9:00am Thursday 4th November 2010
REFEREES, debatable decisions and dubious goals have once again been in the spotlight.
Nani’s goal for Manchester United against Tottenham last weekend has got everybody talking and decisions have also gone against Worcester City this season, particularly in the defeat to Harrogate in our last home game.
I think it is time we got back to players being able to have some banter with officials as that would bring about a mutual respect.
Take the Nani incident for example. For me, it was a case of football’s golden rule — play to the whistle.
If you look at referee Mark Clattenburg’s actions he didn’t appear to blow the whistle and the intention was to give the advantage to Tottenham.
Nani, however, clearly handled the ball on the floor, it was a foul and should have been a free-kick to Spurs.
It could be argued that Nani had been fouled by a defender for a penalty but, in the referee’s eyes, that was not the case.
To the best of intentions, Clattenburg tried to let the game flow. When Nani put the ball in the net Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes wanted to take a free-kick and was looking to Clattenburg but it was a total misunderstanding between the player and the referee.
In this case, common sense should have prevailed and a free-kick been given to Tottenham when Nani scored.
There’s nothing to gain from berating officials but it’s frustrating when things seem to continually go against you. However, I do believe they even themselves out, so we are due a few decisions to go our way.
Respect in football and in life is a must. But when you question a decision in the correct manner and either get ignored or told to stop moaning then that rubs salt into the wounds.
If somebody makes a mistake and owns up to it, as much as it hurts, you can accept that because it’s human nature.
When I was playing you could have some banter with the officials and there were a few choice words going both ways. If we could get back to that, respect would be a lot easier to come by.
If you are not getting the interaction and banter then there’s no appreciation of how difficult the job is. Respect goes both ways.
I am not a rugby fan but I have watched games and you can clearly hear the officials talking with the players and that in itself gives a mutual respect.
I know how tough a manager’s job is and I respect how difficult the referee’s is. They make split-second decisions and sometimes they will get them wrong.
It can sometimes be seen as an easy option to blame officials but the bottom line is decisions are factors in the outcome of matches.
In these cases, when games hinge on debatable decisions, technology has to be used, although I know that wouldn’t be available at Worcester’s level.
I am not saying every decision could be questioned but maybe a couple per game.
That would mean around four 15-second stoppages.
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