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Outspoken Warnock keeps Palace fighting on

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Chris Bevan | 07:32 UK time, Monday, 15 February 2010

Selhurst Park

Crystal Palace boss Neil Warnock has rattled enough cages in his 29 years as a manager to ensure that not everyone will have been instantly sympathetic to the way his side were cruelly denied victory over Aston Villa at the very end of an enthralling FA Cup fifth round tie on Sunday.

He was at his outspoken worst again immediately after the final whistle of his side's 2-2 draw, raging on live TV that the corner that led to Stiliyan Petrov's 87th-minute equaliser for Villa should not have been awarded.

It's true that Warnock was proved right by TV replays which showed the ball went behind after taking the slightest of touches off Villa's Nathan Delfouneso after Eagles goalkeeper Julian Speroni had brilliantly denied John Carew but, apart from the players closest to the incident, few people in the ground spotted it at the time.

We've seen similar scenes to the rant that followed on too many occasions - this time it was directed at linesman Trevor Massey, who got the decision wrong - and, sadly, it somewhat overshadowed what had been a thrilling match and stirring performance by a Palace team in administration with debts of around £30m and facing an uncertain future.

Crystal Palace manager Neil WarnockWarnock was exasperated after Villa scored a late equaliser

The most infuriating thing about Warnock is that his sense of injustice only functions from his own perspective; his outbursts give the impression he thinks he is the only victim of wrong decisions by officials and he doesn't seem to care who he upsets while getting his opinions across - that point was made by his opposite number Martin O'Neill when he addressed the press after the game in the bowels of Selhurst Park.

When it was explained to O'Neill, who is himself known to get rather animated on the touchline at times, about the reason for Warnock's ire, the Villa boss said: "I didn't realise what he was upset about because I am never sure what Neil is upset about.

"So we got a bit of luck. But, tell me this, because I haven't seen it back yet - was it a definite free-kick that led to their second goal? I could be totally wrong and it might be the most blatant free-kick of all time but I wasn't sure at the time and you can argue these decisions back and forward."

That might be ill-advised. When it comes to arguing, Warnock is undoubtedly one of the best in the business. He had calmed down a bit by the time he came in for his post-match press conference yet was still angry enough with Massey to repeat his demand for the official to be banned, for a long time.

But, even if you disagree with what comes out of the 61-year-old Yorkshireman's mouth - and sometimes it is easy to - there is still something about him that you cannot help warming to. For a start, his passion for the game may be misplaced at times but it shone like a beacon throughout Sunday's game when he was constantly on his feet encouraging his players, who put in an phenomenal effort in return.

Love him or hate him, you cannot deny he is an inspirational manager and Palace fans, like those at most of the 10 other clubs Warnock has spent time in charge of, recognise that. The Eagles supporters sang his name constantly during Sunday's Cup-tie and believe, rightly, that they would be in a much bigger hole right now if he was not around.

Last week, I spoke to former Palace forward Mark Bright, who helped them reach the 1990 Cup final and now combines work as a pundit for the BBC with coaching his old club's strikers.

Bright has seen Warnock at work on the training pitch and dressing room first hand, raising morale and fostering team spirit and told me: "I truly believe he is exactly the right man to galvanise the team and we have seen that with their performances since they went into administration. Neil works best with his back against the wall and he is the biggest reason they have battled on the way they have."

As well as being effective, Warnock is always entertaining too. His post-match strop, although unsavoury, still raised a smile as he described himself searching, unsuccessfully, for the right phrase when he confronted Massey after the match: "I said does he realise how hard it is when we are not let down by anything that is a football matter, just something that is purely - what's the word, inconsistency? I couldn't think of the word - I thought of a few but they would have cost me a few grand... (a journalist suggests 'incompetent') Thanks ever so much - that's the word and I wish I could have thought of it earlier."

Of course, Palace's plight is no laughing matter. They were on the edge of the Championship promotion race before being docked 10 points when they were tipped into administration at the end of January, quickly lost their best player Victor Moses to Wigan while the transfer window was still open and now, apart from a replay at Villa Park on 24 February, have nothing but a relegation battle to look forward to.

Some good news is that the Eagles' administrator Brendan Guilfoyle says the sale of Moses and their Cup run has raised enough funds to see the club through to the end of the season. If the Eagles are to stay in the Championship, then they desperately need Warnock to be around until then too, but even that may not be straightforward.

Warnock has 18 months left on his contract at Selhurst Park but, if reported interest from QPR becomes concrete, then the revolving doors at Loftus Road might prove tempting to a man who has made it clear he wants to try his luck again in the top flight before he retires, and is unlikely to get the opportunity with his present employers.

Darren Ambrose scored a brilliant free-kickDarren Ambrose celebrates after putting Palace ahead for the second time

How big a loss to the Eagles would losing Warnock be? Huge. If their fans adore him, their players rely on him.

Darren Ambrose, who had put Palace on the brink of a place in the last eight with his superb 30-yard free-kick ahead of Petrov's controversial late leveller, said afterwards: "He is a one off, a one-of-a-kind manager who has helped me a lot.

"He lets me play how I want to play and he has got me enjoying football again. It's the same for every player - we have got closer as a group because of what has happened to the club off the pitch. The staff are included in that and he is the main man."

The skilful former England Under-21 international joined Palace in the summer after suffering two relegations in three years with their local rivals Charlton and has been one of Palace's star performers this season.

Ambrose, who was linked with several other clubs in January, especially when Guilfoyle took over the running of the club from former chairman Simon Jordan, has been in this situation before - he was sold by Ipswich to Newcastle for £1m when the Portman Road club were in administration in 2003 but is adamant he is committed to Palace's cause and hopes his manager does not leave either.

"Do I want him to stay? Absolutely, yeah," added Ambrose. "He put a lot of faith in me to sign me in the summer. I want to be here, and I want him to be the manager when I am here. Hopefully these stories are just rumours."

Palace fans will no doubt agree. What has turned into a difficult season would become a complete nightmare if Warnock were to leave.

