Valley Clanger enhances video replays calls??
On Wednesday, Charlton hosted Fulham for the last post-Xmas fixture and toasted Alan Pardew's introduction as their new manager, inevitably replacing Les Reed. Book must be a best seller. Charlton went behind to a poor defensive error that failed to clear a freekick, Carlos Bocanegra headed against the bar and the ball came down to Brian McBride to score. So it looked as if doom would settle again in a defeat, albeit early in the game, but later Fulham defended poorly themselves. Jerome Thomas miskicked a high ball and Antii Niemi aimed a lame punch that fell to Darren Ambrose, whose strike went in off the post. A goalkick later from Scott Carson and both Bocanegra and Liam Rosenior confused each other and allowed Darren Bent to run on and score past Niemi.
Fulham looked more likely to score next but Charlton were plucky, and resisted the advances right into the dying seconds of injury time. As it looked that Pardew's introduction could start a mini-revival from the first match, Radostin Kishishev stretched to reach the ball in the centre, it was chased by Tomasz Radzinski and Djimi Traore and bounced off Radzinski's chest for a throw to Charlton, yet the nearest linesman flagged the decision Fulham's way, the referee gave a freekick. So presumably it was for a handball. Michael Brown took the kick, mere seconds remaining, Herman Hreidarsson jumped to clear rashly and headed against Talal El Karkouri, the ball then dropped for Franck Queudrue to hit right-footed, off a player into the net. A simple stay of execution for Fulham and though the one win would have not made a season, to be that close under a new manager and a performance of grit to three points to see it snatched like that must have been wretched.
How the linesman gave the decision Fulham's way is sheer bewilderment. Nonetheless the other side is the kick was not near, the further it was lessened the danger element and Charlton had to simply call, jump and clear the ball and surely that would have been it. Though the argument can then be made for video replays to ensure the clarity of any decision, perhaps not from the outset but in the long run, I would still say no to them. I sense the practicality of the replays will deaden the pace of the game and potentially kill it off. It was a poor decision in the Charlton game, one which I would put on the same level as the Pedro Mendes goal against Man Utd at Old Trafford at the expense of Roy Carroll, a blatant decision to have made that simply went to contravene vision and sense.
Yet I think the humanity of the officials help make the entertainment and the flow of the game rise to contentment within the fans, who simply pay to come and watch and take in. Decisions can go your way, then they don't but a good measure of it is predominantly rested on the shoulders of the officials. Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports made the point of another bad decision involving Graeme Poll, but it could have been any official out there. The officials have to simply train a keen eye on all in their control, not for it to be left to a camera lens and electronic technology.