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Cracking post on refs and Chelsea

Eton Blue at the Chelsea Megastore

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(nicked from Guardian review of season)

There were several funny moments in the season (and one tagged on from the end of last season:

1) Petr Cech has his skull fractured by the Berkshire Hunt of Reading. Mike Riley has a nice chat with the perpetrator.

2) Carlo Cudicini is elbowed after the ball has gone late on in the same game and is unconscious before he hits the deck. Mike Riley restarts play with a dropped ball.

3) Graham Poll disallows a goal by Drogba against Tottenham to make it 2-0 for an offence that can't be seen on any replay.

4) Graham Poll sent John Terry off in the same game for an offence that no-one can see on any replay.

5) John Terry is kicked clean in the head by Diaby after the ball has gone in the Carling Cup Final and has to be carried off to hospital suffering from concussion. Howard Webb gives a goal kick to Arsenal.

6) At the end of last season Carvalho is headbutted in the Newcastle area by Boumsong after the ball has gone and is taken fom the pitch with blood streaming from his head. Mike Riley gives a drop ball in Newcastle's favour.

7) Xabi Alonso spears John Obi Mikel with his studs at groin height. The referee refuses to book Alonso and refuses to allow Mikel treatment, then refuses to allow him to come back on the pitch until 3 phases of play have passed.

8) Alan Smith hacks John Obi Mikel twice after the ball has gone and Graham Poll refuses to take any action. With the precedent set, Mikel reacts in kind, though only tripping the next player with his shin. He is immediately booked. All following talk is of Mikel starting it, and using it to justify two violent assaults 30 minutes later when Mikel isn't even on the pitch, one of which ends the season of a 17 year old player making his debut.

9) Ben Thatcher of Man City steams 30 yards to viciously assault Pedro Mendes of Portsmouth. Stuart Pearce requires until the next day to decide the action is worth condemning.

10) Corradi of Man City goes down in the area for an apparent dive. Stuart Pearce is instantly able to condemn it, requiring no replays.

Referees can't see everything, but there's an obsession with discourtesies and complete disinterest in violent assaults that are seeing players hospitalised following potentially life-threatening injuries. One day people will get their priorities right and call decisions based on their severity and not obsess about "diving" which doesn't hurt anything if the referee sees it properly.

It's a great day for English football that the blight of Graham Poll has been removed from the game - a referee who can't be relied upon to count to two accurately - but when is Mike Riley going to be similarly dealt with when he has shown a consistent record of complete disinterest in violent headshots, allowing perpetrators to escape punishment by not giving any cards for their actions.

It seems to me that blood and hospitalisation isn't enough to deserve punishment. What ever will be? Failure to shake hands or give a post-match interview for TV or moving outside a technical area? Sort it out.

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/ ... brill.html

Thanks to a poster called Squiddy for that

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