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What exactly are we respecting here?
What exactly are we respecting here?
Thursday, 13th Nov 2008 22:08

The authorities continue to stamp their feet and demand respect, but the actions of their officials are a long way short of anything commanding anything close to that. Meanwhile Andy Woolmer is the man in charge of the Burnley match.

Queens Park Rangers v Burnley
Referee: Andy Woolmer (Northamptonshire)

Assistants – Hayto (Essex) and Whitton (Essex)
Fourth Official – Foley (Berkshire)


Respect
• noun -
a feeling of admiration for someone because of their qualities or achievements.


I’m not an avid reader of the dictionary as regular readers of this site will testify to, however I absolutely love this definition of the word ‘respect’. It’s been the most used word in football this season, particularly this week, as the authorities try in their usual cack-handed way to stop arseholes like Ashley Cole behaving as he did at Tottenham last season. The fact that we already had rules against dissent that just needed to be more strictly enforced was missed, no the solution is obviously some pathetic campaign where we all sign a contract in front of Richard Keys.

Keep an eye on the definition at the top of the article as you answer the following questions. Is Rob Styles worthy of respect when, after awarding a pathetic penalty to Man Utd against Bolton, he was allowed to keep his place in the Premiership after issuing a forced apology and then promptly awarded an even more disgraceful spot kick in the Newcastle Man City match? Is Mike Riley, a man who systematically ruined the Man Utd v Chelsea game with one stupid booking and free kick after another, worthy of respect after booking Fraiser Campbell for over celebrating at Tottenham on Wednesday? For the record Campbell ran up to the Tottenham fans and slapped a few high fives.

Should we stand back and show respect as Stuart Attwell first awards a goal that didn’t actually go anywhere near the goal, then sends off a Tranmere player and the appeal is rejected, then wrongly sends off a QPR player and the ban is extended, then makes such a pig’s ear of Derby v Forest that you’d think the soppy idiot had never seen a game of football before? Should we continue to show respect when it turns out that Attwell’s mentor is Mike bloody Riley and his punishment is fourth official duties at a Premiership matches?

Is Andy D’Urso worthy of respect for his handling of Barnsley v Sheff Utd last weekend? A game where Chris Morgan, a man with a reputation, elbowed various Barnsley players in the head with no come back from the official who then laughed off complaints about these offences from the Barnsley players and manager at half time. When one of Morgan’s elbows finally did find its target, the side of Iain Hume’s head, it left the Barnsley man in hospital with a fractured skull and internal bleeding. D’Urso showed a yellow card. Is that worthy of respect? A man left with life threatening injuries after warning an official about just that possibility and the perpetrator gets a yellow card? Managers are meant to respect that?

Andy D’Urso gets to referee again this weekend, Chris Morgan gets to play again this weekend, Barnsley manager Simon Davey now has a touchline ban hanging over him for pointing out that fracturing one of his players’ skulls is a sending off offence and Iain Hume is on a high dependency ward at the hospital. Respect? I can barely conceal my contempt. We of course wish Hume a speedy recovery – after which his first trip should be to the solicitors to begin proceedings against both Morgan and D’Urso.

The one thing missing from that definition is the word ‘earned’. Respect is something to be earned. Respect is not something incompetent people deserve or should receive simply because they stand there stamping their feet saying “I’m in charge, without me you wouldn’t even have a game.” Rather than charging people like Davey, Aidy Boothroyd and Joe Kinnear with speaking their mind after games the FA should be focussing on the people most guilty for the failure of the ‘respect’ campaign – the referees themselves.

As far as I’m concerned you can stick your respect up your arse – the referees bring it all on themselves and deserve everything they are getting at the moment. They want respect, they should start bloody earning it. And if I was Simon Davey I would stand on the touchline at every game for the rest of the season, even if he does get a ban, just to protest against the ridiculous situation where the only person punished for a filthy challenge from a vile player that leaves a man in intensive care is the victim’s manager.

Pause for breath. The man in the middle at Loftus Road this weekend is Andy Woolmer. He’s best remembered as the guy that looks like the bloke with the pet mouse in The Green Mile. So far this season he has shown 31 yellows (2.214 a game) and three reds in 14 matches, including three yellows and two reds in the Millwall v Hereford game. Four of those matches have been in the Championship producing 11 yellows and one red. Last season he showed 103 yellows (2.641 a game) and two reds in 39 matches including 25 yellows (2.77 a game) and one red in nine Championship matches.

His last QPR game was two seasons ago at home to Sheffield Wednesday, a game that finished 1-1 with seven yellow cards. His rating of four for that performance saw him finish joint 26th on the referee league.

Referee: Andy Woolmer 4 Over fussy throughout, made Rangers take the kick off again and got steadily more pedantic from there. Seven yellow cards is a ridiculous haul for that game, especially when Whelen didn't get one despite countless fouls and dissent, and Wood didn't get a second one for the penalty incident. Carding Cook for diving was a joke decision - there are occasions when players go to ground and it's neither a dive nor a foul you know. LFW Sheff Wed Match Report

By strange coincidence his last Burnley game was also a match against Sheffield Wednesday, this one was in 2005/06 and finished 2-1 to the Owls - one player was booked.

Elsewhere interesting to see the Premiership referees dropping down this weekend – Richard Beeby has obviously upset somebody as he has Gillingham v Rotherham, Chris Foy is probably on special assignment rather than any kind of punishment as he has Huddersfield v Leeds which promises to be lively. As Iain Hume struggles to come to terms with his skull fracture, Andy D’Urso has no punishment at all and referees Wycombe v Bradford this weekend. Respect?

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Photo: Action Images



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