Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Yes boss, no boss, three bags full boss...

Respect, respect, respect; the theme that has filled countless pages, blogs and pub conversations in the last few days. I don’t want to go on too much about Sunday’s sending off or Cashley’s idiocy last week against Spurs, as Mark and I will discuss is it over cans and our not overly expensive microphone during the podcast tomorrow night. But…

The thing I’d like to address is the performance of referees whenever their ‘bosses’ come down on them. Be it the head of a referees’ association; an FA flunky; Sepp ‘put on those hotpants and dance, dance, dance ladies’ Blatter; or even a high ranking manager; as soon as a referee gets his reputation questioned you can be sure we’re in for ridiculous decision making quicker than you can say ‘Eh that’s his third yellow card Graham’.

One thing comes to mind when talking about dissent. Wayne Rooney. In fact that should reading Wayne ‘fucking, c**t, f**king, c**ting c**t, motherf**ker, c**t, c**t, c**t, c**t, c**ting, c**t’ Rooney, such is his general tourette-esque performance towards referees and linesmen on a weekly basis. The other thing (and yes I’m using ‘thing’ intentionally) which comes to mind is one John Terry; yer man with that nasty habit of grabbing cards and protesting long and hard about every bloody decision that goes against his team.

Now, not that I’m saying refs are racist (some of my best friends are referees ahem…) but had Javier Mascherano been from the Midlands rather than the land of the Malvinas I think he may have stayed on against Man United. If Fernando Torres had've been Rooney, he wouldn’t have been booked for dissent either, having been kicked three times by Man United defenders. It works the other way as well, as England players are allowed to give out cards too.

Steven Gerrard demanding a red card for Tony Hibbert earlier in the season and getting just what he wanted springs to mind. You can be sure, after that particular piece of weak-willed nonsense by Mark Clattenburg, that he’ll book the next player who decides to give him advice on the colour coding of his cards. Unless of course he’s a prominent member of Fabio Capello’s squad or Paul Scholes. The foreigners however, are easy targets.

Aside from bashing this pro-English stance (and in fairness it’s not the players’ fault that their every whim is dealt with by the men in black and they have come to expect it), you do have to feel some sympathy with these refs. After all, we’ve all worked in offices where we’ve been told to pull up our socks and work faster, better, longer and not to spend five hours of the day on the foosball table upstairs (maybe the last one was just me).

Referees are essentially normal workers and like normal workers they occasionally let their standards slip only for their boss to tell them to shape up or move down to the Blue Square Premier League instead. Indeed, what gets me about Bennett’s decision is more the reaction to it than anything else.

Were it not that particular week, Mascherano would most likely have got a stern warning rather than a card, indeed the situation wouldn’t have arisen had Torres not received a yellow card that only a few days before would never have happened. Yet, the world and his mother are talking about the Argentinean like he’s a crazed lunatic not just a victim of timing. Wake up.

In all likelihood any guff from Everton players this Sunday at Anfield will be punished heavily to prove all referees aren't against the red half of the city. And so the circle of footballing madness will continue until this ‘dissent’ theme is knocked off the back pages by something else.

I hate to sound like Andy Gray, but it’s about consistency and we all know that players will say things much worse to Bennett towards the end of the season and merely be waved away. Why? Because he’s not under any pressure to do anything else. It just makes the whole thing annoying, but then this type of human error is what makes life annoying. Sometimes it will go for you (especially if you use Alex Ferguson’s wonderful ‘transparent Moggi system’ to virtually handpick referees at times) and sometimes it will go against you.

After all, if it wasn’t for moments like this then you wouldn’t have those wonderful sessions of shouting at the TV in the pub and ordering a double whiskey to get over the shock of a refereeing howler. Let’s face it, Mascherano wasn’t going to shake Pool out of a woefully inept performance on Sunday both pre and post sending off (Rafa’s record against the big sides continues to be a source of viable criticism against the Spaniard… Gareth Southgate has got more points from the other three of the ‘big four’ this season). Though had they been able to pick up a draw it would have at least brought United back towards Chelsea and brought some real momentum into a race between the two.

As it is, it’s still another talking point in the so far hugely entertaining end to the season. In a world gone mad even Rio Ferdinand becoming England captain seems strangely logical. As the old saying goes at Okeydokefootball, anything that might make John Terry cry is a good thing. Forza Rio!

Later, JJ


Mark said...

yes, i hope there is consistency applied now, terrible that there has to be 1 high profile incident before they ever crack down on anything. it won't last though.

anyway, Masch was an idiot, but United already 1-0 up and probably had a 90% chance of winning anyway.

Gerrard was anonymous and if Rooney could actually put the ball in the net, he would be a great player.

JJ said...

He was a fool to run 20 yards to the incident alright, but I still think any other week he would have stayed on, with the press reaction you'd swear he was the first man to do it all season (at last count Terry and Flamini have done it on at least 15 occasions, the moaning gits).

United were never gonna lose or draw that game once they went one nil up. I think the inferiority complex that $tevie Me has when it comes to United runs through the rest of the side in these games.

Mark said...

so, you've managed to get digs in on United, Arsenal and Chelsea?
some would call that petty but I applaud it, it is the ODF way

Mark said...

oh and....


Mal said...

I'm with you 100% on this JJ. The england regulars get away with murder. But I reckon Roy Keane used to get the same freedom a few years back.

JJ said...

Cheers mal, and cheers mark for noticing my prodigious slagging of the top four.

Keano did get a lot of leeway. I think refs do tend to let captains talk longer and louder though. Guys like Wise, Shearer, Bruce and even Paddy Vieira got away with chatback that others wouldn’t. It’s the English tendency to respect authority. Refs can talk to captains on a different level compared to the other 10 plebs on the team. Completely rubbish notion since it’s only a feckin armband but tis ingrained at this stage.

Anonymous said...

$tevie Me.That's deadly!!
"Steve Gerrard,Gerrard.
He kisses the badge on his chest,
then puts in a transfer request,
Steve Gerrard,Gerrard." Ha,Ha,Ha.!!!!
Another woeful performance from the self-styled king of Anfield.Some "experts" have even suggested he has BECOME Liverpool football club?? There has been probably 3 great captains in the history of the premiership imo:Tony Adams,Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira (fucking "JT" does'nt count cos he's a cunt).I never noticed any of these 3 going missing when it came to playing any of their main title rivals or others from the top four in the premiership.This Gerrard prick has'nt played well against either United,Arsenal or Chelsea for the past 3 seasons!!Fair enough he somehow dragged a piss-poor Liverpool team to both a European and FA cup.But if he ever wants to be part of a title-winning Liverpool team then he's going to have to pull his finger out and produce the kind of performances against the big boys,that he usually reserves for the likes of Newcastle and Bolton at Anfield.An over rated,egotistical little prick.At least he's amongst friends in the England squad! Liverpool should count themselves lucky, United should have scored 6 or 7!LUHG.