“We are not a big club, not yet” said Arsenal legend Thierry Henry in a post match interview after he was disallowed a perfectly legit goal on false account of handball and was awarded a yellow on top of it. It was obvious, if it were a team like Barcelona or Real Madrid the decision would have undoubtedly gone in their favour. Unfortunately for Arsenal they were not such a ‘big club’ to be granted the luxury of correct decisions.
Even in the prime of its success a club like Arsenal which belongs to the big four of the Premiere League tasted bitter times thanks to the prejudices of the match officials. For ranting at the ref in the Champions league, Arsene Wenger was banned for 6 matches (3+3) in the past two seasons. And the Scott who bosses around and instructs the refs gets a clear sheet as always. This is but a speck in the skewed world of modern day soccer.
This past week, Arsenal were given a goal that was offside. The Mersyside derby was decided by bad decision making. And to top it of, the battle at the Bridge was a complete refereeing blunder. Many might argue that Ivanovic deserved the red, but i still maintain that there were two defenders running in pretty close and given the gravity of the game it should have been a yellow. It was a bad decision and if this was bad, what followed was utter disgusting – A second yellow for a nothing foul and an offside goal ruled in favour of the offenders. I am no fan of the West Londoners but having to lose for no fault of your own raises many questions about the fairness of the game itself. And not many others know this as well as Arsenal fans do.
I still remember Oct 24, 2004 – the dive that ended our 49 game unbeaten run. Dive master Rooney kick started his glorious diving career with that one. And the ref bought it ever since. Just like He-Man had the Masters of the Universe for backup, no matter how shitty they were, teams like Manchester United always seem to have three additional players in the form of the referee and linesmen making crucial decisions for them. A team that was ripped apart by Liverpool(currently12 in the League), scared shitless by Barga (A European minnow) and outplayed by Chelsea now sits second of the points table thanks to the super human efforts of the refeering team! Bravo EPL!
Elsewhere in Catania (Italy) the refree seemed to have bet for the away team as he started his magic by ruling a perfectly legit goal for the home side Catania as offside. He continued this with a free flowing flurry of yellows for the hosts. Even after all this as a certain Dane squandered chance after chance for the away side, the ref took the onus upon him and ruled an offside goal in favour of the visitors. And he was just warming up. A few minutes later he found his side struggling against 11 men so he handed a second yellow and reduced the hosts to 10. Game, set and match! The away team? Juventus of course. And don’t even get me started on Barca. Diving, cheating and of course winning cunts. I never understood why a team that boasts such quality players needs a helping hand in every high pressure situation! Evidence number 1 – A ref handed an Arsenal player a second yellow against Barcelona in a must win Champions league tie for not stopping play after being called offside. A second yellow for not being able to hear the fucking whistle in the rustle of an xty thousand crowd! Man how dumb can that ass get? That game changed the course of that player , the Manager and of course that tournament. Evidence number 2 – Every other Classico! Dont believe me? Wait for the next one, you will see for yourself. Some might argue that all the good and bad decisions against a side evens out over time. But for teams like ManUre and Barca it will not. Not in this decade atleast. It gets very frustrating for the players and the fans when their sides play well but lose to decisional blunders. The big sides are bullying around with this added advantage. The consequences of these decisions made based on the charisma of the player, manager or club not on fundamental football rules can be very disturbing both financially and from a footballing point can for the smaller clubs.
When someone questioned the fairness of football infront of me, I used to talk about the offside rule – the one rule that made it exemplary for fair play in a sport. But unfortunately this very rule has been misused to the advantage of the ‘big teams’. Now the premiere league or any other league for that matter is being dictated by the refs and their idiotic decisions week in and week out! It’s high time for FIFA to take aggressive measures towards the fabled goal-line technology which may bring back some sanity and parity in the beautiful game. Until something drastically changes in the near future it is hard to see any other team stand up to ManU / Barca and their special forces this season! A genuine football fan can only pray that this bias ends soon giving a fair weekend of football for the players and the viewers.
Till the next one…