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The Man In Black.......

Wednesday, 22 August 2007






Rob Styles has been relieved of his refereeing duties next weekend, and I for one, am a very relieved “unbiased” football fan (haha). Being the man in black is clearly a high pressure job, but let’s compare the decisions a referee has to make with say a doctor. A doctor has to make similar split second decisions, and in his case there are lives on the line; this puts things into perspective. Doctors have all sorts of technology to ensure that they do not make mistakes that could cost someone their life, so why hasn’t football introduced similar technology to ensure that games are decided by fair means. Many will say that technology would slow down the game, and ruin it as a spectator sport., but how much time do we see wasted by players arguing and querying dodgy decisions in a game. The incident at Fulham was testament to this. David Healy was furious that his goal wasn’t awarded, and spent considerable time questioning the linesman and delaying the match. If Healy had had some sort of 3rd opinion to consult, he wouldn’t have had to argue because he would have been proven right.

Referees are, at the end of the day, human beings prone to making mistakes. They have emotions, allegiances, and now (with the punishments handed out to referees that make mistakes) will have to handle more pressure, which evidently leads to more errors. It’s a vicious circle that can probably only be solved by introducing some sort of conclusive help.

Rob Styles is a referee renowned for making rash decisions; he awarded Liverpool a very dubious penalty last season after an acoustic “foul” on Steven Gerrard; never had the name “Rob” been so apt. And last weekend he awarded a penalty straight out of a Disney movie to rescue a point for Chelsea. To be fair to Styles, he was constantly dealing with players in his face, trying to influence his decision; notably England captain John Terry, whose behaviour clearly did not help the situation. I look at it like this: I remember when I was at school, there were guys who had a tendency to crumble under pressure. The hot girl from across the class would ask them for a pencil, and they would literally wet their pants. These weren’t the guys you would rely on when you needed a wing man; Rob Styles is that guy. He is famed for making mistakes under pressure, and awarding him the biggest match of the season so far was a recipe for disaster. This highlights the refereeing crisis the Premier League is having, where the most high profile English referee goes to the World Cup and embarrasses a nation. Do you think you would ever see Collina giving a player three yellow cards? As bad as Styles’ penalty decision was it was by no means as erroneous as the one that denied Fulham a legitimate goal, and this is why the problem needs to be addressed.

The smokescreen caused by players diving and cheating in world football, does mean referees can find it difficult, but goal line decisions that can be cleared up with one quick glance at a video replay are inexcusable. These are the things I feel need to be introduced to improve the game.

1 – Some tennis type “hawkeye” technology which makes sure it’s conclusive when the ball crosses the line.

2- Video playback and mic link to another party to consult when the referee is in doubt, rather than running to the linesman who is probably just as unsighted/inept/useless/etc. And at the end of the day these incidents are a lot easier to clear up in slow motion from a 1000 different angles.

3 – Allow rugby type mics, so we can all hear the eloquent English being expressed by the likes of Rooney and Diouf.

4 – To stop players constantly crowding the ref, allow one player to talk to the ref, possibly the captain, but in Chelsea’s case this could be a bad idea. Any other player who tries to get involved gets an instant yellow card.

5- If a player feigns injury or is injured they should be taken off the pitch immediately for 5 minutes. That way they are getting treatment if they are injured and if they are not then there team gets penalised for 5 minutes.

6- Any blatantly obvious diving is immediately punished with a red card and a one match ban.

7- Sack Uriah Rennie, Rob Styles and all the other useless referees.

7 Responses to "The Man In Black......."

spanking the monkey Says:

I think that Andy Gray should be allowed to stop the game during every controversial moment and get out his drawing pen to analyse it, before it restarts

That way, the game will last about 20 hours and the fans will get more value for money.

Alternatively, just have no referees whatsover, just like Pro Evo 3. Would be heaps more fun

rafasnewbeard Says:

Rob styles should never referee a premiership game again, he clearly booked essien twice, then withdrew because he didnt want roman calling him, we all know about their business connections.

Boris Johnson Says:

Rob Styles is about as useful as a cock flavoured lollipop

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