Big names only valuable if coming for right reasons: Martin Smith

Franck Ribery for Sheffield United? Antonio Valencia at right back for the Blades?Would they bring experience, class and know-how to a United team full of endeavour and promise or would they just drain limited resources, too many miles on the clock to improve Chris Wilder’s squad?

Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 23:08 pm
Updated Monday, 24th June 2019, 20:14 pm
Franck Ribery

Of course any speculative connection between these two and Bramall Lane may be entirely imaginary.

One last payday for either - great professionals though they have been - without real commitment to the cause would be a disaster for all. But one more quality season from either or both might inspire and guide the younger players and help ensure a second season at the top.

Old heads and young legs can be a powerful, but in this case unlikely, combination.

WAWAW, who’d have believed it?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

What started as a jokey one-liner between fellow fans - We’re All Wednesday Aren’t We - has had its day in court.

What Are We After Winning? - might be something alleged Wednesdayite Paul Jennings could ask his lawyers as he seeks to protect the WAWAW slogan he copyrighted. If he wins anyone who wants to use the slogan on merchandise will have to pay him.

Has anyone copyrighted UTB?

If you thought Mike Dean’s theatrical ‘I’m right because I say I am’ expressions were the last word in football wind-ups, think again.

For sheer world class pedantry the aforementioned VAR is king.

But England’s game against Cameroon at the Women’s World Cup on Sunday night was not marred by VAR, that was down to human frailty.

By the time England’s second goal was rightly given onside the referee and the VAR room had already ignored a potentially lethal Cameroonian elbow and spitting at an opponent - accidental or otherwise.

Then there was dissent on an embarrassing scale at half-time and the studs down the shin challenge on Steph Houghton towards the end.

The VAR decision to disallow Cameroon’s Ajara Nchout’s second-half effort for offside was painfully close and one that made every football fan wince.

But it was the right decision on a night of weak on-the-field refereeing.

It will undoubtedly be said - and perhaps with some historical justification - that the big names get the 50-50 decisions against emerging teams.

But VAR should see no colour, club or nation.

It has to be annoyingly nit-picking with every goal, foul and offside decision.

We humans just need to get used to it.