Onana coming home as Belgium crash out of the World Cup

01/12/2022 214comments  |  Jump to last
World Cup: Day 12

A crazy day 12 in Qatar saw the final matches of Groups E and F get underway where Belgium lost their uphill battle to qualify for the knockout phase and Germany were also eliminated thanks to Japan's shock win over Spain.

Group F's games kicked off first at 3 pm, with the Belgians needing to beat a talented Croatia team but despite a valiant effort, they ultimately failed, with the ring-rusty Romelu Lukaku coming on after a long injury absence but missing some gilt-edged chances in the second half.

The ex-Everton striker hammered one shot off the post, headed over an empty net after a deflected cross fell his way and couldn't bring down another delivery from the opposite flank, the ball bouncing off his chest at close range and into the goalkeeper's grateful arms.

It means that the 2022 World Cup is over for Amadou Onana, who was suspended for his country's final group game but in a potentially ominous development for Everton fans, Belgium manager and ex-Blues boss, Roberto Martinez,  announced his decision to step down from his his post after the defeat.

Article continues below video content

Martinez was the subject of an offer from the Blues to take on a dual role as Everton manager as well back in January – an arrangement that the Belgian FA refused to entertain – leading to the appointment at Goodison Park of Frank Lampard. With Lampard's job possibly under threat given the club's poor form, speculation continues to link Martinez with a return to Merseyside.  

In the other game, two fine Morroco goals saw them win Groupo F with the Canadians already down and out. 

In the evening matches in Group E, it turned into a rollercoaster with Germany and Spain at one point both going out after Japan scored two quick goals early in the second half to turn that game on its head with Japan and Costa Rica going through.

But Kai Havertz came on to score two goals for Germany that ironically put Spain back in the frame while losing to Japan as group winners. It wasn't enough for Herr Flick and Germany who are eliminated from the group stage of the World Cup for the second tournament in succession.

15:00 Croatia 0 - 0 Belgium – BBC 1
15:00 Canada 1 - 2 Morocco – BBC 2
19:00 Japan 2 - 1 Spain – ITV 1
19:00 Costa Rica 2 - 4 Germany – ITV 4


Reader Comments (214)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 01/12/2022 at 08:40:52
Belgium remind me of Dutch teams of the past. Great individual players, but can't quite gel or unify as a team to realise the potential.
Nick Burgess
2 Posted 01/12/2022 at 09:24:12
And latest rumours BK the Joker welcomes Belgium Boss with open arms just never ends..I guess...always getting wrong person at the wrong time...
Anthony Dove
3 Posted 01/12/2022 at 10:23:41
I see Onana has got two yellow cards and is banned from todays game. So has Gueye who
will miss the England game. The way he was playing for us means that’s a plus for England.
Danny O’Neill
4 Posted 01/12/2022 at 13:04:35
Just flicked through the Athletic article on Kudus.

Part of me wonders why we didn't push harder.

But then maybe Ajax were holding out, knowing they could get more?

Andrew Ellams
5 Posted 01/12/2022 at 14:04:41

I think we would have landed him if Man Utd hadn't offered such big money for Antony. They only wanted to lose one so they took the bigger offer.

Pete Clarke
6 Posted 01/12/2022 at 15:28:29
Did somebody mention yesterday that we can't keep blaming the English? Well, whilst I agree with that wholeheartedly I must admit that our referees are starting to impose their shit Premier League form on this World Cup.

Anthony Taylor didn't even look at the tackle properly let alone try to look at it with the VAR who is still fucking things right up. He won't be happy until he has sent somebody off to get himself noticed.

Shocking referee.
Kieran Kinsella
7 Posted 01/12/2022 at 15:33:08
The only time I can recall Morocco winning their World Cup group before was 1986. In that instance, they met Germany in the second round who had come 2nd in theirs after a win, a draw and a loss.

It's looking like history will repeat itself. In which case we should expect England to lose to the Hand of Mbappe I suppose in the quarter-final.

Duncan McDine
8 Posted 01/12/2022 at 15:57:47
Roberto and his bunch of talented Belgium players are currently sleepwalking themselves out of the World Cup. Surely no one will ever be daft enough to go near Bobby Brown Shoes ever again?
Darren Hind
9 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:00:57
Tell you what. That Canadian goalie seems like an awfully nice chap.

Bill Gall
10 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:05:47
Belgium are like a number of teams in this World Cup, it has come at the wrong time of the season, most of their players are near the end of their peak years and with the the leagues having to play 2 games a week plus now they have to play every 4 days it is the younger players who are improving.
Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:26:09
Denmark is another, Bill.

Landon Donovan commentating on Fox is bewildered that Belgium is being so casual.

Christy Ring
12 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:29:35
Lukaku has just missed 2 sitters. Martinez still playing the 2 veterans at the back, who have been so poor, and Faes of Leicester not getting a look in is unbelievable. He hasn’t changed.
Bill Gall
13 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:44:11
Have to admire this Croatian team; they don't panic with the big boot away, they play themselves out of trouble.
Kieran Kinsella
14 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:49:14
The great Belgium team. Hazard stopped being great about 5 years ago. Bentenke, Batman etc never lived up to early promise. Lukaku is decent. The goalie is good but really the only legitimate star is De Bruyne.
Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:50:29
Lukaku with a miss for the ages. He will be remembered for that moment forever.
Bill Gall
16 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:50:52
Another sitter missed by Lukaku!
James Flynn
17 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:50:58
Ooooh Luka.
Joe McMahon
18 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:51:55
Lukaku's last season with us – wasn't it 25 Premier League goals? He was in his prime and we still didn't make Top 4.

Looking at him now, he's way past his best.

Bill Gall
19 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:54:39
And Belgium are out!
Andrew McLawrence
20 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:55:42
Vintage Lukaku.
Pete Clarke
21 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:55:50
I have just read Lukaku's lips after that last sitter and he said, “Kinell, I'm gonna end up back at Everton!”

The only thing missing from him now is that he doesn't point to exactly where he wanted the ball.
Bill Gall
22 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:56:53
Joe he may be past his best but he is a hell of a lot better than what we have, plus he is just getting back from injuries.
Kieran Kinsella
23 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:57:15
In truth they deserved to lose their first game v Canada. They faced 23 shots and somehow Canada didn't score. It was obvious then that they were finished as a nation.
Mark Ryan
24 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:57:44
They were in a good moment but although we were phenomenal we couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo...BBS Dec 2022...and some want him back ffs
Kieran Kinsella
25 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:58:34
Ian Edwards to make a public statement on his desire for Roberto Martinez to return to Everton.
Peter Carpenter
26 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:59:01
That'll teach him and Mirallas to snigger at Bobby BS.
Joe McMahon
27 Posted 01/12/2022 at 16:59:51
When Bobby gets sacked in the next few days, Bill better not be calling him.
Darren Hind
28 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:02:49
And there we have it.

