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HomeSportsArsenal's VAR Controversy, Hayes' USWNT Move, and Controversial Chants - The Briefing

Arsenal’s VAR Controversy, Hayes’ USWNT Move, and Controversial Chants – The Briefing

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Welcome to The Briefing

Welcome to The Briefing, where every Monday during this season The Athletic discusses three of the biggest questions to arise from the weekend’s football. This was the weekend when Arsenal stuttered, Manchester United staved off a crisis for another week, Sheffield United got their first win of the season and Luis Diaz displayed astonishing levels of resolve to score Liverpool’s equaliser at Luton Town.

Here we will consider Mikel Arteta and Arsenal’s response to Newcastle’s winner, just how big a deal it is that Emma Hayes is taking the USWNT job and why ‘Always the victim…’ is not harmless terrace banter…

To discuss the real embarrassment: the refereeing or Arsenal endorsing Arteta’s complaints is quite the conundrum. Maybe managers shouldn’t give interviews straight after games. There’s a chance that they might say something unwise goes through the roof. From that perspective, you can understand (if not agree with) Mikel Arteta’s comments about the refereeing in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat against Newcastle on Saturday. Anthony Gordon’s winner might have been disallowed on three counts, but there wasn’t conclusive evidence that the ball had gone out, Gordon wasn’t offside and the question of whether Joelinton pushed Gabriel could have gone either way. The irritation was understandable. There is an exception to this rule of calm, though.

English football is going to feel pretty strange without Emma Hayes. She has been truly influential. She joined Chelsea in 2012 and has won six WSL titles, five FA Cups and two League Cups. She was very influential in shaping how the wider public thinks about the game as well. Her punditry work has been commended. In short, it’s tough to think of a single more influential English figure currently working in the game.

The U.S. shouldn’t underestimate what a significant coup her appointment is. It was probably the only job Hayes would have left Chelsea for. The rise of Luton from the non-League to the Premier League has been one of the more heartwarming tales of the past few years. And yet, with the charm and the novelty have come some deeply unpleasant elements in their support. In their first home game, against West Ham United, some of their fans directed an abysmal misogynist chant towards Jarrod Bowen — and another deeply objectionable example appeared in their 1-1 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.


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