In another season of referee controversy in the Premier League, there have been changes at PGMOL, the body responsible for refereeing England’s professional games.
Most notably, Howard Webb returned from the United States and Canada last August to take over as Chief Justice Officer. Managing his director Mike Riley, he has managed the operation for 13 years, but has stepped down.
Most recently, Lee Mason, the league’s first full-time video assistant referee (VAR), left the organization after making a mistake in the 1-1 draw between Arsenal and Brentford on 11 February.
And this turmoil will continue this summer, when VAR boss Neil Swarbrick resigns.
Swarbrick ended his long career on the field at the end of the 2017-18 season and was appointed to head VAR before being implemented at the start of the 2019-20 season.
During his time at the helm, the VAR system’s aim was to improve decision-making on goals, penalty calls, direct red card incidents, and false identities, but criticism has been vocal.
Swarbrick himself came under scrutiny the same weekend as Mason’s heartbreaking mistake. The 57-year-old was on VAR duty during the West Ham United-Chelsea game and did not tell referee Craig Pawson that a visitor may have missed a spot-kick in the closing minutes.
Both men were dismissed from VAR responsibility for their next round match, and within days, a PGMOL statement announced that Mason, 51, was leaving by mutual consent.
Swarbrick’s development is not thought to be a reaction to recent events, rather he has chosen to retire at the height of 2022-23, which has been planned for quite some time.
There is no news of a successor, but more personnel are expected to arrive to support officials as part of the “elite referee development plan” revealed in this column 12 months ago.
Arsenal agree new deal for Lewis Skelly
Saturday’s win at Leicester City kept Arsenal at the top of the Premier League with a two-point lead and completed a positive few days for the north London side after agreeing in principle on a new long-term deal for the star. . Attacker Bukayo Saka.
The 21-year-old England international recently committed his future to Arsenal after Gabriel Martinelli.
But important contract negotiations aren’t just happening at senior level, with the club looking to keep its best prospects emerging at academy level, including midfielder Miles Lewis Skelly.
The 16-year-old has put in a great performance as Arsenal reach the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, with Jack Wilshere’s under-18s facing Manchester City or Oxford United. .
Lewis-Skelly’s existing registration is due to expire this summer, but Arsenal have agreed to sign a scholarship form with the exciting Hale End graduate.
The contract will keep him bound for two years. Lewis-Skelly then announced that he would turn 17 on September 26, at which point the player would be eligible to transition to a longer, more lucrative professional contract.
Given the impressive progress of the England youth international and rivals’ desire to oust him, this is another important development for Arsenal as they try to retain top talent. Luis Skelly has already trained with the first team and was used by Mikel Arteta as a second-half substitute against Lyon in a friendly in Dubai during the World Cup break.
Luis Skelly, who was brought to Arsenal at the age of eight by former scout Samuel Fagbemi (now head of youth recruitment at Manchester City), is highly regarded and optimistic that he will stay. there were.
Lewis Skelly started playing for the England Under-17s at the age of 15 and is set to qualify for the European Championships in his age group this summer, where he will play in the final.
Haaland plans to opt for Nike boots
Erling Haaland continued the prolific form he has shown since joining Manchester City last summer, scoring his 27th Premier League goal against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Haaland now has 33 goals in 33 games across all competitions, while the 22-year-old Norwegian striker has not benefited from boot endorsements.
His contract with Nike expires in January 2022, and the US brand has been vying alongside rivals Adidas and Puma to secure the next contract for one of the world’s most famous footballers. .
Harland is pictured in footwear for all three brands, with favorable offers from each to secure his services. Forward’s camp expects a package worth around £20m ($24m) a year, but comfort and satisfaction with the product are paramount.
All three options have their own charms. Nike has been in a relationship with Haaland since he was 14 years old. Adidas’ new CEO, his Bjorn Gulden, is a close friend of his family and will be hard at work behind. Puma, who has signed Gulden to Adidas, has the right to provide City kits until 2029.
However, after much speculation, the industry has a firm hope that Nike will win. Haaland appears to be dictating the direction of his journey through his boot selection in recent months and is expected to sign a deal.