The reason why some of the biggest clubs in world football have won fuck all with Lukaku in their team. Every time he plays in a big match his kecks roll up. Total choker. I'd have fancied myself to get at least a brace there.

Roberto. The team and the entire Belgian nation will be despairing of giving this flat track bully yet another chance.

He can still control it further than Jordan Pickford can kick it though.

Christine Foster
29 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:03:39
Good grief, that was like watching Everton, no urgency, sideways and back passing, no creativity and missed sitters... all Belgium needed were blue shirts!

Croatia were more decisive, created more chances, sharper attacks. That's Martinez out of a job and Lukaku on his way back to Goodison, or West Brom!

Peter Carpenter
30 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:05:46
'The golden generation is bringing the next generation on.' Guess who just said that piece of crap?
Fran Mitchell
31 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:07:04
Lukaku clearly unfit and zero sharpness. No excuse for the misses.

Disagree that he never performs on big stage. He was immense at Inter under Conte and won the League. And in the last World Cup, he ripped Brazil to shreds in the quarter-finals.

Martinez out of his depth, and Belgium quite simply too old.

Peter Neilson
32 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:08:16
Well the post-match interview showed Roberto's lost none of his blagging skills. World class. Sensational stuff.
Mark Ryan
33 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:08:44
"No regrets" BBS Dec 2022 after going out of the World Cup a phenomenal comment !
I couldn't bear to hear a season more of that bullshit
Barry Robson
34 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:12:50
Mark Ryan you took the words out of my mouth. Absolutely awful interview by Martinez.

Not just going out of the World Cup but going out in the group stages and he says they can hold their heads up high.

Bill Gall
35 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:13:49
With all the slagging off of Lukaku, remember he has only played 90 minutes once in Italy and has been out injured since 29 October, yet Belgium still looked more dangerous with him in the team

Their star player, Kevin De Bruyne, was non-existent.

Barry Rathbone
36 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:14:28
Only utter blockheads are heaping the Belgium draw on Martinez after 3 absolute sitters were squandered by Rom.

Fill your boots, you cranks.

Anthony Dove
37 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:31:32
It was like a rerun of the Man Utd semi-final.
Duncan McDine
38 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:32:51
Agree that Belgium aren't as strong on paper as perhaps 4 years ago, but my God – to not qualify from that group is criminal.
Andrew Ellams
39 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:43:15
Duncan, the World Cup has changed. If you're not on it, these so-called lesser teams will turn you over. Ask Argentina, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and probably more to come.
Tony Everan
40 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:46:15
A sharper Lukaku and it's 2 goals at least, he's been out too long and needs a few more games under his belt.

I'd be delighted if we were creating and missing four or five chances like that per game, it would mean we are doing something right!

It shows we have to get some behind closed doors type competitive games into Calvert-Lewin, if he is fit enough, before the resumption.

Christy Ring
41 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:51:01
Comments on Lukaku are very harsh and over the top, in my opinion.

He only came on for the 2nd half and has played 27 minutes of football with Inter since August. For a player with so little football, he was Belgium's biggest threat, considering De Bruyne was so poor in the 3 games.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 01/12/2022 at 17:56:07
Martinez to stand down after World Cup elimination.
Will Mabon
43 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:15:01
It's all falling into place, Danny... :-o
Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:19:13
Funniest exchange of the week on Fox Sports regarding Roberto:

Rob Stone: "He won't be unemployed for long."

Stuart Holden: "I'm looking for somebody to manage my cryptocurrency portfolio."

Absolute gold.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:22:15
Christian Pulisic on his injury recovery:

"I'm gonna work hard to make sure I'll be 100% by game time."

Given the location of his injury, we can only imagine what the hard work will consist of.

Kunal Desai
46 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:34:47
Queue teary-eyed Kenwright bringing Martinez home.
Danny O’Neill
47 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:45:40
Can someone confiscate the phones in the corridors of Goodison?
Ian Riley
48 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:48:47
Belgium have the players to get to the quarter-final. Only drawback is the manager. Very average and how he got this job still amazes me. What do others see that I don't?

Everton to bring him back? Please no!

49 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:49:12
Craig Walker
50 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:52:54
Lukaku isn't as good as he thinks he is. Having said that, he's streets ahead of any of our forwards and I'd have him back tomorrow.

Martinez was great for us for one season but he's a busted flush now. The verbal diarrhoea was nauseating towards the end of his tenure at Everton. He was at it again tonight.

Bill Gall
51 Posted 01/12/2022 at 18:56:36
Why do people believe that, because Belgium are out, Lampard will be fired this weekend?
Pat Kelly
52 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:00:17
Roberto has resigned and has been spotted at Finch Farm this evening...
Bill Gall
53 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:10:48
Watching the Germany - Costa Rico game and they have the first all female crew officiating in this World Cup.

Germany up 1-nil.

Mike Gaynes
54 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:25:28
That is NOT funny, Pat.

Craig, none of us is as good as we think we are.

Commentators on the Germany - Costa Rica game talking about Oviedo's goal at Old Trafford. I am smiling as always. Love that man. Loved that goal.

John Hall
55 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:44:29
Christine, you read my mind.

I was thinking the same thing as they toiled sideways and back with little urgency reminding me of the side he left us with. Some good players in the Belgium side but collectively pretty poor and not a great watch.

I have been through Qatar many times and it gets incredibly hot so how Bobby and his brown shoes got through the game wearing a suit and tie pretty much shows that he feels naff all through his thick skin.

Please, please let us pray that Bungalow Bill doesn't try to get him back on board with all of the other yes-men old blues we already have.

Kieran Kinsella
56 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:48:41
Que se passe-t-il dans une ferme de pinsons ?
Joe McMahon
57 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:49:33
John @55,

How very dare you refer to Graeme Sharp as a yes-man old blue!

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
58 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:51:39
Duncan #38.

Brian Clough once said we had a fantastic team on paper but sadly the game was played on grass.

If only he had said 'phenomenal team' . . .

I never wanted him the first time and I sure as heck don't want him now!

Ian Edwards
59 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:55:03
I would rather have Martinez than Lampard. No doubt at all.
Kieran Kinsella
60 Posted 01/12/2022 at 19:55:08
Humphrey Bogart should ref the Germany v Morocco game.
Paul Hewitt
61 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:01:35
Ian @59.

Are you mad?

Danny O’Neill
62 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:05:26
I don't know where to put this, but seeing as he made reference to the 86 World Cup and playing against Maradona, this is possibly appropriate.

I just watched the interview with Gary Stevens.

I don't admitting and as I've just said to Brian Murray, I went very teary blue Bill-like when he spoke about his tragic loss of his young son.

On playing football, specifically playing for Everton to win Championships and trophies. I nearly cried again for different reasons hearing that language and remembering it.

