I was quite relaxed about yesterday's game. While I'd rather we finished 7th than 8th, there really was very little on the game, so I was not my usual anxious, agitated self in the pub before the game or when I eventually took my seat. I was looking forward to, hopefully, a decent end-of-season game and a relaxed atmosphere and hopefully an end-of-season win.
However, after the first 15 minutes or so all that changed. Steam was blowing out of my ears and I could feel my pulse rising with my frustration. I am very accustomed to being frustrated with Everton, that comes with the territory these days unfortunately, but it wasn't us this time. I was frustrated and angered by a totally biased referee and a Chelsea gang of girls who quickly learned how to take advantage of it.
What was going on was frustrating enough, with a referee who was giving us nothing, giving Chelsea everything he could, ably assisted by Chelsea players throwing themselves to the ground every time they were challenged and getting free kicks for nothing. But what was most frustrating of all was knowing that fuck all would be done about it by the authorities afterwards.
Now, I have some sympathy with the 'Respect' agenda but my old dad once told me that respect should not be a result of who you are (in this case a referee) but rather as a result of what you do (ie, how you perform). When managers can be sent to the stands for kicking a plastic bottle and players booked for taking their shirt off, it rankles that there is no comeback in the public domain with respect to incompetent or biased referees.
I would have more respect for 'Respect' if referees were made to answer for their decisions and if necessary explain them. Referees should have to take part in post-match interviews with managers and the team captains and we could all imagine what Moyes and Neville would have asked Clattenberg for instance.
As for Walton I would like him to explain why he allowed that pansy Lampard to change his mind for him over the seriousness of Coleman's foul. Why he never gave Alex a second yellow for a blatant professional foul on Beckford and why he believed every time a Chelsea player threw himself to the ground it was a foul.
Until referees have to run the same gauntlet as do managers, players and (in some respects) supporters, I am afraid that I for one cannot lend my unconditional respect. At the end of each 90 minutes, I will know whether a referee deserves it. The worrying thing though is that players and managers are expected to provide this unconditional respect and at pains of punishment if they fail to do so while at the same time a referee can get away with murder. This is totally unbalanced and is putting the game at risk because referees are being indirectly rewarded for being incompetent, biased or both.
It simply isn't fair.
Dave Roberts, Posted 23/05/2011 at 12:34:42
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 23/05/2011 at 14:28:17
Referees do have a very tough job but I think there should be closer objective analysis of their performances and especially this continuing trend some have of favouring the richer, more influential teams.
2 Posted 23/05/2011 at 14:42:42
Refs are simply doing their jobs, and we have to accept their decisions. They have to answer to their superiors. If they have a bad game, they can be put on gardening leave the following week, or dropped down a division for example.
Making them explain their decisions in front of the cameras will only serve to turn them into celebrities. You might as well call it a public hanging, as there will always be one set of fans who will never accept the ref's decision anyway.
3 Posted 23/05/2011 at 14:54:44
4 Posted 23/05/2011 at 15:06:27
He is 51, and was given a extra season, at the start of this campaign, so he may join all the rest of the poor officials we have had to endure over the years.
I still remember last season at Fulham, when Phil Neville was put out of the game for some months.
And Walton did not even book the offender.
5 Posted 23/05/2011 at 15:34:18
Referees need to respect players, rather than acting as if they are above them. Until this happens why will a player respect a referee? Your Dad's point is the key one here.
The other problem at the top level is the lack of enforcement. Players who surround a referee, or dive and feign injury to con a referee, should be severely punished, but the authorities seem to think it's all fine, because they seem to think that everything the referee does is by definition correct, an absolutely absurd standpoint that encourages and rewards cheating from players, thereby in turn making a referee's job more difficult.
One very clear and obvious example of this is the Barcelona team. As wonderful as they may be, they should be playing the final next week without Dani Alves, Pedro, Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano (all for feigning injury) and Carlos Puyol (for charging over to the referee every time he made a decision). Get tough on this sort of thing and the referee's job will become easier almost overnight. The spinelessness in dealing with this kind of outright cheating is what causes so many of the problems.
6 Posted 23/05/2011 at 15:52:45
7 Posted 23/05/2011 at 16:23:52
Even the linesmen and so-called fourth officials are an embarrassment with incidents that are so plain to see by everyone. Sadly this will not change.
8 Posted 23/05/2011 at 16:27:45
9 Posted 23/05/2011 at 15:59:52
I love football, but one of the most annoying things about the game is seeing the players surrounding the officials, yelling and pointing everytime a free kick or a penalty is blown. If you have seen something, or feel the decision is wrong tell your captain and he may approach the referee. Refs never change their ruling once they have issued it (unless their assistant intervenes with something noteworthy) so I don't see the point in these antics anyway.
In regards to poor decisions and bias, I believe Refs SHOULD be held accountable. Referees are always going to make mistakes, especially in football where they are not aided by technology in any way. Video technology really should be employed in the case of the ball crossing the goal line, and if the ref is unsure about a major decision, i.e. awarding a penalty or whether a certain foul is worthy of a red card or not. Things happen so fast, and depending on the Refs positioning at the time of an incident, it is unfair on the ref, the players and the fans if we have to rely alley on the refs first instinct.
Now, when a referee does make a howler (which even with technology will happen from time to time) a panel from the FA should assess what happened and decide if any action should be taken against the ref. For example, there have been occassions in the NRL (Australian rugby league) when refs have been dropped to lower grade officiating for a period of time (and subsequently paid as such) due to unacceptable decisions they have made during a game.
In regards to refs having to sit in on media conferences, I don't think that is right either. Club managers should be allowed to say a decision was 'poor' but should never puplicly accuse an official of cheating. A club should be allowed to submit written complaints to a panel that oversees the refs, if the panel think the complaint is justifiable they can then proceed to investigate the complaint and take action against the referee if necessary. If a complaint from a club is deemed to be completely unfounded and inflammatory, then a fine can be issued against that club.
This form of process I believe is the best way to try and ensure fair and impartial officiating, and at the same time stop players and managers giving kids the wrong idea about respect by publicly slamming officials.
Even with this level of process there are always going to be better and poorer referees, and even the best will make mistakes, but my hope is the level of accountability will stop us fans from ever thinking a game is rigged, or an official purposely biased.
10 Posted 23/05/2011 at 19:39:33
11 Posted 23/05/2011 at 19:57:17
12 Posted 23/05/2011 at 19:59:50
Alas no, they can't even get it together to look at a bleeding video after a game. Fifa is destroying football with inaction (and corruption).
13 Posted 23/05/2011 at 20:06:32
That said, Walton was still poor throughout and bottled it when it came to dealing with Alex, letting him off a 2nd yellow.
14 Posted 23/05/2011 at 22:13:51
How long will it be before players wear skirts? No offence is intended or directed at women's football. I have yet to see a female player play-act or scream at the referee.
15 Posted 23/05/2011 at 23:43:02
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment to the MailBag, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and MailBag submissions across the site.