Looking at the news in the past 24 hours, it is certainly refreshing to see articles that condemns the handling of Mike Dean in the aftermath of the Manchester United’s win over Newcastle. Leaving out remarks about Alex Ferguson’s behaviour in that game. For far too long, officials have bent over to appease that particular manager and it is good to see some form of criticism of it.
Whether that will lead to changes in the future, particularly in the way that officials think twice about acting against Ferguson, remains to be seen. Though, it is hardly enticing for the official to do so judging on the effect it had on past men who did not make decisions go the way of United. The body that governs the referees will have to shoulder a big part of the blame as it is them who decides where the referee goes to officiate.
That’s not to say, Ferguson is the only one who is at fault here. Just that, I don’t see (or remember or know) referee not being assigned to a particular club because the manager has been critical of him in the previous game. Of course, the decisions that they make are not all correct and will be subjected to criticism because of that. They are only human and there are only so many things that a pair of eyes can see at one time. Yet, you could hardly condone the actions of a decorated manager hounding the linesman, way out of his technical area.
When a team doesn’t get the decision that they think is fair to them, the feeling will always be that of unjustly done by. However, in the heat of things, it is always hard to be rational. Players, coaches, managers and fans alike will only see that decision as something that decrees an all-out war against the officials but fail to remember the times when their teams have benefited from wrong decisions. One tends not to remember the times when their team gained from the official making the wrong judgement call and I don’t blame anyone. It’s just the way the human psyche operates.
There’s a saying that keeps on being used. That “things even themselves out throughout the season”. I’m not a believer in that quote. Some decisions can be critical and some not. Do you only measure it by virtue of count? That, one for decision versus one against? Or does the context of the decision carries a higher and more accurate description? Every game is different and so is the context.
A penalty call given in one game might not be as critical as a penalty call not given in another. I’m also a firm believer that one thing happens because of the incident preceding it. For example, a team might in total control but had the only foray forward that the opponent got that created a goal scoring opportunity, ended up being finished, the game could still turn on it’s head despite the dominance before hand.
The managers get angry because they don’t feel like the official has given them a fair rub of the decisions and that’s understandable. Giving stern warnings to managers about their actions is one thing but surely there’s a more preventive measure that can be taken. Gadgets have been utilised by the officials to communicate with each other. I don’t see the issue if another pair of sets are given out to each team for them to understand the referee’s decisions. Or in the case where the referee or assistant referees make a wrong call, the fourth official could just as easily watch the replay on the screen and inform of the error. Doubt any manager could get incensed if things went about that way.
The governing body of football talks about the use of technology being one that could change the game that we love so much. That the human element is being taken out of the game. I’m pretty sure we’re not asking for robots to be made to replace referees. All we want is for the game to be an error free one, at least from the officiating point of view.
Is that too much to ask for?