Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Graham Poll announces retirement...

So today's big news in the world of football is that referee Graham Poll has announced that he's hanging up his whistle and packing it in. There will be the usual back slapping from other referees, telling us the fans what a great ref Poll was.

As ever the fans will have slightly different views on Poll, supporters of Australia will never forget his 2006 World Cup faux pas when he dished out three yellow cards to Croatian defender Josip Šimunić, for which Poll himself was dismissed from the tournament. Sepp Blatter later stating that if Australia had lost to Croatia then they would have had grounds to demand a replay. Poll had already sent off two players in that Australia v Croatia game, not only that the officials did not spot that Harry Kewell's goal in the same game was offside.

On the domestic scene the high profile referee was involved in another incident, this time in the FA Cup semi-final between Arsenal and Sheffield United at Old Trafford in 02-03. Arsenal eventually went on to win the game 1-0, but in the build up to the goal by Freddie Ljungberg, Poll collided with Blades midfielder Michael Tonge while he was in possession of the ball. The collission prevented Tonge from tracking back to cover the goal scorer...

Some people say Poll favoured the Arsenal and StatsonSport have the stats to back up that claim..
Stats apparently show that Poll favoured the Arsenal...

In my view Poll did little to raise the standards of refereeing in England, which remains as poor as it has been since Jack Taylor retired - our one and only truly great referee.

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