Date:Monday November 27 2006
Moaning Managers or Rubbish Referees?
Premiership refs have been right under the cosh in the last couple of weeks and if most football managers are to be believed its all because of they are not up to the job and should be superceded by the use of video technology. Is this case or is it more the case that a number of Premiership managers are far too happy to pass the blame onto anything or anyone else other than the inadequacies of their team or themselves?
Well, a good case could be made for both arguments I guess. For example, the penalty that Portsmouth got at Watford in the 90th minute the other week looked like a harsh call and Aidy Boothroyd may feel he was well within his rights to have a go after the game. Saying that the ref should sit in the stocks and get pelted with rotten tomatoes is a fairly harmless comment and can be taken in jest. But then to go on and mention going to the referees chief Keith Hackett to complain, smacks a little to me of a child who has 'gone to tell mummy` about what the nasty man did to his team.
Indeed, only the week before Mr. Mourinho felt he had to have a meeting with the very same ref regarding the performance of Graham Poll, a meeting that Alex Ferguson called 'ludicrous`. I must say for once I agree with the red-faced wonder.
It is almost like referees are not allowed to make mistakes anymore and if they do they should be sacked for it. Jeez, they ought to see the standard of the referees in the lower divisions. Rotherham United were apparently robbed of a blatant penalty against the reds by all accounts but I did not hear boss Alan Knill make a single reference to it in his post-match interview. The problem is that even if he did say something would anyone care? I think not, as he is manages an unfashionable club in what is effectively the third division. He is still a credit to the profession and proof that sometimes it is possible to just take things on the chin.
So would it be better if we had video technology? Maybe, but I don`t think it will solve all the problems and neither does Sepp Blatter by the looks of it. Replays are good and well when the ball goes out of play but if the game carries on at what point does the referee decide to go to the video ref? Also, many of these crucial moments are too ambiguous to be decided by a few video replays.
Line decisions are perhaps an exception to this rule as they are a bit more black and white but the problem of when to stop the game once again becomes apparent. Mark Hughes certainly thinks we need video replays, although I don`t recall hearing a Mark Hughes interview where he didn`t blame something other than his team.
I am not saying the ref got it right in his particular case but I can`t help but feel that sometimes it would just be better to bite your lip, grit you teeth and get on with it.
After all, he was supposed to be an inspirational player on the pitch. They called him sparky, not narky (ouch) if memory serves me correctly.
Sometimes of course it is the linesman, I mean referees assistant, that gets the brunt of the managers wrath and there is no better example than the Newell-gate incident the other week. Whatever possessed him to say what he said I will never know but blaming it on the current state of Luton`s predicament does not excuse it in my opinion. The way I see it, refs have always been the cause of vitriol and abuse amongst fans, managers and players alike but I don`t think in my 22 years as a football follower I have ever heard managers moan as much as they do now. That suggests to me that perhaps it's the managers who need to take a good hard look at themselves and not the referees.
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