Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Saturday March 7 2009
Wigan Athletic Vs West Ham United at the JJB on Wednesday night was a football match that had a couple of hard tackles, some poor refereeing, two sending off`s and quite a good goal, it wasn`t the start of World War Three, so what`s all the debate about?
The Daily Mail is leading the moral crusade on the game, they have had the buffoon known as the Hatchet man pass comment, Graham Poll as had a go in his column, don`t forget that Poll is the referee who actual issued THREE yellow cards to the same player in one game and didn`t send him off, and today (Saturday) they have some no mark called Des Kelly putting his two penny worth in.
The reason this match and the decisions that did or didn`t take place during the game have been analysed so much by the so called 'experts` is because the referee was a 26 year old novice.
Controversy has followed the hapless Stuart Attwell throughout his very short career and he is a referee that the powers that be are trying to fast track to the top, it aint working, the pressure is too great and one thing you need to referee at the highest level is experience.
Getting back to the game, up until Carlton Cole`s red card there hadn`t been one nasty challenge, a couple of shoves and a bit of over exuberance by players trying to win the ball, after all this was a game for 7th spot in the table and a possible European place for next season.
Carlton Cole had his back to the Wigan goal, the ball came towards him at just above waist height, Cole raised his leg to trap the ball, which he did, unfortunately Emerson Boyce stooped to head clear and was caught, accidentally, by Cole`s boot, the referee awarded a free-kick then booked Cole who was already on a booking so he had to be shown the red card as well.
Attwell over reacted by sending off Carlton Cole, no one was more surprised than the Wigan fans, we thought he had been dismissed for something he had said following the free-kick being awarded, a crazy decision that led to a flurry of handbags being thrown around the centre circle.
Once the dust settled the game resumed and it continued in the same vein as before, the second half saw a typical Lucas Neill tackle on Lee Cattermole, over the top of the ball studs up, he got booked, some say he should have had a red, to be honest it could have been red or yellow, one of those.
Minutes later West Ham player Scott Parker is running through the Latics midfield with the ball, Lee Cattermole challenges with a rash tackle, from the side, Parker doesn`t hesitate in going down and over reacting, for that is what he did, and referee Attwell seizes the opportunity to equal the dismissals and Cattermole takes an early bath.
That was it, no cynical scything down every two minutes, no punches or mass brawls, no serious or indeed any injuries caused by bone crunching tackles, so why all the hysteria?
Because the paper leading this is in fact a hysterical rag that depends on sensationalism to sell its papers, if the Mail isn`t trying to whip up racial tensions in the UK by going over the top on immigration issues, it is sensationally painting pictures of everyone who lives in a council house has being a drug taking/dealing single mother with five kids who trades in stolen goods and would head butt you as soon as look at you.
Wednesday was a football game and to be fair it isn`t just the Mail that`s been having a go, Alan Shearer of all people, was there ever a dirtier forward than Shearer? Arsene Wenger is saying have a disciplinary panel to look at these tackles? You are talking out of your Arsene Mr Wenger, it wasn`t that when Keown and Adams were 'chopping` everything down that got passed them on the pitch.
So this must have been a slow news week and to say there has been an over reaction is a bit of an understatement.
To see the actual tackles that got the idiots jumping on the bandwagon click here then scroll down
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Date:Saturday March 7 2009
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