Bazza didn’t make the game this weekend, but has written this observation on the thorny issue of referees!
Like many I’m very pleased that we went up to Sunderland, a notoriously difficult place to get any type of positive result from and get a draw especially when we were 2 – 0 down to a penalty that shouldn’t have been given and an own goal that most strikers would have been proud of such was the delicacy of placement off the bald pate of our luckless skipper. I had to listen to intermittent reports from Paul Merson commentating for SKY Sports Gillette Soccer Special aided occasionally by Will who was listening to the match on BRMB who rang up at intervals to tell me how crap Alex McCleish’s team selections are, views shared by many including Ron’s report on Singing the Blues and every now and again to tell me by phone and text that we are s***e. That we got back to 2 – 2 from a perilous position is now well documented and better described by those that made the trip but the main reason for writing this article is to stick up a bit for referees.
I like Steve Bruce and remain grateful for his efforts during his tenure with us but the whining rant against referee, Anthony Taylor was uncalled for, ignorant and wrong. As intimated, I didn’t go to the match but saw the various incidents on MotD; the elbow to Gary O’Connor alone could have got Cattermole sent off.
I am of the school that professional footballers know exactly what they’re doing and leading with the elbow in this way can do worse than produce a split eyebrow; it can lead to fractured cheek bones, skull (has happened) or jaw, loss of teeth, rupture of the globe of the eye, dislocation of the lens and a detached retina, all of which can blind a fellow human being.
Mr Taylor was 100% right and deserves our unqualified support and Steve Bruce was 100% wrong and deserves appropriate sanction from the FA. Bruce conveniently ignores the fact that his team took the lead with a penalty award given by the linesman who misjudged the contact point but at that speed it happens. I wonder what he would have had to say about some of the calls made in the Wigan – Blackpool match.
There were three incorrect calls by the linesman which ruled out perfectly legitimate goals for each side and allowed one of the goals by Marlon Harewood whose shot went past a team mate whose presence unsighted Chris Kirkland. However, these incidents did not influence the result and cancelled each other out. Well done to the Tangerines but as Ian Holloway knows; there are far tougher tests to come than Wigan – for all of us!