Bar­ton let-off proves ref Scott should go

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP -

I’VE got a lot of sym­pa­thy for my old ad­ver­sary Dave Jones. He must have been seething af­ter Sh­effield Wed­nes­day were robbed at QPR last week­end. Ev­ery­body knew it was a penalty – and ev­ery­body could see how lucky Joey Bar­ton was to stay on the pitch.

Joey was al­ready on a yel­low card and that should have been a sec­ond. To rub salt into the wounds, book­ing Wed­nes­day’s Jac­ques Maghoma for div­ing was out­ra­geous.

I saw Dave’s com­ments af­ter­wards and I could tell he was be­ing very care­ful about what he said.

When you go into a Press con­fer­ence af­ter a per­for­mance like that, you’re furious at the ref­eree. But you can’t say any­thing about him be­ing bi­ased, about his char­ac­ter or his per­son­al­ity. All you can say is that he had a bad game.

You have to get across how be­wil­dered and dis­ap­pointed you are with­out be­ing hauled in front of the FA. But it’s so easy to cross the line be­cause at that mo­ment, you feel so cheated. If you told the truth at Press con­fer­ences, you’d be skint.

Dave’s had to bite his tongue as best he could, but at least he can con­sole him­self that the proof was in watch­ing the game. It was there for ev­ery­one to see.

The ref­eree, Scott Mathieson, has cer­tainly cost me a few quid in the past and un­for­tu­nately it looked like an­other one of those games for him.

I’ve seen Scott have good days, but I’m afraid I’ve seen him have more bad ones. I would have thought at this stage, the FA hi­er­ar­chy might have thought about let­ting some­one younger have a go.

Scott’s 50 now. He told me he was stop­ping on two or three oc­ca­sions and he never has. But, like my­self, you have to re­alise when it’s time to step aside.

I would imag­ine that some of the younger ref­er­ees fur­ther down the di­vi­sions would be very dis­ap­pointed not to get a Cham­pi­onship game when they see per­for­mances like that.

Re­lief

On the flip side, I had a quick chat with Harry Red­knapp at the Olympic Park on Mon­day, just as I was fin­ish­ing a pro­gramme for BT.

We were talk­ing about the game and we both agreed – if de­ci­sions go for you and you’re a bit for­tu­nate, so what? When that fi­nal whis­tle goes and you’ve got the three points, it doesn’t mat­ter how you did it.

It’s such a re­lief to get off the mark that you don’t care about the per­for­mance, the dis­play, any­thing.

But let’s not kid our­selves – QPR were never go­ing to strug­gle.When a team can bring Shaun WrightPhillips, Char­lie Austin and Jer­maine Je­nas off the bench, who­ever fin­ishes above them is go­ing up.

ANGER: Warnock stares down Scott Mathieson, hid­den ex­treme left. Right: Mathieson books Joey Bar­ton

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