Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pompus commentators miss point over Rooney red card....

It's been a tough couple of weeks for United having lost two important league games on the spin and having three players red carded into the bargain. Predictably, the ABU media are having a field day at the champions expense, but some of them are totally missing the point, especially over Wayne Rooney who was sent-off at Craven Cottage as United went on to lose two-nil last weekend.

Sadly, but again all too predictably, in the aftermath the focus hasn't been on the legitimacy of Rooney's second yellow card, which was at the core of the United striker's frustration, no, instead it has been on Rooney who punched the corner-flag on his way off the pitch and Fergie's after match comments on Phil Dowd. Sections of the media appeared to want to see further action taken against Rooney for what they see as petulance.

My own view is that far from further action being taken against Rooney, the one match ban should be rescinded because the player was throwing the ball back towards where the United free-kick would be taken.

Sure Rooney was upset, he had every right to be, but if Phil Dowd had taken a moment to consider the players reaction, he would have realised that it was an act of frustration, but instead the red mist descended as the referee totally lost his own composure and produced a yellow-card. A better referee would have taken Rooney to one side and explained why he had stopped the play when United were on the attack, but that is the crux of the matter, like too many of his colleagues Dowd is a poor referee.

It comes as no surprise to read various journalists having a pop at Rooney and United in the wake of the defeats at Craven Cottage and against Liverpool. Patrick Barclay, formerly of the Telegraph but now of The Times, wrote that the skull and crossbones flies over Old Trafford, as if that wasn't bad enough he went to suggest that Rooney should follow the example of Diego Maradona. Surely, the last thing Rooney needs is to start snorting Charlie?

I don't know if The Times are paying their new chief football commentator to write controversial articles in the wake of the Martin Samuel's defection to the Daily Mail, but judging by his early input Barclay appears to be heading in that direction. Though to be fair, unlike the all too often agenda setting / axe wielding Samuel - who I've never personally rated - Barclay for his part is not a fan of a top flight English club. Samuel is surely the ABUs journalist of choice, given what has at times appeared to be a one-man-crusade against all things Manchester United.
In contrast, although he suffers with pomposity, on this occasion, Barclay totally missed the central point, which is that it was Dowd who was wrong and it is he that should be censured not Rooney.

I wasn't so surprised to read the Manchester Evening news United correspondent, Stuart Mathieson, posing the question "are United losing their discipline?” On the back of three cards, it could be argued this is a fair question to ask, but the fact is that view is totally wide of the mark, but then again this is the very same local journalist who a few years ago proclaimed Beckham was staying only for him to be sold to Madrid the following week.

I digress, the Scholes handball left Dowd with no alternative but to send him off, the Vidic red card the weekend before was a little more controversial as some argue the Serbian wasn't the last man, but to suggest United are losing it is wrong. Manchester United are not a dirty team to even suggest it is plainly wrong and it says more about Mathieson's own credibility than it does about the integrity and discipline of the United players.


  1. Spot on. Most of the pundits say he should learn to calm down and shouldn't have thrown the ball at the ref. But anyone with half a brain can see he was throwing the ball to the correct spot. Even if they do mention this fact they still say he should calm down, he got sent off for nothing. I even talked to a city fan who said he shouldn't have been sent off and that referees are making themselves famous for sending off high profile players.

  2. Chris, you're quite right, far too many of these referees believe that THEY are the stars of the show when quite obviously they are not. AS you say it was Dowd who needed to calm down....


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