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  • Comment number 1.

    OK, Warnock has passion, and that's a good thing. So is politeness, restraint. Everything has its limits and, as Martin O'Neill suggests, these decisions can be a matter of opinion, or in the case of this corner, what the official honestly thought he saw. In any case, it was just a corner, not a penalty, and defenders will frequently give a corner away as a best option, trusting that the corner will be defended.

    It's quite childish really, reminds me of kids that get into a strop and don't care who gets it when they lash out. Palace aren't even out of the tie!

  • Comment number 2.


  • Comment number 3.

    Once again Neil Warnock shows what an idiot he is. Yes, Trevor Massey got the call wrong but to say he should be suspended "for a long time" due to one incident which happened in the blink of an eye is just typical Warnock stupidity. It happened so fast that even the ITV commentary team needed a slow-motion replay to realise it came off the Villa player!

    The example set by professional managers is disgraceful, from Alex Ferguson down. That columnists label these idiots "inspirational" doesn't example help either.

  • Comment number 4.

    Once again Warnock displays everything wrong with the English game. He's a blame merchant, he never hold himself accountable for errors made by his team.

    When the ball went out for a corner in real time, I thought it was a fantastic reaction save by the keeper, the ITV commentators thought it was a corner, and only with a differnt angle and slow motion did it show to take a deflection off a striker. The linesman doesn't have this advantage.

    Maybe Warnock would be better off looking at the suspect defending which allowed Petrov to score rather than blaming officials for his sides lack of defending.

    He blamed West Ham for Sheffield being relegated, instead of actually winning a few more of the 38 games that season.

    Yes Palace were unlucky, but to blame it purely on the linesman is a bit of a poor show, especially as it was such a difficult decision to make.

  • Comment number 5.

    Neil Warnock is the most bitter man in football, and to me is a big part of what is wrong in the game. I don't think I've ever seen a game where his team lost because they weren't good enough - it's always because the officials have conspired against him. Looking at the incident, it wasn't a corner no, but it did happen at high speed, and officials are only human. But the way Warnock behaves, it's like there's a big conspiracy with the referees to make him lose. Frankly if I was an official I would want his team to lose, and would do everything I could to make sure it happened.

    He is just a disgrace, and needs to grow up. Show some grace in defeat and try blaming yourself occasionally. A draw was indeed a fair result yesterday, and there was only really one team trying to play decent football out there. The sooner this sad little man vanishes from the public eye the better.

  • Comment number 6.

    We all have many faults and Football managers are no different to others. However, I have to say that Neil Warnock has probably experienced more decisions going against him and his teams than most managers, during his time with Sheff Utd and now with Palace. He wears his heart on his chest and says it like it is. At the same time he is less of a cold fish than some managers who lack the emotion for the game. He inspires and makes players want to play for him and take pride in their team. He is loyal to the board, the team players and the fans. As you rightly say, he is what we need at this very difficult time for us at Palace.

  • Comment number 7.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 8.

    Please, please, please say the comment about QPR wanting Warnock is a cruel joke. We cannot take any more. The man is a big baby, as previous posters have said. It isn't passion. It is a lack of reason! His teddy has spent so long out of the pram it keeps finding goldilocks there when it gets back in.
    ANYONE but Warnock!

  • Comment number 9.

    I am NOT a new member!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! how many times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 10.

    Did anyone notice that Palace's first, crucial goal to beat Wolves in the last round came from a corner that was similarly 'incorrectly' awarded? Much more obviously, too....

    .....not making any excuses, because Palace outplayed us from start to finish really, but still, I didn't see Warnock say anything about the problem last time, or call for the official to be suspended!

  • Comment number 11.

    I am afraid Mr Warnock is an insult to the game,I would love to see him and a few other managers actually run the line or referee,that would be really funny. I for one do call officials when I think they are wrong but I have never believed they are cheats nor have aI called them that! His comments post yesterday's game were clear he was calling both officials cheats and that is totally unacceptable. Hee should be banned for a long time.

  • Comment number 12.

    Warnock is an idiot who blames everyone but himself when things don't go his way. I can't stand him (although he isn't the only one in football).

    Rebpalace - he hasn't had more 'wrong' decisions go against him. He just carps on about them more.

  • Comment number 13.

    What a surprise - Warnock blames everyone else apart from himself or his team for failing to win.

  • Comment number 14.

    I think I would like to see Warnock suspended for a very long time. Maybe it's time that any touchline monitors for the managers to see replays on are taken away so they get the same real time view of the game as the officials. Only let them see any replays of the action after they have made their respective comments to any relevant parties or the media. Television coverage could do with maybe leaving it until half time/full time until scrutinising every decision the ref has made and just concentrate on showing the game.

  • Comment number 15.

    Warnock is brilliant. He's one of the best. I love his love for the game, he's a real character and just doesn't care what he says. We need more people like Warnock in football.

  • Comment number 16.

    If anybody should be banned from football,It is an idiot like Warnock.This fool always has something to complain about and is the type of person who never sets the right example to kids etc.
    His teams always use bully boy tactics also.I hope Villa thrash the whingers in the replay.

  • Comment number 17.

    How can anyone have anything for contempt for a grown man acting like a little spoilt toddler. This is the trouble with football and gives it a bad name, Rugby players may not need to be so well co-ordinated and have the balance of footballers but you never see anyone in that sport or other contact sports like boxing etc acting like a Furgeson, Warnoch or Araldyce they all act like grown men.

  • Comment number 18.

    Has there ever been a manager who has less respect for the game in general and officials in particular? Never mind banning officials for genuine mistakes (although who could blame them if they were biased deliberately against Warnock's team?) how about banning this clown for his persistent insulting of officials both during and after games. I didn't see the game (I'd rather watch paint dry than watch a Warnock team play their brand of "football") but I'd be amazed if Palace didn't play with the usual selection of dirty, cynical, niggly, time wasting tactics that they use every week in the league. This how all Warnock's teams play, with him shouting abuse from the touchline continuously.

