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It just feels awfully sterile to me.

Not wishing to get all existential, but in my view a lot of the point of professional club football is lost with no fans.

I can see quality footballers (well the ones in City shirts) but it’s still leaving me cold. 

At least I have a connection to Rovers, so I assume I’ll be much more invested on Saturday, but I’m probably in the minority anyway as the rest of you seem to be enjoying it, but there you go.

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Not sure where to put this. I always find these signs a laugh. But have a new favourite. The Dingles are in town.

*sigh* Yes, all lives matter. That is what the BLM movement is about. No one has said that white lives don't matter. When the police created the blue lives matter, did you or other people complai

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29 minutes ago, Ewood Ace said:

Let's hope that common sense prevails and that after tonight with all teams level on games that the season is ended on PPG. This is real football, it is a soulless exercise being done purely for TV money.

I agree with you on many things but couldn't disagree more on this. I think it's wonderful that the game is back and that the season in the top 2 tiers hopefully doesn't need to be decided off the pitch.

Edit: Not seen anything of the City game yet, but apparently they're playing pretty well. The Villa game was an absolute turkey to kick it all off with and that would have been dull as ditch water with or without a crowd. It's a pity the opening game wasn't a real rip roarer to give people a slightly more favourable impression.

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1 hour ago, Gavlar Somerset Rover! said:

Really don’t see how you can find it that annoying?! Nothing like the God awful vuvuzela. I actually think it’s pretty decent given what they’ve got to work with.

It somehow just sounded off in the Villa game, like a constant drone / white noise rather than a organic noise

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48 minutes ago, chaddyrovers said:

The non crowd version is very strange and weird. So I will hands up my hands to @roversfan99 who was right and myself wrong. 

I agree the crowd noise has been very good. It does like feel like a normal game.

It's just good to have football back on. 

I thought you was pro fake crowd and I was against haha

I still think the fake crowd is no good, impossible to take seriously no matter how well done with nobody there, a nice idea sure and Sky and BT have done the right thing by offering both options. My problem with Rovers doing it in the ground is you have to then endure it either way, and also for the players it will just be weird.

My overall opinion is not far from that of @Mattyblue I am just not really feeling it at all with these games, I wasnt excited and I have struggled to concentrate. The first game in particular I appreciate would have been boring regardless but it didnt feel and obviously isnt right and no matter what is done, behind closed doors football can never come close. Not a criticism of anyone, its the way it is.

My main detachment has never been that I will not enjoy individual games as much, although that is obviously the case, it is the knowledge about what it all means, leagues, relegations etc will all be concluded in front of no one, it means that it is impossible to avoid a going through the motions feel to it. 

Even yesterday I watched Bayern win the league, Neuer made a superb save near the end to clinch it, and it was impossible to realise how important it was in front of no one.

The Villa game did not feel like a vital game in a relegation battle, it felt like a sterile and noncompetitive friendly.

The 4th and 5th subs need to be removed as well, not only for the integrity and consistency but it dilutes games and gives them a further international friendly vibe. Its obviously done for fitness purposes but just rotate squads more if need be. It also massively benefits the bigger clubs and squads.

I wish I was more excited like normal but I am not.

As a side point, nothing will embarrass the PL further than the joke of an incident for Sheffield Uniteds ghost goal, that will be critical in the fight for survival and Europe and for the watch to malfunction and cost Sheffield United is an absolute unforgivable joke.

5 minutes ago, chaddyrovers said:

David Luiz is awful defender..

Arsenal arent getting Europe this season. Squad ain't good enough

We dont even know if there will be a normal European competition next season so I am not sure it matters too much.

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I do feel it will take players 1 or 2 games to get up to speed with playing proper games again. 

I enjoyed watching City but this isnt City at their best. 

Arsenal have been poor and I feel that Arteta has make a mistake in going there. Massive rebuilding. 

Villa and Sheff Utd wasnt good but I do feel that if Sheffield United had got that goal that the technology didnt give it might have different. 

