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Newcastle – No Refereeing Nonsense & The Magpies Will Be Top Soon



The only reason Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle are not top of The Championship is because of the horrendous refereeing performance from tomorrow’s man in the middle Simon Hooper on the opening day of the season.

Away at Fulham – seemingly to prevent SKY Bet Championship punters who had bet on Newcastle to go the whole season unbeaten or even win every match at a liability for the bookies said to be far greater than the Leicester City 5000-1 debacle last year – The Magpies were robbed of 3 penalties, 3 points and early momentum.

Newcastle United possess the best fans, manager, players and stadium in The Championship and are far and away the best team in The League, in fact they are the 21st Premier League team playing in the wrong division.

Last season, Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland benefitted from the most incorrect decisions in the Premier League and Newcastle were the victims of the most refereeing mistakes in the League as this Sun table demonstrates:


Investigations are ongoing into that one yet a closer eye is being trained now on officials in The Championship as well as the rest of English football generally following the Telegraph revelations.

Its the first time Brentford have been at St. James’ Park since the Kevin Keegan 1992/3 promotion season when a referee in slightly different circumstances disallowed this wonder goal from Robert Lee:

As the commentary on the video states, however, former international referee Ian Hendrick is blameless except for not having the vision to see what the future England midfielder would do – score from inside his own half – & he’d already blown the whistle with Magpies defender Barry Venison appealing for offside against The Bees.

Back to 2016 and in a typically extraordinary week, the original handball cheat Diego Maradona had the temerity to verbally attack Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez

“If Benitez, whom I respect very much, was bad in Madrid, let him tell me it was for a lack of players!

“No, he failed. But after a while, after failing there, they gave him three years in Newcastle.

“Can someone explain it to me? Is that normal or does something go wrong?”

Ignoring the fact that Benitez’s Real Madrid side went onto lift The Champions League the way Robert Di Matteo did at Chelsea in 2012, the world’s second best ever player is clearly a man envious of a job at one of the world’s greatest clubs held now by Benitez and once by his Argentine compatriot Ossie Ardiles.

Considering the fact it was every Geordie’s favourite adopted Grandfather Sir Bobby Robson whom Maradona cheated out of potential World Cup glory, he’d wise to pipe down or become public enemy no. 1 in Newcastle.

Yet the fact that the man – whom Pele just edges by 3 World Cup trophies won to the one cheated one – to even comment on Newcastle shows the continued magnitude of the magnificent North-East club.

During a week in which the state of the England national football team is once again in the spotlight, it begs the question, What if England had gone on to win a deserved World Cup trophy in 1986 and possible repeat in 1990?

Would we be talking about a golden age of English football in the 1980 and 1990s on par with the kind of era enjoyed by the likes of Germany and Spain in recent football history?

Similarly, if Newcastle United – a team that used to dominate English football – had always played on a level playing field, would the club have reached the true potential it will under Rafa Benitez?

Recently, Newcastle’s biggest win under Benitez so far – 6-0 at QPR – was eclipsed only on the night by Barcelona beating Celtic 7-0 yet The Magpies’ wrongly disallowed 1st goal again denied them even more.

That was the only Championship game so far that Aleksandar Mitrovic has started and with the Serbian in goal-scoring form for his country notching two against Austria, is surely due another Toon start.

Would Newcastle be as a big as Barcelona if they played on a level footballing playing field? Would Liverpool have a won a Premier League title? Interestingly, Manchester-born Anthony Taylor has been awarded the Liverpool-Manchester United game on Monday night which echoes Benitez’s famous ‘Facts’ rant about referees.

We’ll find out over the next few years as the great football reform has started and referee reckoning is coming.

Big decisions matter in football and the sooner video technology is brought in to take them out of the hands of the corruptible the better to make the world’s most popular and beautiful game a truly fair one.

When you say things like that about a man like Rafa Benitez….PS Happy Birthday Shola.



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Juventus Fans Arrested After Clash with Police



Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash between Juventus and Ajax has already been marred by violence and controversy, before the teams even took to the pitch.

According to Ansa, citing a report from De Telegraaf, dozens of fans were reportedly arrested in Amsterdam in the hours leading up to the game.

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini (h/t Football Italia) took to Facebook live video to state that “around 120” fans had been arrested.

