Monday, March 9, 2015

The Bottom Three

I was hoping to write something about what’s happening in the world of football today, controversial decisions, quality goals, players who have caught my eye...sadly though football news has come to a grinding halt. There’s been a bit about Wenger and the FA Cup but I don’t really want to talk about that.

So instead I’d rather discuss current Premier League teams’ chances of survival. as there seems to be an abundance of teams battling to beat the drop about a third of the league within a shout of going down.

I’ll start with the team at the bottom of the table Leicester. I’d be gutted if these lads went down. After showing promise last season they found themselves in the top flight battling with the best of them. A highlight would be beating Manchester United 5-3 which at the time made me think they were all but safe...I’ve only just realised it was the 5th game of the season (very naive of me).
Sadly after that win they went on a run of thirteen games without a win and it has really shown with their current league standing. After only winning four games this season they have only eleven games remaining to claw their ways to safety. I personally think Pearson’s men could do it but he is definitely going to need a lot of luck to do it
I personally like Leicester. I think they don’t have the best manager in the league but he’s done brilliantly to get them to this level. Wes Morgan and Cambiasso are two that stand out for me as I’ve rated Morgan even from his Forest days and you can just see the experience in Cambiasso’s game every time he plays.
I thought Vardy was going to be the lad to really do something for the Foxes this season but seems to have gone off the boil a little, still a decent player and good enough to win games for Leicester. Nugent looked to be relied upon for goals for a little while...sadly I don’t think he’s got the quality that’s required (one of those players who just can’t seem to make that step up e.g. Ebanks-Blake, Jason Scotland, etc..).
Another lad I like though is Matty James, I watched him play for Man Utd’s u21’s and he was something special. Could cause opposition players problems, especially when paired with Cambiasso. Also Schwarzer was a good capture for Pearson, still Premier League quality at the tender age of 82.

Next is Burnley. This is another team that I would love to see stay up; haven’t got massive amount of quality in their side but they are making up for it with pure grit and determination. I’ve spoken very highly of these in the past and was desperate for them to get a result against Liverpool the other day (7/1 odds...was worth a tenner...f*cking Burnley).
Looking at their fixture list they didn’t taste victory until the 11th game of the season which isn’t great but the step up was going to take time...time is sadly not a commodity that you get in football currently. Sean Dyche is a good manager in my eyes, done a great job with Burnley and deserves so much recognition. He seems to be able to pull points from the lower teams (2-1 QPR, 1-0 Hull) as well as knock them off the big teams (1-1 Chelsea, 2-2 Man City) but sadly with only 4 wins this season it’s not looking good.
I personally rate Danny Ings and think he has the quality required to keep Burnley up. Ashley Barnes is a player I like because he seems scrappy to me, he’s the kind who can nick a winner for you. I’ve spoken before of Shackell and Keane but I think their problem lies within their centre midfield. Any Burnley fans feel free to correct me but I feel that the quality in the middle of the park is lacking compared to other teams.Dyche seems to be getting a good amount of work rate from them which is going to be the deciding factor on whether they stay up or not….come on Burnley you can do it.
~ Now if Dyche had got Darren Fletcher instead of West Brom it’d be a different story in my opinion ~

Now its time for QPR. Now QPR for me are a lost cause...I don’t understand how they can sign players like Charlie Austin, Rio Ferdinand, Kranjcar, Sandro, etc and still find themselves in the bottom three? I don’t really follow QPR, they aggravate me! They even had Redknapp as manager...Harry Redknapp!
I don’t know what to say to this one. Just a bad season all round for them lot, promising part where Austin was cracking them in (still is to be fair) but its just been a poor season for the Rangers. Last season I kept saying their team was just full of Premier League rejects but now they’re actually up there signing some pretty good genuinely doesn’t make sense.
I like Sandro, Karl Henry not so much. I can’t believe that Matt Phillips hasn’t been getting games, saw him a few times at Sheffield United (brave, can cross, pacey, good winger all-in-all). Me and a few lads from work were adamant that Caulker and Ferdinand were going to be prolific together but it looks to me like Richard Dunne has done just a good as either of them...that is a worry.
~ To be fair I really rate Dunne, underrated and has the intelligence to do a job at most Premier League teams. Shame his legs can’t keep up though ~

