What is the point of the 4th Official?

January 31, 2015

In the recent Chavs/Dippers match, Diego Costa stamped on a Liverpool player. The referee “didn’t see it”, it happened right in front of Phil Dowd, the Fourth Official.

Now, it seems most unlikely that Dowd also missed it, so why didn’t he signal to the ref that a foul had been committed?

The Ref, after having watched the video stated that had he seen the offence he would have dismissed Costa, Chelsea would have been down to ten men. Liverpool would have been handed an advantage and justice would have not only been done, but seen to be done, instantly!

Instead, after a fast-track hearing and an appeal Costa has been banned for three matches.

Thus an advantage has been awarded to Man City, Aston Villa and Everton, the three teams that Costa would reasonably have been expected to play against. Liverpool are left with only a sense of grievance.

So, back to my original question. What’s the purpose of the Fourth Official?

If he is not there to assist the on-field officials, why does a top grade referee have the job of checking the subs for necklaces, dodgy studs etc, keeping the opposing managers apart and holding up the board to indicate which players are being subbed and how many minutes of added time are to be played.

It seems the fourth official has no “official” duty in regard to the actual on-field activity.

So, why not?

written by Norfolk Gooner

All I want for Xmas.

December 21, 2014

Where were you in February? We were on a “holiday of a lifetime” sailing around the Caribbean. I was avoiding football in an attempt to appease Mrs. Raddy, however as we sailed to a supermarket to buy a boatload of food and booze for six people; much to my delight they were showing the Liverpool/ AFC game. By the time the heaving trolley had got to the breakfast cereal aisle we were three down.

So what makes everyone so positive about a win today?

Liverpool: Even without Suárez, Sturridge and the Loony, L’pool are capable of beating anyone at Anfield yet they are struggling as this season quickly becomes a disappointment to the Scousers

How could this happen to a team who were so exciting last season? Could it be the loss of just two players? Rodgers made what appeared to be some good signings in summer. He strengthened a dodgy defence, bought quality MF’s and Lambert and Balotelli. It should have improved the squad, instead they look a shadow of last season’s team. Bedding in time, the slow demise of Stevie Me, the loss of Agger, discovering Suarez is irreplaceable all have contributed to Rodger’s problems.

One thing for certain is that Sturridge is becoming a better player each week he is missing with injury. In my opinion he is a poor-man’s Welbeck and when fit the pressure upon him will tell.

Balotell: A bullet avoided or a player we should have signed? No doubt in my mind – the bloke has been awful for Rodgers. Given Liverpool’s use of the T-shirt messages to support a racist, what will they wear to validate another player banned for racist comments?


And then there is Suarez/Alexis. L’pool wouldn’t sell us Suarez and went to the media to joke about how we only offered £40m +a quid, and then we sign the bloke they desperately want to replace him for 5mill less. It’s Karma, man.

Arsenal: Positives – we are getting players back from injury. Negatives – we are losing players to injury again.

The team almost picks itself with Chambers working alongside BFG. It didn’t work at Stoke but a week’s practice and the return of Debuchy could make the difference.

It will be interesting to see whether Mr Wenger continues with the OG/Welbz combo. I hope so as they look potent.

Food. What do they eat in Liverpool? Well, according to the terrace chant it is dead rat (in your Liverpool slums), but what else? Quite a lot – Lancashire hotpot, Clog and Billycot’s fish pie, Malkin pie, Lancashire cheese, black pudding, Liverpool toffee but as we have been talking about Piebury Corner, let’s have a look at the famous Lancashire Foot.


Lancashire Foot is a pie made from puff pastry, cheese and onions. Easy and cheap to make and a tasty dish if you are going down a mine or working in the docks.

What to expect this afternoon? Who knows? Look at the difference between our play against Stoke and Newcastle. Play like last weekend and we will blow them away but the Scousers will not let our midfield run the game and in the (hard to say this) excellent Sterling they have a player who will undoubtedly cause problems.

