Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fergie, Mark Clattenburg and the FA: Time to bring officials to account?

So the FA are charging Fergie with misconduct for his half-time tirade at referee Mark 'Clanger' Clattenburg at the Reebok. It was only a few weeks ago that the same ref was 'rested' following an appalling display in the Merseyside derby when he missed two blatant penalties for Everton. In short the referee had a an absolute stinker on that day.

Against Bolton on Saturday Fergie's beef with the same official was that the home team had been over physical. There will be some who suspect that Fergie was in part trying to blame the referee by deflecting the media spotlight away from his own shortcomings regarding his team selection having left out Anderson.

On top of which we have been belatedly told that Ronaldo who wasn't included in the squad which faced the Trotters because he was suffering with a minor muscle injury. Though this news only surfaced after the defeat so there has to be some element of doubt about the validity of the injury.

Even if we had been told that Ronaldo was injured prior to the game, Fergie has a record of tinkering with his teams down the years against supposedly weaker opposition. Thankfully, and this is largely down to the fact that contrary to his recent statement that is his 'best squad ever' - it clearly isn't - we have seen less tinkering since the emergence of the force that is Chelsea.

Nonetheless Fergie's tirade does raise a few questions about procedures. Firstly surely the FA needs to come down hard on managers for such behaviour, because if Mourinho or Wenger acted in a similar manner we United fans would view this as trying to seek an advantage by putting pressure on the officials at half-time.

Secondly, how bad does a referee have to be before he is punished? So far we've only seen referee's rested following blatantly poor decision-making, as was the case in the Everton v Liverpool game. Referee's do get assessed on a match by match basis.

However, the problem is for the fans and managers alike, we never get to see those official assessments and what's more can a ref be consistently be poor with no fear of punishment, unless he misses a blatant penalty?

Personally I'd like to see the these assessments published on a weekly basis so that we the fans know how each referee has been officially marked for his performance. If the referee has had a poor run of games then this should trigger some form of action be it 'resting' the official concerned or otherwise.

I'm not an advocate of introducing in-game technology or messing around with the rules, the emphasis needs to be on better decision-making and improvements on performance.

1 comment:

  1. I agree Fergie was trying to deflect attention. Clangerburg isn't up to it though either.


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