Next up is Aston Villa nil. Having scored the least amount of goals this season is what's dropped these lads into it. Having to snatch at scraps and the odd half chance has now plummeted them to 17th and just three points off relegation. I think most Villa supporters saw Lamberts sacking coming a mile off and now with Sherwood in charge can see a small light at the end of the tunnel.
Now for me if any other team were playing out this season I’d say they were a shoo in for relegation but I think Villa have too much about them to go down. I like to think Sherwood can bring consistency to Villa making them a good mid table team, possibly even taking them further i.e. the dreaded Europa League.
I used to think Villa didn’t have the creativity to stay up but now with Gabby Agbonlahor coming back in after a lengthy injury, they can stay up. Guzan, Vlaar, Clarke, Westwood, Delph, Benteke, Weimann...there’s too much quality in that side to go down in my opinion. It’d be like when Newcastle went down if Villa were relegated, a big club just down on its luck.

16th in the league is Sunderland who haven’t been able to find their feet the past few years in the Premier League, haven’t been able to get a run that takes them to mid-table safety. For me its due to the ins-and-outs of managers year after year. I hoped Martin O’Neill would bring them some stability but that was about as bad as the sh*t on Paolo Di Canio’s knee’s.
This for me is a team that sadly has a lot of Championship players on Premiership wages. If Sunderland were to go down with the team they have now they’d go straight back up but due to the wages that they have it’d be difficult to keep most of them. Too many draws seems to be the bane of this team seeing 14 draws already. That killer edge just seems to be eluding them at the moment.
Pantilimon has brought consistency between the sticks after a shaky season for Vito Mannone. I like captain O’Shea whereas I think Wes Brown is a little clumsy, its like they never got rid of Titus Bramble (bit of an over-exaggeration there). I liked Wickham on his loan with Wednesday, quality player and could be prolific for the right club...sadly Sunderland don’t seem to be that club. Lastly I’d like to mention Rodwell who was tipped to be amazing in his day and is now just desperate to prove himself, if anyone can lift Sunderland fans off their seats its him.

14th and 15th we see Everton and Hull. Two very different teams quality wise but very similar seasons. For me it seems the Europa League has really damaged their seasons. Hull I expected to drop a few places but Everton...I never expected a drop like this. To go from 5th to 14th is a run that should get a manager sacked, thankfully though Everton’s chairman has some sense and trusts, I’m sure as we all do, that Martinez can take them back up there.
Like I said earlier I thought Hull would take a drop and the way Bruce has handled it has been pretty impressive, he’s been pulling results out the bag and has built a good platform for himself for next season as I can’t see these lads going down. A good set of defenders playing a formation that is against the norm see’s Hull looking a little more comfortable than the teams below them.
Both teams have solid enough defenders, definitely good enough to keep them in this league. Everton for me have a midfield good enough for a Europa League finish next season but if Lukaku can find form they could get themselves challenging for a Champions League position (I said challenge, not succeed before anyone comments). Hull for me can easily cement a mid table place next season but if Bruce was to bring in some gems they could go further.
One thing I’m guessing is that neither will want Europa League again next season…

I don’t really want to go much further than that because I think West Brom, Palace, Newcastle and West Ham are all but safe for another season. Admittedly there are still 10 games left so anything could change in this time. But hey ho that was my opinion and for what it’s worth here is my prediction of the bottom three this season:

18|    Burnley
19|    QPR
20|    Leicester

I think it’ll go to the last game but that is my prediction. For the record this is what I think will happen not what I want to happen, I’ve spoken highly of a lot of teams in this but with current form and upcoming fixtures its just not looking good. If I had a choice I’d relegate Man Utd, Chelsea and Sheffield United (I don’t give a fuck what league they’re in).