A strong referee will be needed today as Ox and Alexis will torment their defence and Henderson and Gerrard will look to hurt them – just checked, it is Michael Oliver :-(  :-(

Given the thrashing we got on our last trip to Anfield (also reffed by Oliver) I will be happy with a point but much happier with three :-D



Flood Alert …… Arsenal’s defence to triumph at ‘Pool

February 8, 2014

Today’s early kick off sees the good guys travel up to Anfield, risking hub caps and (pockets to be picked) in search of three points to sustain the title challenge that was comfortably dismissed as a flash in the pan by the so called experts back in September when we had the temerity to top the table.

Where am i ?

Where am I ?

Following the football cliché of “taking each game as it comes” nothing will be said about the following games so looking at the form of the ‘dippers/mug smashers (delete as applicable) we see they have won 3, lost 2 and drawn 2 of their last 7 games.

It would be remiss of me not to point out both those losses were to the oil slick teams (CSKA Fulham Bus stop and Abu Dhabi FC, or maybe that should be the Amoco Cadiz and the Torrey Canyon) and one of those wins was a resounding thumping of the Toffees 4 zip so this calls for the Arsenal to be at their sharpest.

Having said that our form over that same period is 6 wins and a draw so I would expect home advantage to be the only thing that may tilt the bookies odds away from us.

The team news for our opponents is that four defenders are unavailable, Johnson, Sakho , Enrique and Agger, while Leiva misses out in midfield. Much will depend on how the axis of Henderson, Gerrard and Coutinho perform assuming Rogers picks the obvious first XI. To my eyes Henderson has been improving whilst Gerrard seems to be slowing and perhaps is being picked for non-footballing reasons.

At the moment the ‘dippers strength is up front with everyone’s favourite cannibal leading the scoring stats for the Premier League by a hefty distance, ably assisted by the slightly sulky Sturridge, an Anelka in the making perhaps.

Turning to the Arsenal the only change to the squad from the Palace match, my first without seeing any of the AA crew at the Tavern beforehand, will be the addition of Wilshere to the squad, most likely in place of Zelalem.

The back five picks itself except for the left full back position where I think Wenger will plump for Gibbs who will be able to deal with pace of Saurez/Sterling/Sturridge a bit better than Nacho man.

In the middle I would like to see Wilshere, Özzy and Rosicky with Santi, Prince Poldi and Olly up top, although I think Wenger will pick this team:

pool v arse

Tactical bollix wise I would suggest exploiting the ‘dippers main weakness, their defence and strangling their midfield so that their lethal front three are forced to drop deep to pick up the ball.

After Kolo’s howler that resulted in two dropped points against the Baggies last week confidence may not be sky high along the back line so early pressing of the centre backs of the day is in order.

Despite my good natured ribbing of today’s opponents above I don’t dislike them terribly, nothing like the contempt I feel for that Salford team or the Orcs for example. They serve as salutary tale for a once top drawer club that, from the heyday of the 70’s and early 80’s, allowed themselves to fall from grace and only now seem to be, possibly, climbing back to the top. I remember bonding with a group of their supporters, in a bar near Charing Cross before a Scorpions gig, over our mutual hatred of ManUre.

A perfect combination of Polynesian and Scandinavian

A perfect combination of Polynesian and Scandinavian

In that same era as an adolescent in Essex I was mainly aware of two things, football and developing early crushes on actresses, in particular one Maren Jensen, of Danish and Hawaiian parentage.

She was the first in a long line of such crushes that made the male-female polarity dilemma such a feature of my teenage years.

Remembering how topsy-turvy the late 70’s were, I’d also not want another aspect of that era to return, namely a period of Liverpool dominance.

Wenger will know what is required to win at Anfield and if I could say anything to him regarding his preparation I would like him to attempt to nullify our opponent’s strengths, so we can then concentrate on our game.

Whoever starts for us tomorrow will no doubt know that we(and they) want the 3 points – make it so.