11 minutes ago, roversfan99 said:

We dont even know if there will be a normal European competition next season so I am not sure it matters too much.

Well this year European competition is going ahead so I dont see why next season wont happen in some format. 

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I don’t agree with this 5 subs thing; I get they say the players aren’t fully fit but it’s moving of goalposts, I know it’s crazy circumstances but you have to end a season with the rules you started with and built a squad around as such 

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7 minutes ago, roversfan99 said:

I thought you was pro fake crowd and I was against haha

I still think the fake crowd is no good, impossible to take seriously no matter how well done with nobody there, a nice idea sure and Sky and BT have done the right thing by offering both options. My problem with Rovers doing it in the ground is you have to then endure it either way, and also for the players it will just be weird.

My overall opinion is not far from that of @Mattyblue I am just not really feeling it at all with these games, I wasnt excited and I have struggled to concentrate. The first game in particular I appreciate would have been boring regardless but it didnt feel and obviously isnt right and no matter what is done, behind closed doors football can never come close. Not a criticism of anyone, its the way it is.

My main detachment has never been that I will not enjoy individual games as much, although that is obviously the case, it is the knowledge about what it all means, leagues, relegations etc will all be concluded in front of no one, it means that it is impossible to avoid a going through the motions feel to it. 

Even yesterday I watched Bayern win the league, Neuer made a superb save near the end to clinch it, and it was impossible to realise how important it was in front of no one.

The Villa game did not feel like a vital game in a relegation battle, it felt like a sterile and noncompetitive friendly.

The 4th and 5th subs need to be removed as well, not only for the integrity and consistency but it dilutes games and gives them a further international friendly vibe. Its obviously done for fitness purposes but just rotate squads more if need be. It also massively benefits the bigger clubs and squads.

I wish I was more excited like normal but I am not.

As a side point, nothing will embarrass the PL further than the joke of an incident for Sheffield Uniteds ghost goal, that will be critical in the fight for survival and Europe and for the watch to malfunction and cost Sheffield United is an absolute unforgivable joke.

 

I don't understand at all why you think it feels less important without a crowd in.

I agree it isn't quite as good without a crowd in but I don't find the importance of the game or any of the issues concerning the individual clubs concerned feel any less important at all.

As regards your last paragraph, apart from the incompetence of the officials, I find it incomprehensible that VAR didn't step in bearing in mind that they are usually so desperate to intervene and chalk goals off because someone has inadvertently put a toenail offside or the ball has accidentally brushed against someone's arm in the build up to a goal.

If you were a conspiracy theorist, I'd imagine it would give you plenty of ammo, Sheff Utd competing against Man Ure for a Champions League place, Sky wanting big City Club Villa to stay up etc etc.

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4 minutes ago, Tom said:

I don’t agree with this 5 subs thing; I get they say the players aren’t fully fit but it’s moving of goalposts, I know it’s crazy circumstances but you have to end a season with the rules you started with and built a squad around as such 

I'm not bothered either way on the subs issue but I think I'm in a minority in not liking the canned crowd noise at all.

To me there's a slight delay which makes it sound as though the crowd noise is not in response to what's going on (which of course it isn't) and it detracts slightly from the feel of it being a genuine game and erring more into the realms of it being artificially made up.

With the Bundesliga games, I didn't mind there was no crowd noise at all.

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1 hour ago, Mattyblue said:

To be fair, at least Masher’s consistent, I thought it was just on Rovers issues he liked to play the contrarian.

Nothing to do with this - the technology is there to help referees - the technology did not work so I think it is ridiculous to criticise the referee.

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8 minutes ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

Nothing to do with this - the technology is there to help referees - the technology did not work so I think it is ridiculous to criticise the referee.

Why didn't the VAR help the ref? It was clearly over the line and the VAR could have given the goal in a matter of seconds. We have had VAR ruling goals out when a quarter of a toe or a shoulder blade have been offside but they couldn't give a goal that everyone (other than the officials it seems) could see was well over the line.