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Cheers for reading.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Head or Heart?

After looking at footballing news today, its either Cisse spitting or chairmen leaving. Since I don’t know enough about Wigan and Whelan and I haven’t seen Match of the Day I was unsure what to talk about. Then I saw it...a story about Paul Scholes turning down the opportunity to manage Oldham.

Love this story just for the fact that I’d love to see Paul Scholes’ next career step. He has been one of the best yet quietest midfielders England have produced. No stories about shagging pensioners or punching DJ’s or biting another footballer. I wanna say what a guy but for me that’s just a list of things you shouldn’t be doing anyway.

I remember hearing 2 stories about Scholes. First one was when that film about the Class of 92 came out, he asked one of the Neville’s whether he had to go and that he more or less couldn’t be arsed. The second was a beauty I read on a Facebook page which was apparently a quote from Ryan Giggs’ autobiography ‘My Story My Life;

“I remember going camping with Paul (Scholes). I remember walking for hours in the cold looking for a good place to camp. After about 2 hours a bear suddenly came out and started to maul at me. I went down panicking. I looked up to see my best friend in the whole world Paul Scholes just looking down...then he ran. I couldn’t believe it, Scholesy was running away. I was sure I was going to die.
He ran about 70 yards away and then stopped, turned and pulled out his trusty Adidas Jabulani ball. He placed it on the ground from, like I said, 70 yards away and pinged this ball with immense power and accuracy.
It hit the bear on the head, killing it in a single blow…

Paul Scholes saved my life that day. I will never forget that…”

I don’t know how accurate that quote is...I’d love it if it was actually in Giggs’ book haha. Anyways even though I am a Wednesday fan and have no connections to Manchester United/Scholes in the slightest I think really highly of him as a person and that he is one of the best midfielders to play in the Premier League.

I liked him even more due to the fact that he knew he wasn’t ready to manage Oldham. He said “managing a club like Oldham has to be an all-absorbing, seven-days-a-week commitment. That is how Lee made such a success of it. One day I will be ready to do that.” This man can kill a bear with a football and also has some brains about him? Good man!

The thing is though I think Scholes knows that an affinity or some kind of sentiment with a club doesn’t bring success. Just look at Stuart Pearce who seems to have made a pigs ear of his time with Nottingham Forest. A legend of the club, a man who loves Forest but sadly just just isn’t good enough to manager a team just now.

Years of playing don’t automatically make you a good manager. It’s sad that a lot of Notts Forest fans thought he was going to take them back to the Premier League. This is a man who didn’t take Beckham to the Olympics because he was ‘nothing special.’

I’m more than certain that its not tarnished his reputation with Forest and I’m sure he will continue to get work in football but for me he needs to realise, as Scholes did, that he just isn’t good enough (yet).

In Wednesday’s case, there was some talk that if Nigel Pearson got sacked would he come to us? Now I like Pearson (for people who aren’t familiar with him, he captained the Owls to League Cup glory in 1991) but I don’t think he’d be the right person for the job here at Hillsborough. I like Gray and think he can bring stability to a team whereas Pearson would see us up comfortably but then have us struggle in the league above. It’d be a nice little journey with Pearson but at least we’d stay up there with Gray.

I seem to remember Alan Shearer managing Newcastle for a few games the season they got relegated, I was desperately hoping that he could keep them up that year too. Admittedly it wasn’t Shearer’s fault they went down as the damage had been done prior to him, but I bet most Newcastle fans didn’t think he had it in him to lead them back to the Premier League.
~ If he had kept them up though I’d have loved to see him manage them the season after. I wonder what team Shearer would have built ~

Another example sadly is Arsene Wenger who has had a tough time of it as late. I was talking with a few colleagues from work and we all agreed that Wenger is the best manager the Premier League has ever had and its awful the criticism he’s been receiving. Even after building Arsenal to being one of the best teams in England and Europe it might be time to call it a day with them. I would honestly hate to see it but its becoming more and more of a battle for him season after season.