  • Comment number 19.

    I watched the game and thought it was a goal kick!! I can't explain what the Linesman thought he saw, because the ball certainly didn't come off the keeper last, and there wasn't another defender near it? This is just another example of how poor the match officilas are these days, and another reason why video refereeing should be trialed and eventually brought in, irrespective of what the muppets at FIFA/UEFA think.

    I'm not a Palace fan, but I like Neil Warnock, he displays wit and intelligence, pride and passion and is undoubtedly a great manager, not sure why no-one else seems to like him.

    He was right about the Tevez thing as well, West Ham stayed in the Prem because they fielded an elegible player, I thought that much was agreed by everyone?

  • Comment number 20.

    It's always someone else's fault isn't it Neil?

  • Comment number 21.

    Warnock is a pain - if it doesn't go HIS way, then there is always somebody else to blame. If it isn't Tevez then it's a linesman. It really is time he grew up. Of course, I could be wrong, and if his side had been given a corner that he knew was a goal kick, he would obviously raise the issue with the referee and get the decision reversed - wouldn't he?

  • Comment number 22.

    Warnock is perhaps the biggest moaner in the game, and that's quite some distinction. Inspiring? The only thing he inspires me to do is turn the tv off whenever he speaks. Yeah the linesman made a mistake; it happens. It'll happen again, just like I'm sure his players will make mistakes: they'll lose the ball; they'll foul opponents and when bearing down on goal with the ball at their feet, they'll put it wide instead of scoring. Does he suspecnd them? Does he hope he himself gets a lengthy suspension when he picks the wrong team? Get over it Neil, or get out of the game, you baby.

  • Comment number 23.

    Grow up Warnock, this is the same linesman that gave Delph offside when he wasn't, stopping a clear opportunity, he gave Delfoneso offside late on when he was at least 4 yards onside. People make mistakes but they're not only against your teams.

  • Comment number 24.

    All the apparent hate for Neil Warnock here shouldn't vindicate the assistant referee for his blatant mistake. I'm sure you would all feel different if it was Ian Holloway complaining for example. Yes Warnock does have a history of being on the rag against officials but it doesn't mean that the mistake in this instance was ok.

  • Comment number 25.

    Kippax Boy - I second your comment about managers having to run the line or referee. I think that part of the punishment for bad-mouthing officials should be exactly that, refereeing a Sunday league game. I think Alex Ferguson, Mark Hughes and Neil Warnock (to name but a few) would spend most of their weekends at local park fixtures then.

  • Comment number 26.

    Banning referees because they make mistakes ? How about banning players and managers when they make mistakes ? Only problem with that, of course, is that everybody would be banned for ever.

  • Comment number 27.

    And talking of corners, nobody pointed out to Mr Warnock that Palace's first goal was scored from a corner taken from outside the quadrant and should therefore have been retaken. Also Alan Lee escaped with a yellow card after quite blatantly elbowing the other Warnock. Wonderful thing perspective!

  • Comment number 28.

    Warnock conveniently overlooks the fact that Palace's first goal in the replay against Wolves came from an incorrectly awarded corner in his favour. He really needs to wise up.

  • Comment number 29.

    Look, it's really really difficult for someone like Neil Warnock to accept it when officials make mistakes. As everyone knows, Neil Warnock is perfect and never, ever gets anything wrong himself, so why should he show any element of understanding when other mere mortals do?

  • Comment number 30.

    Jonathon Hewitt writes Neil Warnock is "a great manager, not sure why no-one else seems to like him."

    I'm afraid, like the man himself, there seems to be a bit of tunnel vision here. Haven't you read other comments in this blog? Much of it is not hatred, just an explanation of why he has little respect from some of us. At least read these criticisms and reply to them.

  • Comment number 31.

    "Even if you disagree with what Neil Warnock says - and sometimes it is easy to - you cannot deny that he is an inspirational manager and there is something about him that you cannot help warming to"

    Why do we get a comment from a columnist stating that Warnock is inspirational? Far from it!!!! How can you warm to a man with a chip on his shoulder so large that his arm should have fallen off!

    As many have stated he is one of the worst parts of what football is today. He only inspires kids to blame the referee and not their own failings.

    Everyone's against this man, who whilst at Sheff Utd had one of his coaches up against the door listening to Stan Ternent's half time talk when they played Burnley (as reported by Radio Lancashire) and is the manager of the only professional team that in living history got a game abandoned because they had too many players sent off and then become injured that they didn't have enough players to continue the game!

    If in a blink of an eye an official got a call wrong and in Mr Warnock's opinion should be banned for a long time, then IMHO those 2 indiscretions above should have meant that he should have been suspended from managing a football team for an awful lot longer!

  • Comment number 32.

    Warnock seems to forget that the first goal in the previous round against Wolves came from a corner wrongly awarded to Palace - don't remember him moaning then!

  • Comment number 33.

    Had to make a comment on this blog after reading Warnock's interview post-game.

    I'm not a Villa fan & I am actually one of the people that likes him & thinks he brings something good to the game, but I think he's made himself look a right fool with his comments.

    So the linesman made an incorrect decision? Well guess what, referee's & officials get decisions wrong all the time, but unless it's a game changing decision like a red card, offside, penalty or free kick you accept it & get on with it.

    A corner is in no way a game changing decision. Palaca still had the opportunity to defend that corner, & they didn't. Set pieces are so important in the modern game. How long did Warnock spend practicing defending corners & free kicks during the week? What he should be doing is analysing how his players didn't deal with it successfully. Who was meant to be marking Petrov? Could the keeper have claimed it? etc

    He's only moaning because it happened towards the end of the game when his team were leading, but if it had happened 5 minutes in & his team had dealt with the resulting corner he'd have nothing to say on it.

    If it was a terrible decision that gave a penalty, free kick or man advantage to Villa i'd have sympathy for him, but moaning about corners being incorrectly given makes you look very poor (no pun intended). It's the kind of thing managers moan about when they're looking for excuses a-la Alex Ferguson and does nothing but make them look like sore losers.

