Managers have been on good behaviour after new rules were brought in which will see an automatic yellow card if there is more than one coach in the technical area

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Mauricio Pochettino previews Chelsea’s clash with Luton Town

The new crackdown on managerial behaviour in the technical area appears to have had a really positive effect in the opening two weekends of the season.

‌Wolves boss Gary O’Neil did get a yellow card at Old Trafford for his protests at his team being denied an obvious last gasp penalty against Manchester United.

‌But otherwise managers have been on good behaviour after new rules were brought in which will see an automatic yellow card if there is more than one coach in the technical area and an immediate sending off for any aggression or abuse towards the officials.

‌One of the knock-on effects of a red card is not being allowed to do post-match media duties after the game which has divided opinion among some managers.

‌The obvious point is that some want to be able to speak up if they feel the wrong decision has been made and it is unfair for them to be silenced.

‌The new season has started with a string of high-profile errors, including Wolves being denied a penalty at Old Trafford, Alexis Mac Allister’s red card against Bournemouth, which Liverpool got overturned, and Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu’s sending off at Crystal Palace for two questionable yellow cards.

Alexis Mac Allister saw his red card against Bournemouth overturned Alexis Mac Allister saw his red card against Bournemouth overturned (



‌That has led to one Premier League boss privately making the point that until the officials get better then they should be allowed to have their say and it is testament to their conduct and respect that no manager has lost the plot despite the refereeing standards.

‌It is worth pointing out that PGMOL boss Howard Webb has made a positive difference because clubs like his interaction, they can see he is setting out to make improvements and accept it will take time.

‌The Premier League feel it is imperative that managers set a high standard of behaviour and that also they will get a chance to speak publicly soon afterwards at their next press conference even if they do get sent off.

‌Broadcasters always want to hear from managers after games no matter what. But managers have been known to make things worse by doubling down on their behaviour in post-match press conferences.

‌But all in all, the new code - with tighter rules on yellow cards for players showing dissent and all clubs have been given major warnings over time wasting - appears to have had a good effect.

‌But the real test will undoubtedly come when tempers are frayed and stakes are higher later in the season.‌



‌Neymar’s staggering wages

Neymar has joined Saudi side Al-Hilal Neymar has joined Saudi side Al-Hilal (


Power Sport Images/REX/Shutterstock)

Brazil superstar Neymar Jr will earn a staggering £85.5m-a-year at Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal.

‌In six years at Paris Saint Germain, he missed almost exactly 50 per cent of their games (mainly through injury but also suspension, including five red cards).

‌Now, the Saudi club knew what they were getting. But Neymar is not expected to play in any of Al-Hilal’s three games before the international break.

‌Neymar has been called up for Brazil’s games with Bolivia and Peru on September 8 and 12 respectively.

‌Al-Hilal then play on September 15 but the flight from Lima to Riyadh is 17 hours - in effect a whole day - and a time-difference of eight hours. It is hard to see Neymar playing in that game!‌



All eyes on the Lionesses

Get the England 2023 home shirt here

Show your support for The Lionesses throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup with the latest England home shirt. Mixing the classic with the contemporary, this shirt is being worn by the team as they bid to add a World Cup to their incredible European Championship triumph in 2022.

The Lionesses’ magnificent World Cup campaign has seen another encouraging spike of interest in the women’s game.

‌Just as with England winning the Euros, reaching the final in Sydney last weekend saw remarkable TV audiences and also interest among clubs in future WSL games.

‌The Lionesses next play against Scotland at the Stadium of Light on September 22 and their next home game against Belgium at Leicester’s King Power Stadium is already sold out on available tickets.



No Saudi clubs in Champions League

The notion that Saudi Arabia Pro League Clubs could somehow join the Champions League Is causing much bewilderment.

It is something which is being mooted as an idea in certain quarters but would be an absolute non-starter because Saudi Arabia are not even members of UEFA while the pushback from clubs would also be overwhelming.