Taking you back to our home game against Arsenal earlier this month, where I was lucky enough to be sitting next to an elderly gentleman from Hartlepool.
He was no ordinary Newcastle United fan, as he had been coming to St James’ Park since the late 1940s and he told many stories before the game.
During the game Newcastle were awarded a penalty, which as we well know went to “VAR” , this went on for many minutes but during the early part of the review my new friend said “they won’t give us it”, sure enough we didn’t get the decision (slow motion can play tricks on the viewing and can be turned into what you would rather see).
Anyway, the match continued and as we know, Arsenal scored soon after. The next comment I received was “we will not win this
today” and when asking why as Newcastle continued to run them ragged, the reply was “they (Sky) want the
Title to run on.”
Now in my opinion, this was yet another game where I thought the officials were absent without leave, we got nothing and yet the stats were all showing the dominance Newcastle United had. The VAR and time wasting, never mind injury time, didn’t add up.
We were left with Arsenal supporters claiming they would win the league after this win. In reality, St James’ Park is where I think they lost their chance to win the league, as they were run into the ground and didn’t recover.
From Arsenal we move to the Leicester game, where the visitors showed no ambition and played to their manager’s instructions, which at times resembled The Alamo.
However, they very nearly had a chance via some very good play acting by Iheanacho. Giving an Oscar winning performance after a skirmish with Bruno. A yellow card given but VAR decides to have a look to try and help Leicester with their player still down. The yellow card still stood though and on returning home and watching the highlights, I initially felt we may have got away with one. However, as you watch it again in real time, there was no force, slow motion again made it look worse than it was.
Th player got up and played on until after half-time and played in the last game of the season. What didn’t help was the Sky summariser during the game, repeatedly insisting Bruno was lucky not to be off.
We all want the best for our teams no matter who we play but all should be treated the same by match / VAR officials, as we definitely do not see this consistently, it must improve.
Finally, can I take this opportunity to congratulate Eddie Howe and his players for the huge achievements this past season. Also, the backing of the owners, staff and fans, teamwork at it’s best.