  • Comment number 34.

    Does anyone know what Neil Warnock's view is on the deliberate elbow thrown by Alan Lee for which Lee was incredibly fortunate to only receive a yellow card? No?

    What about when Nathaniel Clyne bundled over Ashley Young in the penalty area and the referee decided against giving the penalty? No?

    What a surpise, Warnock once again only commenting on the decisions which go against his side.

  • Comment number 35.

    Warm to him?

    You MUST be joking. Has he never made a mistake????

    He displays all of the unthinking arrogance which is now all too common in the UK.

    Fact is, getting a replay - and extra cash - is very good news for Palace. And, in case that paper hat Warnock hasnt realised it, they can still get through!

    He's a total disgrace.

  • Comment number 36.

    An incorrectly awarded corner leading to a goal?

    Bit like that incident in the game against Wolves - ball clearly coming off the Palace player last, Butterfield netted the opener from the resulting corner...

    ...bit hypocritical of Warnock, hey?!

  • Comment number 37.

    If there is something about Warnock that you can't help warming to I'm blowed if I can see what it is. Is this the same Warnock who berated his own player for not taking a dive in the penalty box complaining about refereeing decisions? Is it the same Warnock who was involved in the match where players were trying to get themselves sent off in order to get a match abandoned? The words "double" and "standards" spring immediately to mind. It's no wonder the referees themselves refer to him as "Colin" in (almost) private. It's fine to instill a "everybody hates us we don't care" mentality, but quite another to work almost exclusively on making sure everybody hates you.

  • Comment number 38.

    Heh, heh. Insult to the game, everything that's wrong with football, blah blah blah... What a load of tosh.

    Amid a generation of cliche spouting, "all credit to the lads on the pitch", passionless, opinionless drones, Warnock is one of the very few managers who wears his heart on his sleeve and calls things as he sees them. The fact he has an opinion and isn't scared to share it (and much of the time, he's full of POSITIVES, as you'd see if you bothered to do even a modicum of research instead of listening to the usual media spin) should be welcomed. If more managers shared his attitude, post-match interviews would actually become interesting again. Our national sport is full of don't-upset-anyone sycophants. THAT is what's wrong with football. And men like Neil Warnock are our last hope of saving it from a completely sterile, criticism-free future.

    And the QPR fan who claimed he wouldn't want Warnock? Wow. Just wow.

  • Comment number 39.

    Warm to Warnock - the man is an apologist of a manager. Should the Ref be banned for a long time for being lenient on Hill for a blatant elbow? He's a bad loser and should realise the game is until the final whistle - maybe he should ban his own players, especially the one who's marking was so good that well known heading expert, Petrov, was allowed so little space to attack the ball ;-) Pipe down Neil - the game is played until the final whistle, some you win, some you lose.

  • Comment number 40.

    Warnock wears his heart on his sleeve and seems unable to control his mouth at times. You could put a fan in his place talking to the media and you'd probably get a similar rant - he sees it the same as the man in the stand.

    I can't think of another manager we'd want right now. It's just a bit of a shame he's allowed a pointless rant to overshadow a tremendous performance from Palace (thanks BBC for focussing on it!). The atmosphere at Selhurst has been great recently - I hope it keeps up when we come out of administration!

  • Comment number 41.

    1. Many descisions went against Villa including two offsides which were good goal chances.

    2. Lee should have been sent off for what he did to S. Warnock.

    3. (As mentioned previously) First goal against Wolves.

    Having said all that Palace were on top for most of the game. It was a great cup-tie. And that's from a Villan.

    I don't mind N. Warnock at all, He's a colourful character. Ok he is whinging and biased. But it's not for our benefit, is it? He's just trying to create a seige mentality to motivate the team.

  • Comment number 42.

    Like the linesman and referee, I do not believe Warnock saw Delp head that ball behind at the time. I do believe he saw it straight after the game on the monitor and decided to undermine the referee for no real reason other than Palace didnt win. The refs cant give hindsight decisions and nor can he judge them. Did he miss Leees elbow too?

  • Comment number 43.

    I have to agree on this point terrible ref decisions happen with more and more frequency. Be nice also if someone explained where all this game changing extra time has come from in the last 12-18 months. We only ask the ref get all the easy decisions right and then earn their money by getting most of the big decisions right. However I would say they get only some of the easy decisions right and few of the diffucult ones.

    A good ref should be praised at the end of the game for making the correct decisions and letting the game flow. Do we even have any good ref`s in England they have all made terrible mistakes that have cost all our teams at some point. Then to cap it all off they are protected like some sort of secret police if you say anything against them. Also sometimes I have seen decisions awarded and its no been clear what for.

    Bout time the ref`s clearly explained their decisions, were more transparent with managers and were held accountable for their mistakes. I support Warnock on this hope he wins this one what a stupid decision by the linesman if he didnt clearly see it, which he didnt he should have kept quiet.

  • Comment number 44.

    Yesterday I watched this match supporting Villa as I do. Thought it was a great cup tie. Excellent spirit with tackles flying in and players just getting on with it.

    Then Colin W*nker opens his mouth and the game is forgotten. Shame

  • Comment number 45.

    even if the linesman made a mistake, warnock must take responsibility for his team not defending a corner adequately. they only have themselves to blame. they didn't lose the tie because of a bad decision. you don't lose games because of corners. his comments, although fuelled by frustration, are unacceptable and should be punished accordingly. i would love to see the officials being allowed to respond to warnock, rebuking his idiotic criticism and showing it up for the poor excuse that it is.

  • Comment number 46.

    I don't follow sheffield united or palace but I've always had a soft spot for Warnock.. yes, he's flawed and sometimes shoots his mouth off, but he loves what he does and is incredibly passionate about it.

    In short, he gives a damn. I can think of no-one better to be in charge of Palace right now.

  • Comment number 47.

