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Why Manchester United deserve a spot of bad luck:

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Having witnessed many heated matches of significance between both sides over the years, never have I seen such an emotionally charged game where a competent referee was required, as many decisions go towards United. Many have called Howard Webb, Alex Ferguson’s ‘man’, but there may appear to be a rival for his role after Mark Halsey’s disastrous decision during the United-Liverpool match two Sundays ago.

Ferguson’s influence on referees is unparalleled. Usually in a state of sorrow he always states other team’s get the rub of the green because it’s “Manchester” they’re up against but his comments are purely psychological. The impact that they have on referees is there to be seen, as witnessed last Sunday.

Rafael Benitez complained about it before in his infamous “rant” and a week prior to this fixture the most passive manager in the Premier League Roberto Martinez of Wigan was charged by the FA for making similar assertions. Martinez said “I have come to United three times before today and for whatever reason we do not seem to be measured in the same manner as the team home”. United fans will state this is a case of sour grapes, but does Martinez have a point?

But during the 4-0 victory the penalty in United’s favour was far from stonewall. Not to mention the heinous challenge committed by Danny Welbeck for which he was not sent off. Martinez felt rightfully aggrieved as both decisions clearly decided the outcome of the match and then some. As a result he has the charge of bringing the game into disrepute to answer by Tuesday.

Sunday’s match against Liverpool has really brought home the entire debate surrounding Ferguson’s influence. Every key decision went their way, leading to a mouthy exchange between Jonjo Shelvey and the wily old fox just after his sending off when he was walking towards the tunnel.

The first of the shocking decisions was the Shelvey sending off. When analysing the tackle, he went for the ball full-blooded with just one foot off the ground nicking the ball, but also catching Evans with his left foot ever so slightly. If the card was for dangerous intent, a yellow would have sufficed. But the lack of consistency was clearly evident as he failed to notice Evans’ two-footed lunge as both feet were off the ground. Ferguson defended his player by stating Evans went for the ball, whereas Shelvey did not. Double standards and hypocrisy is what comes to mind over the issue as it was most definitely a game-changer.

Another key moment of the match was the Luis Suarez penalty appeal. Suarez was clearly caught on his toe, as he nicked the ball past his marker, yet was denied. If deemed a dive, Mark Halsey should have branded a yellow card but didn’t, again failing to enforce consistency in his decision. One may argue Suarez went down rather easily and he has a reputation etched into the fabric of his character that makes people assume many unsavoury things about him and the way he conducts himself on the pitch. But that should not detract from the fact that he was fouled and he should have had a penalty.

The third and final judgment that Mark Halsey made was concerning United’s penalty, which was far from clear-cut and somewhat dubious. The way Antonio Valencia went down could have earned him an Oscar nomination alone, with the slightest of shoves from Glen Johnson as he dithered and panicked in the final third. It was ultimately this decision that led to the Robin Van Persie penalty which he comprehensively dispatched, to the ire of Pepe Reina.

Did Manchester United get their comeuppance against Tottenham? Maybe so, as many penalty appeals were waved away.

Hopefully at Newcastle this will continue and Ferguson will be dealt a few salty decisions over the course of the season, to bring a rye smile on a few faces on Merseyside, as, until the Tottenham game, he’s certainly had everything go his way thus far.

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A Liverpool fan whose a realist. Born in Birmingham

Got a degree in Politics and aspire to be a sports journalist however.

I love Cheese Toast and Donnor Kebabs amongst playing footy and weightlifting. Things that annoy me? Women who talk during football, Manchester United fans and the perm hairstyle.

8 comments

  • Dean jones says:

    Ferguson has always been a Cheat like his players ;-( There a Disgrace to football & The premier League !!!

    • Ka'olin Adisesham says:

      If being sucessful is cheating then manchester utd & ferguson are guilty. How can anyone influence refrees decisions on field when the ref has to make a decision on the incident he & his assistants have witnessed ? People need to stop talking out their ass & being unreasonable making no sense what so ever.

    • Haider Ali says:

      Would call Fergy a cheat, but I do think he’s a hypocritical moron.

  • joseph nigeria says:

    The writer of this article is evidently biased! I wonder why the editor allows every piece published. I know if I were the referee during the Liverpool vs Man Utd, the red card was deserved. And the penalty was clear – tackle from behind and player went down. By benefit of replay, there’s argument that there was no contact, but check where Glen Johnson’s hand was..on Valencia’s body. Yes, you can say he made a meal of the slight touch, but he’s justified in the rule of the game given the distance Glen covered and the momentum. As for Suarez’s appeal, it would have been a fruad if a penalty was awarded against Evans. This is an objective view point.

    • Haider Ali says:

      The editor allows pieces to be published because that’s his job son. If Shelvey’s red card was deserved, why wasn’t Evans Red-carded? Both of his feet were off the ground too. He didn;t even get a card, that was the first mistake. Lol at Suarez’s decision being a fraud otherwise. And you accuse me of bias? There was more than clear contact, he stubbed his toe and Suarez went over, so by your notion if Valencia’s was a penalty, Suarez by comparison was a stonewaller. Valencia went over like a sack of spuds, it was perhaps the only contentious decision but I still wouldn;t have given it. Even Gary Neville stated “Liverpool were robbed of Three points”. GARY NEVILLE mind you, not some neutral based analyst. A life-long fan and player of Man Utd. So stop flouting your garbage about being objective.

  • Bob says:

    For the last two seasons referee standards have dropped to new depths, yet the refs are not solely to blame. It’s the diving culture that now pervades the game that is ruining the specticle for everyone.

    The football associations are inept in their ability to tackle this and diving continues unchecked in the meantime. It will come to the point soon where it begins to affect attendence.

    They need:

    Retrospective and severe punishments for cheats. 3-5 game ban.

    Video technology available to the forth official with 3 challenges per captain, per half.

    Job done.

    • Haider Ali says:

      I agree with pretty much everything your saying. But within the context of Fergy and his influence, I feel that he can be a sore oser at times and uses his position in the game to exert pressure on referees to give decisions in his favour. Would you not agree? Some of his tactics in my opinion bring the game into disrepute. For instance stating “Alan Wiley was unfit to referee” or after the Tottenham game “four minutes was not enough” sometimes I think he should shut his mouth.

  • Dean jones says:

    Like van persie shouldn’t have been SENT OFF for the disgraceful challenge on SUSO ? Use idiot manc fools won’t always get the refs decision’s ? It’s bad enough rednose has been buying them off for years,and use all know it’s true ? Disgraceful manager who is always cheating as are his pathetic diving players 😉 Rooney Valencia Young Giggs Welbeck Ronaldo Van nistelrooy NEED I GO ON ? And that CHEAT ASHLEY YOUNG was doing it week in week out last season,CHEATER ??? Just like use LOOTING the arndale centre ? Scum of the earth !!!!!!!!!!

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