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Mon, 15 Jul 2013 12:48:00

Howard Webb thinks the respect shown by players towards referees is better than ever.

Goalline technology will be introduced this season to try and help officials, and Webb is fully behind behind the move.

Webb was speaking as the latest batch of young referees were being put through their paces as part of an official traning day involving the Referees Association.

As far as respect is concerned, Webb is in no doubt that the game is moving in the right direction.

"It's better than ever," he told Sky Sports News. "I've been involved in the Premier League for 10 years. If you look at the records for cautions for dissent, the numbers are down.

"Speaking from personal experience, the relations I have with players is by and large positive. Of course, football is an emotional game and sometimes emotions spill over in a way that is not acceptable, but most of the games that I am involved in pass off without that sort of incident.

"For those of us in the Premier League, it's our full-time living. It's our occupation. We have to be athletes - we have to be totally physically and mentally prepared for the challenge.

"The demands are higher than ever before, and there's more scrutiny than there has ever been. I guess the youngsters who are coming into the game now are hoping to get to that level.

"But to do so, they need to reach a certain standard in terms of technical ability, physical stamina and fitness levels."

Elite standard



David Elleray, the Referees' Association chairman, is also confident that the rewards now available at the top of the game will ensure that the next generation of officials are of an elite standard.

"The number of young referees people coming into football is growing and growing," said Elleray.

"I think the reason for that is the FA is looking after them better and I think the interest is there because at the top level, it's a profession where you can now earn a good salary.

"Furthermore, if you want to be, you can be involved in the biggest matches in the world in the best league in the world."

One of the biggest innovations for this season will see the introduction of goalline technology and Webb is in no doubt that it will be a boon for spectators and referees alike.

"It is something quite new that we have not had before, and it is something that we will all welcome," he said.

"The biggest decision in the game is whether the ball has crossed the line or not. It affects the result of the game and we want to get those calls right.

"So if there is something that can help us get that right, then why would we not want it?"

PSV have been strongly linked with a move to bring Gomes back to the Philips Stadion, with Newcastle thought to be chasing Jeroen Zoet.

Gomes enjoyed a successful four-year spell at PSV between 2004 and 2008 before making the move to Tottenham.

The 32-year-old, who is entering the final year of his contract at Tottenham, has found himself down the pecking order at White Hart Lane during the last two seasons and he spent the second half of last term on loan at Hoffenheim.

Gomes is expected to leave Tottenham this summer and the player's agent Alex Soares admits that, although there has been no contact from PSV, the keeper would be interested in a move back to Holland.

"Heurelho had a fantastic and victorious history at PSV. He experienced the best time of his career there. To date he still receives messages, letters etc... from the PSV fans," Soares told Sky Sports.

"Heurelho is a Tottenham player and he is under contract.

"I can confirm that we have not received any official offer or contact from PSV in relation to Heurelho's return.

"Maybe the rumours around his move to PSV is due to his previous years at the club and the PSV fans' wishes.

"I am sure that if PSV want him back, Gomes' decision will be very easy to take."

Monk, who joined the Swans in 2004 and became skipper in 2006, made just 15 appearances last season.

The 34-year-old is to retain the club captaincy, but 28-year-old Williams - out of the side for only one Barclays Premier League game last term - will lead the team on the field now, even when the pair are playing together.

Monk told www.swanseacity.net: "It's a personal decision from myself. The way I look at being a captain, you should consistently be on the pitch.

"Ash has been consistent on the pitch over a number of years. I've said a few times I've not played as much as I would have liked, but I've still contributed in a number of games.

"But, overall, I feel the team captain should be someone who is on there as a figure of continuity. Ash is that.

"He has worn the armband when I've not played, so I felt it was the right thing to do to let him lead the team out even when I was playing.

"Obviously, if the manager (Michael Laudrup) says anything different then we would listen to him. But I will remain as club captain. To have been captain of this team and club is one of my proudest achievements.

"My duties as club captain on the pitch, in the changing rooms and in the community will remain.

"Even when I haven't got the armband on when I'm playing, I'll still be a leader on the pitch."

The 19-year-old, a regular in the Under-21 squad at Old Trafford, will stay with the Cumbrians until January 1.

"We've watched Reece a number of times and he's one we think will add to the squad in a very positive way," manager Greg Abbott told the club website.

"He's keen and hungry to be involved and he's one we're really looking forward to working with.

"He's a good footballer and a hard worker and he really wants to be here. Hopefully this type of move will give him time to settle and make the type of impact we think he's capable of making."

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