Manchester United Message Board
I'm stuck on a quiz question. I have to specify which match it was. I know it was a United match this season, I know United didn't win and I know Fergie criticised the ref afterwards.
There's a whole bunch of stuff here. I suspect it's time to leave the personal stuff aside and start agreeing.
I totally agree with the introduction of technology to get more decisions right and have said so many times on this and other boards. It would pre-empt so many arguments and matches and tournaments would be won on the football merits rather than refereeing accidents.
Of course Ferguson often has a valid point about a particular decision. But, and a big but, you can't take an individual decision, or a hand-picked selection and say this means my team's hard done by.
"We United fans remember a good handful of decisions like this each season, while all rival fans remember is one or two decisions which went in our favour over the course of the season."
Of course, that's the nature of it. It's the same for all teams. We all remember the things that went against us and don't see or don't remember the things that went for us. We don't see as much of other teams. I could give you a list of ten decisions which should have gone our way two seasons ago and would have won us the league. So what? If you looked at all those Chelsea matches you'd see a whole bunch of other decisions that went for us. This is why none of us can easily claim to be objective - not even you.
"had the correct decisions been made"
You see, that's not recognising that there is scope for the referee to make his own interpretation of what happened. United fans have told me at length that there is no way Fletcher fouled Cole. I think he did but I can see that a referee might give it either way. MotD thought it arguable. You seem to think the decision "incorrect".
To my mind, there was only one key decision that the referee clearly got wrong in that game, and that was ruling Rooney offside in the first half. He got a couple of corner decisions wrong in your favour. The things you list are down to interpretation - they aren't black and white.
Vidic/Malouda. Perhaps you are right. On the other hand if it had been Drogba who went down rather than Brown, United fans would have been screaming about diving. So, we see things from our own team's perspective.
Where did I say "everyone else isn't?", Robert? I did not - I said that YOU are falling for the hyperbole. So are a lot of others, but I never said that EVERYONE is.
I lived away from Manchester for a few years and have just returned, but in my time away, I spoke to many fans of lots of different teams - Chelsea, Arsenal, (lots of) Liverpool, Villa, Everton, West Ham to give some examples - who in the main were all capable of being objective. The Liverpool and Chelsea fans were the least likely to be able to do that though, I must say.
After all the chances I have given you in this thread to prove you are capable of similar objectivity, you have again proven incapable of it. Fair enough.
To be honest, in the recent game between our sides, I did think that the ref was favouring Chelsea, up until the point that he booked Evans for getting a boot in his chest. Turns it he was not biased, just utterly inept.
As for the decisions being "the referee's interpretation on the spot in the heat of the moment", that's right - referees do make mistakes. That Ferguson and others point this out does not change the fact that referees are only human, but highlights this as a need for introducing technology to help them. SAF has been in favour of video technology coming into football for as long as it has been available.
While you plead that I recognise the inherrent faliability of officials, will you please recognise that - as much as you would like for it not to be the case - Sir Alex very often has a valid point. Usually when he says that a referee missed something, it is because they did. Very rarely does he put the blame for a result squarely on the decisions, for example siting the poor performance against Sunderland, saying the better side won at Liverpool and noting the team's inability to put away their chances against Chelsea.
I picked a "bunch that didn't go our way" because they are the essence of your moan. SAF mentioned these things because they were decisions which really should have gone our way but did not. We United fans remember a good handful of decisions like this each season, while all rival fans remember is one or two decisions which went in our favour over the course of the season. The referee's performance at Chelsea, for example has meant the difference between you being 5 points ahead or us being level (had a penalty been given but not converted) or 1 point ahead, had the correct decisions been made. You must admit, had it been an off-balance Vidic tugging Malouda's down in the box at Old Trafford, you'd be up in arms and everyone would be back to conspiracy theories about refs at United, wouldn't they?
As for the quote from my post at the bottom of your reply, I do not mean that SAF always goes to far, but that sometimes he goes too far. Usually that's once a year, not every week as you are making it out to be.
Ah - you're objective and you don't fall for hype but everyone else isn't. And yet, with the exception of the Arsenal match that I raised, all your issues below are issues which have been raised as complaints by United. Objectivity would also have asked about similar decisions that have gone for United. But maybe nobody complained about them. Or maybe they did, but you haven't remembered them.
And if you look at these issues - most of them are the referee's interpretation on the spot in the heat of the moment. Even with TV replays most of them are arguable. Please recognise that referees have to make decisions thirty times a game about whether something was a foul or wasn't a foul. Many of these decisions might go one way or they might go the other. If you simply pick on a bunch that didn't go your way and claim you've been hard done by you are simply *not* being objective, no matter how many times you assert you are. You cannot go back from "these hand-picked decisions all went against us" to "we're hard done by".
Still, despite the argy-bargy, I'm happy to agree that "unlike most other managers he takes it too far and is rightly in trouble for it" which, after all, is the point of the thread.
