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20th April 2013

So here we go again - another ten months of action and controversy, but at least, hopefully, no goal line controversy in the Premier League.

Before setting off to the Riverside I watched the first half of Liverpool v Stoke City on BT Sport and the debut of former colleague Mark Halsey as a TV pundit. His comments were limited to backing the officials' decisions, which were correct as it happens but it doesn't make for the kind of TV that the pundits and fans want.

It will be interesting to see what he has to say when the mistakes happen. Knowing Mark he won't hold back.

Fair few penalties on the opening day and they all seemed correct, mind you I say that with the benefit of hindsight. First reaction on the second one at the Emirates was that the defender had won the ball and only with the replays could it be seen that contact was made with Agbonlahor before the ball.

MOTD's poll for the first penalty showed over 70% of those who voted did not think it was a penalty. Arsene Wenger must have voted a lot!!

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Despite the supposedly positive changes to the offside interpretation there was still confusion at West Brom with a goal being chalked off.

I think that the assistant did actually get it right. Whilst the goal scorer was in an offside position, the other attacking forward moved towards the ball and had to be distracting the keeper. I think!!

Not totally good though as Wigan's Owen Coyle was far from happy with the dismissal of Callum McManaman. The old 'he played the ball' argument, yeah, but he dived in two footed in the process endangering the safety of his opponent. At least he misses the Boro game next Sunday!!!

This by the way is the 'not that type of player' who nigh on assassinated a Newcastle player last season!!

Sunday and another couple of penalties, neither contested, plus the benefits of the new goalline technology are seen at the Bridge.

The first half of this game saw the massive difference in class between newly promoted Hull City and Chelsea. There was a real chance of double figures, then Mourinho's boys declared.

How frustrating; it costs a kings ransom to get into the Bridge and then the team play keep ball for 45 minutes!!!

It wasn't all plain sailing on Sunday though as Ian Holloway started bleating early on. He claimed that a "shoulder to shoulder body check was a foul". Sorry - explain that one again to me please.

Monday night and surely red cards and controversy, or perhaps the refs' new softly softly approach will continue.

Well there was a red card and an easy one at that, Steven Taylor denied the watching millions a second half of him pretending not to handle the ball, but it got him out of the embarrassment of being run ragged.

Were City that good or were Newcastle that poor? A bit of both but I prefer to give City the credit as unlike Chelsea they didn't declare when the game was won.

In fairness it should have been even more as City had a goal wrongly chalked off for offside. Cue, first call for video technology for offsides!!!

Have a good week.

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