Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Out To Get Newcastle
Consider the events of the last week in football:
1. Papiss Cisse scores three goals against Benfica – the goals Newcastle needed to progress. Two are ruled offside even though only one actually is. Newcastle exit the competition.
2. Callum McManaman whose tackle on Massadio Haidara is the most disgusting challenge I’ve seen watching Newcastle, scores the second goal for Wigan at Wembley when he should have been banned and soon after fighting breaks out in the Millwall end.
4. Robin Van Persie scores an offside goal vs West Ham for Manchester United and is given the benefit of the doubt by a linesman. Goal given and Sir Alex Ferguson goes home happy.
There is great injustice at the heart of football. Man United score one OFFside goal in a regular game and it’s given without qualms or questioning. Newcastle score two crucial ONside goals in vitally important games and both are disallowed. If the roles are reversed, there’s absolutely no way Man U have three goals disallowed in a week, it’s beyond even imagining.
Wee club in the North-East? When it comes to big decisions we are and it’s an absolute joke that is damaging the progression of our football club.
When Derek Lambias said the FA was “unfit for purpose” following the Callum McManaman challenge, he hit the nail squarely on the head.
We’ll ignore for the time being the fact that Papiss Cisse – the man who when he scored that 30-yard filibuster against Southampton had the presence of mind to make a C in his celebration for young cancer sufferer Cory Davison – was actually banned for the Swansea match by the Senegalese FA, a decision backed by world governing body FIFA.
The following are SIX goals Newcastle have had ruled out:
1. Papiss Cisse vs Manchester United at St. James’ Park, disallowed over the line goal when score at 0-2, 7th October, 2012
2. Demba Ba vs West Ham disallowed equaliser, 11th of November, 2012, over the line goal disallowed at 0-1
3. Papiss Cisse vs Maritimo, St James’ Park, Europa League 22nd November 2012, goal disallowed at 0-0
4. Papiss Cisse vs Metalist, Europa League February 14th, 2013, St. James’ Park, disallowed goal at 0-0
5. Papiss Cisse vs Benfica, St James’ Park, Europa League Quarter-Final, April 2013, goal disallowed at 0-0
6. Papiss Cisse vs Sunderland, April 2013, Premier League, St. James’ Park, disallowed goal at 0-1
There may be others – these are the goals definitely wrongly disallowed that I can recall.
Yet when you consider the facts that:
A) Alan Pardew pushed an assistant referee on the opening day of the season.
B) Newcastle threatened to sue FIFA and the Senegal FA having blocked Cisse going to The Olympics in the summer.
C) Derek Lambias dubbed the FA “unfit for purpose” following the Haidara incident.
D) Alan Pardew calling for professional linesmen after that Haidara challenge and missing the Figueroa handball goal in the same match.
Is it really surprising Newcastle are public enemy no. 1 among referees, linesmen and governing bodies?
Full technology in the game is an absolute must because it would take any human error or bias out of the system and make the game truly fair. Ironically, Robin Van Persie called for offside technology in his Arsenal days yet hasn’t said much lately about it.
FIFA and others have said offside technology would be too difficult to implement yet considering you can track players movements now on iPhone Apps and man has landed on the moon, this is surely delaying tactics to ensure a level of control over the game.
Any qualified referees out there?
There’s a tremendous website called www.refereedecisions.co.uk who are an independent group of qualified referees set up by Arsenal fans sick of Man United bias in the game, who analyse Premier League games for decision discrepancy and performances.
Their findings show:
“In the 2011/12 season, over 40% of all the matches in the Premier League were covered in this way, and the results that were published were extraordinary, in the sense that they revealed a much lower level of competence than is generally ascribed to referees.
Perhaps even more importantly, the research revealed that the old adage that mistakes “all even out in the end” is the opposite of the truth. An extraordinary, some would say frightening, bias was revealed.”
Some highlights from our home and away League games against Man United from the Referees website are below. Remember the last time we played them prior to this season, Cheick Tiote dominated Rooney and the game ended 3-0.
Highlights of the home encounter include:
“Tioté lets Rooney know he is there. The response from Webb is interesting he rushes over, don’t kick Wayne!”
“Professional footballers always know what is going on around them, they have to, world class ones like RVP more so. So when RVP sees Cabaye in front of him, runs towards him, looks at him, and pushes an arm in the face, innocence is not a defence. This was a clear foul and Webb had the best view in the stadium”
“I think RVP has learnt very quickly that he can get away with a bit more in a Man Utd shirt”
An analyst comments:
“Now this is the first time I see a 100% bias towards one team. At least that I can remember.”
Of the 4-3 game in December from Boxing Day:
“70th minute: Robin van Persie scores a goal for Manchester United. As he made a foul at the start of the attack and then went on to finish it, it is clear that the goal would not have happened if the ref had given the foul a few seconds earlier.
93rd minute: Tackle from behind, studs to the ankle which resulted in a serious injury. Too much force used in this tackle with a danger on a serious injury”
The wrongly allowed goal for RVP and the straight red against Valencia for the terrible tackle on Anita are the big ones.
Naturally, the McManaman challenge on Haidara has got the most attention and reaction from fans and rightly so due to the dangerous nature of it. Yet if that was CheickTiote on Gareth Bale, or Joey Barton on Wayne Rooney, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that they would have faced lengthy bans.
That McManaman wasn’t sent off or banned is a disgrace and it doesn’t matter that the refeeres are then relegated for a week to League One, we’ve lost a crucial game. It’s a jolly to the refs, no pressure, a week’s holiday out of the limelight yet I believe that there has been two incidents this season where refereeing teams have been told to even up games in which we’ve enjoyed big refereeing calls. They are Wigan at home – Martinez disputed Figueroa’s red and penalty – and Everton away when we benefitted from two disallowed goals. In both return games, we barely had a decision go our way and all it would take for that to happen is the Professional Match Game Officials Board – the organisation who run the Premier League officials – to have a quiet word before the game and give the mandate to ensure a certain outcome.
Eg a Wigan win which by ignoring a blatant red card and handball goal, is achieved.
Back to Cisse. It’s become a running joke among Newcastle fans, on Twitter especially, about him not knowing the offside rule. My favourites include “Cisse built his house offside” or “Somewhere, right now, Papiss Cisse is offside”. Yet Newcastle fans are doing him a great injustice as he’s often as not ONside and it’s the officials that are wrongly penalising him and disallowing his goals. Likewise Alan Pardew. If his top striker’s goals are regularly not allowed to count by lax officials then how are we ever meant to win matches? Whether it’s an urgent need for offside technology or something more sinister, I don’t know.
What I do know is that Newcastle United would be having a better season if those six goals were allowed and that two in a match against Benfica, and three in four days, is either highly suspicious or downright disgraceful and either way, I predict more riots. Graeme Le Saux just said on TalkSport that six decisions could affect a season; we’ve had six goals disallowed. Full technology must come into football to make the game truly fair.
Follow Stuart on Twitter @ultrastartime [email protected]
New issue of The Mag out now, or order online now for single copies and subscriptions.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]