Stop Moaning Fergie

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It was no major surprise to hear Alex Ferguson have a go at referee Martin Atkinson after his teams 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.

No surprise from the point of view that it is usually always the referees fault when his team lose, and no surprise from the point of view that Fergie probably had a point this time.

For me though, I have no sympathy for Ferguson when his team have been wronged as he always blames the referee no matter what. He can pick the wrong team, or his team gets beat fair and square and Fergie will always find a way to blame something or someone else, usually the referee.

Yes, it was a soft penalty and David Luiz should have been sent off, Fergie was right. But balance that argument out against the fact that Rooney shouldn’t have been on the pitch to score the opening goal.

We keep hearing that luck balances itself out, Ferguson got lucky on Saturday and unlucky on Tuesday. He also still has the services of Wayne Rooney for the next two games, so in a way he is still in credit as it could and should have been worse.

Tonight justice turned full circle, so stop moaning Ferguson.

Who would be a referee?

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Martin O’Neill said it was a clear penalty, Alex McLeish said it was definately not a penalty, even Andy Gray said on Sky Sports that he could understand why the referee got it wrong.

They are the differing biased opinions of the same incident that make refereeing in the Premier League an almost impossible job.

The decision to give a penalty for Roger Johnson’s challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor was the incident that decided the midlands derby in Villa’s favour.

Yes, Alex McLeish has a point, you can’t assume that something is a penalty, or at least you shouldn’t assume. But what are the alternatives?

If referees stop making decisions because they are maybe not 100% sure, you could end up with situations where no penalties are given unless someone is kicked up in the air 10 yards away from the ball.

Look at Howard Webb lately, the poor bloke is too scared to give a penalty these days such is his loss in confidence. Is that where we want to take refereeing too?

The likes of McLeish, O’Neill, the other managers and players all have a responsibility to cut the officials a bit of slack when a decision is as tight as this one was.

I accept that when a ref or his assistant gets an absolute stick on one wrong, he is fair game for criticism. The two penalty decisions at Wembley involving O’Neill and his Villa team, or the off-side Drogba goal at Old Trafford spring to mind. They were all indefensible.

For the record I thought it was a good tackle, but can fully understand why the referee gave it, and attach no blame to the ref.

Allardyce does a Fergie

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Sam Allardyce is the latest manager to try to put pressure on a referee prior to a match with his advice to ref Andre Marriner that he needs to keep a close eye on Everton’s Tim Cahill when the teams meet this weekend.

In suggesting that Cahill gains an unfair advantage when attacking set pieces, Allardyce is clearly challenging Marriner to penalise Cahill’s combatative style.

It is yet another blatent example of intimidation towards match officials that has been pioneered and perfected over the years by serial ref basher Alex Ferguson. It is also yet another perfect example of how the FA do nothing, or very little to assist the refs.

Ironically one of the best examples of this technique was pulled off by Everton’s, David Moyes when stoked up press suggestions that Mike Riley might be a Manchester United fan ahead of their 2009 FA Cup semi-final.

Riley then went on to deny United a clear penalty after a foul by Phil Jagielka on Danny Welbeck, leaving the pioneer fuming and claiming Riley had been influenced by the remarks from Moyes.

Talk about getting shot with your own gun.

Typical Germans or Typical Fergie

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Typical Germans! More like typical Alex Ferguson, his after match rant was just what we have come to expect after his team don’t get things their own way. It was his usual art of detracting the blame from himself or his team after a defeat.

I know hindsight is a great thing, but wouldn’t Fergie have had an idea that Bayern might target Rafael after the break? Maybe he might have thought about bringing him off at half time.

Far from blaming Rafael for his over exuburance, or his team for chucking the tie away, not once, but twice, as they could have wrapped it up in Germany as well. Ferguson blamed the referee instead, and claimed Bayern influenced his decision to send off Rafael.

Rafael only has himself to blame, he picked up two stupid bookings. He had already been warned towards the end of the 1st half, so then just 5 minutes into the 2nd half, he had two, yes two goes at pulling Ribery back. There was plenty of defensive cover and it was a needless foul, he deserved to go.

For Ferguson to then slag off anyone for influencing a referee was astounding. When talking about surrounding referees, the names Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs, Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea all immeadiately spring to mind.

Ok, they don’t try to get players sent off, but they do try to influence referees with a systematic questioning of almost every decision made by the officials.

These are the current exponents of a tactic that must be actively encouraged inside Old Trafford. If it isn’t, then there is a hell of a lot of ill discipline at Ferguson’s club, as his teams have been doing it for over 20 years now.

Not content with the “typical Germans” remark, he then went onto say that United would have won with eleven players, and that the Germans had targeted Wayne Rooney’s ankle.

I tend to agree with the 11 players remark, although we will never know. But if you look at the bigger picture, United gifted three of the four Munich goals with bad errors. Robben’s goal was a magnificent strike, but there was no one marking him either.

For Fergie to make these remarks after going out of the competition looks childish and stupid. Ferguson should have showed more respect and dignity in defeat. He only had to say well played and wish Munich well for the future, how hard would that have been?

Ferguson gets away with it again!

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The news that Alex Ferguson has escaped punishment (yet again) from the FA over his critical comments about referee Mark Clattenburg’s performance in the game against Birmingham dosen’t come as any surprise.

Apparently the FA thought his comments did not cross the boundary to allege bias or impute the official’s integrity!

Well what a surprise.

Just what does the FA think his comments are meant to mean then? Do they think he was complementing Clattenburg’s performance?

This is yet another spineless response from the very people who are supposed to be upholding the integrity of the game. The fact that the man has a two-match suspended touchline ban waiting to be imposed on him dosen’t seem to bother him or be a deterant.

It completely undermines their respect campaign.

They are sending out the message that Ferguson can just continue to blame officials everytime his team fails to win (which is quite often this season), allowing him to carry on with his systemic intimidation of officials totally unopposed.

Just what he has to do to get the suspended sentence imposed on him I don’t know, never mind a fresh charge.