Henderson wants out & DCL red overturned

9th January 2024

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Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson, the former Liverpool player who won the league title with the Reds back in 2020 apparently wants a move away from Saudi Arabia. Henderson was heavily criticised for moving out there to join the Saudi Pro League by gay rights campaigners and given how supportive he has been in the past his move smacked of hypocrisy. It seems that Henderson has seen the error of his ways. Of course if a player wants to move to a Saudi Arabian club they are free to do so, but the case with Henderson was always going to be different given all of the support he has given to vulnerable groups in the past. The problem is a move back to Europe isn't going to make everything right again. He will surely be taking a huge pay cut also from his current salary of £350,000 per week. But perhaps the real reason Henderson is moving back is because he realises that once you go out there you get quickly forgotten. Currently Ajax has emerged as the favourites to snap him up.


DCL red overturned

There has been some good news for Everton for once and that is that Dominic Calvert-Lewin has kept his record intact of never being sent off. The forward was shown a red card in the FA Cup clash with Crystal Palace after he scooped the ball away from Nathaniel Clyne. There was outrage that he was sent off and on investigation the decision has been overturned and it means that Everton will not miss his services for the next 3 games which looked a given. Again and we have discussed this many times the officiating this season hasn't just been poor at times it has been baffling. The referee was close to the incident and saw nothing worth stopping play and then VAR got involved. The trend now is when a referee then stops play and goes over to the monitor he always seems to agree with the VAR officials. It has got to the point that you know what the outcome will be. It's a shame that officials still cannot recognise that when video is slowed down incidents look much worse than they are. Indeed an official photo of the incident looks bad for Calvert-Lewin. We shouldn't be basing huge decisions on angles and slow-mo footage. One wonders if VAR is simply interfering too much now and isn't being used for its original methods. VAR has been around for 3 years and while the technology is welcomed it has to be questioned when the ultimate power still rests with the officials who time and again keep making poor judgements, the same poor judgements they were making before VAR.


Arsenal worries

By and large there were no huge shocks and surprises in the FA Cup but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta will be worried that his team are starting to unfold just like last season. Indeed it may be worse in this campaign because it started in December unlike last season when it started to go wrong in March. Arsenal have gone their last four competitive games without a win including losing back to back matches in the Premier League. Liverpool have gone 5 points clear of them and Manchester City have made up a five point gap to lead the Gunners on goal difference and they have a game in hand. At the weekend Arteta's side, despite playing good football, were knocked out of the FA Cup at home against Liverpool in a 2-0 defeat. It is a worrying moment for the club, but they are not out for the count just yet. However a bad January could seal their fate in the Premier League as they try to win their first title in 20 years.

Arsenal specials:

To win the league: 7.00

To win the Champions League: 7.00


Respect to two legends

Only three men have won the World Cup as a player and a manager and sadly we lost two of them in the space of three days. Mario Zagallo the Brazilian who ushered in an era of dominance for the nation who would go on to become the most successful side in World Cup history died on January 5th at 92. Despite being overshadowed by Pele and Garrincha to name two Zagallo remained an important player of the squad and went on to win both the 1958 and 1962 World Cup's. Not to stop there by 1966 he had gone into management and four years later he coached the great Brazilian side as they won the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, their's has been remembered as the greatest ever international team. Zagallo returned to the national side even in the 1990s and led the team to the 1998 final where they were beaten by France but he still helped deliver a Copa America in 1997. One interesting fact is that Zagallo remains the only Brazilian forward who has competed in World Cup's to go by his official surname.

Let us also pay our respects to Franz Beckebauer who was arguably not just one of the greatest defenders in football history but the best player ever to come out of Germany. For a certain generation the 1970s were about two outstanding players- Beckenbauer and Johann Cruyff and the two players clashed in the most elite of games- the 1974 World Cup final where Germany won. In that same decade Beckenbauer also known by his nickname 'Der Kaiser' won a European Championship and three European Cups in a row with Bayern Munich, the last of those came in 1976 and it took 42 years to see that feat repeat when Real Madrid achieved it. Beckenbauer went on to manage Germany, known as West Germany in the 1980s and led them to two World Cup finals in a row, losing one against Argentina and then exacting revenge in 1990. Beckenbauer by all accounts invented the sweeper role, and will go down as one of the greatest players of all time.

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