By Walter Broeckx
After a few days off I still hadn’t found the time to write any further about the Stoke – Arsenal match. And this morning when back at work I found the perfect angle to start with.
[OK Walter, so what’s it worth not to tell your employer about this misuse of work time? – Billy “the Dog” McGraw]
So the FA has decided to take action against Charlie Adam for his actions in the match against Arsenal. This was decided after the panel that has been installed this season has looked at the stamp Adam made on Giroud in the second half.
As can be found on the FA website about this panel: ‘Under a new pilot project in Premier League matches this season, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees will be asked by The FA to review it and advise what, if any action, they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time. For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. In this instance, the panel were of the unanimous decision that it was an act of violent conduct.’
So 3 former elite-referees have looked upon the incident and came to the only conclusion that can be reached: this doesn’t belong on a football field. So when we look at it from just football in general point we can only applaud it. And as I lost a bit of faith in this panel after letting Yaya Toure off the hook for a stamp in the back of a Norwich player a few weeks ago they seem to have found their common sense again.
Such actions like stamping on a player who is on the floor don’t belong on a football field. And in this game Adam did it twice in fact. And the first time referee (?) Jones even gave the foul against Giroud. Which was silly but then again… he made more mistakes in this game. And in his career but we don’t want to go on to the beach ball incident for ever of course.
Back to the match Stoke-Arsenal. In a way the thing I feared most was that one of our players would end up on a stretcher once again. And it was only down to having a lot of luck that we seem to have survived the assaults allowed by Jones. The Adam stamp for which the FA will charge him now is one that could have finished Giroud’s season. The first one also in fact.
If you look back at the images what I also find so annoying is the way that Adam is wondering what is wrong with Giroud and why Giroud is holding his leg. I know football players would be great actors if they were not footballers, and would get Oscar after Oscar for their acting but don’t they mind being seen as idiots. Or are they just idiots?
So Adam probably will get a 3 match ban (rightfully so) but the problem is that because of the ref being completely biased in favour of Stoke it will not help Arsenal at all. Stoke should have been down to 10 man and nobody knows how the match might have turned. If only the ref had done his job in a proper way.
Now I’m not saying we would have gone on to win the match even against 10 Stoke players. But the chance of us losing that match would have been a bit lower. And even 1 point could make a big difference at the end of the season. So once again a dreadful referee performance made sure we lost a match. This was Taylor and Aston Villa all over again.
And once again I can only congratulate all the people who have helped me during the Untold referee reviews. Our finding of Jones before the match (and can be found on this site even years ago) was that Jones is a home referee. One of the biggest home referees even. Another finding is that Stoke is a team that is getting most decisions their way for some reason. They are close rivals to Manchester United when it comes to that.
So doing 1+1 we knew that we would face a hard task. A ref that has problems with discipline, a home team that likes to kick, a ref that is a home ref. We all predicted it and expected it. We hoped that we would overcome it on the day but that didn’t happen unfortunately.
The question we can ask is if our friend Mike Riley also expected it to happen? Or hoped for it to happen. He knows a bit about letting one team kick the shit out of another unpunished. And he knows a bit about giving soft penalties to a kicking team to make sure they win. Make no mistake, Jones certainly learned from the headmaster who is now the head of the PGMOL.
I somehow doubt Riley will have taken up his phone and called Wenger to apologise for the bad referee he sent for this match. In fact sending such a ref to this match was nothing short of being careless and might have resulted in another broken leg by an Arsenal player. Time that Riley and his acolytes start to realise that they could ruin the careers of players by they weakness and irresponsible behaviour. Do they know that?
But what I know is that our reviews have been spot on in identifying the weaknesses of referees, in identifying their bias, in knowing when and what they will do or not do. Give me Jones any day of the week in a home match and I don’t fear him. Give him an away game against a footballing team and I don’t fear him. Give him in an away game against a kick the shit team and expect the worst. Remember this for the future. I will remind you when we see him again of course.
And once again bad decisions have cost us points. Just as happened against Aston Villa, WBA, Chelsea, … The fact that referees on the field keep letting our opponents getting away with assaults (as in the matches mentioned) and only after the match measures are taken (and then again not always) is criminal behaviour. It will go wrong one day. Be it with an Arsenal player on the floor holding what is left of his leg once again. Or by an Arsenal player who has had enough of it and takes justice in his own hands.
There is only one person responsible then. What about you Mike?
PS: And now we are waiting in fear for the referee appointments for the FA cup. No Dean, no Probert, …but hey we still could get Mason….
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