By ChärybdÏß1966 (on Twitter @charybdis1966)

Liverpool: Title Contenders?

November 2, 2013

What do Jimmy Tarbuck, Steven Gerrard, Ken Dodd, Cilla,  Jamie Carragher, Les Dennis,, Derek Nimmo, Freddie Starr, and Joey Barton, have in common apart from the fact they are all tools? I have no idea…..

Over the years I have enjoyed many a laugh both with and at my Liverpool mates and their undying support for their team. They remain convinced LFC are still  potent and relevant in these days of domination by the money clubs. How many years is it since they won the title?

Now I realise I am on thin ice here what with our lack of a Big Ears cup, but really, they are about as relevant as a beta-max video machine.

Except, and I hate to write this, this season they look like a team who have the potential to actually break into the big boys. Alongside those miscreants down the road, who are finally learning to stand upright, they threaten not just our Top 4 place but also, dare I say it, the Champions.

Oh stop it, Big Raddy – you know as well as Alan Hansen that Liverpool will self-destruct just as they have year after year – is it 20 now? No Raddy – it is almost 24. Makes our 10 years since a title seem paltry.

Liverpool:  OK I’ll admit it, I was wrong. I thought Brendan Rodgers was totally out of his depth and would have been sacked by summer, instead he seems to be doing an excellent job. It is early days but Rodgers’ barmy management style seems to work with the dullards he has in his team. How else can we understand how Sturridge has suddenly become a top striker or how a cart-horse like Henderson is showing good form?

And much worse, they are playing attractive football!

Suarez: Had he come along with Ozil we would be probably ToTL :-D Sadly, his form is such that there is no way he will be sold in January however much is offered for him. He would look so much better in a proper shirt and playing in a decent stadium.

All over the pitch Liverpool look strong; the resurgence of Skrtelllll (a sub-orc) alongside Kolo and Sakha(s**t) at the centre of defence is solid as is their central midfield. Mignolet is an excellent signing given the waning powers of Reina. The loss of Lucas for almost the whole of last season was very damaging and his return has given Stevie M a new lease of life.

Is Stevie G a top, top player? Of course he is. At any time over the last XX years he would have walked into any team in the country – or would he? Would he get into the Invincibles?

But what is most concerning is that they are playing as a team and not just a bunch of over inflated egos like the usual Scousers.

Arsenal:  Will we ever have a full squad to pick from? Once again this is a game where Theo would have been a vital attacking force, primarily because if there is a weakness in the L’pool side, it is lack of pace in defence. However, once again we go into a series of hugely important games without key personnel.

Given the importance of today and Tuesday it was a huge surprise to see a first choice midfield take the field vs the Chavs; sometimes Mr Wenger makes decisions that I just cannot understand.

The back 5 continue to leak goals even to lowly opposition like Palace. – perhaps we should be buying the entire Southampton defence, they may not be as high-profile as our boys but they know how to keep a clean sheet (until they come to the Emirates). I liked Monreal at LB and think his midweek performance deserves a start. We have two fine LB’s and rotation is important.

It is so disappointing not to see The Flamster try to tame Suarez and he will be sorely missed but we still have the weapons to subdue him. Arteta and a disciplined performance from JW should do the job (I hope).

My Team:

arse v pool

This may be a bit attacking but we are at home. I would like to see Gnabry get at least 30 minutes and add some pace late in the game. Another who had a fine game midweek was our captain, Mr Vermælen; given the developing understanding between our first choice CB’s it is unlikely he will start, but if this continues I cannot see him staying at Arsenal – he is too good to sit on the bench.

So can we win? Of course we can. We are at home, top of the table and playing well. My fears are how our little wizards will cope with another dynamic physical midfield. If we can stop the balls to Suarez then he cannot create havoc.

Should be a great game.


written by Big Raddy

Suarez to Arsenal?

