Another tough week then. On the pitch the performance against Newcastle was worse than that against West Ham at the weekend, although at least the 0-0 result was an improvement, and with Bolton and Everton cancelling each other out it’s as you were as we head towards the big game at the weekend.
Off the pitch the takeover rumblings continue, with Stan Kroenke’s 9.9% purchase last week sparking all sorts of rumours of his intentions come the summer. Honestly, I don’t know what to think of this situation – he is an adept businessman, no doubt, but does he recognise the tradition? In all reality, I’m not sure he’ll find the takeover an easy operation to carry out, with the existing shareholders keeping their cards very close to their chest. One to talk about in the close season, no doubt.
And then there are the loan players, who inadvertently have found themselves in the spotlight over the past few days. First Bendtner, whose tussle with Barnsley defender Antony Kay sparked a massive brawl at the end of the match. A brawl involving all the players, with tempers flaring and red cards issued – where have we heard that before?
It’ll be interesting to compare the punishments to, say, 100k fines. Over to you, FA, for the predictable inconsistency.
And then there was Song, on loan at Charlton, who was walking a tightrope against Reading the other night, lunging in having already been booked, so Graham Poll, never one to shy away from the spotlight, took it upon himself to ‘advise’ Alan Pardew to take him off. To me, this sets a very dangerous precedent, and is also completely unnecessary – was Pardew not watching the match closely enough to realise the problem himself?
Undoubtedly Poll thought he’d be praised for his communication, but will he do this every week? I doubt it. He’s had an odd career, for years I couldn’t stand his officiating – he didn’t seem to understand the concept of a foul not necessarily resulting in a yellow card. Then, for about three years, he was probably the best referee in the country (he clearly thought so), before his standards reverted again, the nexus of course bring that triple yellow in the World Cup.
But back on topic – we ask for refereeing consistency, and while they can’t get every decision right, they should each have the same approach. Warning a manager in that way is a conscious decision – what part of him thought that this wouldn’t irritate Charlton’s competition?
Poll has been backed by the FA. What a shocker.