SPARE US RANTS AND GIVE REFS TECH­NI­CAL BACK-UP

The Football League Paper - - NEWS -

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.

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