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12 minutes ago, Ewood Ace said:

Why didn't the VAR help the ref? It was clearly over the line and the VAR could have given the goal in a matter of seconds. We have had VAR ruling goals out when a quarter of a toe or a shoulder blade have been offside but they couldn't give a goal that everyone (other than the officials it seems) could see was well over the line.

Former ref Dermot Gallagher was apparently at Stockley Park tonight and has just been on Talksport. He never ever criticises VAR even when it's clearly wrong or at least against the spirit if not the letter of the rules and I can only assume he has some sort of financial interest in it.

He gave the exceedingly lame excuse tonight that Oliver had signalled that his watch hadn't gone off therefore the official in Stockley Park (who would also have been a ref) must have assumed that the technology was correct and that therefore it probably never even entered his head thar there was a need to check the footage.

Tuned in half way through and I think I caught the end of Gallagher saying that the goal line technology has to catch the ball with 2 cameras to work. If that is true it seems like a major flaw to me.

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2 hours ago, Mattyblue said:

It just feels awfully sterile to me.

Not wishing to get all existential, but in my view a lot of the point of professional club football is lost with no fans.

I can see quality footballers (well the ones in City shirts) but it’s still leaving me cold. 

At least I have a connection to Rovers, so I assume I’ll be much more invested on Saturday, but I’m probably in the minority anyway as the rest of you seem to be enjoying it, but there you go.

Think I'm in that camp too. Not just no crowds at matches for atmosphere, think you are right about the point of it too. Also not being able to really watch footy with mates in the pub or round theirs, or see other Rovers fans easily, albeit technology compensates for this somewhat, and the community and social aspects aren't there. These are the big ones for me, which keep me interested and they just aren't there at the same level.  Add in the lost momentum from the season, like going back to a book you half read 6 months ago and I am struggling to get excited. 

25 minutes ago, Ewood Ace said:

Why didn't the VAR help the ref? It was clearly over the line and the VAR could have given the goal in a matter of seconds. We have had VAR ruling goals out when a quarter of a toe or a shoulder blade have been offside but they couldn't give a goal that everyone (other than the officials it seems) could see was well over the line.

This is a key dislike in football. No matter what tech is built in there still seem to be monumental cock ups and big clubs still get the rub of the green. As you say this is farcical. Given such huge muck ups keep happening is there a point to having the tech during the game itself? 

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1 hour ago, Tom said:

I don’t agree with this 5 subs thing; I get they say the players aren’t fully fit but it’s moving of goalposts, I know it’s crazy circumstances but you have to end a season with the rules you started with and built a squad around as such 

Footballers and fitness always grates on me slightly. They're paid to stay in top physical shape. They've been locked down for 12 weeks the one thing they could have done is keep fit fair enough the may not be used to the ball and playing with other people but they should have physical fitness

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2 minutes ago, RoverDom said:

Footballers and fitness always grates on me slightly. They're paid to stay in top physical shape. They've been locked down for 12 weeks the one thing they could have done is keep fit fair enough the may not be used to the ball and playing with other people but they should have physical fitness

It is scientifically proven that playing so much high intensity football at the level and pace they do will inevitably lead to injuries. So I understand the reason, I dont think its because they are anything  but in peak physical shape.

That being said, it destroys integrity and creates further unnecessary inconsistency, as well as damages the quality and flow of games in the second half. The fairer and more obvious solution is to rotate squads more to cope with an unavoidably hectic schedule.

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I am happy that Premier League football is on again.

We've debated crowd vs. no crowd to death but I do agree that no fans in the stands makes it looks strange. It didn't matter to me when I was watching the Bundesliga, but does a bit for Prem games. The canned crowd noise is OK in general play but is lacking during controversial moments. Luiz getting sent off was a prime example. There's usually a load of crowd noise before the commentator let's everyone know. There wasn't today. The quality of play has not diminished at all. 

I'll still take no fans over no football any day though.

The two games were never going to be classics with or without fans. A now desperate Villa and an organised yet unspectacular Sheff Utd team were never going to pull up trees, so a technology gaffe makes the headlines instead.

