Tuesday, 3 January 2012


A new year arrives and the inconsistency continues. I’m talking about those who used to be in black, the men and women charged with officiating the game. Dodgy decisions, blatant incompetence and genuine cack handedness punctuated MOTD last night, where, for a change Arsenal’s match was the first game on. Those ever predictable producers of MOTD gave the game away that Arsenal where going to lose by the preceding montage of so called ‘upsets’. Most would have already known the score but I had been comfortably ensconced in row F of the everyman Islington Green during the game and had successfully avoided hearing the score all evening only for the result to be given away by the most obvious of intros. Still Fincher’s take on part one of the millennium trilogy was most enjoyable (as was the waitress service that the Everyman provides).

I won’t comment too much on the Fulham Arsenal result (it's been done better welsewhere); suffice it to say it was disappointing. Saying that though, we are still on our journey as a club and some strange choices and injuries were no help.

Anyway back to the matter of football officials. If Djourou’s red card was questionable Lampard clearly stayed on the pitch based on some strange idea regarding ‘not being that sort of player’ (Ashley Cole staying on is mystifying though). Barton was sent off based on ‘he’s that sort of a player’. Wolves and Chelsea seemed to be involved in a remake of Battle Royale yet only weak wristed action was taken. Bad tackles flying in unpunished and fair tackles being penalised breed inconsistent standards.

The consistency of decision making is the major issue, and I can’t remember a season with so much poor officiating. This makes it tough for any team who are struggling in the first place and the sort of negligence being shown can lead to not only costing clubs points, but more seriously costing players’ careers.

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