He spoke about striking a ball. My word, he could strike a ball. Some of the younger fans rightfully talk about the Pienaar and Baines partnership.

Gary Stevens and Trevor Steven had one on the opposite side of the pitch.

2 league titles, European trophy and an FA Cup. But none of that will take away the loss of his young son. Humble guy. Gave me great moments.

Duncan McDine
63 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:05:34
Brian Clough was the exact opposite of Roberto. He didn’t try to please people with any charm (understatement), but he was a great manager. Roberto however is full of bullshit, much like our dear chairman.
Nick White
64 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:06:45
Ian, were you a season ticket holder during Martinez’s tenure? If you were, I’d like some of what you’re drinking please.
Danny O’Neill
65 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:10:09
I've just spoke to my son. He was a season ticket holder throughout the Martinez reign.

I told him we need to confiscate Bill's phone immediately.

Duncan McDine
66 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:14:22
Auf Wiedersehen
Will Mabon
67 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:15:34
Duncan - wild stuff eh? So far...
Mike Gaynes
68 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:16:52
Holy frijole! Costa Rica!

And the Germans are on the plane home already.

Duncan McDine
69 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:17:02
Very entertaining Will. Neuer was awful there.
Duncan McDine
70 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:18:50
Germany have had more postal strikes than us today.
Mark Ryan
71 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:21:40
Martinez, "I'm a big Jason Derulo fan" – right there!! That's all you need to know. He doesn't deserve any job based on that comment alone lol!! ha ha, insane.
Mike Gaynes
72 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:23:41
Nicely timed comment, Duncan. Another one there.

Wow. One chorus of TICO TICO!

Kieran Kinsella
73 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:27:10
Holy crap!!
Kieran Kinsella
74 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:27:55
Mike Gaynes,

When the draw was made you said this would be the group of death. I don't mind saying I thought you had gone crackers at the time. But it would appear you were correct.

Duncan McDine
75 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:28:46
This is madness.
Will Mabon
76 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:29:44
Germany fans looking rather more serious than usual if that's possible.

Now Spain in trouble.

OK - changed again!

Dave Cashen
77 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:29:49
Spain and Germany losing?????
Kieran Kinsella
78 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:30:09
Bloody Germany rescuing Spain – just like in the 1930s!
Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:31:49
Great historical reference, Kieran!

Navas with a facial save.

Dave Cashen
80 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:35:24
Was just going to say, the times are a changin, but so are the scorelines…
Will Mabon
81 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:37:46
Germany would need to win by 2 clear goals here, even if Spain were to equalize - Japan have it on the head-to-head.

*actually that's changed now due to goals scored; many permutations. Think it's bye-bye though...

Pat Kelly
82 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:39:37

Everton have signed a five-year deal with manager Roberto.

BREAKING NEWS: Everton have signed a five-year deal with manager Roberto Martinez. More soon. #EFC #sololomejor. Image. 20:35 PM · 1 December

Will Mabon
83 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:41:34
Pat - that's not funny, please stop it.
Will Mabon
84 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:42:07
Jeez - Germany...
Mike Gaynes
85 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:42:21
Pat Kelly
86 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:43:10
Don't shoot the messenger, Will
Will Mabon
87 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:44:00
I was hoping you made that up, Pat.
Kieran Kinsella
88 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:44:05
Will if Spain score Germany advance on goals scored
Will Mabon
89 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:45:11
Kieran, it all changed after I figured it... and again!
Will Mabon
90 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:46:19
Will Mabon
91 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:48:05
Holy hell... nail-biter for sure here.
Robert Tressell
92 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:48:33
Really enjoy watching Japan's energy and determination. Very tactically astute too.
Kieran Kinsella
93 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:49:00
So it's not offside?
Will Mabon
94 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:49:57
10 minutes E.T. - it's like an extra half.
Pat Kelly
95 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:53:58
Japan through.
Will Mabon
96 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:54:48
Bye-bye Germany.
Pat Kelly
97 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:55:31
At least England won't lose to Germany on penalties in the final!
Will Mabon
98 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:56:55
Pat, we're lucky there were no pens in the war.
Mike Gaynes
99 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:56:59
Germany, Belgium and Denmark, the Three Stooges of the World Cup.
Peter Carpenter
100 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:58:00
Pat Kelly
101 Posted 01/12/2022 at 20:58:34
What a night. Germany out and Roberto's back.
Peter Carpenter
102 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:02:11
Stop Infantino. There won't be nights like this next time with 16 groups of three.
Kieran Kinsella
103 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:02:29

What was the last team to beat Germany and Spain at the World Cup?

Will Mabon
104 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:03:27
Kieran - England?
Kieran Kinsella
105 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:04:14
Austria 1978
Will Mabon
106 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:04:40
VAR - look at the ball-in-play decision for Japan's second goal...
Sean Kelly
107 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:05:26
I won’t even have bobbys cloned brown shoes at Everton. Just another spoofer in the long list of spoofers that billy bullshit and moshiri hired
Will Mabon
108 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:06:24
Kieran - was a total daft guess but never would have got Austria without looking it up.
Kieran Kinsella
109 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:07:55
Reports Neymar might be out for the rest of the tournament with injury. Looks like France are in pole position
Tony Abrahams
110 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:07:59
I only watched the last five minutes of the first half, and then the last 25 minutes of the second half, and have to echo what Robert T said about Japan. Spain, just couldn’t play through them, because of how well the Japanese were condensing the pitch, and closing almost every gap. It’s all about defending as a team, and playing as a complete unit, and it’s something I would love Lampard, to bring into Everton, especially if he’s going to continue having us play, such a defensive game.
Kieran Kinsella
111 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:08:10
Will neither would I. lol
Will Mabon
112 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:09:19
Bill Gienapp
113 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:09:37
Those three minutes when it looked like Japan and Costa Rica could advance and Spain AND Germany would both be out was the stuff of legend.
Will Mabon
114 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:11:38
Tony, I'm going for Japan as a long shot for winning it. Organization and endeavour may prevail.
Will Mabon
115 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:12:37
Bill - if only.
Jeff Armstrong
116 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:13:47
Your right Bill 113, third best 3 minutes of my life.
Kieran Kinsella
117 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:14:10
Luckily Japan are in the other side of the draw from England.
Daniel A Johnson
118 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:23:09
Roberto has a phenomenal club lined up next
Brendan McLaughlin
119 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:31:26
Roberto has unfinished business at Everton.
Jamie Sweet
120 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:33:02
My word this World Cup has been good fun so far, hasn't it?

Such a shame about all the negative off the field aspects to it - because on the field has generally been quite brilliant.

Ian Edwards
121 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:33:45
Under Martinez we got to 2 semis and got 72 pts.

Under Lampard we are in the same position 11 months after he took over.

