SPARE US RANTS AND GIVE REFS TECHNICAL BACK-UP
I’M not saying Dave Jones didn’t have a point. His side were denied one stonewall penalty and another that was 50-50.
But listening to the Sheffield Wednesday boss lambast the referee’s performance for ten straight minutes after last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to QPR was pure earache.
“I wanted to come up here and be neutral,” said Jones, rather unconvincingly given his long history of ref bashing. “But something has to be said because that was embarrassing. He’ll go home tonight and put his feet up and he’ll be at another game next week. But we get nothing and that’s not right.”
We’ve all been frustrated. We’ve all vented our spleen. But how many more times are we going to hear the same hackneyed rants?
I’m bored senseless of hearing that the referee “hasn’t given us anything today” or that he “wasn’t strong enough”. If it isn’t managers, it’s players and fans. Give it a rest for goodness sake.
The bloke is trying his best. He doesn’t hate your manager or your team. He doesn’t support your local rivals. He’s just got a bloody hard job that would leave most folk a nervous wreck.
So, as QPR assistant manager Kevin Bond sensibly suggested, let’s at least try to help him out.
Within ten seconds of Jacques Maghoma hitting the deck, those of us in the Press box had seen a replay and knew it was a foul. By half time, with concourse TVs replaying the first-half highlights, so did most of Loftus Road. That’s how long it takes to make a referee look stupid.
Is that really fair? If we’re allowed to base our judgement of his performance on a slow-motion replay, shouldn’t the referee be afforded the same privilege? I think so.
It is nonsensical that in an age of high definition, Hawkeye and flash memory that we rely on one guy’s eyesight to make split-second decisions.
Whether it’s by giving each team a number of challenges, or by having a fourth official watching a big telly and communicating in real time, we have to allow referees the use of video. Otherwise, all criticism is invalid.