A lot of people keep saying that once the financial fair play rule comes in then Wenger will take Arsenal back to where they belong but until then he’s going to have to make do with being seen as a bad manager compared to big spenders Mourinho, Pellegrini, Van Gaal, Fergie and the like.
~ We also all agreed that Fergie was the luckiest manager in football and how he is praised as the best manager the Premier League has ever seen is shocking ~

My last example has to be the hardest job of all...the England job. Roy Hodgson for me was the perfect manager for the job, at the time I have to admit I did want Redknapp but the that was just based on how well he was doing at the time with Tottenham. Hodgson brought stability to Fulham and West Brom (admittedly Fulham went down but that wasn’t Roy’s fault), he has previous international experience, has managed/played all over the world and is fluent in four languages. Then again ‘Arry is a bit of a geeza..

Roy on reflection seemed like the better choice and is doing well in my opinion, doing what he does best and is bringing stability to English football. Would Harry have done that? I doubt it, he’d probably have stuck Crouch and Defoe up front, Lennon on the wing, surely by now Ledley King would have a coaching role...can Niko Kranjcar play for England?...

But anyways for what its worth my opinion on this subject is that a manager should not be brought in on sentiment, it should be based on his actual ability to manage a my opinion that seems really obvious but it still happens every year.

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Cheers for reading.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Is British Better?

I wanted to ask the question are British players better than foreign players? I asked myself it when I read an article saying Ashley Williams is better than Phil jones. Admittedly both these players are British but I it also thought that Williams was good enough for any top four club.
I personally agree with this, I think that there are a lot of defenders that would do a job for the top clubs and it shocks me that a consistent English/Welsh/Scottish/Irish defender gets overlooked and the top clubs sign some sh*t Spanish player who played for Barca B so he must be world class…
Why Brendan Rodgers signed Lovren when he knew how established and consistent Ashley Williams was is beyond me. Most probably an age thing but there’s plenty of other young defender he could have signed. He could have gone for either Calum Chambers or John Stones? James Chester from Hull is a little older but will still do a job for Liverpool. Or if he wanted to go right under the radar he could have gone for Harry Maguire from Hull who I have to say is a powerhouse and can spray balls about the pitch just as good as Gerrard...might be an over-exaggeration there.
For me every Premier League team needs that one big British centre-half who is just intelligent, confident, consistent, strong and a leader. Ashley Williams is this lad for Swansea; he’s all the things I mentioned earlier and more for Swansea. But I’m sure Manchester United would rather Rojo and Blind at the back before opting for Williams.
Stoke have got Shawcross who for me is the epitome of the limited defender role. He’s not the best footballer but his intelligence and strength will keep him in the Premier League whether Stoke are there or not. Pulis recently came out and said he should try for Wales because he is getting overlooked by England, if I were Chris Coleman I’d snap him up.
Palace have Scott Dann who I remember had a really good partnership with Roger Johnson for Birmingham a few years ago. Top defender, agile, good in the air and a leader. Another player who will be staying in the Premier League if Palace were to make the drop.
~ I know that Jedinak is captain but surely Dann must be vice-captain? Any Palace fans please feel free to correct me ~
The obvious one for Everton is Jagielka. A top draw centre back who for me just needs to take that next step for him to become big player for England (by this I mean the same step Gary Cahill made when he moved from Bolton). The Champions League can really make a good player a great player it would seem.
Hull are a team with some great players for this role. As I stated before Harry Maguire is a great talent but isn’t getting much games at Hull due to fitness (now been loaned to Wigan). The next players I can think of for this role are Curtis Davies and Michael Dawson. Davies has had a solid season and how he hasn’t had a call up I don’t know; consistent, captain, great player. Dawson for me should have been one of the best signings. Why Tottenham let him go baffles me, a player with great experience and intelligence, but from what I understand has been blighted by injuries this season which has been Hull’s main issue sadly.
Same with West Ham who have James Collins who is a great centre half and very experienced ball winner, James Tomkins who keeps a low profile and sadly doesn’t get credit for his job at West Ham and lastly Winston Reid who has just signed a new contract due to how well he has done and the consistency of his performances. I really enjoy watching West Ham due to the amount of quality British players they always seem to have.
~ Edit: Shortly after writing this piece, silly bollocks (AKA me) realised that Winston Reid isn’t even fucking British. What a twat I am ~
Chelsea obviously have Terry, with Cahill being a suitable replacement when Terry’s gone. West Brom have Lescott and Dawson. I personally like Jason Shackell at Burnley, I think he’s very experienced and is doing well at Burnley with Michael Keane who is another young centre back with a big career ahead of him.
Why wouldn’t Louis Van Gaal go for any of these players instead of some foreign name who is big in the Portuguese league? I’m gonna have to assume it’s a fear thing. Fear that if he were to spend £10 million on Jagielka or Shawcross or whoever then the fans would begin to question him. “Why has he gone for some centre back from Crystal Palace when he could have signed one from Osasuna?”...Osasuna are essentially the Crystal Palace of Spain.
The bad thing is we’re signing Spanish players and giving them game time, whilst in Spain they are also signing Spanish players and giving them game time...Where does that leave the English players? Mooching about in the reserves or going on loan to the lower leagues. This is why we can’t develop any half decent talent.
Then again we all know that if a player like Scott Dann were to sign for Man Utd you know he would just be scapegoat for fans not to blame Rooney and Van Persie and the manager for when they lose. If a team loses it’s a team loss not just one players...or am I wrong?
Arsenal tried signing a world class defender in Per Mertesacker. They paid £10 million for him and his first season sadly was not successful. I thought he’d made an upturn and was doing well but after going on forum sites where fans hated him and then seeing he’d recently been dropped...basically proves my point that foreign is not always the best way to go.
But I bet Arsenal fans loved it when the transfer was announced. He was probably going to captain them to the title with Podolski and Giroud knocking them in for fun...they were some big names so it’s understandable that they thought that. Mertesacker for me is a long, long way off being Sol Campbell or dare I say it Tony Adams…
I don’t think England are too far off creating a solid defensive unit but we do need the bigger more fashionable clubs to take a punt on them. You can’t know that a player will do well for your club but you can make a good assumption if he’s proved it week in week out for a number of years as most of the players in this post have.
But anyway not my decision is it.
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Cheers for reading.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Steve Bruce's Excuses