I saw more of the City game. They were streets ahead of Arsenal. Arteta has a job on his hands. He needs to get rid of all the deadwood and rule over the youngsters sharp. They are a very mediocre team.

David Luiz has never been good. Tonight should be his last Arsenal appearance. He came on as sub, cocked up for goal 1 right before half time, then gives away a penalty and is sent off; effectively ending the game. He can be competent, yet that has tended to coincide when he was paired with a partner who can play. His best days came when he was next to John Terry or Thiago Silva. He looked like a fish out of water during the World Cup drubbing to Germany, no surprise that Silva was out. He came to Arsenal as the experienced one, but isn't good enough to pull it off.

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9 hours ago, RevidgeBlue said:

Former ref Dermot Gallagher was apparently at Stockley Park tonight and has just been on Talksport. He never ever criticises VAR even when it's clearly wrong or at least against the spirit if not the letter of the rules and I can only assume he has some sort of financial interest in it.

He gave the exceedingly lame excuse tonight that Oliver had signalled that his watch hadn't gone off therefore the official in Stockley Park (who would also have been a ref) must have assumed that the technology was correct and that therefore it probably never even entered his head thar there was a need to check the footage.

Tuned in half way through and I think I caught the end of Gallagher saying that the goal line technology has to catch the ball with 2 cameras to work. If that is true it seems like a major flaw to me.

Hawkeye have said this is the first time in 9000 games there has been a problem like this.

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7 minutes ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

Hawkeye have said this is the first time in 9000 games there has been a problem like this.

One issue brought about VAR and GLT is that it's taken away the responsibility of match officials (particularly linesman) who seem reluctant to make decisions in the knowledge they have some technical backup. Pre technology I think the linesman would have seen the ball over the line but the trust they have in the technology for matters of fact is total. For something as crucial as this though I believe VAR should have intervened as they would have had complete evidence that the ball was over the line.

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2 minutes ago, arbitro said:

One issue brought about VAR and GLT is that it's taken away the responsibility of match officials (particularly linesman) who seem reluctant to make decisions in the knowledge they have some technical backup. Pre technology I think the linesman would have seen the ball over the line but the trust they have in the technology for matters of fact is total. For something as crucial as this though I believe VAR should have intervened as they would have had complete evidence that the ball was over the line.

I think it is very difficult in the heat of the moment for an official to effectively say they didn't trust the technology. On balance the use of technology has led to fewer mistakes being made and therefore the results of fewer games being decided by officials' mistakes - but perfection can never be achieved.

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25 minutes ago, Mashed Potatoes said:

Hawkeye have said this is the first time in 9000 games there has been a problem like this.

No, it is the first time in the 9000 games that a problem has been highlighted. There might have been a problem in every game, but up till now there hasn't been an incident to show the problem. Technology is great, but like humans it is still fallible.

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Chelsea need one more player I reckon, they still miss Hazard. Timo will score goals but they've never replaced Hazard's creativity. Pedro is leaving too and he's a BIG outlet for them. Lampard needs to bring in somebody like a Jadon Sancho (maybe not him though as it seems unlikely he'll be heading to Chelsea).

If I was Lampard I'd be bidding on Jack Grealish. I think Kante holding, with Grealish and Mount ahead of him would be a nice midfield three. 

There's reports they're interested in Benraham and I really wouldn't blame them. A player destined to play Premier League football but also a player much better suited to football in that division than he is in the Championship.

Kante

Grealish         Mount

Benrahma    Werner    Hudson-Odoi

I think they'd do well with this^

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1 minute ago, roversfan99 said:

Brilliant signing in terms of the player, a huge upgrade on Abraham, but also difficult to be enthused about in the current economic climate.

I'm really not too sure, you know. Granted I've only watched Bundesliga during the lockdown, but the standard of everyone but Dortmund and Bayern has looked so poor. My adopted team, Hertha, have Boyata at the back - who was piss poor for Celtic and came into all sorts of criticism. Now he may have improved massively because he hasn't stood out as a 'bad' player, which I would find very worrying if he hasn't improved.

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