    What nonsense, firstly Lee should have walked for his elbow on Warnock because if you look closely Lee elbowed and obstructed the goalkeeper for the first Palace goal, albeit in the ribs. Secondly, Villa were through one on one Twice when wrongly penalised for offside, on the second occasion the guy was Two yards Onside.

    If the officials were as competant as Warnock feels they should be Palace would not have been awarded with a replay. Indeed had the flying elbows been punished during the Wolves replay they would have been down to nine men prior to half time.

    Warnock is a Bully and his teams performances reflect his attitude, fortunately bullies almost always come to a sticky end.

  • Comment number 48.

    People take Neil Warnock far too seriously. He likes to blow a gasket now and again, but thats just his way. If it was Ferguson, all of the game listens intently as if he (and a few others like him) are some kind of football messiah and the press all sucker up to his words.

    NW has been in football a long time and for good reason. He knows the game and players respect him. He speaks his mind. Nothing wrong with that. There are people in football who dislike him as hes trodden on their toes a time or two and in many cases rightfully so. Its better listening to him than the sanctimonious Villa boss who has elevated himself to the rank of self proclaimed and self appointed football 'academic'.

    Carry on Neil. Youre always good for a listen and sod those who try to make you button it. The game will be less colourful when you jack it all in thats for sure. Now go and beat Villa. They really arent that good.

  • Comment number 49.

    People maybe calling Warnock an idiot but the truth is they know he right. Maybe he should cut out the foul language esp as alot of people don't like to hear it but he is right to complain.

    People on here say "he is everything that is wrong with the game today" but the truth is Linesmens and Refs are the thing that are wrong with the game today. They make too many mistakes. Being a sheffield united fan, I have seen at first hand mistakes by both refs and linesmen. It just seems to follow Warnock around with him.

    The excuess you get of here for refs is that they are only human, they make mistakes but when you do that in your job, you get a warning or at worse, your fired.

    If your team was at the bottom of the league, i bet you would rather have a warnock than a southgate.

  • Comment number 50.

    I also noticed that when Delfouneso was incorectly ruled offside when he was at least 3 yards onside was not spotted or mentioned by Warnock, he is far too quick to blame others for minor mistakes when it effects him and his team and then says that "sometimes you get that bit of luck" when things go for him.

    His bitter and angry comments over the years mean that he has few people outside of the clubs he has managed that warm to him or feel sympathy when he is harshly wronged.

  • Comment number 51.

    I can't see how anger and rage make for an inspirational manager. He just seems like a bad loser and a bully.

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Think how Neil Warnock would react if he'd been on 606 and the football blogs for ages and then he was told that as a new member his posts were automatically going into moderation.

    He'd go ballistic and call for the mods to be banned for 'a long time' for getting the descision wrong.

    Would he have a point?

  • Comment number 54.

    Ben Wilson "If more managers shared his attitude, post-match interviews would actually become interesting again."

    Really? Like a school playground you mean. I agree that we need a much less bland way of presenting footie in terms of format, but refs & linesmen are such easy targets. If you say what you honestly think how does that excuse you if you're totally out of order? What an uproar there'd be if officials spoke their minds about the abuse we never hear that they get on the field of play - they don't, they show restraint.

  • Comment number 55.

    Looks like it's not just his Crystal Palace players that Neil Warnock is able to galvanise! The man certainly possesses an ability to get everybody going... for good or bad.

    3/ Jon, I stand by my view that Warnock is inspirational... he may behave like a prat at times but he is one of these characters you want on your side when you're in trouble. Everybody else might dislike him but Palace's players and fans love him, which I'm sure is all he cares about.

    10/ Spiritual Wolf, I didn't see that incident but that's exactly the type of thing you'd hope Warnock would take into account when he starts spitting blood. He's never going to, though, is he!

    It's fair to say he has faced a few injustices though - remember Sheffield United's controversial relegation and 'the goal that never was' at Bristol City at the start of this season - but the fact is he would get more sympathy if he didn't rant at officials in the manner he did on Sunday... I just don't think he can help himself.

  • Comment number 56.

    Warnock is fast becoming one of my favourite all time palace managers. It will take some doing to get to a par with Sir Steve Coppell, but he is close to it.

    Us Palace fans couldn't care less if other team's supporters hate him. In fact, just like him, we actually love it! He has a reputation and that precedes him every time we get on telly. Just check the camera work from ITV, all on Warnock, hardly any of O'Neill. Any comment he makes be it insightful or ridiculous is then plastered all over the press.

    He has done a superb job at Palace, the huge majority of Palace fans (as with all the other teams he has managed), think he is immense. He IS one of the most inspirational managers out there. Not for the game in general, but for the team he manages.

    Long live Warnock. Without you the game will be a bland dull affair without any passion, intrigue and debate.

    Up the Palace, we can take Villa in the replay!!!

    P.S. Please don't go to QPR, we need you here!

  • Comment number 57.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 58.

    I think he trying to keep his players galvanised with the old Fergy/Wenge/Basset/Allardyce seige mentality to keep players thinking everythings against them we have to stick together.Wouldn't surprise me to see them going on a run and still getting close to play offs.Would love to Warnock back in the Premiership.

  • Comment number 59.

    re. 53 Thanks for having a sense of humour, mods :)

  • Comment number 60.

    mpjacko: "but the truth is Linesmens and Refs are the thing that are wrong with the game today. They make too many mistakes."

    Compared with what period in history? You cannot substantiate this. What has happened is that the improved technology in terms of more camera angles, computer simulations, pundits commenting on decisions endlessly which has happened in recent years has highlighted that mistakes are made, and the game's getting quicker so decisions are getting tougher to call. Maybe the answer is to use technology to make decisions although I have serious doubts as to how this might affect the game in the long run.

  • Comment number 61.

    @48 When do Arsenal get to play in the FA Cup next?

  • Comment number 62.

    It would be a sad footballing world without characters such as Warnock.

    Yes he is blunt, and sometimes uses foul language, but at least he is PASSIONATE about what he does.

