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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Watford v Sheff Utd - farcical

I don't usually report on midweek Premiership matches as they are few and far between, but don't get me wrong when I say 'farcical'. I am referring to the single goal that was given. There was no need for replays for it was so blatant even Malcolm Christie would have condemned it. The match progressed well for the home side where Darius Henderson had a chance with a volley and Tommy Smith almost went close, and then Sheff Utd started to spring to life through newbie Christian Nade who had some chances to go through but fluffed them. Both he and Rob Hulse struck the bar but Sheff Utd had the second half in control and it was not surprising for Chris Powell to upend Keith Gillespie as the Irishman made his way past the left-back. Powell then looked with his usual smirk at the decision and the subsequent booking, as if Gillespie had feigned the contact. Replays showed it could have easily been a broken leg for Gillespie.

Thing is Nade was getting himself into superb spaces to collect the pass or make progress only to fluff it at the end. It was similar to his appearance at Upton Park on Saturday and he may have had Neil Warnock tearing his hair out on the touchline but at least he is working well to be where he should, only needing to sharpen up his control and focus. Yet with minutes remaining of normal time a cross from the Utd right was headed goalwards by Chris Morgan and keeper Richard Lee palmed the ball up off the underside of the crossbar. The ball bounced up and down along the goalline and Utd's Danny Webber was the first to react to head the ball in. Replays showed he was offside when Morgan headed but not interfering with play until he went to head himself, coming from the same offside position.

Warnock was delighted of course and this should balance his argument of having decisions going against Utd. From Aidy Boothroyd's view the indecision stunk and being so late in the game brought defeat to Vicarage Road all the more. I wouldn't say because Utd were better in the second half they deserve it, many teams have played the better and have lost. But Watford shouldnt have lost to an indecision like that. To compound the night for the hosts Powell was caught out again by either Alan Quinn or Hulse and pulled the player back to collect a second booking. Again Powell looked with a smirk as if it was another injustice but both bookings were right, the referee Martin Atkinson indicated that he had no other alternative in the circumstances, Powell was left to sheepishly face the embarassment of trudging towards and past the manager on the touchline.



Blogger EL said...

Of course maybe I'm just a silly conspiracy theorist at heart but I still have a sneaking suspicion that the new(ish) offside rule was intended to help instigate more goal scoring opportunities as part of the general quest by the money men to further hype the industry at the expense of the game, a la playoffs & CL losers to UEFA cup nonsense. Am I the only person around who given the chance would do away with the playoffs and CL to uefa places?

Sorry for being a bit off subject redders.


11/30/2006 8:25 pm

Blogger T said...

Yeah Redsman, it was a big mistake by the linesman not to recognise that Webber was clearly offside. At the same time, Sheff Utd did do enough to gain victory and I worry for Watford in being able to stay-up. To have lost Marlon King for the season was a massive blow.

EL, I agree with what you say about the mockery of clubs being able to parachute into other competitions midway thru the season. The UEFA Cup has been weakened because of the inflation of the Champs League in recent years- and this 'parachute' element does not help its integrity.

11/30/2006 9:58 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Yes. I dont particularly see the need or requirement for a CL team to bow out into the UEFA cup, quite simply that's one and a half bites at the cherry. You lose, you are out. Play offs shouldnt be either, make it one match and that's it. They want to prolong the competition, increase its numbers. Jimmy Greaves said football is a funny old game, whereas I say it is a money all game, and is far too lucrative now to be changed or altered away from major finanical enterprises. It is also the reason why a wage cap will not be introduced, and frankly it is dog eat dog. You cant afford to buy a little to increase quality, then you have to work on it. You cant do that, then bye bye and hello to your replacement.


12/01/2006 5:57 am


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