He plays one isolated forward, two wingers that cut inside instead of crossing and don't feed the striker, they don't score or assist. The centre midfield don't create or assist and don't protect the defence.

The two Central defenders are so slow that we have to defend so deeply to prevent runs in behind resulting in teams attacking our area and shots just absolutely pour in game after game.

He also has a left back that won't cross the half way line.

His subs are usually wrong and late.

He has the tactical nous of plankton. There is no doubt at all that he is taking us down and games will soon start slipping by.

So, yes... I would sooner have Martinez than Lampard.

Robert Tressell
122 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:41:58
I think Roberto is a better manager than Lampard, too, Ian. However, for all that he is also flawed and I'm not very enthusiastic about having him back.

Despite weaknesses in our squad we are not actually that bad if you can add two forward players with pace, aggression and physicality.

It looks we're trying to resolve that with links to Beto, Dia and others.

That's much more important than the manager position.

Chris Leyland
123 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:42:57
Ian - Martinez took us backwards at a quicker rate than any other manager points wise since the year after we won the league in 1970. Semi finals aren’t a mark f success either- they are a mark of failure. The City loss, having been 2-0 up on aggregate at one stage showed him for what he was: tactically clueless
Jamie Crowley
124 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:43:52
What a CRAZY day!!!

Belgium and Germany out (bracket broken).

Way to go Japan. I knew they were good, but thought they got an awful draw in Group E with Germany and Spain. Really happy for that nation - they'll be all over this.

Meanwhile, looking at the bracket, an exhausted USA team has to get through the Dutch and then probably Argentina. But hey, this World Cup? Who knows!

Will Mabon
125 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:43:54
Jamie S, first I've watched tonight. To now, just seen short 3 or 4 minute highlight clips of about half the games.

Picked a good time to watch though!

I'd rather not discuss the peripheral circus.

Martinez. Thought he got booted a little too early especially when the (subsequently wasted) money arrived. To bring him back though? No.

Will Mabon
126 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:46:35
Jamie C - there may still be surprises to come, maybe even a miracle.
Colin Glassar
127 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:47:55
It’s great to see emerging football nations (Morocco, Japan etc..) topple the established countries. Germany and Belgium look jaded. If England don’t win i’d love to see an African or Asian team win.
Ian Riley
128 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:49:44
Martinez did well in his first season. He had a well drilled defence that Moyes had put together over years! When Martinez started to put his own methods and tactics we became very open defensively. A team lacking fight and energy in my opinion.

My view is you never go back to a manager we went from top 4-6 contenders to mid/bottom half league club. We went backwards under Martinez. Still, if that's progress, give that man a 5 year contract!

Brendan McLaughlin
129 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:50:48
Robert #122

You are correct. Whatever little money we have left we need to spend it on players not sacking Lampard and his entourage and bringing in a new crew.

Still not convinced we have a lot of financial room in which to operate, however, come January.

Jamie Crowley
130 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:52:47
Colin G - agree. Just substitute USA with your England.

Will Mabon -


Miracles. They happen. My single greatest moment in sport. I was 12. I went batshit crazy running around the house. Like crazy nuts. NOTHING will ever, ever come close. Everton winning the title maybe, but as an American that was just unreal. Unreal.

Jamie Crowley
131 Posted 01/12/2022 at 21:59:28
Reading through posts.

Pat Kelly @ 82 -

Don't listen to Mike Gaynes. That was hilarious!

Kieran Kinsella
132 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:01:24

From what I have read it seems like a big challenge for African sides is the administration. Hotels, training facilities, transport etc due to lack of government funding. But if England lose to Senegal then I'll be on board with Senegal. Samuel Eto'o reckons it will be a Morocco v Cameroon final. The first part of that doesn't seem so crazy after today. We will see if Cameroon can pull of another upset tomorrow.

Will Mabon
133 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:04:02
Was never a huge fan, Jamie, but did watch a little ice hockey back then (plus most sports) and I remember that game. It was about 8 years later I first went to the States and it would still be talked about sometimes.

Some things that actually happen would seem far fetched in a novel.

Definitely more to come.

Christy Ring
134 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:09:00
Ian# 121 You talk about Lampard's 2 centrebacks being so slow, both 29, Martinez played a 33 and 35 year old for the 3 games, and were so slow and run ragged, and never gave Faes 23, who has been superb since Leicester sighed him any game time. His defence at Everton was his downfall. I admit he had injuries and Moshiri wouldn't give him money, and brought in Alcaraz on a free, but he hasn't improved his defensive skills.
Jamie Crowley
135 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:09:53
Will -

Inflation. Hostages in Iran. Russia. Cold War. The country was just at a brutal low.

That game meant everything. Literally lifted a nation. I was only 12 but I felt it.

I don't think I'll ever see anything like that ever again. Still tear up every time I watch that countdown and hear Al Michaels with his legendary, immortal call: "Do you believe in miracles? YES!!!!"

Good Lord that moment meant so much, playing hockey my whole life and seeing that.

Enough walking down sentimental road. This World Cup is brilliant, and yes some serious major surprises are primed and ready. Awesome stuff. As you say, more to come.

Kieran Kinsella
136 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:11:17

Martinez's defence was older than Hadrian's Wall. If he came back I wouldn't put it past him to bring in his Belgian center backs. He will tell us Tarkowski is at that "inbetween age" where he needs more experience playing at full back before he has enough gray hair to be a center back.

Joe McMahon
137 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:12:12
Colin,if England don't win I want Japan to. England very Lucky Sadio Mane isn't playing.

I'd rather Wilson be getting more minutes over Harry Kane also.

Kieran Kinsella
138 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:14:39
Thomas Mueller taking it well. "It is an absolute catastrophe. It is unbelievably bitter for us because our result would have been enough. It’s a feeling of powerlessness.”

Germany result would indeed have been enough. . . if they had good results in their two prior games. Did he expect Japan just to throw the towel in?

Christy Ring
139 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:16:45
I'm not English, but feel Germany hard done by, the ball was definitely out.
John Raftery
140 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:20:47
One of the criteria quoted in favour of Lampard’s appointment was his ability to unite a querulous fan base. I suspect the return of Roberto Martínez would also unite the fan base, in total opposition to his appointment.

Even his supporter(s) on the Board must surely recognise that.

Joe McMahon
141 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:21:30
Kieran, he's also forgotten Lampards goal against Germany that was a foot over the line and not given.
Kieran Kinsella
142 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:25:46

Good point. I fogot how old Mueller is but he scored a couple in that game too so you'd think he'd remember.

