The Premier League has only been back for one day and already there is a lot of talk about the officials and how bloody useless they are.
Seriously you couldn’t make it up could you? After how poor they were last season, which was so bad that Jose Mourinho accused them of orchestrating a campaign against himself and Chelsea, you would have thought they would have used the summer to oh I don’t know, improve? Train? Go over the rules? Make sure they are better? Basically anything to avoid a repeat of last season.
Oh and for the record, no Jose they weren’t orchestrating a campaign against you and Chelsea, that requires thinking, planning, intelligence, all things that I very much doubt our officials in the Premier League have. Nope the sad truth is they are just very very very very very incompetent. Not that that makes it any better.
Sadly it seems it was not meant to be because they are still just as poor.
Ashley Young dived in Manchester United’s game against Tottenham at Old Trafford (check out our review here) getting a Spurs players booked in the process.
A marginal offside call against Spurs where the player looked to be onside, despite the rules saying that the benefit should be given to the attacking player. Oh sorry I missed the fine print, unless it is against Manchester United. Ah well that explains that. Even Howard Webb on BT Sport, trying to be as diplomatic as possible and not come out against referee’s, struggled with that one.
Norwich had an equaliser against Crystal Palace ruled out for dangerous play. Apparently the guy lifted his foot of the ground and the ref was afraid that someone might get hurt as a result. It’s football! Players are going to try and kick the ball. It doesn’t matter how high. So long as they aren’t trying to kick each other let them get on with it.
If that goal had stood it would have been 2-2. Instead Norwich went on to lose 3-1. Not a great start for them back in the Premier League. At the end of the season that point the referee cost them could be the difference between relegation and survival.
And then there is Michael Oliver, who was in charge of the Chelsea vs Swansea match (which we reviewed here). The amount of free kicks and yellow cards he just let slide for a start was silly. He gave Diego Costa nothing all afternoon, Costa shouldn’t have had a penalty, which he did get right, however in the first half he was brought down outside the area late in the second half that Oliver ignored.
But then there’s that baffling penalty and red card decision. The foul was on the line. Bafetimbi Gomis was not inside the box. If he’s not inside the box it is not a penalty. For something to be a goal or a throw in, the whole of the ball must have crossed the line, why should it be any different for penalties? On the line is not inside the penalty area. It is still outside. Thus it was a free kick. How anyone can argue otherwise is beyond me.
Watch as this comes back to bite the Premier League on the arse later in the season and all the gloating Chelsea haters. There will be other on the line decisions and there will be zero consistency in it benefitting some teams (Swansea) and disadvantaging others (Chelsea).
As for the red card that was poor as well. Gomis took a heavy touch and wasn’t in clear control of the ball and Gary Cahill was getting back into position to provide cover.
In a couple of weeks there will be a repeat incident with a yellow card being shown instead of a red card. You just know it’s going to happen and everyone will change their tune about it.
We are going to be in for a long and horrible season if yesterday was the benchmark of quality we can expect from our officials.
And for anyone who spouts that nonsense about it all balances out at the end of the season, just shut up. No it doesn’t and even if it did so what? That doesn’t make it right. I want the right decisions being made at the time. If that means a short delay in the game and the use of video technology, so be it.
It is not good for the Premier League if we are in for another season where our officials are consistently bad and consistently inconsistent. It ruins it.