Thursday, 2 January 2014

Manchester United v Spurs

Howard Webb has been criticised heavily over the past few days, what with his decision not to award Liverpool a penalty against Chelsea on Boxing Day, and now because of his refusal to point to the spot when Hugo Lloris apparently fouled Ashley Young.

I have got nothing to gain by my stance here - I am not a Liverpool or Manchester United supporter, so what I am about to say is from a referees point of view - without any blinkers or bias.
I think that Webb could have awarded a penalty for the foul on Ashley Young, however I think he set a precedent that other referees can follow - that whenever a United play goes down, it's not always a foul. Lloris was high with his foot, and did catch Young, however I feel that Young may well have been looking for it. In fact, Young WAS looking for the contact to go down.

The decision to book Adnan Januzaj was one of the bravest decisions of the weekend, and I think he got it right.

Januzaj has a history of diving, as does Ashley Young, and Webb done the right thing by taking the decisions with a pinch of salt. The key fact here is that just because there's contact, doesn't mean it's a foul. Januzaj could have made an effort to get out of the way of the tackle, but he didn't.

This is similar to the Oscar booking against Southampton, he CLEARLY dangles his leg to get the contact. THIS IS CHEATING. Well done Martin Atkinson for spotting this, I wish more referees would do the same.
I hope that Webb is backed by the FA and PGMOL, and that David Moyes receives a touchline ban for his comments made about him after the match. Replays will show that because Young was looking for the penalty, Webb was correct.

It is a sorry state of affairs now that when United aren't given a penalty because one of their players jumps in the area, the manager will attack the ref and not the player for cheating. This is something that the FA needs to take action about, however I don't think that they will..