January 30, 2013

Why? Because this guy is as close to Ian Wright Wright Wright as we have seen since the retirement of the great man. If I had a choice of any striker in the PL, or perhaps even the world, it would be Suarez.  Brilliant player, plays for the team, runs non-stop, huge ego, controversial, he has the whole package and alongside OG would be superb.

How much would he cost? €40+m probably, but we have the money and  ……

OK, OK, calm down. It’s only a fantasy. Why would any club sell their lethal striker to a rival???


 26/5/89. Deep Joy

Tonight we will see if the recent improvement in our team can continue. 2 consecutive wins were vital after the previous losses.

Liverpool’s recent humiliation at the hands of the mighty Oldham is history and we are unlikely to see Rodgers experiment with his defence, though it should be noted that Coates who looked totally out of his depth cost over €8m.

This is a very important game to both clubs. A loss tonight would be costly and painful. So, we won’t lose. Stupid defensive mistakes must be eradicated. Thankfully, Liverpool do not have a strong aerial threat and rarely throw the ball into the box from distance. No, they tend to attack at pace and try to get Suarez one on one with a defender. BFG beware.

There are loads of stats about this game none of which interest me enough to put into the post. I recommend Newsnow.

I was going to write about the old days when Liverpool and Arsenal were The football forces in the land, of the Keegan days and the Dalgleish era and the Barnes/Rush team who were the second best English team I have ever seen live (you know who is first :-D). But tonight is about the new era of both clubs as they struggle to compete with the Oilers.

Liverpool have spent a fortune trying to sit at the top table. Huge amounts of money wasted upon players who don’t get near the first team (some reduced to West Ham). Perhaps things are finally turning in the right direction – it is high unlikely they will repeat their  8th position and 37 points off the top.

Some good alternatives in midfield mean they do not have to rely on Stevie Me for inspiration, though he is in fine form. Shelvey, Allen, Henderson,  Lucas, Downing and Suso are all good players.

Upfront, the emergence of Sterling and the purchase of Sturridge means that the Scouse have weapons all over the pitch. Thre are still defensive lapses and the reliance upon Carragher gives us hope.

As does the fact that Liverpool have yet to beat a team in the top half of the table this season! (sorry, dull stat)

Onto the Good Guys…..

Can OG continue his scoring run? Carragher and Agger are both strong men who cannot be bullied but OG has other weapons in his armory, Have Liverpool the pace and organisation to stop Walcott?

In my opinion, the game will hinge upon Wilshere. If he gains control of the midfield and I fully expect him to, we will win.

Runners and Riders:


Given Ramsey’s recent performances I am tempted to let him continue as Diaby regains his fitness and form, but Diaby is a special player and he needs to play. Mr Wenger may well rest OG and play a 4 man midfield, but I hope he takes the more attacking option.

Today’s English Explorer: Sir John Smith (1580-1631). Once more we delve into the Days of Yore. This fellow was the first to map and explore Chesapeake Bay in North America,  furthermore, he named the area New England. In North America he was captured by  a Red Indian tribe, the Powhatan, and saved by the famous Pocahontas (later immortalised by Disney – real story well worth a read)


Full Set. Knighthood.

Leaving home at 16 Smith became a naval mercenary, fighting the French, Dutch and Ottmans. Smith was an expert duellist and was knighted for killing 3 Turkish commanders! He was eventually captured by Turks and sold as a slave before escape. On return to London, Smith joined the Virginia Company setting sail for America and fame. He died in London in 1631. A fascinating man and well worth further investigation.

Arsenal are close to having a very good team, a few considered signing and the world is our  lobster. Forget Diame. Forget Wanyama. Sign Suarez and we will win the CL (at the very least)


Written by Big Raddy

Rivals: Can Arsenal win the League?

September 8, 2012

Given the evidence of the first 3 games, where do you think we will finish in the league this season?

Today’s post is a look at our rivals, starting with the current Champions.