Mark Hughes has come you and said that Steve Bruce has basically made a reyt tit of himself by trying to defend a challenge made by Maynor Figueroa on Stephen Ireland last Saturday. The challenge left Ireland apparently needing between 12 and 15 stitches on his calf.
~ I recommend anyone reading this to Google it because it is a beaut of a cut. Not for the squeamish mind you ~

Steve Bruce apparently claimed that Ireland should have been sent off earlier in the game due to a bad tackle made on David Meyler. That in my opinion is a piss poor excuse from Bruce, that’s like Fergie defended Cantona when he lashed out at that supporter by saying “that fan should have gone home by then, that match was well boring.”
~ Side note: I’m assuming Alex Ferguson didn’t talk like that ~

A manager should normally stand by his players but it’s awful to think he could be condoning that kind of behavior. Fair enough if it was a bad tackle but this was one player going out of his way to hurt another player, to injure another player. Could easily end a lads career doing reckless sh*t like that…

I honestly can not believe that this has been talked about less than the tackle Ashley Barnes made on Matic. That tackle was a dive compared to what Figueroa did. But of course because it happened to a Chelsea player it is somehow more significant and more life threatening...I remember when Ashley Williams kicked a ball at Van Persie’s head...could have killed him that...not.

Nemanja Matic has a scuff mark on his shin pad and the whole world cries. Stephen Ireland has a make-shift vagina on his calf and the world say “Who?” “Didn’t he used to play for Man City?”. I’m a Wednesday fan so I know what it’s like being a less fashionable club, absolute joke that these kind of things just get looked over…

Another example is when Suarez bit Ivanovic, to be fair that one was one of the stupidest decisions made by a footballer in Premier League history, but I swear if he had bit Sebastien Bassong for Norwich, he’d have just had a one match ban to his name.

