'The referees a.... !!!!!'
Anyone who has been to a football match will know how that chant ends, and it is becoming much more regular at football matches for a referee to be in the centre of controversy, more so than ever before.
But is the chanting of 'you don`t know what your doing` justified? Based on the quality of refereeing I`ve seen this season yes indeed. I had my own words to describe the referee`s over the last season but the Vital Network would have some exceptions.
Perhaps the most detrimental change in refereeing is that they have all seemed to forget that football is indeed a contact sport, and when challenging for a ball in a major league game, there will be times that people will bump heads. Its logic rather than anything else.
In the old days of English football if a no nonsense defender made a fantastic tackle on someone they would get up and play on, after all the defender got the ball and that`s that. Today the reaction is somewhat different as the player tackled would probably fall over and cry, with one eye looking over to the referee of course.
Why doesn`t the referee just say 'get up and play on`? After all half the players on that pitch earn more in a year than the average Joe Bloggs earns in a lifetime and this isn`t the under 10`s, these are professional players who are supposed to wear the shirt with pride, having a little tantrum because someone pulled your shirt is quite sad really.
Perhaps the change of attitudes has come from the change of players? Or more importantly the influx of foreign imports? Sure it`s an easy target to place our blame upon, but when did you ever see Terry Butcher fall over in a heap over being tapped on the shoulder?
Though with that in mind Terry Butcher could get hit by a car and still get up, the car being left in a much worse predicament of course.
Watching world cup football and watching the Champions league is like watching Bambi on ice, so much so that if you are ever with a group of friends watching one of these matches, get yourself some Vodka shots and take one shot for every time an overpaid Brazilian falls over. I guarantee you won`t even know who`s playing after about half an hour.
Perhaps these overpaid simpletons would get up if the referee ignored them for long enough, but that would be considered 'bullying` of course, so the referee stops the game and runs over in a panic.
This seems to work though because the referee`s whistle has become the greatest healer of all time, a player who is on the floor holding his leg in agony seems to be cured and up and running as soon as the referee blows his whistle and goes over.
Maybe it`s a miracle whistle or the Peruvian referee has special powers, maybe the players leg became unbroken in a split second? Or we can stay in the realms of common sense and say that no good disgrace faked an injury.
What does the referee do about this? Realise that the player is simply a cheat and do the right and honourable thing by giving the opposition the ball? Well he does actually, though the only difference is that if the ball is just outside the box when he did it they decide that the best place to re take it is a goal kick!
Good tackles used to be met with applause, and the player tackled would get up and play on like a good sport and try and tackle that other player back, aerial challenges from players who were willing to fight for the shirt and the badge that they were playing for, and you knew that those 11 players would go in for every ball and every challenge fully fledged…
You would also know that the referee`s would let the game flow and respect the commitment of the professionals on that pitch. But when you replace those sorts of players with European and South American imports, who`s main goal is to play defensive football and continually stop and start, you get teams full of pop stars prancing around like a bunch of tools.
And after a while enough people cry about enough tackles, and you have a new culture of dramatics destroying the beautiful game.
If we wanted to watch a load of pop stars run round and throw themselves on the floor we would go to the theatre, watch 'Britain`s got talent` or if its on, watch the England national team.