After a very contentious decision for Manchester United’s second goal against Tottenham Hotpsur, critics will be wanting something introduced to assist referees on the field.
The events that unfolded in the 84th minute of play at Old Trafford will likely open the debate about the introduction of technology into the modern game, but implementing more officials into Barclays Premier League matches would be the better choice.
This controversy will intensify the pressure that is already on the top flight of English football to follow UEFA’s lead by inserting more assistant referees into each match.
This needed help would see two officials placed on each endline – one on each side of the goal – to help ensure that the actions that occur inside of the penalty area right.
They will help the referee with whether the ball went over the line, which in the first-half Tottenham were gifted a chance of their own after the ball clearly went over the line, but also with fouls inside the box as well.
Gareth Bale battled Rio Ferdinand for the ball, and the center-back guided the ball out, but the linesman, who was already retreating towards the midway line,
goal kicks, was at a poor angle to see whether ball went out or not, and Tottenham very easily could have put them in front.
Obviously the insertion of extra decision makers would have not only prevented the controversy, but they would have prevent another one as well.
With United leading 1-0, Nani was pulled backed by Younes Kaboul, who was already on a yellow card, and the United winger finally went down under the challenge after he felt his lost his advantage.
After he went down to the ground, Nani simultaneously grabbed the ball to give the referee, Mark Clattenburg, a few more seconds to make a decision to whether to give the penalty or not.
However, the referee, and his assistant, must not have seen him handling the ball and the free-kick was never given, but Heurelho Gomes assumed there was and placed the ball down to boot down field.
There was no whistle, though, and Nani gave a look towards Clattenburg, and the referee notioned back to him that it was never blown, so he placed the ball into the open net and wheeled away to celebrate.
To be fair to Clattenburg his view could have very easily been obstructed by the immediate appeals by Paul Scholes, but either way the whistle was not blown, so the ball was still live.
Even if he saw it, the referee could have simply wave for Spurs to play on, which by his judgment Tottenham did just that, because they had United pressed forward and could have very easily assembled a counter attack.
Harry Redknapp will be somewhat baffled, and be left scratching his head as to how or why Clattenburg’s whistle was never blown.
As mentioned above, there was another circumstance before this that would have seen him with the different shoe on his foot, which should prevent him from reacting angrily.
Another thing that Redknapp needs to take into effect is that there was an obvious tug back by the second-to-last defender, which Kaboul should have been given a straight red card for.
Instead of criticizing the officials, Redknapp should do a “back to basics” training session, because not playing until the whistle is a criminal offense in the sport.
Gomes can argue all he wants, Nani, who was in virtually the same area of the field as him never heard the high-pitched whistle, so it was evident he didn’t either, and we all know the saying to follows the word assume.
This time, though, the only one that was looking like a joke was him.
Sir Alex Ferguson has always said, “Football is a funny old game,” and today proved that that saying is spot on.
Another thing that many of these critics surely have said in the past, is that decisions always level themselves out, and in the end, Manchester United deservedly got the goal they certainly earned.