Ten things Andy Dawson learned from the FA Cup weekend

The Profanity Swan has a love/hate relationship with VAR and he’s here to let the world know…

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VAR is brilliant!

There’s one word you couldn’t use to describe the first half at Anfield on Saturday evening, and that word is ‘boring as f***’. Twice in the first half, we saw proceedings grind to an exciting halt while the ref marched across the surprisingly small telly in order to decide if West Brom had scored a third goal and if Mo Salah had been fouled in the box or not.

Those present in the crowd said that you could almost taste the tension in the air – and the tension probably tasted a bit like Bovril. Not only is VAR bringing us more accuracy, even better, it’s got us all talking – and god knows we’re horribly short of things to talk about when it comes to football.

VAR is a nightmare!

Over seven minutes of the first half was eaten up by the weirdness of Craig Pawson pausing an entire football match so that he could amble across to a pitchside screen and carefully study some slow-mo footage while thousands of fans sat around oblivious to what was even going on.

To make matters worse, Pawson added on fewer than five minutes stoppage time in the half, in spite of the fact that there had also been four goals and two substiutions. The. Game. Has. Gone.

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Alan Pardew is surprisingly against VAR

Which is the opposite of what you’d expect from football’s self-styled emperor of cool. Sharp suits, shades, dubious-looking nightclub selfies, cup final touchline dancing – Pards ticks all the boxes when it comes to living the cutting-edge life. Who knows what else he’s into – line dancing? Snapchat? The musical works of Miley Cyrus?

One thing he’s very much against though is VAR, as he declared on Saturday night, even though he’d come away from Anfield with the victory. If it’s not hip enough for Alan, it’s not hip enough for the rest of us. Be gone, VAR… until I change my mind again next week.

LOL Spurs

If you’re not a Spurs fan and your fists weren’t clenched as you willed Newport’s players over the line in that cup tie on Saturday, you don’t deserve to have eyes.

The dilemma over whether possibly beating Spurs and then going out in the next round to, say, Coventry, compared to a mouth-watering, lucrative replay at Wembley is a tough one for Newport’s players and fans though. Football, you confusing heart-tugging little bastard.

That De Bruyne goal was as sweet as a skip full of custard creams on top of a sugar mountain

Mmmmmm, yeah, real pretty sweet, huh? Someone had obviously done their homework on Cardiff’s wall policy and seeing the Belgian sidefoot it under their leaping defenders was a joy.

It’s a simple game really when you think about it.

Spitting is dispicable but…

…if Arthur Masuaku’s quite-right-actually six-match ban is sufficient punishment for hurling a mouthful of flob at the shirt of Wigan’s Nick Powell, I’d say that the flat-out assault by Cardiff’s Joe Bennett as Leroy Sane blitzed his way the full length of the pitch towards the goal deserves double.

Both acts were truly vile, but only one of them was potentially career-ending.

It was nice to have an Arsenal-free weekend

Just so pleasing to not have be exposed to the yo-yo bullshit of the Gunners’ season and speculation about whether or not Arsene Wenger has still got it or is a total basket case. Ah well, business as usual again in a couple of days…

Klopp is still a Konundrum

Is it fair to say that if Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs weren’t being as inconsistent as they are, Jurgen Klopp might be worrying about hanging on to his job.

That PL goals against tally of 29 compared to Man United and Chelsea’s 16 is what’s kept Liverpool away from second spot, and even spending £75m on a much-needed defender still hasn’t stemmed the tide of opposition goals. He’s a swashbuckler though, with bags of ‘personality’ so he’ll probably last another eight or nine months.

Barcelona are beatable

It took a not-that-good free kick from Messi to spare Barca’s blushes against Alaves last night in what was another underwhelming performance.

Antonio Conte must be quietly relishing their Champions League clash, keen to grab as much glory as he can before he flees Stamford Bridge in the summer.

Non-League is alive and kicking

With fewer top flight league matches on at the weekend, the non-leagues got a crowd boost at the weekend, and there’s no excuse not to sample the ‘real’ atmosphere as a one-off if your ‘proper’ club aren’t playing. 8,471 at Wrexham? 5,728 at Leyton Orient?

Burton Albion would be over the moon with those numbers in the Championship…

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