    And no one can honestly deny that he's been on the wrong end of some of the most shocking refereeing (goal that never was) and FA/footballing (Sheff.Utd's relegation/WHU non-punishment) decisions ever made.

  • Comment number 63.

    I would have thought that football supporters would have learned to take most of Neil Warnock's remarks with a pinch of salt by now. It's never his fault, is it?

    The manager with more to answer for from yesterday is Martin O'Neill. Yesterday proved to me that he's far too conservative to take the step to one of the really big jobs in UK or European football. He claimed that it was important to avoid a replay yet starts the game with five in midfield and only changes this in the last 15 minutes when he desperately needs an equaliser. If Villa had taken the game to Palace early on, they really should have been able to overcome them without too much trouble.

  • Comment number 64.

    "...there is still something about him that you cannot help warming to."

    Nope, I think I can deny that pretty definitively actually.

    This siege-mentality "they're all out to get me" mindset is a tiresome trend among several footie managers.

  • Comment number 65.

    Love Warnock or hate him , it really doesnt matter , The issue is the resulting corner took palace to a replay , The team played hard against a difficult side , Palace now have to do it again.
    Its not Neil and his moaning tactics that are the issue. If you recieve bad service in a restaurant do you complain?
    The video replay proved him right .
    why isnt the fourth official sitting in the dug out watching the replays to give the ref a hand it is beyond me . (that old Chesnut)
    Do you see managers complaining about the ref in a game of rugby. It works! and it also makes sure all these roll on the floor magic sponge players get justice.
    These decision that are made by officials always overshadow what was a great FA Cup game .

  • Comment number 66.

    #43 and #49. I really despair at the attitude that the match officials are at fault for everything controversial that happens in a game.

    Officiating a match has to be one of the hardest tasks around. The game is faster than ever, every decision is scrutinised more than ever, the players are more dishonest than ever (the number of players who appeal for a decision when they know full well that they shouldn't get it is untrue) and managers scapegoating officials seems to be an accepted part of the game.

    I challenge anyone who condemns match officials to go along to their local FA and sign-up to a refereeing course. I certainly won't be as it appears to be an extremely hard and thoroughly thankless task which is made all the more unappealing by "characters" like Neil Warnock.

  • Comment number 67.

    First of all referees and assistants are part of football, they make mistakes at least as often as overpaid managers. Second, I really hope Warnock is himself banned for a long long time for his shameful comments.

  • Comment number 68.

    Maybe Neil Warnock should return to the previous round and review the run up to their first goal in the replay against Wolves?

    The ball ran out with the final touch coming from a Palace player. He had let the ball go out thus conning the referee into think it should be a corner which he duly the gave. This corner led directly to their first goal and as such cheated Wolves out of a goal. I don't remember hearing him clamour for that referee to be suspended! I am all for people expressing opinions in football but why does he have to be so blatantly biased? It is a matter of days since a similar decision in his favour elicited no response yet now he is ranting and raving.

    Be fair and consistent Mr Warnock and maybe we will take you seriously.

  • Comment number 69.

    "I support Warnock on this hope he wins this one what a stupid decision by the linesman if he didnt clearly see it, which he didnt he should have kept quiet."

    This is the kind of irrational statement which gives us football fans a bad name. If the assistant didn't see it clearly and "kept quiet" and the referee didn't see it clearly and "kept quiet" then who do you propose should make the judgement decisions? Neil Warnock?

  • Comment number 70.

    The major problem for Neil Warnock is that he has complained so many times before about things that no other manager would be bothered by. This time he actually has a point to complain and be angry about, but the problem is most people think he is just doing his normal routine.

    Yes he is a character, but not one that is always good for football in my opinion.

  • Comment number 71.

    Just cannot believe Warnock and his short term memory! In the previous round Wolves conceeded the first goal from a corner that never was. I didn't see Warnock complaining about that! I think he just likes to complain about something.

  • Comment number 72.

    re Mmonkey

    Your idea may work in some instances like Villa's goal coming from a corner that shouldn't have been. However as other posters have pointed out there were two glaringly incorrect offsides against Villa in the 2nd half (delph and delfouneso). These are as bad an error surely but how do you rectify the injustice when play has already been stopped??

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.


    I would be the first to admit that I would make mistakes, know nothing about the rules of the game or my fitness it poor. So I would not become a ref. Hence if you can't do your job (as the linesmen proved yesterday) then don't do it

    Yet I would be willing to take a Ref or any one from the FA to a match with me and sit in the stands to show them what the Ref are missing. Many times Ref, linesmen miss things which are obvious from the stands. Maybe refs are at the wrong angle when on the pitch?

    The last time i checked, Ref was a profession in the Football league. Act like one and stop making mistakes.

  • Comment number 75.

    The fact is that Neil Warnock is not a particulary good manager the proof is in his ability live in 2nd tier football. the only reason why he gets publicity is his outspoken comments (Like this one we are writing about). That is how he has remained in the public eye. I am embarrassed by his comments although not shocked as I always expect him to try and grab the limelight by some foul means. He really is an annoyance and the most egotistical person in football. When he comments on football it is always with the pretence of how it's going impact on the media and the publicity surrounding. Egotist to the end and i hope it comes quickly. I like Crystal Palace but not Warnock so I hope Spurs go through

  • Comment number 76.

    Loved the game as a neutral, but the strops by Neil Warnock are not entertaining or funny. Plus if he's such a great manager why do the teams he manages always do so badly. You can lose games and players for all sorts of reasons, but if you're a great leader you will suceed. Too many times we've heard how his failure is someone elses fault. We might believe him if it were put without the tantrums.

  • Comment number 77.

    Warnock says what he thinks, which can be an admirable trait; however, in this case, comparing his puerile rants with the dignity of managers such as Gianfranco Zola, Gareth Southgate and Roy Hodgson, we can clearly see that it is perfectly possible to refrain from publicly blaming officials, even if he feels an injustice has been done. And, as many people have already pointed out, he often seems to feel as though the world is against him and his teams. Granted, he was unfortunate with the relegation at Sheffield United, and the 10-point deduction at Palace is a cruel blow, but decisions go against every team at some point. Life isn't fair, Neil.

