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Referees - Good or Bad?
Referees - Good or Bad?
Monday, 22nd Nov 2010 13:33

Norwich City supporters, players and manager all have what they consider to be genuine cause to feel aggrieved by some refereeing decisions.

Have we had one good referee since that Reading game when Neale Barry's assist off his backside set Phil Mulryne up to score the winner?

A recent cause to feel done out of victory was when Select List ref, 25 year old Michaal Oliver dismissed Grant Holt, allowing Reading to pull back two goals and earn a draw against a Norwich side wrogfully penalised by a hothead.

A feeling upheld by the FA when, on appeal by Norwich City, the disciplinary panel overturned Michael Oliver's red card.

It isn't easy for the officials, admittedly. Every supporter will have his or her own opinion of what just happened, and lo betide the ref if he makes the "wrong" one.

Team managers take differing sides, most agreeing that what comes around goes around. Although that doesn't stop them getting into hot water over it.

The referee for the Norwich-Leeds game was another card-happy official, this time from the National List, Mick Russell.

It is hardly any surprise that Leeds' manger, Simon Grayson, blamed a bad refereeing decision for his side going away from Carrow Road with just one point.

When he was asked about Norwich's equaliser, Grayson had this to say about Kasper Schmeichel, Leeds 'keeper.

“He was blatantly pushed by Chris Martin, which was missed. He ended up on his backside. If he had been stood up he would have caught the ball and we wouldn’t have conceded.

"But we will praise the referee that he gave a good advantage when we scored our goal and so I am happy with that.

"Some of the decisions were strange at times, but they miss these things so I am not going to criticise the referee – but it was a blatant foul."

Grayson might have reasons to complain, but so did City supporters when Leeds' Alex Bruce brought Grant Holt down.

A goal seemed likely as Holt took advantage of a loose pass and was left with just Bruse and the Schmeichel to beat, when Bruce took Holt out so cynically and hard that Bruce stayed down and required treatment.

True, Holt was not bearing down on Schmeichal, but he was just turning in to do just that when Bruce struck.

The referee ignored pleas from Norwich players that the foul warranted a red card, something City players very seldom resort to, and Alex Bruce escaped with a yellow when he eventually got back to his feet.

So who would be a referee? It is a thankless task, and one that makes enemies rather than friends. At least, though, people talk about you. Perhaps none too kindly, but they know you cost them the game.






Photo: Action Images

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