Will Mabon
143 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:27:20
Christy - I think it was out, but not by as much as Lampard's shot was in.
Will Mabon
144 Posted 01/12/2022 at 22:29:47
Joe - snap.
Bill Gienapp
145 Posted 01/12/2022 at 23:01:53
Ian (121) - the problem is, how is Martinez going to fix any of that? Tactical nous helps to a point (though it's truly debatable whether Martinez has any), but almost everything you cite is personnel-related. He's not going to magically make Coady and Tarkowski quicker (if anything, given his track record of defensive naïveté, that feels like a recipe for disaster).

An isolated forward and two wingers who cut in... well, what's the alternative? You could try playing DCL and Maupay together, but they've both been available about three matches this season.

Colin Glassar
146 Posted 01/12/2022 at 00:01:48
Jamie, the USMNT is progressing very nicely. This might not be their time but in 4 years they, and Canada, could be real challengers. It’s about time the European and South American giants start to feel the heat of real competition to their dominance.
Mike Gaynes
147 Posted 01/12/2022 at 00:08:53
Martinez couldn't change a tire. He is clueless. Paul Power was quoted the other day as saying Martinez flatly refused to practice set pieces -- he just didn't believe they were important -- and Osman said the same in his book:

"We questioned why we weren't working on set-pieces and Graeme Jones, the assistant manager, said: "How many do you have to defend in a game? Three? So why would we spend two hours standing around to defend three set-pieces when we could work on moving the ball."

And, no coincidence, in Roberto's final season alone, we gave up 14 goals on set pieces. Worst in the league two years in a row. And for those two seasons we won 28% of our games.

The guy is a complete lox. Let it go.

Mike Gaynes
148 Posted 02/12/2022 at 00:10:41
Colin #146, agreed, and in four years we'll be playing in our own back yard. Host countries do have an extra advantage if they're not Qatar.
Ian Pilkington
149 Posted 02/12/2022 at 00:16:28
How on earth did Martinez get the Belgium job and why on earth would anyone want him back at Goodison?
Bill Gall
150 Posted 02/12/2022 at 01:47:27
Martinez showed he wasn't capable of running a premier league team with just standard type of premier league players some better than others but not great as a team.
When he became manager of Belgium he got lucky in he had a group of players who were starting to become a strong team with exceptional individuals.
Playing in this world cup he had players who were getting older and pass their best and unable to handle younger high tempo teams. I think the writing was on the wall after their first game against Canada who even though they lost, run Belgium off their feet.
if anyone thinks he is a manager that is able to turn Everton around that is trying to rebuild a team with no scoring forwards or midfielders, they better shake their head, he may be okay when he is given some of the worlds outstanding players, but has proved today and before, he is not a manager that can provide a winning premier league team, that has changed even since he managed Everton.
Kieran Kinsella
151 Posted 02/12/2022 at 02:24:34

The WC being in the USA is going to put me in a weird situation. I hate baseball and football as you call it but living in KC when they won titles and knowing some players from the Chiefs and Royals I ended up even going to games and cheering. Likewise I know a few Sporting KC players and ended up getting sucked into that bandwagon too. So I’m anxious thar with the WC in KC, I might have some kind of Darth Vader existential crisis looking at England/Empire or my American daughter/Community and having to pick sides.

Jay Harris
152 Posted 02/12/2022 at 04:03:47
Are we really discussing a total charlatan who insisted every disastrous performance was phenomenal and refused to accept that goals are scored from free kicks and corners so insisted we did not practice defending them or scoring from them.

The man is a complete buffoon who conned his way into two of the biggest gigs in football.

Gary Johnson
153 Posted 02/12/2022 at 07:05:27
Jay Harris - How’s his record compare to Franks? Did we score less from corners then too?

Personally I’d prefer a Gallardo, Tuchel or Pochetino - but if Frank loses the next two, I’d take Bobby back immediately.

Danny O’Neill
154 Posted 02/12/2022 at 07:32:52
Not quite a 1966 moment, but Germany must feel hard done by with that decision. It was clearly out!

But credit to Japan. They beat Germany and Spain to top their group.

I think Martinez has repeated his Everton pattern with Belgium.

Takes over a decent bunch of players. Does okay to start with. Eventually gets exposed.

Won a trophy but got relegated in the same season.

Took us to 2 semi finals at the sacrifice of our league position.

I want Everton to win trophies. A day out at Wembley would be welcome.

But I want a management team that has it's main focus on our 10th League title.

And the League Cup. Sorry.

Danny O’Neill
155 Posted 02/12/2022 at 07:50:49
Now the BBC Breakfast football experts are trying to explain to me why that ball was still considered in play.

Curvature of the ball? It was over the line and off the pitch.

Jerome Shields
156 Posted 02/12/2022 at 08:02:57
Not surprised Belgium are going out, Martinez tenures tend to decrease in productivity as previous good defence is diluted.Croasia should have put them out of their misery earlier, but their finishing was sim8lar to Belgiums not good enough.As for Germany their players have found thar their sense of entitlement is inconsistent with actually getting results.

One thing that Everton can take from this World Cup is that all the teams could pass and retain possession and create scoring opportunities.Everton are simply not good enough in comparison.

'Martinez the subject of an offer from the Blues to take on a dual role as Everton manager back in January, an arrangement that the Belgian FA refused to entertain, '

Glad I didn't take Marinez serious in January, since I can't recall the above.from Lydons article Really does make you wonder if anyone at Everton has a clue about football.Also confirms that Frank was appointed as a result of fan pressure..But those ejits involved in such a ludicrous suggestion are still there.

John Burns
157 Posted 02/12/2022 at 08:10:44
Danny (155).

If the curvature of the ball malarkey is the rule, then it was in. I never knew that rule, nor did it seem, most everyone else in the football world. I wonder how many other rules we don't know?

Darren Hind
158 Posted 02/12/2022 at 08:14:58

If it is the rule – and we are assured it is – it’s a rule that to my knowledge has never ever been invoked before.

The magnanimous, humble Germans will be as sick as sea-going Parrots. So yeah. I'm all for sticking hard and fast to the rules..... this time!

Darren Hind
159 Posted 02/12/2022 at 08:25:35
Just seen images of Lukaku smashing up the perspex screen in the dug out the crying like a baby on Thierry Henry's shoulder.

You'd think he would be used to blowing it when the chips are down by now!

Kim Vivian
161 Posted 02/12/2022 at 08:33:38
The entire ball has to be outside the whole of the line. Christ, it's not complicated. A view from above will show that ball was still in play. You've only got to look at the positioning of the ball from some corner kicks to understand better.

And just to add for the benefit of the Germans - if Frank's shot (in whatever year it was), was not over the line - then sure as hell that ball last night wasn't.

Eddie Dunn
162 Posted 02/12/2022 at 08:45:11
To even consider taking back Martinez is madness. He has been found out. He squandered his golden generation.

He was a very odd character, delusional in the extreme. Only a weird control freak, equally delusional, would appoint him a second time… oh, wait a minute!