Puma appears to have accepted defeat, given that the German company pulled colleague Jack Grealish out of Nike. Unless Gulden and Adidas cause a late surprise.
Embankment back to US frame
Coming back from injury hasn’t been easy for US striker Daryl Dyke. Especially considering he missed the World Cup in November after suffering a thigh injury in August, reports Paul Tenorio.
Dyke returned to West Bromwich Albion in mid-November and scored three goals in 13 appearances ahead of Saturday’s match against Middlesbrough. The forward scored his two goals and West he led Brom to his US teammate Zach Steffen in a 2–0 win. He emerged victorious in front of an important audience, U.S. assistant his coach, BJ Callahan.
The goal means Dyke is in contention for a recall to the national team for the first time since his performance in the national team’s Gold Cup campaign in July 2021. USA are next away and he will face Grenada on 24 March and at home to El Salvador. March 27 in the CONCACAF Nations League.
The 22-year-old could give his team the lift they need heading into the World Cup in Qatar in a position that has been a trouble spot for much of the previous cycle. They took his three strikers to the World Cup. Josh Sargent of Norwich City, Haji Wright of Antalyaspor and Jesús Ferreira of FC Dallas.
Dyke’s goal was his first since mid-January and would keep him in the mix in a competition that included Ricardo Pepi, who scored nine goals this season at Groningen on Saturday. With Norwich he has scored 11 goals and he has two assists for Sargent. Jordan Pefok has 5 goals and 4 assists for the Union. Wright, Ferreira and Brandon Vazquez who started his MLS season on Saturday.
Callahan’s visit to the UK was part of a series of visits by US staff over the past two weeks. Caretaker manager Anthony Hudson traveled to England last week to meet with Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic and other London-based players before heading to Germany to watch Borussia Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna.
Callahan watched Norwich take on American Ouston Trustees’ Birmingham City in last week’s championship — Sargent was sidelined due to an ankle injury — before continuing from West Brom Middlesbrough. and continued on to see Americans Malik Tillman and Cameron Carter Vickers in the Old Firm Scottish Cup final.USMNT scout Eric Rowley also visited Holland last week to meet Pepi and a few others. I have seen Americans.
Madrid’s Whatsapp group comes back to life after Barça’s mistake
Mario Cortegana reports that very select WhatsApp groups became active after 8:20 pm on Sunday in Spain.
reason? Barcelona suffered a stunning 1-0 defeat to Almería. Members of that group were members of Real Madrid, and the messages were full of joy and jokes about the defeat of rivals.
Real faced a 10-man Atlético a day earlier and received a lot of criticism, with many believing the title race was over and Barça had a chance to reach 10 points. Several players, who requested anonymity to protect the team, said: athletic That said, despite a seven-point deficit, they still think it’s possible to retain the title.
Carlo Ancelotti and his coaching staff were happy too. They understand the high demands associated with the club as much as anyone but were plagued by the level of criticism of the derby draw. He pointed out that the natural sacrifice was not properly taken into account.
The Chicago Fire have finalized the transfer of PAOK forward Georgios Kuzias, writes Paul Tenorio.
The 19-year-old was on loan from PAOK of fellow Greek Super League team Volos NPS. Fire will pay his $2.5m (£2.1m) transfer fee for Kuzias, who has three goals and one assist this season. He is believed to replace John Duran, who was sold to Aston Villa for $18 million in January. Like Duran, Cuzias will be in the slot for his U-22 initiative. This initiative encourages MLS teams to buy his under-22 players and develop them with a view to selling them.
The deal is expected to be announced in the near future.
signed shirts for United fans
Manchester United are clearly improving on the pitch and are making a good noise among the fans, explains Laurie Whitwell.
United handed out 65 signed shirts to fans with their official coach departing from Old Trafford ahead of their appearance in the Carabao Cup final yesterday. Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro, Rafael Varane and Marcus Rashford were among those who signed the shirts, one for each coach. Planned by Rick McGag, the club’s head of fan engagement, the idea was a token of our appreciation for their support.
At Wembley Stadium, Manchester United lined the fan seats with 33,000 commemorative scarves. This was more costly than offering plastic flags, but was thought to be more environmentally friendly and last longer.
(Photo: Getty Images)