The Latest Podcast from 13/4/2017

Harry is joined by Stel from Shoot the Defence, Andy Paps and Alavi. The guys discuss the latest footballing issues. How good is Sam Allardyce? They review last weekends premier league fixtures, take a look at the race for the top four and the battle for survival. A European round up featuring a Champions league review!

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Thanks for listening 🙂

The Latest Podcast from 6/4/17


Harry, Kyri, Andrew and De Luca discuss the latest football stories. The end of the title race? Have Man Utd shown any signs of progress under Jose? How would Celtic fair in the premier league? The latest from the Arsenal & the guys answer your questions on the spot! THIS SHOW WAS BROADCAST LIVE ON 🙂

The Latest Podcast from

On this weeks Podcast:

Harry, Alavi and Kyri discuss the latest footballing issues. Is international football dead? Can Arsenal turn over Man City this coming weekend? Are Spurs on track to a second place finish? Who will triumph in the merseyside derby? Dan De Luca talks Spurs and Pavlos Orphanou joins the lads on the line to discuss the opening race of the formula one season. *THIS SHOW WAS BROADCAST LIVE ON GREEK BEAT RADIO*

Brand New: The latest edition of the podcast!

The latest edition of the SSN official podcast. Harry & Alavi are joined by the last editions popular guest Andrew to discuss the latest footballing topics. As well as answering YOUR questions they discuss Spurs v WHU, Man Utd v Arsenal, The Milan derby, The Madrid Derby and the latest refereeing howlers. Sponsored by TagPay!

Official Podcast – Arsenal Talk

Sofa Sports News Podcast Ep.1/11/2016 – Harry is joined on the sofa by Andrew and Tony to discuss the Gunners. They discuss tonights win over Ludogorets and their hopes for the season. Can Arsenal go all the way this year? They also look ahead to this coming weekends North London Derby and give an overall assessment of Arsenal’s season so far.

Official Podcast – Premier League Matchday 6 Review!

On this edition of the Podcast we discuss Sam Allardyce’s slip of the tongue, Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea, the demise of West Ham, Man City’s impressive form and Danny Simpsons comments around shirt-pulling and holding in the penalty area.

As well as our usual La Liga and Serie A round ups!

Also available for download on iTunes, please don’t forget to rate and share our podcast!

Official Podcast – 23rd August 2016


Harry & Alavi are joined by Arsenal fan Kyri to discuss the latest football stories on our fortnightly Podcast 🙂

Available on SoundCloud or iTunes!

On this Podcast: We discuss Chelsea’s victory over Watford, the controversial decisions in the premier league this weekend, Joe Hart’s future, Burnley’s win over Liverpool, Hull City’s great start to the season and Arsene Wengers future at the Arsenal.

You can WATCH the Arsene Wenger debate via our YouTube channel: Sofa Sports News TV!

Video technology in Football – Video Referee!


Its Time Video technology is implemented – Bring in the Video Referee

For those of you that listened to the latest edition of the SSN podcast (available on our website, iTunes & Soundcloud) I don’t need to tell you where I stand on the technology debate. From day one I’ve always been for the introduction of a video referee. More horrendous refereeing decisions this past week have only strengthened my views. I fear that one day we will see a title decided or somebody relegated because an official got something horribly wrong.

Just by watching MOTD on a Saturday night you’ll realise that more time is spent analysing the referees decisions than the two teams on the pitch. Maybe they should bring in referee pundits instead? Hmmm now there’s a thought.”

It’s an interesting debate and whilst I can understand some of the objections to it this is something I’m becoming extremely passionate about. To be quite frank I’m sick of seeing big games decided by incompetent refereeing.

Check out Yesterdays Post “Super Sunday – the tale of 2 refs, and the day not a lot really changed and why video technology in football is not the answer’.

This however, is a subject we disagree on and so we’re going to do exactly what this website was originally set up for… To debate and put across our views.

A lot of the time when I say to friends, other football fans or anyone I end up getting into football conversation with that I want to see the introduction of a video referee and I usually face the same objections.

These are the 2 most common objections of video technology in football

It will cause our game to stop and start too much.”


This data (above) was recorded from the Premier League in the 2010-11 season & I use this particular table as its the easiest to read from the ones I’ve come across. As you can see in 42 of the games the ball was in play for just 54 minutes.