Gerry Quinn
163 Posted 02/12/2022 at 08:53:58
Spot on Kim, excellent (161) - you refer to a corner kick situation - which EVERYONE knows is the rule...how did anyone not know that?

Sour-ness is the most obnoxious RS ever - matching Roy Keane for stupidity

Peter Carpenter
164 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:07:06
In addition to curvature of the ball, don't forget curvature of the earth. We now know the earth is not flat, so just bend the photo upwards slightly in the middle and the ball is more likely to be out of play. Has FIFA considered this important factor?
Danny O’Neill
165 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:17:51
I think the goal line technology is one thing football has got right. I wonder if it had been in place on the touchline what the decision would have been?

That said, England might not have won their one World Cup if it had been in place.

As for VAR, it's still a mystery to me how football has messed up something, which should make Clive Thomas 1977 decisions clear, accountable and there for all to see.

I said before the competition, Germany were a shadow and are in transition. They will reorganise and reset. 4 World Cups, 3 Euros and countless runner's up finishes over the years.

England had an open top bus tour with comedy breasts because they went out in a semi final once and Gazza cried.

Random memory. Not as bad as that joint open bus parade through the city in 1986. The Liverpool bus in front of the Everton one with them holding both trophies. I went to see them but I think I felt as much of a spare part as our players did.

166 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:23:19
Danny @155,

Very surprised by your dogmatic assertion there.

I agree that in real time it looked like the momentum of the ball had taken it over the line, but freeze-frame says different:


Forget about this ‘curvature' bollocks – the whole of the ball must be over the whole of the line. That means a gap between the edge of the ball and the edge of the line.

No photos I've seen show that gap.

Ray Robinson
167 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:39:47
The ref and linesmen disallowed the goal, it wasn't a clear and obvious mistake so the No goal decision should have stood. How on earth is a linesmen supposed to have an aerial view of the ball like it is possible to have at a corner where the ball is dead?

Forget this curvature of the ball bollocks. We have goal line technology to rule on goals. Do we now need touchline technology as well?

If all of the ball touching the ground is out, the ball is out. Pity the officials who now have to have built-in drones to make decisions.

168 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:47:24
Hi Ray,

“If all of the ball touching the ground is out, the ball is out.”

Nice idea.

But that's not the rule. Never has been.

And apparently they used the goal line technology camera to determine this.

Andrew Ellams
169 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:52:32
At the end of the day if we're now reliant on freeze framed pictures from multiple angles to make a decision then it's just another nail in the games coffin.
Ray Robinson
170 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:57:25
Invisible Man #168. Sorry should have said it SHOULD be the rule not IS the rule (although I never knew). It’s the only way a human can effectively judge with the naked eye and therefore the only enforceable one.
Trevor Peers
171 Posted 02/12/2022 at 09:59:07
We were close to bringing back the snake oil salesman that is Martinez when Lampard was appointed, he was first choice, he would already be here only for the World Cup.

He has an uncanny habit of dismantling a teams heart and spirit with his tedious tactics, he inherited a good team at Everton and world class team at Belgium and managed to destroyed both.

Don't be surprised to see him back in January when the results could force a change of manager, if he does return I'm done with Everton until he's removed. I couldn't bear to listen to his bullshit again.

Tony Abrahams
172 Posted 02/12/2022 at 10:04:58
How do we know that this aerial view is 100% accurate? Is it not possible that it could have been taken a thousand of a second before the Japanese player crossed the ball?

There are other pictures that show daylight between the ball and the line, so this decision has definitely been made from a grey area, imo. Maybe I think like this because I don’t believe that football is straight, but if this is technology, then I would argue that technology can definitely be altered to suit?

Tony Everan
173 Posted 02/12/2022 at 10:17:31
It’s getting very quantum theory. They need Albert Einstein on VAR with Max Planck and Stephen Hawking on the panel. It seems space-time around the ball was influencing and causing anomalies in the photon wave field emanating from the vertical axis of the outer goal line. This decision could be a front pager In January’s Nature magazine.
Danny O’Neill
174 Posted 02/12/2022 at 10:34:36
If that decision was given against Everton in a derby, we'd be adding it to the long list of injustices.

I can't believe a Japan goal is scratching my bitter itch.

You won't be done with Everton Trevor.

It isn't possible. The first half of last season proved that for all of us.

They're our Everton. And we can't leave them. Ever.

Kevin Prytherch
175 Posted 02/12/2022 at 10:41:50
So if we agree that if there is daylight between the bottom of the ball and the line then the ball is out, then what about if the ball is in the air? What if the grass is longer so there’s clear daylight on short grass, but not on long grass? Would we be happy if only 3/4 of the ball was over the line and a goal was given against us? Do we take it from the middle of the ball?

The rules have been the same for years, no need to mess with them now.

Dave Abrahams
176 Posted 02/12/2022 at 10:45:33
Regarding that Spanish person coming back to fuck up, sorry manage Everton again, on another website thirty seven people have voted for him to be in charge.

I think if they had played with a square ball in the World Cup it would have been easier to notice if the ball was out or in before it was crossed, maybe that’s another change they could consider.

Gerry Quinn
177 Posted 02/12/2022 at 10:53:33
Back in the 60's we actually played 5-a-side using a square ball to see what it was like - the game lasted less than 2 bloody minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! However, ball was definitely NOT OUT when it hit the sides of the gym...
Ray Robinson
178 Posted 02/12/2022 at 11:08:42
And I thought VAR was brought in to adjudicate on situations that were clear and obvious. At the moment, it’s replacing subjective decisions on the field with subjective decisions in the VAR studio. It’s about as clear as some of Martinez’s thought processes.
James Hughes
179 Posted 02/12/2022 at 11:24:07
Kim @ 161 has got it spot on, every corner kick you see a player placing the ball with just a tiny portion of the ball OVER the line, NOT on the line.

I don't understand why Germany are giving sympathy for going out. I couldn't care less and Rudiger is still geeting loads of grief for his stupid running in the Japan game

Deutshland, Deutshland Uber, er no, for me Feck em off

Kim Vivian
180 Posted 02/12/2022 at 11:27:46
Ray - 167. How does that work when the ball is in the air?

Ray Robinson
181 Posted 02/12/2022 at 11:33:48
Kim, #167 subjective decision, right or wrong. Has to be that way. Unless we ref a football match entirely by technology.
Danny O’Neill
182 Posted 02/12/2022 at 11:34:58
I don't think it's sympathy, just an observation of football officials and decision making.

Still Brazil, France or Argentina for me.

Croatia might do well and Holland could be a dark orange horse.

England have a chance, but I'm not sure I could withstand it being an exile in London.

Kim Vivian
183 Posted 02/12/2022 at 11:48:05
Ray - 181. I think line technology works well. Tennis is a good example - easier because it is based on the bounce of the ball, but certainly for goals it seems pretty good in football, and could usefully and easily be extended to the full goal line.

