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Time to tell Fergie to ref off!

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Robbo Robson | 13:32 UK time, Monday, 9 November 2009

There weren't many surprises this weekend. Chelsea beating Man U after a pretty laboured performance. Another Blues winner featuring more jersey-tugging than your average Channel Island dairy farm.

Another offside, but then he wasn't interfering with play even though he missed it by millimetres and he wasn't offside anyway.

And of course the obligatory post-match ref-bash from the beaten Ferguson.
Frankly the Beeb get off lightly when the Glasgae Groan won't speak to them. If it's not Wiley's waistline, it's Atkinson's positioning.

Jeff Winter said on the radio that it's time refs got to give an opinion after the match. I agree. And if United get beat, just make sure you get to the mike before Sralex.
In fact if United get beat, just start your press conference in the centre circle, articulating all your answers to Fergie's inevitable criticisms.
Sir Alex FergusonSir Alex vents his spleen at Stamford Bridge
Mike Phelan says Fergie has to make these comments 'cos he wants to improve the standard of refereeing. Ahem. Funny how when decisions go the way of his side the refereeing performance is never mentioned.
The bloke's Wiley wittering hasn't been dealt with yet and he's at it again! If I was at the FA, the Old Trafford stewards would be plumping up the velvet cushions for his knightship in the top tier of the main stand for the rest of the season.

As it is, he's dodged another bullet. The FA treat Fergie like some great bear that sits in their back garden and occasionally crushes the herbaceous borders. Every so often they try to shoo him off but he just turns round, growls and they all rush back inside and draw the curtains.

Of course Fergie's by no means alone in this relentless assault on the officials' abilities.
And the more tiresome Man U fans will point to the fact that his comments were justified. Well maybe. My mate Len - an Arsenal supporter and therefore confidently sat upon football's moral high ground - says that they need to start making football shirts out of Velcro patches.

That way, when Terry gets a piece of Rooney's shirt, he really gets a piece of Rooney's shirt. The ref can see it in his hand. Automatic booking and free kick. (It might also be worth covering the shoulders of centre-forwards and centre-backs alike with anti-climb paint.)

Of course the free-kick which led to the goal was a pretty fair challenge by the admirable Fletcher, but hell-fire, refereeing is a matter of interpretation not fact. And managers always resort to the cause-and-effect line of reasoning.

'If they hadn't have got the throw-in they wouldn't have won the free-kick and the keeper wouldn't have been diving over a dribbling toe-poke and we wouldn't be 1-0 down. And if it weren't for that goal I can't see where the other five would've come from, etc, etc.'

Steve Bruce described the decision by Mr Friend to award a penalty but not send Gomes off as the turning point at Spurs. Funny I thought the turning point was when Bent's weak spot-kick was saved.

In any case, how could Bent be deemed to have been denied a goalscoring opportunity when he was so far down when Gomes touched him that he was virtually grazing. He was going away from goal, any road.

Shearer says it's a penalty. I'm of a mind that it was a blatant dive, but the striker's managed to get a touch from the keeper and the ref's in an impossible position to judge. Rooney and Eduardo got away with similar stunts earlier in the season.
This is how footie is now. Bend the rules to suit your ends. It's not cheating. It's smart. Apparently.

Unless of course your team suffer. Then it's downright villainy. If only the managers were more consistent in their reasoning you wouldn't mind.

But wait, there was one surprise - an almighty surprise. David Haye spent the week shooting his mouth off and talking the talk like some desperately poor man's Ali.
It was marketed as David v Goliath, and David was sure he was going to knock the big man out (forgetting in his arrogance that David had five weighty stones and a blinking great slingshot and not just a fist the size of one of Goliath's molars.)
David HayeHaye parades the psoils of victory
Some folks gave him a prayer against Valuev, a man who looks like he's been put together by Fluck and Law and an industrial-sized crane.

Haye tried his best to wind up the Russian, even suggesting the big man smelt a bit off (that'd be the WBO champ, surely) but Valuev rose above it. (Well let's face it he could rise above the average observatory without too much problem).

The 'little' Brit went about the task with plenty of verve, although it was hard not to think of one of them birds that pecks the ticks off rhinos in Africa. But he kept pecking, did Haye, and gradually the Russian assumed more normal proportions. And amazingly, he even hurt the bloke in the last round.

Were it not for the fact that the two competitors were freakishly mismatched, you could easily have nodded off. But Haye deserved it, and proved himself to be a whole lot smarter than all his pre-match blabbering would've suggested.

Of course he's heavyweight champion of the world now. Although in boxing's madcap firmament there are four worlds. What's nice is it means the Klitschkos can have one each and their Mum and Dad don't have to deal with any sibling rivalry.

Don King, whose wild hair seems to be a few storeys less than it used to be, can take a fair share of the blame for this farce.

Are there any other sports, apart from darts, where this happens? Can you imagine it? Of the four world 1500m winners this year, which is the best? Of the four Premier League-winning sides next year (and even then none of them will be Liverpool) which is the best? Nonsense.

But well done Haye. And he's only 29 to boot - so at the current rate in his division he's only got another 16 years at the top. Cash in, son.


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