No surprise to see which side of the fence these two pundits stand on the spitting incident, step forward serial offender Patrick Barclay and Martin Samuels.
The FA have quite rightly banned both Papiss Cisse and Jonny Evans for spitting at each other during the Newcastle United v Manchester United match last Wednesday.
When I first saw the TV footage I wasn’t certain about the guilt of Cisse but in the case of Jonny Evans it was blatant. Seeing the incident from a different angle though, it became apparent that both players were equally guilty.
Since the moment it happened it has been interesting (and very annoying at times) to see what has then transpired.
Papiss Cisse immediately held his hands up and apologised for his behaviour.
Jonny Evans refused to accept he’d done anything wrong and little wonder, with all kinds of apologists lining up to say he wasn’t that kind of a person etc etc, everybody from his wife, to his manager to his mates such as Paul Scholes.
Little wonder that Manchester United and the likes of Jonny Evans act as they do when they can count on the sycophantic press to back them up.
Papiss Cisse incredibly gets almost zero praise from anywhere for instantly admitting his guilt, while Evans gets support from numerous pundits and journalists as he tries to wriggle out of what is clear guilt for any neutral.
I happened to catch Sky’s Sunday Supplement and it featured Martin Samuels and Patrick Barclay. Their opinion is that it is isn’t clear whetehr Jonny Evans intended to spit at/on Papiss Cisse and subsequently shouldn’t have been found guilty.
The TV footage and photos leave no doubt as to what he intended, he is looking Cisse right in the eye as he spits straight at him.
A bit like their opinions on matches generally, I wonder if journalists such as Barclay and Samuels were watching the same game….
“I just can’t be sure, having watched the incident, that he is not telling the truth when he says that he spat, but that he didn’t spit deliberately in the direction of Papiss Cisse.
“I’m not saying yes or no and all I am saying is that I am very troubled by it and have been ever since it happened. I have watched it and cannot see that there is a man guilty of a six match offence.
“Jonny Evans is banned for six matches because the FA doesn’t have that wonderful burden of proof thing that everybody thought was so magnificent.
“When it was Terry and Ferdinand case, everybody was rejoicing that they don’t have burden of proof, but this is what happens when you don’t have burden of proof.
“He says, ‘I didn’t spit at the guy’ and we can’t prove that he did spit at the guy, but we just go we are going to ban you anyway. If you have a very low burden of proof, you are always going to get situations like this when you’re looking at it and thinking ‘I’m not sure’.”