The effective play in a 90 minute match ranges from 44-66 minutes. In the best case scenario there’s 24 minutes where the play is dead. In an average case, based on this set of figures there’s between 51 and 60 minutes of effective play.

How often do we see a penalty given and minutes of protest before the kick is actually taken? How often do we see a player red carded who pleads his innocence for minutes before actually leaving the field of play.

There are plenty of stoppages in our game as it is. In the example of a penalty award while the players are remonstrating with the referee what’s wrong with the referee being able to ask a video referee if and only if he’s unsure? It won’t take any longer than it already does! Instead of all that time being wasted on players pleading with the referee why don’t we use that time to confirm that the decision is correct.

Some decisions are subjective and are not clear cut, even a video referee won’t have all the answers.”

I agree, not every single decision is simple and clear cut. Some are though, for example was it over the line or not? Was he onside? When it comes to the ball being in or out or even an offside call its factual and so we can definitely use it for those things. Hence why goal line technology has been introduced and has been a success.


I believe that something now needs to be implemented to make offside decisions too. After all, your either onside or offside – it’s not up for debate.

What about everything else? Penalties are the example I will use here. They are not always as clear cut, some of these decisions can be debated for hours and you still won’t find a solution that everyone agrees with.

The Jamie Vardy incident on Sunday is the perfect example. Even now, having seen it countless times its still being debated and people are split on whether it was or wasn’t the correct decision. You’d ask me how a video referee  would help in this instance and il explain how I’d like to see it handled.

I believe that a lot of the time when a referees made a bad call its because they cannot be sure of what they’ve seen. I mean, how can they?

The modern game is played at such a high pace and intensity, they’re human after all. Sometimes the ref can be caught too far behind the play to have a clear view of an incident, sometimes they can be influenced by player pressure, the crowd, intimidating managers on the touch line or any of the other factors that come with the modern game.

In some cases it’s as simple as their view was obscured.  Take the penalty Spurs were awarded at the Etihad for example.  Wouldn’t technology have corrected that one?

Those who disagree with me have challenged me to come up with some sort of plan to implement video technology in football…

Here’s my vision, it’s not perfect but it’s a basic idea of how this could work in 5 points.

  1. The referee out on the pitch is still in control of the game. He’s the one who calls the shots and he’s still able to consult his assistants if he feels the need to, just like he does now
  2. The ‘5th official’ is introduced, he is pitch side with the aid of a video screen. In an ideal world he will be away from the dug outs – the reason being so the managers do not have access to any replays during the game. This would only incense the managers (if the replay shows they were wronged) and undermine the referees authority thus making it impossible for him to keep a lid on the game.
  3. The referee will officiate the game as normal, his decision is final. In the case that there is an appeal for a penalty, handball inside the box, a red card or anything else that can influence the game he has the OPTION to refer it to his 5th official who has a replay to hand.
  4. This gives the referee himself the chance to jog over to the touch line and watch it pitch side before making up his own mind. Backing up what the referee believes he has seen in real time increases the chances of him making the right decision and gives him the chance to correct an error in some cases. Nobody else has a say but him. This would avoid any debate amongst the officials unless he decides to consult his assistants (just like the current system), the decision lays with man in the middle.
  5. I am not in anyway implying this is the perfect plan however it’s a start to something I believe could work with a few tweaks. This will not eradicate every single bad decision from our game but it will aid our officials in getting a higher percentage of them right. Referees may not be so reluctant to ‘bottle’ decisions knowing they have the aid of a replay to turn to.

My proposal would mean that the officials have this system available to them if they’re unsure of something, it’s down to how clear the referee saw something whether he decides to use this or not. A lot of the time the referee will feel he has seen the incident clearly and will not even need to turn to it. Whether the referee feels he needs to is his decision and that’s final.

Let’s be realistic, if we’re talking about the referees having an aid for the penalty shouts, red card appeals (the what I would call ‘game changing decisions’) they would only be turning to the video referee 3/4 times in the average game. To me, that’s a small price to pay to have a fair game.

The men in the middle have the most difficult job out there, why wouldn’t we want to aid them and make it easier. This would give them the backing they need to ensure that they get a higher percentage of decisions correct.

Il stress the point again, this wouldn’t eradicate every single wrong decision but it would go a long way in ensuring the officials get the big ones right.

I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts on video technology in football. What are the advantages and the draw backs to my proposed system?