Manchester City

Man City have strengthened in areas which Mancini identified as weak – Garcia, Rodwell, Sinclair and Maicon arriving with the very average Savic, Johnson, De Jong and a few others leaving. Maicon, despite being 31, is a top quality player and will definitely be an asset, but did they need to sign anyone? MC’s first team  improved steadily over last season and with the return of Tevez to the fold they continue to look formidable. My guess is all the new arrivals will be spending most of the season sitting down.

Their first two games showed some weaknesses, particularly at Anfield where they were a defensive mistake away from defeat. they trailed at home to Southampton before getting a squeaky win and walloped QPR.  City travel to Stoke for their next game afar which we can compare our game to theirs.

In my opinion the title will be City’s to lose; they have a powerful and high quality squad which is well prepared for inevitable losses of form and injuries. Plus they have a manager who knows how to win titles

Manchester United

Essentially the question is “Can RvP deliver the title to MU”? The lack of investment into an ageing and non-creative midfield would be a cause for concern in any other team,but Ol’ Bacon Face has won the PL so many times with what to outsiders were average teams we cannot dismiss them. So far RvP has saved them humiliation at Southampton and scored the first in a fortunate win v Fulham and they have lost at Everton – hardly the stuff of champions. Yet despite having a thin squad, particularly at the back where Carrick has played CB, they must be considered a threat – MU always are. Kagawa looks quality, a player in the Giggs mould and SAF has looked to the future with the signings of the highly rated Powell and Buttner.

But have they got enough?. Are 3 world class players (RvP, Rooney, Vidic) enough to compete with the other challengers? Can they continue to rely upon the ancient legs of Scholes to give them impetus? Not in my opinion. There is a fragility in defence which teams will expose, though it has to be said, the Old Red Nose knows a hell of a lot more about football than I do!


A very impressive start to the season for the history lacking Southern Oilers. The new signings look superb – the combination of Mata, Hazard and Oscar is frightening (though this must be tempered by the very average Obi One Mikel). Hazard will light up the season as Silva did when he arrived at MC, he has deceptive strength, vision and pace – what a pity AW couldn’t persuade him to sign a few years back.But as good as they are in midfield where Fatboy Lampard will struggle to get a game, there are problems at The Bridge. An over-reliance upon the questionable gifts of the PL’s most expensive player will prove costly, and there is not much else. How do you replace a player like Drogba? Sturridge isn’t the answer, Victor Moses despite being quality will not score the missing goals. So if teams can stifle the midfield threat, then Chelsea will struggle.

In defence there are also problems. JT is a  …., we all know it, he is thankfully at the end of a career which has disgraced English football but in Cahill they have a decent replacement. Add in the “mercurial” (read unreliable/nuts) talents of Luiz, the ageing legs of Cashley  to the quirkiness of Ivanovic and we can see cracks.

Then there is the manager. An incredibly lucky CL win (has there ever been a more fortunate win in the history of football?) led to his appointment. One can only assume RdM is a stop-gap appointment prior to Guardiola. But what happens if it all goes TU? Will Abra give him time?  We all know the answer.


Yes, laughable as it may seem the knuckle draggers are rivals. Can they win the title? Of course not – they haven’t won it since Harold Macmillan was Prime Minister and he was born in 1894!!! (love that fact) but they finished 4th last season and must have chances of a repeat performance. One can only assume that Monkey Boy has no ambition as he remains at  Sh*te Hart Lane; whilst Ratboy and FanderFart have had enough of the lack of light in the caves. As usual the Totts have made some decent signings – Dempsey was an AFC target as were Vertoghen and Loris; Dembele should have been. Ade will continue to score goals and infuriate with equal measure, and Defoe will sit on the bench.

Their problems lie in defence where Gallas’s pace is constricted by his Zimmer frame. Dawson was out the door until someone realised Kaboul was too fragile and King has retired. They do have some very good youngsters coming through and I guess they will blood them this season should Vertoghen struggle.

Then there is their new manager. I like AVB and expected him to be a huge success at Chelsea. Will the fans (gimps) and the board give him breathing space? I hope not because he will improve them given time.