Per the report from De Telegraaf, fans near the Johan Cruyff Arena were “in possession of knives, clubs, pepper spray and flares.” Also, dozens of Ajax supporters were reported to have clashed with riot police in separate incidents outside the stadium and were eventually dispersed with the use of tear gas and water cannons.

The Mirror posted the following images on their Twitter page:

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Man City forward Raheem Sterling Looking to Combat Racism on the Pitch



Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, who spoke out last month after being subjected to taunts during England’s game in Montenegro, is looking to take his fight against racism to the pitch, saying he would rather stay on the field than let racism force him to walk off of the pitch during a match.

Sterling’s manager Pep Guardiola, stated that he would support players walking off in protest if it happened again, in a strong statement that racism is simply not acceptable.

“I think everyone are entitled to their own opinions. My mum has taught me to be comfortable in my own skin and I am,” Sterling said, according to the Manchester Evening News.

“I wouldn’t personally agree with [walking off], to win the game would hurt them even more they’re only trying to get you down. If you walk off they win, to score or win would be better.

“Everyone’s different. Everyone has their own opinion, how they deal with things emotionally and you have to support everyone.”

Sterling opened up about the racism he has faced in his life, discussing when he first expereinced racism when he moved from North London up to the north-west back in 2010.

“I don’t think trying to make a difference or making a difference, it’s about speaking what you experience. Some people might shy away from it, if more players speak up that might be better.

“It’s offensive but growing up my mum always told me I’m a wonderful black child and I know this. When I hear it, it’s nothing new. I’m happy with it. I’m confident, I’m black and I’m proud. Some people can’t take it but my mum has always told me to love who I am.

“The first time I experienced racism is when I went up north to Liverpool – in London in schools and on a day-to-day basis you’re surrounded by a diverse community. Only a few occasions growing up in the academy in Liverpool, and then mainly in the last couple of years of being a professional.”



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Birmingham City Fan Jailed for 14 Days for Punching Aston Villa Player



27-year old Paul Mitchel, a Birmingham City fan has been jailed for 14 days after he plead guilt to assaulting Aston Villa midfielder Jack Graelish during the derby on Sunday.

Mitchell rushed the pitch and took a swing at Graelish when the player’s back was turned at Birmingham City’s St. Andrew’s stadium during the Championship match on Sunday.

Mitchell admitted to invading the pitch and has been officially banned from attending any football match in the U.K. for up to 10 years, and was also ordered to pay £350 in total fines.

Graelish made a statement in which he described how he was “shocked and scared” by the attack.

“I cannot help but feel how lucky I was in this incident,” he said (h/t ESPN). “It could have been so much worse had the supporter had some sort of weapon.”

“He cannot explain what came over himself yesterday morning,” Mitchell’s lawyer, Vaughn Whistance, said on Monday.

“His initial foolish intention was to go onto the pitch to whip up the crowd. He is certainly remorseful today. He is a man with a partner, they have a 2-year-old together and they’re expecting their second child.”

“This weekend a line has been crossed in terms of fan behaviour,” said a spokesperson for the FA.

“On Sunday we saw two separate incidents, at Birmingham City and Arsenal, of individuals entering the field of play and assaulting players.

“Not only is it an offence to enter the pitch, which could result in a club ban and criminal charges for the individual, but it also puts the safety of the players at risk.

“This is entirely unacceptable and we strongly condemn both incidents.

“We will be working with the clubs, the leagues and the police to discuss what collectively needs to be done to protect players and officials on the pitch.

“In addition, we have written to both Birmingham City and Arsenal to seek their observations to examine the security measures they had in place.”

Birmingham City apologized to Grealish and Aston Villa and banned Mitchell for life.

“Birmingham City Football Club would like to apologise to Jack Grealish and Aston Villa Football Club for an incident in Sunday afternoon’s derby match,” a club statement said.

“We deplore the behaviour of the individual who committed this act and rest assured he will be banned from St. Andrew’s for life. The club will also support any further punishment this individual may face in the eyes of the law.

“The club will be working with the relevant authorities to investigate all the circumstances and we will be reviewing our stadium safety procedures.

“What happened has no place in football or society. Jack is a Birmingham lad and regardless of club allegiance should not have been subjected to this — there are no excuses.

“Again, we apologise to Jack and all at Aston Villa Football Club.”


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