    However, Warnock does not hide behind a facade or obfiscate his personality in any way, he revels in the role of pantomime villain and I for one feel that in an age of mumbling, meretricious footballers and painstakingly cliche-ridden interviews, his blunt honesty is refreshing. You might not like him, but it wouldn't be the same without him.

  • Comment number 78.

    Obviously the official got it wrong, and obviously that will be upsetting for Palace fans and those involved with the club, but really...

    GROW UP!

    Yes, you can express moral outrage when an official awards a dubious penalty, or fails to award you a goal, but a corner? Really? If the linesman had got it wrong and Palace had defended properly, we wouldn't be talking about it today. On the scale of errors, this only registers because of a mistake by the Palace defence.

  • Comment number 79.

    Re: tommybrushers

    Your quite right,Video Replay's arent going to be able to give the advantage back to the Offside rulings , but atleast it would capture the mistake and maybe award the team that was "wronged" by the ref with ... something to be decided. In anycase by allowing video replaying by the fourth official it will take pressure off the linesmen and ref so that they can concentrate more on this area.

  • Comment number 80.


    Not sure if you go to games or that if you do, how long you have done so.The fact is that refereeing and linesmen standards in this Country are pretty dire even though its a tough job as you say. The standard has fallen massively over the last 7-8 years in my view. I can understand why bosses and players fly off the handle at times. Many are to quote Warnock, utterly 'incompetent'.

  • Comment number 81.

    I expect Warnock was totally blind to the foul committed on Ashley Young, in the box, whilst waiting for a Villa corner late in the game but before the equaliser. This was not noticed by the referee but perfectly visible to the cameras. I'm afraid his bombastic and ill-tempered rants of "it's not fair, ref" are really boring.

  • Comment number 82.

    I'll restate my comment of number 57, which was blocked, but not offensive at all (is Herr Goebbels moderating today?!?!):

    "Neil Warnock is an idiot and a disgrace to football - I would say that he rivals Ferguson as the manager who lacks class, grace, decency and sportsmanship more than any other in the English game. At least “Sir” Ferguson has actually achieved something in the game unlike this classless northern windbag, but then Colin might point out that at least he can be bothered to give interviews unlike the Scottish whinger, who sulks and refuses to talk to certain broadcasting corporations!"

  • Comment number 83.

    #75 - Calling Neil Warnock "not a particularly good manager" the day after he out-thought one of the best in the game today (has Ashley Young had a quieter game all season? Other than set-pieces, what did Villa offer all game?) is utterly preposterous.

  • Comment number 84.


    I am honestly flabberghasted. By your reasoning that "if you can't do your job (as the linesmen proved yesterday) then don't do it" then there would not be a single match official in the world, similarly there would be no players and no managers.

    "Many times Ref, linesmen miss things which are obvious from the stands."
    And many, many, many times things which people think they see when in the stands are proven to be totally wrong and the decision made by the match officials are proven to be correct.

    "The last time i checked, Ref was a profession in the Football league. Act like one and stop making mistakes."
    Seriously? Referees don't deliberately make mistakes just as Brad Friedel didn't deliberately flap at a corner and let in a 35-yard free-kick, just as the Crystal Palace defender didn't deliberately let Petrov run away from him to score, just as every player on the pitch didn't deliberately mis-place a pass at some point in the game etc etc etc. Human beings make mistakes and TV replays are totally impractical in a sport like football.

    These sorts of decisions do even themselves up over a season. Sometimes they go in your favour (CRYSTAL PALACE vs. Wolves) and sometimes they go against you (Crystal Palace vs. VILLA).

  • Comment number 85.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 86.

    I have no respect for Warnock. He is as oblivious to his own short comings as he is happy to spout off at any official who dare to make a mistake near him. The game is one of human error, unfortunately sometimes officials get it wrong, but so do the the twenty-two men kicking the ball around the pitch.

    Unfortunately i am severely biased against Neil Warnock ever since he brought his Sheffield United to Anfield in the League cup, and his team proceeded to assault anyone who looked capable of playing football. I think he should concentrate on his own team and their capability to defend corners before he looks at the officials decision making. Concentrating on his teams ability to play football would be much more constructive than spouting vitriol about officials being suspended from their work.

  • Comment number 87.

    Sure, he upsets and antagonises people, but he loves and indeed revels in the hatred directed towards him.

    And as a Palace fan who has only missed one home game this season, I wouldn't have him any other way.

    As we sang yesterday, there is only one Neil Warnock. He is unique, unlike too many others, except maybe Mr. Clough Snr.

  • Comment number 88.

    "there is still something about [Warnock] that you cannot help warming to" - Well I can't think what it is. Yes he's a decent manager with a passion for the game, but football is full of those - most of them will have a good old moan about a penalty or a sending off, but none of them except Warnock would show such a lack of class to suggest an official should be suspended for getting a corner wrong. Officials get corners wrong all the time. I doubt he even cares about the consequences of his rant for the official in question.

    Like many other "characters" he is a 24 carat idiot.

  • Comment number 89.


    I go games every Saturday and most midweeks through my role as a sports journalist. I get to see first hand the abuse which the officials take and, for the life of me, I don't see why they put themselves through it. Outside of the very top tier they would get more money for pushing trolleys around at their local supermarket so it certainly isn't for the money!!

    And if the standards are dropping - something which is very subjective - then need we ask why when week in, week out we see the officials publically derided by managers and pundits? If 10 million people in England wanted to be referees then the best 50 would surely be extremely good. Considering that the numbers who want to be referees is about 0.01% of that figure then why act surprised that those at the top aren't perfect in every way?

  • Comment number 90.

