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17th September 2013

Main talking point of Saturday afternoon was the 'no advantage' at the Stadium of Light in the Sunderland v Arsenal game.

Alan Shearer slammed referee Martin Atkinson on MOTD and as much as he was correct in that if the referee had held his whistle for a couple of seconds longer the goal would have counted, he showed, as is usually the case, a complete lack of understanding as to what the decision making process has to be on the field of play.

Control is always the most important issue and when two players are in that situation it can also only be a split second before the player being held thrusts an elbow to free himself and then the offended is red carded.

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There was clearly holding and the ref blew; the Sunderland attacker then breaks free and we don't know if the ref hadn't have blown if the Arsenal defender would have let the attacker escape his clutches.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I can assure you that Martin would beat himself up afterwards for what developed and I can assure you if he had his time again he would have given the goal, then cautioned the defender.

That being said I feel that having given the free kick he should then have issued a red card, that wouldn't have completely have eradicated the error of judgement but it might have sold the situation a little better.

Of course Di Canio went apeshit but at least this weekend it was the ref he was slagging and not his own players. He certainly has a few more problems on his plate, many more than the occasional refereeing decision.

Spurs v Norwich was an interesting situation with the visiting keeper handling outside the penalty area and getting a yellow card. I am sure that many would have expected a red as the 'experts' have led everyone to believe that the keeper had to go. That is not the case and on this occasion the ref got his decision spot on and even Alan Shearer agreed.

Old Trafford and good to see David Moyes condemn diving. Ashley Young is a past master and the ref Jon Moss was not fooled by the winger making contact with the defender then throwing himself to the ground. I did feel that the player was fouled though when the penalty was awarded although contact was definitely outside the penalty area.

The Ref took his time, appeared to look for assistance from his lino which didn't appear to be forthcoming and then unbelievably appeared to guess. If in doubt give nowt was the criteria in my day. Conspiracy theories about refs at Manchester United will no doubt continue!!

Sunday's game at Southampton was dire and Monday's at Swansea was excellent and thankfully no controversy in either.

Have a good week.

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