Over The Line

Football All The Way


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Berate me if you will, but the FA can’t have its cake, and eat it. Nor can we fans.

I watched Chelsea’s defeat of Arsenal yesterday live on BT sport.  I wasn’t actually there.  I’ve read the reports today in the media.  They vary from questioning whether Diego Costa is the dirtiest player in the Premier League, to questioning Mike Dean’s authority and even calling him “weak”.    I know the FA have changed the rules this season and my interpretation is that whereas before, if a referee had missed dishing out a red card, the FA could not charge the player retrospectively because the referee was “there” and “could have seen the incident, but didn’t” whereas now, the FA CAN charge any player they like retrospectively, whether the referee was there or not, did, did not, see the incident etc.   No team likes to lose 2 key players and then see headlines claiming they’ve lost the plot, so Arsene Wenger does have a point, in saying that the FA must charge Diego Costa retrospectively, based on video evidence.  And I am sure come tomorrow morning charges will be filed and tapes sent off to the FA and then on Tuesday we’ll read in the papers Diego must miss the next 3 games.   But the FA is renowned for changing the rules every season and referees are renowned for their reputations.  Now Howard Webb is a (I presume) highly paid pundit on BT sport so he can say what he likes.   Whether he would have had the balls to do what he says he would now do, or wouldn’t now do is beside the point.  He was my favourite referee because players knew where they stood.   He’d turn a bit of a blind eye in the first half but if that player he’d appeared not to see, did something vaguely wrong in the second half, out would come a card straight away, even a straight red.  Mike Dean I say is a good referee always seems to do the right thing but now he is being seen as weak.   The FA must make up its mind.  Either football must morph into Rugby and have a yellow card “sin bin” system, or referees must all sing from the same hymn sheet and then we would avoid all the sourness and dourness of the managers on a Sunday, the righteousness of the pundits on a Monday and the wrath of the fans all the rest of the week.    Either football is the Beautiful game prone to the ebbs and flows of life, or it is to become a regimented disciplinary system which upsets the fans, the managers and most of all the players.   And the season is only 5 or 6 games old and we know that it’s not until January 2016 it will really leap into top gear.    I’m already fed up with the moaning the groaning and the sniping.   Let’s celebrate football for what it is the most superb entertainment, swathed in old adages like “war without guns” but still as addictive as it ever was.   Come on the FA give the game a bit of slack and go with the flow.    Your fans will thank you for it.

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