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The Mail Bag

Rub of the Green

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I may get shot down for this, so I'll start by congratulating the boys on an efficient job. It's been a while since I saw an Everton game where I didn't have a gut feeling that we were moments away from a capitulation. We were far more mature and patient in our possesion than usual. And while I fear that when we come across sterner opposition we may run out of ideas and resort to hoofball, it was a great performance by everyone.

Some people picked up on Arteta's set piece delivery being poor, but I think on a couple of occassions when his crosses were low he was actually trying something different, trying to zip it into feet as opposed to in the air where Pienaar and Osman aren't at their best (though Cahill and Lescott are). Then again maybe I'm just making excuses for the darling Arteta and his delivery was poor. However he took his penalty brilliantly, and was fantastic on the ball.

He had a great spell in the game where he won about five free-kicks in the space of a few minutes, while most of them were valid, did anyone notice how incensed the German crowd were that nearly every decision was going our way?

At the end Arteta went all the way up to the ref (the Apanish ref) and shook his hand.

Obviously the point i'm trying to make is that this has shades of the travesty in the derby... obviously it is not as extreme, Arteta was certainly good for all his free kicks he won, but then again normally you would excpect him to not get a couple of them. And no Everton player tried to get anyone sent off, or dived, or judo threw anyone. But I'm sure there may be a few Nurnberg fans lambasting the referee's performance at certain points.

Actually I'm not sure if I have made any real point here, more of an observation. Anyway, COYB.
Eddie Harrison, Peterborough     Posted 09/11/2007 at 10:54:43

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Michael Kenrick
I think it's a fair point, Eddie. The ref was definitely not a factor in us not getting our just desserts... and the thought that he may have actually played a positve role is not an unreasonable one to my mind. People will say such an observation takes something away from what the lads achieved last night but they will be ignoring the fact that what goes into a win includes the decision-making of the officials ? which was exactly their point in the derby debacle. But we're football fans... we're not supposed to think logically!
Marcus Dawson
1   Posted 09/11/2007 at 13:41:36

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Having read your piece I agree with you, I?m not sure what point you?re trying to make. I think the ref was pretty good to us, he didn?t give in to the home support and I think we got our share of decisions, any comparison with the derby is well wide of the mark, Clottenburk?s incompetence affected the result, end of.
Anto Doran
2   Posted 09/11/2007 at 14:03:57

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this is modern football, if you have the ball and are unable to ’do’ anything with it then you have to make the opposition ’foul’ you in some way or another or ’fool’ the ref into thinking you have being fouled, it is not cheating, as the Ref either a weak or strong one makes the decision and blame lies with him, this clearly rampant amongst the top class players and clubs, shame we only have one player Areteta who has mastered this art
patty
3   Posted 09/11/2007 at 14:11:03

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I think you will find that in the first half Nuremburg had a fair share of referee’s decisions! Or that’s the way I saw it anyway.
Eddie Harrison
4   Posted 09/11/2007 at 16:38:57

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Im aware any strong comparison with the Derby is is way wide of the mark, i hoped I had made that clear. And we most certainly did not cheat, and I most certainly do enjoy seeing Arteta winning those free kicks, Aston Villa at the back end of last season springs to mind where he won about 6 or 7 (one led to our goal).

And yesterday could not even be seen to scratch the surface if we are talking ’’these things evening out over a season’’. So perhaps I’m not making a point at all, just an observation. And a wicked sense of satisfaction to see everything go our way second half, must of being exactly how the less reasonable red shite fans must have felt
Den Masters
5   Posted 09/11/2007 at 16:49:10

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Don’t talk so daft.Didn’t you know it’s only shit that happens to Everton.Every ref in the world has it in for us.Last night’s official thought we were the team in red!

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