Sack the whistler!By: Allan | September 28th, 2010
Although the first few performances this season have been a tad mediocre, (albeit, with some decent points along the way), Saturday’s performance at Anfield was the first signs of the green shoots of recovery. We began to look like a team again – showing a decent balance between attack and defence. Darren Bent’s second goal in particular, was a great striker’s goal. Let’s hope we can go on a run now and cement our place in the top ten.
Now for the poor old referee, I think most people knew Michael Turner played the ball back so the keeper could take the freekick. Initially, it looked like the official made the mistake because he’d inadvertently turned his back on play. However, even at this point, there was ample opportunity to correct the decision after consultation with his assistant. It’s high time we had a referee in the stand looking at a monitor, who could take control in a situation like this. Technology seems to work well in many other sports – Cricket, Tennis and American football to name but a few. For next season, I’d setup a reviewer with a monitor for all Premiership and Championship fixtures. He could then alert the official electronically to stop play if there any contentious incidents – a goal line call; violent conduct or an issue with the taking of freekick. We’ve already seen during the summer how useful this type of thing would have been during the World Cup. Don’t forget 1966, and that Russian linesman. Only joking! The culpability on Saturday rests with the refereeing team as a whole, not just the man in the middle. Hopefully the Premier League will look closely at the role played, not just by the referee, but also by the assistant. Somebody has just ruined their chances of getting on the FIFA list, me thinks!
Also, what Saturday proved, is that there are some players who are ‘ring-fenced’ in terms of the level of leniency shown to them by the officials. Steven Gerrard can now be added to the same list as his England buddies: Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Sir John Terry. Murder has to occur on the pitch before any of this lot will ever see a red card. Once players become an integral part of the international setup, they seem to become almost untouchable when it comes to basic discipline. We might have an elite list for referees, but it’s time we dispensed with the elite players list!
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