The incident with Sterling against us comes to mind among others. Clearly wrong on that occasion but allowed to stand. But subjective, eh?

Ray Robinson
184 Posted 02/12/2022 at 12:04:16
Kim. Good point about tennis but as you point out that is based on the bounce of the ball and not whether any part of the ball overhangs the line. The “bounce”, such as it was last night, would have resulted in an “out” decision according to tennis rules. I’m afraid we probably have to accept a degree of subjective decisions in football (fouls?). If the ball that was pulled back last night for Japan’s goal had been from 4 feet in the air, would goal line technology have been able to cope? I don’t know. Certainly not without a lot of perpendicular line drawing. If the ball had not resulted in a goal but had been given as (say) a corner and Japan had scored from the corner, the incident would never have even been checked. Where does it all end?
Kim Vivian
185 Posted 02/12/2022 at 12:04:40
Meant to say - even in tennis it's the circumference of the ball, not the contact point.

Many goals are ruled good or not good when the ball is in the air using the tech so that would apply the full length of the line.

Anyway it is what is is,.Germany are going home, and it's sure to create some further debate in the corridors of power!

Michael Lynch
186 Posted 02/12/2022 at 14:07:57
Not sure where to post this, but Mike Gaynes seems to be all over my twitter news feed, thanks to this superb piece:


Great stuff!

Darren Hind
187 Posted 02/12/2022 at 14:15:26
If there was a shot of this from the air. We would have seen it by now. We havent.
If goal line technology worked outside the frame of the goal. we'd have seen evidence of this too.

This is a different kettle of fish to tennis where the line is actually the target and there are close calls every 5 minutes as opposed to this once-in-a-hundred-year debate.
There is no way on earth the non existent shot from the air will find its way into every ground in the world in the future either
The markings on the pitch (lines) have been used as THE marker, ever since the game was invented. They always will be.

Some decisions have to be taken using the naked eye. This is one of them.

That ball was out. Well out. Even John McEnroe would have struggled to argue he saw chalk dust

Tony Abrahams
188 Posted 02/12/2022 at 14:19:11
I have sympathy only for football, because it’s getting ruined imo. I’m aware that this might just be my own thoughts, although it does seem like a lot of people, like controversy and inconsistency, and especially if they benefit from these incredibly contentious decisions.
Steve Brown
189 Posted 02/12/2022 at 14:28:48
Think the shadow of the ball was on the line, but the ball itself definitely wasn’t.

Almost as bad a decision as the penalty Messi got against Poland after he’d headed the ball wide.

I always find the attitude of the referees in making these decisions pretty cowardly. They use VAR to duck out of decisons they have made that they often should stick to.

Use VAR for offsde and goal-line decisons only. Give each manager one appeal they can make against a referee decision each half and leave it at that.

Kieran Kinsella
190 Posted 02/12/2022 at 14:40:19
Kieran Trippier was complaining about the balls being used and it was explained the new balls contain sensors to determine position and if it crossed the line. With that being the case, why were VAR even involved? Wouldn't the sensors make the determination as to where the ball was?
Darren Hind
191 Posted 02/12/2022 at 14:51:03

They're called Kopites

Christine Foster
192 Posted 02/12/2022 at 16:03:35
99.9% of linesman in any top class game, would flag that ball out of play. Truth is too that in many cases they would be wrong to do so by the actual laws of the game.

What we are really complaining about once again, is the appalling inconsistency caused by poor officiating reliant on technology.

It's ruining the game. Football has allowed technology to replace the need for referees, decision making is made doubly contentious through the introduction of VAR and their selective interpretation of decisions made on the pitch. The offside law interpretation is a disgrace, it has been used as a confirmation tool rather than in exception. It's own layer of interpretation has led to rule changes to suit VAR not the game.

No tackling, soon no heading, no contact. No human referees on the pitch, ball sensors..

Ask the questions, Has VAR improved the game? Who is actually benefitting from the changes? Where is this beautiful game going? Football, a game that didn't need fixing is now fixed in more ways than one.

Tony Abrahams
193 Posted 02/12/2022 at 16:14:40
Definitely Darren, but it’s very infectious/contagious, and I think it runs right through football nowadays mate. I think the biggest moaners are usually the ones that will take anything, and usually/always refer back to the past when the decision never went there way.

I can see it on this thread, and I also know this is the way of the world, but this general acceptance doesn’t do any good whatsoever to help the game I once loved, Imo mate.

I look no further than your first paragraph in post187 Darren, and this leaves me questioning who exactly is in charge of any given game, and it genuinely saddens me.

Christine Foster
194 Posted 02/12/2022 at 16:15:47
I'll throw in the next inevitable stuff up, how many times have we seen a corner flagged as it's cross is deemed out of play by the linesman? Imagine the cross being converted in the dying minutes of a world cup final standing at 0-0 imagine it was England v Brazil and someone in a VAR box had to make that call, because now, it's going to happen. Can of worms..
Christine Foster
195 Posted 02/12/2022 at 16:17:56
God dammit I hate it when I can't sleep...
Tony Abrahams
196 Posted 02/12/2022 at 16:27:40
Count how many worms are in the can Christine, and it won’t be long before you are having nightmares! Big Jurgen’s teeth, will be biting through your bedsheets, whilst those bent-FIFA officials will be screaming with laughter, at how they have got those German players back now, for having the temerity, to put their hands over their faces, in protest. Maybe?
Will Mabon
197 Posted 02/12/2022 at 16:39:51
The more you look, the more...


The second picture/video is FIFA's Twitter post. The premium filmed quality you would expect or should I say, know will exist, has somehow got "lost" in the process of getting to Twitter.

However despite the blurry image at around 20 seconds the ball sure looks to be in, and not just by the shadow.

VAR certainly "adds" to the discussion.

(apologies if this repeats the link of the poster at 166; that link wouldn't work for me).

Mike Gaynes
198 Posted 02/12/2022 at 16:45:10
Michael #186, that's an edited version of the long article I wrote for TW in 2017. A friend suggested I submit it for the club site's new MyEverton feature, and they posted it. In April it'll be six years since I made the trip. Time does fly.

Christine, VAR has certainly changed the game, but I don't think it has ruined it. The problem with VAR isn't the system itself. It's the idiotic way FIFA and the PL and other dim-bulb poobahs are instructing the referees and ARs to allow for it.

Steve, #189, I don't believe the officials are cowards. This is the way they are being told to officiate with the system in place, like the much-delayed offside flags. VAR is now core to the way the refs officiate, rather than an adjunct as it should be.

It's a mess but I believe it will be straightened out over time, as other sports have done with their video review systems. Baseball, NFL, basketball, hockey, rugby, tennis all use them pretty seamlessly now. Footy is just behind the curve.

