The 10FTWF crew take a crack at putting the football world to rights. On this weeks show the boys breakdown Stéphanie Frappart’s performance in the Super Cup, Paul Pogba’s chances of leaving United, is it time for Chelsea to panic, and the fallout from City admitting they’re a bunch of cheaters.
UEFA super cup kicks off the season, sort of
As the new season gets underway, the guys talk about the timing for the UEFA Super Cup. All the more relevant this season with two English clubs in the European curtain-raiser does the timing of the game actually make sense.
With England and France the only two major leagues to kick off their seasons already, the game seems geared more towards the expectation of Spanish and Italian clubs playing. Coming just three days into the English seasons, clubs preparations for the new season are seriously jeopardised and we such a much greater degree of rotation than we otherwise might.
Did Liverpool Deserve To Winner European Opener
With Liverpool running out winners on the night after a penalty shootout, did they really deserve to lift the trophy? It was a great first half for Chelsea, not the first time we’ve said that this season. Liverpool have started the season in somewhat underwhelming fashion, and this game highlighted some of the weaknesses that we’ve already seen.
With Liverpool’s energy down on last season, and the defensive frailties seemingly on display, Chelsea may be disappointed they didn’t make more of their chances to secure a much-needed confidence boost ahead of what may be a long season.
10FTWF Favourite VAR Rears Its Head
There were a few moments of VAR controversy. VAR has already shown it’s good and bad faces, and there is still a lot of work to go into a smoother, and more natural application in the professional game. Does the current format really work? Time will tell how the season will be remembered, but the early knockings of the season offer some troubling signs already.
The Chelsea penalty incident in particular raised questions, given the lack of an opposite angle, or a behind the goal angle. It seems somewhat bizarre to roll-out VAR without considering the need for additional cameras to cover most eventualities.
Stéphanie Frappart Plays A Blinder
The first female to referee a men’s professional game had herself a game. Despite so much attention being showered on Stéphanie Frappart, she rose to the occasion and was pretty much invisible the entire night. There was no question of her being overawed by the occasion or intimidated by the whining men on the pitch. It was probably one of the best-refereed matches you’ll see all season.
VAR Infiltrates the Premier League
After all the incidents in the Champions League last season, some were calling VAR the beautiful game killer heading into the opening fixtures of the Premier League. Despite some controversial moments, the opening fixtures weren’t a complete disaster. Handballs in the lead up to goals, bizarre penalty retakes and infinitesimally small offsides were the standouts from the opening round of games.
With the FA saying the bar is high for VAR to be able to overrule on-field decisions, it seems somewhat bizarre to see an offside decision that amounts to 1.4cm. We saw knee-high tackles deemed acceptable behaviour, and Wolves had a winning goal ruled out for an accidental handball. This couldn’t possibly go wrong…could it? THE 10FTWF boys maybe divided.
Batten Down The Hatches In Chelsea
After a 4-0 hammering at Old Trafford questions are being asked about Chelsea’s hopes for this season. While they started the stronger on Sunday, they certainly didn’t finish that way as the second half saw them capitulate in a way that must worry the higher-ups. Confidence is needed among the young band, chief among them being Tammy Abraham and Kurt Zouma.
Zouma was the standard out player for criticism as he seemed massively over-matched in every aspect. Chelsea have a number of more experienced players to come into the team, but they may well suffer from a lack of squad depth as the season draws on.
Did We Witness The Rebirth Of Paul Pogba
Having failed to secure a move to Real Madrid in the summer (probably) Paul Pogba put on a scintillating performance, including what will likely be one of the balls of the season. Not much of a shower in the first half, Pogba showed how much of a difference-maker he can be in the second.
It will reassure Manchester United fans that he will continue to work his version of 100%, and put in some sublime shows of athletic and footballing skill this season. But make no mistake he is likely playing this season to assure a move to more sunny climes next summer. Although there is still the glimmer of hope that he will enjoy playing under this more youthful, dynamic United structure and stay long term.
City Admit Cheating And Buy UEFA A Round To Celebrate
Earlier in the year, Chelsea were handed a two-window transfer ban for illegal dealings in the youth transfer market. This week it was announced that Manchester City had done the same thing and would receive a 300,000 fine. While this may seem like the height of hypocrisy from UEFA it must certainly anger Chelsea fans.
To put this into perspective 300,000 is a mere drop in the ocean, as it equates to less than one week of Alexis Sanchez’s wages, and a whole one million pounds less than the payment made by Sepp Blatter to UEFA president to get special treatment. Not that UEFA would ever be accused of taking bribes, of course.
Rocket Raheem Sterling Sets The Premier League Alight
After years on the verge of superstar status, Raheem Sterling has accelerated into the stratosphere after an incredible hat-trick performance at the London Stadium. Finally adding an end product to his game has seen Sterling become one of the most potent players in the Premier League over the last 24-months.
While it can definitely be said the Man City system creates more than it’s fair share of chances, it is a joy to watch Sterling play at the moment. His improved decision making and execution have come at the same time as he has become a true leader off the pitch as football bids to drive the cancer of racism out of the stands.
Time For A New Toon From Newcastle Fans
Newcastle United fans remain adamantly opposed to new manager Steve Bruce’s reign. Still fervently in love with former manager Rafa Benitez, it’s time for the fans to move on from the Spanish one and go back to roaring on their players. The opening game saw them beaten by a frankly woeful Arsenal. The game was there for the taking, and if the fans had been at their usual pitch this game could’ve seen the three points heading up north.
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