Two thoughts come to mind: You’re having a Turkish and Calm Down.


Did well last season and definitely punched above their weight. Again the defence has to be their weak point. They have managed to retain their best players despite the attempts of AW to sign Cabaye. Newcastle have beaten the Totts (easily) lost to the Chavs (easily) and fortunately drawn with AV. A difficult start but 4 points is OK and about on par. My expectation is they will have a good home record but struggle away.


Everton have a decent first team and started better than normal, AV are dull in the extreme, but Top 4 ? No chance.


There can only be one outcome …… Arsenal will be crowned Champions in late April.

1. Arsenal

2. Chelsea

3. Man City

4. Man Utd

5. Newcastle

6. Stoke

7. Wigan

8. The Noisy Neighbours

What do you think?

Written by Big Raddy

Us and Them.

September 2, 2012

After two games without conceding a corner, we have the opportunity to play a team who are sure to attack and thank goodness for that. Our stats show that either our defence is the best in world (ever) or that our opposition have been too afraid to offer anything other than estacionar el autobús football – I would love to believe the former.

Today will be a test, a big test. Liverpool have spent plenty of money after a very poor couple of years. The massively over-rated management skills of King Kenny have been dispensed with as John W. Henry attempts to rebuild – it is proving to be an expensive overhaul. The signing of Rodgers will, in my opinion, prove to be inspired, he is a fine manager with a commitment to playing entertaining football – the banishing of Andy Carroll says all about the differing philosophies of Dalglish and Rodgers. I wish him luck and for his team to finish higher than last season, say 6th.

In 2011 Liverpool spent £113m. How many of those signed were successful? Well, Carroll is at WHU with L’pool receiving just 20k a week of his wages, Adam at Stoke, Henderson was offered as bait to sign Dempsey, Aquilani bought for almost €20m was sold to Fiorentina for under €2m and €22m Stewart Downing is playing at full-back. All of which gives further evidence to the genius of Mr Wenger in the transfer market. Henderson, Carroll, Aquilani Downing, Suarez, Johnson and Allen all cost more than our record signings. And how many of them would get into our current team? Perhaps Suarez and even he is doubtful, why? Because he is a diving cheat.

Of course Rodgers signings could turn out to be inspirational but looking at the fragility and lack of depth of their defence added to the lack of clinical finishing upfront indicates a lack of balance. We shall see in April. Sahin could prove to be worth the wages AW would not pay. Rodgers also has the mercurial talents of Joe Cole to work with (on 90k a week!!).

Liverpool were unlucky not to beat Man City last week whilst we struggled with Stoke. Outsiders would say we are in for a drubbing, and let’s be honest, Anfield has not been the happiest of hunting grounds for Mr Wenger. (though it was for a certain George Graham :-D ) Another week on the training ground to gel our mis-firing but hugely talented squad will be beneficial. We have few injuries, we have strikers who are certain to score very soon, we have a defensive co-ordination not seen for some years (so far!) and will be playing a team who will attack – I rate our chances.

Theo should start, and both Pod and Giroud. We need goals.

My team:

If fully fit , the mobile Koscielny is a better choice than BFG against a small, pacy attack. The rest pick themselves. I would certainly have Arshavin on the bench and give him 30 minutes. He looked lively as an impact sub.

Howard Webb will need a clear head today. Suarez and Stevie Me are two of the PL’s worst cheats. Can there be more detestable (if quality) players in the PL? Throw in the eye-bulging madmen – Skretl, Carragher and Agger and we can see that this afternoon will be highly contested. Thankfully Lucas is out through injury, he is very good and would complement our midfield (sadly, too expensive for AW).

One interesting fact, in the last 7 games between the clubs there have been 7 goals after 90 mins. Last season BSR won it a beautiful volley.

Following on from kelsey’s Stoke non-revelation ….. Stoke have signed a new central defender.

To those lucky enough to attend today, have a wonderful day and remember the spirit of 26 May 1989

Written by Big Raddy


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