And to me, VAR got the Japan ruling right.

Danny O’Neill
199 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:01:17
Every single one of them Darren.

The polite version.

What has been winding me up in recent years is how the linesmen don't actually assist. Watch just about every decision on a throw in. They won't raise their flag until they look at the Ref who points his hand in a low profile manner.

Then they go with his decision.

They've become as pointless as those ones we had in Europe stood behind the goal posts offering nothing.

Only 24 days to go.

Tony Abrahams
200 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:05:54
The first picture on the link, that Will has just posted surely ends all discussion? VAR isn’t the problem, it’s the officiating that’s the problem, but still we don’t hear these people speak?

Football wants controversy, it’s the World game, it’s on television almost twenty-four-seven, but once/if we ever start hearing these referees speak, then my guess is, that it will be followed by a major court-case.

The game is bent, and although saying this, is a big fucking statement, nothing much is going to convince me otherwise.

Dave Abrahams
201 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:15:01
Mike (198)what you are saying about referees is that every single one of them leaves the difficult, to some, decisions to VAR, that makes them cowards in my opinion, they haven’t the courage to support their own decisions, and there is no consistency in making these decisions from the same referee in game to game, they make their minds up as they go along, and it is made easy for them because they are not answerable to anybody, never questioned.

It must also be asked why football is far behind other sports in using VAR properly so we can all see, at the time, why decisions are made, all premier league clubs have screens in the ground for the explanations to be aired, sorry wrong there, I don’t thinkLiverpool or Man.United have screens, two of the biggest clubs making more money than most clubs but can’t make space for screens.

Will Mabon
202 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:18:24
Tony, I fully agree about the controversy and more.

It would be easy today to immediately show real time in-stadium and on live media, the very film and shots from which the decision was made - plus explanation - but they don't.

This betrays I believe the opportunity for what might be called, interpretation and adjustment. Or as you say, it's bent.

*Sorry, Dave - slightly repeated you there. Same-time typing and posting!

Kim Vivian
203 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:23:05
Different controversy but to me it looked like Uruguay/Cavani should have had a penalty. Same debate in that it comes down to officiating.

No axe to grind because I don't really give a shit re Uruguay/S.Korea but if that was a league game with Cavani playing for one of the "six" it would def go to VAR, I believe Uruguay have fair grounds for complaint. Glad to see Karma for Ratboy though.

Mike Gaynes
204 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:27:00
Dave #201, what I am saying is that the referees are being instructed to hold their decisions for VAR review. I have no factual basis for that allegation, but I'm certain about it nonetheless.

I've worked with excellent refs for 45 years, and I can tell you that it would be against a referee's nature to let a foul pass or keep the flag down on an obvious offside. We go out there to officiate. They are being TOLD to proceed this way. It is idiotic and senseless. But I do not believe referee cowardice has anything to do with it.

As to why football is so far behind the curve, I remain convinced that it's a function of the overseers, whether they be FIFA or the Premier League. Here in the US, where video review systems have been mainstream for decades, the use of VAR in MLS is significantly more sensible and efficient than it is in the greatest league in the world.

Will Mabon
205 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:34:36
Mike, something going on for sure. It's been too obvious for too long.
Dave Abrahams
206 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:50:11
Mike (204),

I've met you and believe you are a very honest man, but I think you are naive if you think every referee is as honest as yourself. Just one game absolutely convinced me of a referee's utter bias and dishonesty – a derby game that you might have seen yourself.

Mr. Clattenburg was the official that day, not one or two decisions but four at least. A thoroughly pathetic, biased and dishonest performance which he walked away from without a word from anyone, yet David Moyes was pulled up for questioning his refereeing that day.

That was just one game. I've seen many more where the referee's ability was seriously questioned, and of course many have been downgraded for a game or two but allowed back to referee in the Premier League.

Definitely not questioning your integrity, Mike, but some of your fellow referees need a good looking at, especially in the Premier League.

Les Callan
207 Posted 02/12/2022 at 17:52:09
Dave @ 201. I think that there is a screen at Old Trafford. They use it when the rugby league games are played there.
Dave Abrahams
208 Posted 02/12/2022 at 18:03:11
Will (202)

No problem, I've read plenty of your posts in the past and you're always your own man.

Dave Abrahams
209 Posted 02/12/2022 at 18:05:11
Les (@207, fair enough Les, I thought there was another club beside Liverpool.
Ernie Baywood
210 Posted 02/12/2022 at 18:05:19
I'm still torn on the Japan goal. If the laws of the game say the whole ball needs to be out, and the sensors and VAR can determine that accurately now, then I suppose that's great.

No more errors such as Lampard's missed goal, Spurs at Old Trafford or I recall South Korea having a similar goal allowed when they hosted. Or Bolton at Goodison that would have sent us down!

But I'm not sure the laws of the game were ever meant to be interpreted quite this literally. That's been out of play for over 100 years. Now it isn't and that doesn't feel right. Every footballer thinks that ball went out of play. Except now it didn't.

Mike Gaynes
211 Posted 02/12/2022 at 18:13:55
Dave, can't argue about that Clattenburg game! Think how different it might have been if the VAR was in place.

Kim #203, gotta disagree. What I saw in real time -- confirmed on replay -- was the two players running side-by-side and Cavani sticking his leg out sideways in front of the defender to draw the contact. The defender never even reached for the ball, just ran. The ref was perfectly positioned and got it right IMO. In fact I would have given Cavani a yellow.

Dave Abrahams
212 Posted 02/12/2022 at 18:26:59
Mike (211),

True, if the VAR was around then, Lescott most probably would have been sent off for pushing Caragher!!

John Keating
213 Posted 02/12/2022 at 18:30:53
True, Dave,

Hadn't Clattenburg actually gone out to the Far East with Liverpool that pre-season?

The fact the league didn't allow him to ref us for ages spoke volumes.

Will Mabon
214 Posted 02/12/2022 at 21:45:30
"But I'm not sure the laws of the game were ever meant to be interpreted quite this literally. That's been out of play for over 100 years. Now it isn't and that doesn't feel right. Every footballer thinks that ball went out of play. Except now it didn't."

That's a good point Ernie; over-control, cold digitization above human judgement. Even that of professionals.

Since things have been pushed down this route, it might offset the loss a little if what we had now were actually what it purports to be - a reliable and accurate solution to possible errors or misjudgements etc.

We don't have that. Seems there's still no definitive black and white for many situations (pens and fouls mainly) but now we have all the delays, the fanfare and the uncomfortable knowledge that there is still room for possible bias.

Dave Abrahams
215 Posted 02/12/2022 at 21:51:01
John (213) yes John he travelled with them preseason and he was the proud owner of a Liverpool shirt signed by all the players,and yet he was allowed to referee this game although it was common knowledge about him being on tour with them.

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