Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tevez proves worth as BBC MOTD and Redknapp get it wrong over United penalty award...

Almost all of the post-match talk following United's dramatic fight-back from being two-nil down to five-two victory over Spurs centred on referee Howard Webb's decision to award United an early second-half penalty.

I must admit when I first saw Michael Carrick brought down by Gomez my initial reaction was no penalty - but after studying the slow-motion replays I am totally convinced that Webb made the right decision - the Spurs 'keeper brought down Carrick BEFORE he touched the ball.

The penalty award, has as usual where United are concerned, been followed by a storm of protests and it came as no surprise to hear various so called experts saying it wasn't a penalty. The fact is these experts have their own allegiances; I refer to Steve McManaman (Liverpool), Alan Hansen (Liverpool) and Lee Dixon (Man City). Did we United fans expect them to say anything else other than it wasn't a penalty?

In case anyone needs reminding a goalkeeper cannot bring down an opponent inside the box, then get the slightest of touches on the ball and expect to get away with it, because that is precisely what happened.

Setanta's coverage of the incident was far clearer when compared to BBC Match of the Day, because the Satellite broadcaster actually slowed down the action and had superior camera angles. In contrast, the BBC appeared to replay the action much faster - which only served to back-up the studio pundits argument, because in real-time it didn't look like a penalty. MOTD's coverage of the incident was nothing short of disgraceful and it begs the question - are they trying influence officials in the run-in so that United do not get any more penalties at Old Trafford?

It's true to say that Webb wasn't best placed to make the decision, but on this occasion, remarkably, he was actually right to give United a penalty.
Shortly after the final-whistle and before he'd had chance to study the action replays, Fergie was asked about the penalty; it was put to him that the champions had been a bit lucky, in response the United said that maybe we had been a bit fortunate. Sir Alex went on to talk about recent incidents where the decision has wrongly gone against the club.

For his part, the Spurs manager had a rant at referee Howard Webb and you do wonder if he will be charged by the FA, because recently Rafa Benitez suggested ONLY Fergie gets away with slaughtering officials after the game - the fact is, Rafa is completely wrong as all top-flight managers' do it - but still you do wonder if the FA will take the matter further.

Redknapp didn't go as far as David Moyes, who apparently recently asked a journalist if it was true that Mike Riley is a United fan. On this occasion the Spurs manager said HE WAS NOT suggesting that Webb is a United supporter, nonetheless the words "United fan and referee" were brought into the mix - was Redknapp really trying to plant these words into the sub-conscious minds of the viewing public?

Whatever the machinations of Harry, you do wonder if his rant was devised to cover-up the shortcomings of a team who had just surrendered a two-nil lead and shipped five second-half goals, we accept it was a controversial penalty award, but what about conceding the other four goals?

Reds' fans will recall that Howard Webb has made some truly awful decisions when refereeing United games; he sent-off Ronaldo in the derby and if you search this blog for the word "Webb" you will find a catalogue of complaints about his performances where the champions are concerned.

Carping about the blatant biased against United aside, it was a superb fight-back and make no mistake the catalyst was fans' favourite Carlos Tevez, his introduction at the break quickened United's slow play as the dashing Argentine was here there and everywhere.

It would be an act of complete madness not to make his signing permanent. Further to which, I have been saying all season long that Tevez, Rooney, Ronaldo and Berbatov can play together in the same side. Who among us would select Park over Tevez, or come to that any other United player excluding the trio mentioned? It is so frustrating that Ferguson continues to be blinded by the obvious, it begs the question following yesterday's five-goal blitz, has the penny finally dropped? Only time will tell.


  1. Well done i totally agree it was a pen and that Gomez first made contact with carrick before he got the ball! And as for the LBC the liverpool broadcasting corporation the less said teh better. As clearly they continue to look at everything through those scouce goggles which is typical of those wingers who always feel hard done by despite all our taxes paying for their seaon tickets ;-)

  2. Yes!!! Ferguson, please play Tevez, Berbatov, Rooney and Ronaldo. Rooney does well in an advanced left position as he can cut in. Tevez and Berbatov link up well as centre-forwards. And Ronaldo holds up the other wing brilliantly (but for tracking back). The second-half miracle would not have been possible but for the introduction of Tevez and of course, Scholes.

    Play all four whenever you can Ferguson, and watch them steamroll the best defences in Europe (something which Arsenal cannot boast)

    Speaking of defence, another poor performance by Evra, should Fabio be given another shot? Whens Brown coming in, it would be great if he would make the CL fixtures, if hes fully fit and ready to take on a rapid Arsenal side that could take advantage of our sluggishness in the back.

  3. Uday,

    You're right about Evra, he's been poor by his own high standards of late, but on Saturday he wasn't being helped by his winger, ie Ronaldo and Nani which made it hard for him to mark two players and Spurs were playing simple one-two's around him. The Rooney switch to the left and especially the introduction of Tevez meant that Spurs were put on the back foot.

    In answer to your question about Fabio - not yet - because he would have the same problem, but as we proved against Spurs, the best form of defence is to attack as we did second period.

  4. Maybe playing all four together was SAF's secret weapon which he has kept for the biggest stage (you know what) so that nobody can develop a counter to it.
    Maybe he has seen how it works in practice and maybe that is the reason why he did it in the 2nd half because he knew it was one of the occasions which needed it.

    It is but obvious that SAF must have thought about playing all four together and must have thought about how best to do it.

    But in the end its all speculation.

  5. "a goalkeeper cannot bring down an opponent inside the box, then get the slightest of touches on the ball and expect to get away with it"

    A goalkeeper cannot bring down an opponent inside the box PERIOD!

  6. Carlos,

    You have missed one of the finer points of the beautiful game. A goalkeeper CAN bring down an opponent inside the box IF he touches the ball first, which is precisely what the so called experts have been implying in this instance - there's a subtle difference...

  7. A good article... those ex-pools and ex-city pundits can't accept the fact that technically it's a penalty when Gomez touched Carrick first before the ball. They also have to accept the bitter fact that the it's going to be United's 18th title which going to equal Pool's record.

  8. Jamesie, (Ryddel) where on earth do you get that notion from? A goalkeeper cannot bring a player down whether he gets a touch on the ball or not. The fact that Carrick could've gone on to catch the ball had been denied him.
    I don't supose you noticed Palacios' two footed mid-air lunge at Ronaldo that could've ended his career and should've been red carded? Didn't think so. If that'd been Ronaldo doing the lunging he'd've been deported amongst cries of outrage from the ex-Liverpool infested media. Was there even a murmur in the media about that? Or about the blatant pen that was turned down vs Everton last week that denied United a Cup Final? Was there any mention of Mascherano's dive or Lucas' handball that helped Liverpool to their win at weekend? Or Gerrard's numerous dives and two-footed tackles or attempts to referee the game?

  9. Steve,

    The fact is that Gomez DID bring down Carrick, but the experts are claiming that it shouldn't have been a penalty - by default they are saying if the 'keeper had got a hand to the ball first before contact was made with the player then Carrick falling over is acceptable. It happens quite often but 'keepers will always risk giving away a penalty in such circumstances. IMO the experts are wrong because on this occasion it was definitely a penalty because he got the man and not the ball first. The same law applies to all challenges, that is if you get the ball first and then the man you will get away with it providing the ref views it in that order.


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