I for one am fed up of refereeing decisions being the talking point, the football should come first. Why not eliminate the errors?

Sofa Sports News is the place to debate all things football and everyone’s opinions/comments are welcome.


Super Sunday – The Tale of 2 refs and the day not a lot really changed, and why video technology is not the answer.

Sunday had every football fan glued to their TV Screen. Rightly so. The two games at the top of the table didn’t disappoint.

North London’s two sides may have won the day and their fans will now be dreaming of ending title droughts that span one and four generations respectively.

In all the excitement, two big points have been missed.
1. Leicester City are still top, still playing well, and have the easier fixtures
2. Man City are no further from the top points wise than they were Sunday morning.

As much as Arsenal finishing first to Tottenham in second would provide another 30 years of joyous bragging rights, or Spurs finally ending their 20 year hoodoo over Arsenal in this of all years with the ultimate prize at stake would cause North London to erupt on a scale that is hard to imagine… Remember this Londoners. It’s a 4 horse race and complacency will be fatal.

Sad that the refs of the two fixtures are getting some of the post match air time, and the technology debate has opened up again…

So my views on the big ones:
Should Vardy have been given his penalty? No.
Should Tottenham have been awarded a penalty? No.
I don’t think Simpson should have been sent off for those two challenges either.

There, that was easy. Except it’s not. The Spurs one in particular was a poor, poor decision by Clattenburg who’s position wasn’t great to make the call and he guessed wrong. This is the one that has opened the video technology.

I know some of our friends at SSN are in massive favour of Video Technology, but it can’t work.
I’m not denying it would have helped Clattenburg make the correct decision at the Etihad, but you can’t pick and choose where you use it, if it’s in for that game it’s in for every game. If you refer to a video the decision must then be based on fact and fact alone, as if a ref can’t make interpretations then a video ref certainly can’t, he’ll have a list of rules and criteria in front of him to apply. Here’s what happens:

1. Vardy gets his penalty as there was contact with a defenders trailing leg and you can’t judge for sure what his honest intentions are.

2. Mahrez gets a penalty – there was contact. Video ref can’t decide for sure whether is was enough to knock him down. Has to give it. 0-2 Leicester.

3. Simpson still gets sent off because ref has seen these and doesn’t refer it.

4. Danny Drinkwater doesn’t get sent off as he should because video referee is not called upon as referee saw it just fine.
…..or do we refer everything?

In which case….

5. Toure gets sent off after 10 minutes for two bookable offences and the game is ruined for all because a ref is no longer allowed to lose his judgement.

6. Spurs don’t get a penalty. Nice. Correct decision.

Now look at the 6 points above, take away the teams and the individuals involved and tell me if the pros outweigh the cons.
They don’t. And the arguement needs to be put to bed. I’ve not even got on to the corners and throw ins incorrectly awarded. There were 20 across the two games at least!

I think we all know the difference between a referee favouring one side in a match to just having a bad game. These two were the latter on Sunday and it’s unfortunate, but a camera wouldn’t have saved them. Have a go at the ref by all means, but don’t foolishly think the alternative is better long term.

If you have a camera ref do you then have a stopwatch that decides time added on rather than a wally with a board just making it up every week. Does the whistle blow at that point like in basketball? My point is, the box should never be opened and video technology should stay in it forever.

The only decisions in the two games that affected the result ultimately was the red card to Simpson. No fan would be happy with one of their players sent off for those two challenges in any game. The video ref doesn’t change that decision.

The Arsenal game was won and lost on two clear moments, Martin Wasilewski inexplicably charging into a foul with the game over, & Danny Drinkwater crossing into an empty box on 91 minutes when he could have drawn a foul or corner and run down the clock some more.

In the City-Spurs game you have Kevin Wimmer hold his position to intercept an Aguero through ball whilst Otamendi charges out to allow Lamela to play in Eriksen. You had Danny Rose throw his body in front of a volley from point blank range whilst Sterling turns his back on a floated cross. They are the moments where the 3 points are won and lost.

I hope a ridiculous refereeing decision doesn’t cost a team a title. Especially if it’s my team after 55 years of oblivion, but with the league as balanced as it is with still 12 games to go, if the team is good enough they will come through as champions.

There are still four teams left in this title race and the best one from here to the end will win it. Now sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the football, it’s going to be one hell of a run in.