For me a bad tackle is a bad tackle but when people make out that a bad tackle is a horrific tackle that fans and pundits get no sense of perspective. When Eduardo broke his leg against Birmingham, that was horrific...when Ramsey broke his leg against Stoke it was so bad even Shawcross was crying as he left the pitch.

Now pundits are putting Ashley Barnes’ tackle up there with those...why? there was no broken bones, no injuries, there wasn’t even a yellow card for it. One of the reasons I skip the pundits analysis on Match of the Day. For me the people on there are the most f*cking clueless and contradicting people in football.

I wrote a post about Matic being a soft sod the other week and it seemed to get a lot of praise from a lot of football fans. How can so many football fans agree that it wasn’t that bad while the so called “experts” say it’s an abomination? For me it’s the press, the pundits and the players themselves that are making football a non-contact sport.

I’m glad that the FA had some sense about them not to punish Barnes but to let off Figueroa is just criminal. He could have done less damage with a knife. Imagine if he did that to Fabregas or Hazard...he’d have had a 10 match ban a £50,000 fine for both him and the club and every pundit calling for his head.

I hope the message you’ve gained from this is that perspective is needed for consistent punditry these days. And that concludes today’s lesson.
Homework/Trivia question for today - Only two players have scored more than 10 goals for Hull City in the Premier League. Who are they?

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Flight of the Owls II

The other week I wrote a post about Sheffield Wednesday’s current run and how fans are perceiving this season so far. This was just before we played Millwall and “fans” were saying that “WHEN we lose, we’ll be condemned to relegation!”...God Twitter is full of some morons.

I personally couldn’t believe people thought we’d lose. When McGugan scored I was going to Tweet about it and thought “actually sod that, knowing my luck they’ll equalise straight after and we’d lose 5-1.” But of course we went on to win the game convincingly 3-1 with Maghoma bagging himself a hat-trick of assists (who honestly saw that one coming?)

It’s actually shocking how much one win can silence the haters. I went on OwlsTalk after the match and it was dead; a few fans saying they were proven wrong but other than that nothing. Why are we so quick to jump on the back of our players when they are doing bad? I’d gladly suck off Mags if he got another 30 assists and got us promoted.

Then there was the Middlesbrough game. I read one fan say before Millwall that we needed four points from our next two games (he also said there was no way we were going to get that!) and I thought that was completely within reach. We swept Millwall aside easily enough and I was confident that we could get a point against Middlesbrough.
~ I was actually telling all my mates to slap a tenner on Wednesday 0-0 Middlesbrough. Had a bore draw written all over it with the two best defenses in the league. I’m glad no one listened to me haha ~

After our nice 2-0 win last Saturday suddenly our more optimistic fans think we can make a promotion push. Personally I wouldn’t mind if the season ended now. No relegation threat, a definite improvement from last season and a nice midfield to build on (if we sign McGugan).
~ Highest I’ve ever seen us since I started watching football is 12th, I’m happy as long as I keep seeing us do better ~

We had 12 shots with 4 being on target. Not ideal but if you finish them then who cares. I couldn’t help but think that can a team defend their way to promotion? I heard Buffon once say “My dream is to win the league with 38 1-0 wins” would seem him and Stuart Gray have that in common as well as both being able to eat fourteen pasties in a minute...I’m not sure how true that last statement is.

In all honesty I hope we do challenge for a playoff place. If we were to get there, I actually wouldn’t like to see us go up...we don’t really have a squad good enough for the Premier League, we’d have to sign a load of foreign players who would turn out to be sh*t and we’ll just be one-season-wonders like them lot over at the other end of Sheffield.

I said in my last post that Stuart Gray has a four year plan which he is now in the middle of. Hopefully he is given a chance to continue his good work, this man although it doesn’t seem it right now, is the man to take us to the Premier League. The thing that will separate him from Nigel Pearson and the like is that he has the ability to keep a team there. He’s never actually proved it as of yet but he knows that a clean sheet comes above all else. If you don’t conceed you’re guaranteed a point.

