d hype up the viewers and when crowds are allowed, the reactions will be even better.
Imagine a match in the Emirates, once the opposition runs on the pitch to their choice of song, and we wait for Triple H’s “The Game” theme come on for the Arsenal players.
It removes the pointless handshakes and be showier for TV viewers and something Roy Keane and many ex-pros will 100% hate.
Carabao In The Can
With the length of the 2019/20 season and the short turnaround for 20/21, the discussions have been there and more in force this season, but it’s time to kill off the Carabao Cup.
No offence to the EFL as I’m sure they get some good money out of it, but it’s a nothing tournament with close to no fans ever attending that clubs don’t take seriously.
Additionally, with the pandemic pushing the football calendar closer together with the rescheduled Euro’s coming up. Taking the EFL Cup out for this season (and hopefully forever) will give players time to rest between there already busy timetable.
If the EFL wants to keep it for their leagues and add the Vanarama National League they should. Turning it into a top tournament prize money and trophy for teams in the hunt for Premier League, promotion and Football League status.