The difference is that I don't fall for hype, whether it is about United or Chelsea, or something completely outside of football - bloody Russell Brand & Jonathan Ross, X-Factor voing, Gordon Brown spelling mistakes or whatever the papers want to make headlines of. You, like so many who love to hate United, do seem to have done so.
Yes, SAF complains about referees when he feels they have made a poor decision, yes, unlike most other managers he takes it too far and is rightly in trouble for it, but that does not automatically mean that any and all comments he makes are invalid. That last part is the difference between you and me - between bias and objectivity. Sometimes I think he is wrong - saying that the ref should not have dismissed Vidic against Liverpool recently, personally I thought the ref was correct on that.
Lets go through the individual decisions then, shall we?
1: Ballack's bodycheck on Evra in the Charity Shield - foul or not?
2: Fletcher on Arshavin - penalty or not and had the penalty have been given, would Arshavin's goal seconds later have still occurred or not?
3: Rooney's penalty - penalty or not - does Almunia make contact with: a) the ball b) Rooney (regardless of whether it is "soft" or not)?
4: United's winner against Arsenal - was it scored by a) Diabi, b) the referee?
5: Should a referee add on an extra 30 seconds or so of stoppage time when a goal is scored within stoppage time? Is this normally to be expected? Yes or no?
6: Should Jamie Carragher have been dismissed for his last-man professional foul on Owen? Was the offense in any way different to that which Nemanja Vidic was sent off for against Liverpool last March? If so, how?
7: Fletcher's penalty claim against CSKA Moscow - should it have been given? Yes or no?
8: Was Antonia Valencia fouled by John Terry inside the box? Yes or No?
9: Did Darren Fletcher win the ball fairly from Ashley Cole or was it a foul?
10: Did Didier Drogba foul Wes Brown in the area immediately before the goal?
11: Did Drogba then interfere with play in an offside position?
12: Was Partice Evra impeded in the box against Besiktas by a defender who made no attempt to play the ball? Yes or no?
Well, Tim, you may be right, you may be objective while the rest of us are biased. But I have a sneaking suspicion that if it was the Chelsea manager making headlines with continual outspoken complaints in the same way you wouldn't be quite as forgiving.
Yes, other managers complain. I've had plenty of pops at Wenger over the years. But Ferguson takes referee abuse to a different level, both on the pitch and off it. If you are as objective as you say you ought to recognise it.
"But this is the nature of partisanship. When I conjugate the verb to-be-a-fan it goes like:
my team should have had a penalty
your player should have been sent off
we are hard done by
you are lucky
they are a bunch of cheats
You'd come up with exactly the same except you'd replace Rooney with Drogba. Or whatever. "
To be fair, that's not the "nature of partisanship", it's the nature of being a blinkered nob'ead! It's like a script for someone who wants desperately to prove they are a big football fan without actually ever watching the match properly. People like myself can watch football and be objective about it without resorting to such hackneyed bollocks.
You are letting your team allegiances and prejudices blind you to the fact that Ferguson is only different to other managers in this light as he gets far more media attention than do the likes of David Moyes, Steve Bruce, Gary Megson or Martin O'Neill - other managers who are not afraid to say if they feel they have ben wronged.
In fact, Arsene Wenger is probably worse for moaning, but the media went soft on him at around about the same time as Arsenal stopped winning things. Chelsea replaced a forcefully verbose manager with a series of "nice-guys" and have won little since, come to think of it.
The thing is, the British media hate winners and love losers. Not just in football, either - that's the British way, we knock those at the top and champion whoever is challenging them.
The fact remains though, that Ferguson has as much right to answer whatever question is put to him in an honest manner. All managers have the same right, and most use it in the same way, it's just that people remember United and forget about everyone else. Already forgotten are dodgy penalties at Wolves, or perfectly good goals ruled out at Watford just weeks to months ago, but they remember that Pedro Mendes/Roy Carrol moment from five seasons ago - a decision which meant nothing at the end of the season (United finished third, well ahead of fourth placed Everton, while Spurs would still not have had enough points for a UEFA cup spot) and still go on about it to this day.
SAF "moans" to the media and the likes of you come to United forums to moan about him moaning. Is the irony lost on you, Robert?
I started this thread on 4th November. Back then Ferguson had already made a name for himself for going on about the refereeing after several matches this season. Since I started the thread he has continued to make headlines about it. I don't write the headlines.
Yes, other managers whinge about certain decisions. I haven't noticed any of them blaming just about every imperfect result on bad refereeing.
But yes, there is bias here. Certainly I am biased. And certainly you are too. And certainly Ferguson is too. There are imperfect refereeing decisions and judgemental refereeing decisions made in every match, benefitting and disbenefitting both teams. Bias highlights and exaggerates the ones that go against your team and downplays and ignores the ones you benefit from. Ferguson knows this and overdoes the criticism. The suspicion is that he does it (i) to deflect attention from his team's result and (ii) to pressure referees in the future.
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