SWANNY'S WORLD OF SPORT: Why Wenger is my hero, VAR is a necessary evil, my favourite sportsmen, Liverpool fans should be worried
A full strength Arsenal side would have battered Forest in the FA Cup last weekend and it would have been boring to watch.
Wenger’s decision to field a rubbish second string side made for a richly entertaining game which even Robbie Savage’s awful commentary couldn’t spoil. After three 0-0 draws, Wenger saved the day for live TV viewers.
VAR IS BAD BUT NECESSARY
Video Assistant Referees (VARs) will be a blight on our football, and yet they are completely necessary because of the regular incompetence of FIFA official (yes really) Bobby Madley and his colleagues.
If they could be trusted not to award the soft penalties won by theatrical players (see Madley at Liverpool v Everton in the FA Cup) and trusted not to ignore players being shoved dangerously downhill into advertising hoardings (see Madley at Liverpool v Everton in the FA Cup) there wouldn’t be such a clamour for technology that’s going to slow the match down to a ridiculous extent.
It gives me no confidence that the people who make the dreadful decisions on the field will also be charged with using VAR. I expect continued confusion.
MY FAVOURITE SPORTSMEN
I’m not writing Andy Murray’s career off just yet. He’s shown enough guts, fight and determination in his life to suggest he can come back from hip surgery. I hope so. I’ve loved watching Murray play more than any other British sportsman in the last decade, apart from Marcus Maddison and Lee Tomlin.
I’D WORRY IF I WAS A REDS FAN
Liverpool fans fretting over Philippe Coutinho’s departure is most understandable. I’d be worried if my club had already wasted £115 million of the £145 million fee on two ordinary players in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Virgil van Dijk, money splashed out in the knowledge their best player was about to leave for a bigger club.