Premier League legend also gives his take on VAR
I could not understand Leicester resting players in the quarter-final of the Carabao Cup back in December and then they did exactly the same thing in their defeat to Newport in the FA Cup this week. I just do not get it.
I know that the game came off the back of a busy festive period, but the Newport players will have seen the team sheet before the game with no Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Harry Maguire or Kasper Schmeichel and thought ‘we’ve got a great chance here’.
They thoroughly deserved to win and it leaves the Leicester fans with nothing to look forward to but league games where they will be trying to finish seventh.
If you are a bottom six or seven club fighting relegation then there is maybe an argument for resting two or three players, to avoid losing them to injury. But for a mid-table team to make seven or eight changes is madness to me.
The Leicester fans will have watched the Carabao Cup semi-final between Manchester City and Burton yesterday with a feeling that it could, and maybe should have been them – and it was exactly the same story on Sunday at Newport.
It’s not just Leicester…
I do have some sympathy with Jurgen Klopp, resting a couple of players with his side in such a great position in the league but Liverpool have also put themselves under more pressure to win the title now after losing to Wolves with a weakened side.
I remember when Liverpool used to go for every trophy, and that was with a smaller squad and with more games, on worse pitches and with none of the sports science support they have in abundance now. Two or three changes would have been justifiable, rather than making eight or nine as they did.
It was good to see some of the youngsters make their debuts. However it would have been a lot easier for those young players to start alongside Alisson, Virgil Van Dijk, Mo Salah or Roberto Firmino rather than in a makeshift line-up.
I’m not saying don’t give youth a chance but it would have been a lot easier for the them to try to establish themselves playing alongside some of the bigger players.
VAR caused some more debate on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Tottenham.
As you know I’m not a huge fan of VAR and think it should be used in only circumstances when no one can argue with the decision as it’s blatantly obvious a mistake has happened.
There are going to be teething problems whilst it’s implemented and there will continue to be huge discussions as there was in the Spurs game the other night in regard to the offside decision.
But we are told the correct decision was made from the angle that was shown! In that instance, the linesman should have kept his flag down and let play continue until they had a chance to look back at it.
The process itself creates a lot of confusion in the ground and those fans in the stadium are the ones that are paying their money to watch, so they need to be kept informed as to what’s going on.
It’s not long until we’ll be seeing it used in the Premier League, but like anything that’s new it will take time to get used to.
They will need to make the communication better, particularly the engagement with those in the stadium as that’s one of the main things that needs addressing.