    Rocky57 - I never suggested that people hate Warnock, that in itself is tunnel vision on your part I think? He is very unpopular all over the country, and I'm not sure why? Surely if he took over at any club, then those fans would be pleased to have someone with the skills that he has? Agreed he tends to vocalise about problems with match officials, but in the heat of the moment who wouldn't?

    I think the issue is much wider in that the quality of match officials isn't good enough, that a large percentage of games are won and lost on bad decisions and Warnock is highlighting that. Calling for a lengthy ban is a bit strong, but a league table of of officials who make mistakes would certainly highlight which officials are consistently getting it wrong.

  • Comment number 91.

    There is nothing warming about Warnock. He is a spoilt brat. If his team had defended the corner properly just as if Sheff Utd had won enough games then they would not have lost / been relegated.

    If they were 2 up or had scored more there would be no issue. Fact is over the course of a game ref decisions even themselves out. Warncock is just a loser, has never won anything and never will, he does not have the ability to see fault in himself and his team.

  • Comment number 92.

    what goes around comes around Warnock, you didn't mention the fact that at 0-0 with Wolves in the earlier round your first goal was scored from a corner which was clearly a goal kick as it came off a palace player. Whilst Wolves may not have won the game, it would have gone in a different direction had the correct play been called!!!!

  • Comment number 93.

    yet another comment from Warnock belittling a match official. If linesman can be banned from making a single mistake in a match then surely this discourages a lot of people from aspiring to become a referee? If idiots like Warnock are allowed to keep making referees scapegoats then our game is going to suffer in the long term....

    The fact is Neil your team conceded a late goal because they failed to adequately defend a corner kick. Maybe you should focus more on time on defensive practice than bemoaning match officials? Or maybe the shoe should be on the other foot and referees should criticise all your failings?

  • Comment number 94.

    Neil Warnock obviously has a selectively short memory as he wasn't complaining about the officials when they wrongly gave Palace a corner against Wolves from which they scored. You win some lose some so why doesn't he concentrate on making sure Palace beat Villa and Albion and make things better for wolves fans.

  • Comment number 95.

    In this day and age, where incorrect decisions can cost a club millions, people should be allowed to point out when an official has got something wrong, but instead players and managers are forced to tiptoe around these issues in fear of being reprimanded for speaking out.

    This is not how it should be. If a referee or linesman gets something wrong, he should be reprimanded, and it's merely human nature to react when you feel you have been wronged.

    The FA needs to do something about officials performance, and by that I don't mean set up another initiative that makes it an offence to speak out, which is basically what they did the last time officials were under pressure. That sort of thing merely covers up the incompetence, when we need it to be ironed out completely. Of course, there is still human error, but when you've got 30,000 people in a stadium and the referee or a linesman sees something that nobody else did (and in the case of linesmen, there are always spectators behind them with identical viewpoints, so they can't use that as an excuse), questions need to be asked.

  • Comment number 96.

    Experience has taught me that when someone is described as a "character" that usually turns out to be a euphemism for "prize idiot".

    Chris, you're wrong to defend Warnock. Most managers will have a good old moan about a penalty or a sending off, but to suggest an official should be suspended for calling a corner wrong is simply digraceful and unjustifiable. Warnock is obsessed with creating a siege mentality in the dressing room - to the point where all perspective goes out the window and he ends up looking paranoid to the point of insanity. Has he even thought about the consequences of his comments for the official in question? Actually I doubt he even cares.

  • Comment number 97.

    Hmmm - looks like Warnock is getting the response he deserves.
    I wonder if Warnock will make a commitment that CP will, in future, never claim a free kick, corner, throw-in if its awarded to them in error; that their players will never dive, swear, tug, barge, trip or generally cheat; that if they ever score from an underserved free kick or corner - that they will ask for the goal to be cancelled

    etc, etc, etc

    ... and the same can go for all the other clubs - including the one I support !

  • Comment number 98.

    Here we go again. A ref makes a mistake (or in this case, a linesman), and he is called "incompetent".

    The refs are normally paid as much in a year as the overpaid prima-donnas who play the game (and the overpaid rant-merchants like Warnock) are paid in a month - or in some cases, in a week. They have to make split-second decisions over and over, without the aid of any technology, just their eyesight and experience. They have to do this in the face of these same overpaid prima-donnas being no help at all to them - claiming for throw-ons they know are not theirs, falling to the ground at the slightest contact (or frequently no contact at all), crowding round the officials in an attempt to intimidate them, and generally doing their best to pull the wool over their eyes.

    And then heaven help these officials if they get a decision wrong. They are branded "incompetent", and should be "suspended for a very long time". In this case, a corner was awarded when it should have been a goal-kick. The fact that the corner was then badly defended is not the reason the goal was scored - oh, no. It's the fact that the corner was awarded wrongly. Give me a break!

    I'd like to see a serious suspension - of Warnock to the stands for three matches. He's a classic example of everything that is wrong with football today.

  • Comment number 99.

    Warnock is an embarassment to football, and for 'journalists' of the ilk of Bevan to eulogise him is a sad commentary on the state of football.
    I had the misfortune of watching the game on Setanta yesterday, and the camera spent as much time focussing on the demented behaviour of Warnock as it did on the game. The vitriol and venom being spewed forth from Warnock from the beginning is a disgrace to the game. Managers need to have passion, in order to encourage their players. However, Warnock goes way over the top. Given the verbal barrage he kept shouting at the officials, I would suggest he was inordinately fortunate that he wasn't sent from the sidelines.
    Crystal Palace played well but, unfortunately, their performance will forever be tarnished by the idiotic behaviour of their mananger.

  • Comment number 100.

    Diplomacy is never going to be Neil 'rent-a-quote' Warnock's strong point and he's not gracious in defeat or a 'good loser'. Er, and ...? Is the Pope Catholic? Officiating is generally dreadful (ask any fan esp from the Football League) and it's about time the grey men in grey suits who run the game admitted the fact rather than cowering behind the inevitable 'bringing the game into direpute' charge cop-out that will no doubt follow NW's latest outburst.


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