I’m sure a lot of Wednesday fans wouldn’t agree with this but given time I honestly do believe it. I like to compare Gray to a lower profiled Tony Pulis. Given time both their styles of play are very boring but they know how to get the best out of their players and how to see a game out.

Next game we have is against Blackburn at home. With this takeover having now gone through I want to plead with all Wednesday fans to give it your all next Wednesday. I’m praying for a good turn out so we can give Chansiri something to think about, I want us to make him know that this sleeping giant deserves to be higher than this. Three points against Blackburn in my opinion shows that we mean business and are wanting to be back where we belong.
~ I wanted to put “be the 12th man” but it sounded too cliched ~

I’d lastly like to applaud Stuart Gray on sticking with some of the lesser liked players in the squad e.g. Nuhiu, Maghoma, etc. I find Nuhiu to be an under rated player for us and Maghoma seems to have turned over a new leaf these last two weeks. Long may it continue Stuart. The future’s bright, the futures Gray.

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Cheers for reading.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Wes Frown

As everyone already knows Wes Brown was sent off yesterday in a freak mistaken identity thing where referee Roger East sent off Brown because John O’Shea made a boo boo. John O’Shea even turned to the referee saying he had done the foul, but with East being the referee and referee’s being the power-crazed t*ssers that they are, he completely ignored him.

Now we have seen this before with the whole Gibbs/Oxlade-Chamberlain thing. I was told this was the exact same scenario and I couldn’t help but think “how the f*ck has he mixed up John O’Shea and Wes Brown?!”. One looks like Paddy McGuinness and the other looks like Morph.

But no essentially what’s happened is Falcao has turned O’Shea felt a hand on his shoulder and dropped like a sack of potatoes...whilst Wes Brown got there about 10 minutes late and barely laid a finger on anyone…

What’s annoyed me about this is that now the focus is going to be on one thing when in my opinion it should be on another. Martin Keown’s first reaction is that the standard of refereeing is going down which to be fair many people agree with. I agree that a lot of key decisions are wrong by the b*stards in black but I think its because football has turned into a complete non-contact sport.

All John O’Shea did was firmly put his hand on Falcao’s shoulder...and he flew to the ground as if he had someone tugging on his shirt and Lee Cattermole two-footing him. How can such a small piece of contact throw a player off that badly? Unless of course he’s looking for it...I’m not saying it was a dive but Burnley striker Sam Vokes would have stayed on his feet in that position.

Because that kind of “horrific challenge” is considered a foul it puts referee’s in a sticky situation, If it’s not a foul we get on with the game, Sunderland can go on to win the game and Falcao can take his amatuer dramatic skills elsewhere and with time possibly get himself a role on Heartbeat or Casualty.
But because a hand on someones shoulder is now considered a foul the referee is obliged to make a decision and make himself look a right tit when he makes the wrong call. I personally hate when referee’s try and justify a stupid decision.

The other week the pub team I play for conceded a penalty in the last few minutes. Most blatant dive you have ever seen but because two players surrounded their player the referee give it. Our right back asked who made the foul because they needed to go, it was a professional foul…referee’s honest words “I didn’t see who it was…”
I’d rather a referee just apologize or better still just keep his mouth shut.

Sadly this sending off was the turning point of the game, there were some good half chances for Sunderland and they were managing to keep out Man United’s attacks. Then a difficult decision to call for the referee and the game is out of Sunderland’s reach.

Like I said earlier I don’t think it was a dive but to go down as easy as he did and then say it’s a foul...actually yeah I’m saying it was a dive. Sadly that is football these day’s and football fans like me are just going to have to deal with it.

For me I am gutted that this had to happen against Sunderland. And against Manchester United as well. I’d love for Sunderland to stay up and this is just gonna make it 10 times harder for them. Oh well though, plenty more games to pick up points.

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