Manchester City - Poll 4 World Cup: U R having a laugh
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Poll 4 World Cup: U R having a laugh

Well I've witnessed some appalling refereeing over the years, but tonight's 'performance' by Graham Poll is right up there with the worst of them.

Now before everyone says I'm looking through blue tinted lenses, let me say I really try hard to be objective when writing articles, and do my best not criticise match officials, but there comes a time when you can't ignore total incompetence and you need to speak out and that time is now.

I have rarely seen such a one-sided display in which City received three yellow cards without hesitation for the most innocuous of challenges, whilst Poll chose to ignore flagrant diving, handballs and cheating by the usual suspects from Highbury, who managed to complete the game without a single caution. City also had three penalty shouts summarily dismissed, two of which were absolute dead certs, whilst the other, I agree was more debatable, but would probably have been given had it been at the other end of the pitch.

It just seemed that Poll was star-struck to be amidst his Arsenal icons and couldn't imagine for an instant they were capable of transgressing the rules, let alone trying to gain advantage by cheating - surely not !

To start with, the crowd took the initial trickle of inexplicable decisions in their stride and with grumbling acceptance, but when the trickle became a torrent it was too much and the normal good humour on match-days turned quickly to utter disbelief and anger; it was not a pleasant atmosphere at all.

Now, what's worse is that this guy has been chosen to be England's representative in the World Cup. I wouldn't want him refereeing my lad's U9s matches on a Saturday morning, let alone given the biggest stage in the footballing world.

The final straw was Poll laughing at the City crowd and taking bows on the field of play in response to a string of poor decisions. I hope the FA and the Referee's Association review Poll's performance this evening; he deserves to be cautioned for his display. I hope the papers pick this up too - it's not acceptable behaviour for a referee.

If players can be charged and disciplined for crowd incitement and a whole string of associated offences, the same laws should apply to the officials; believe me it nearly got very nasty out there, due entirely to the Referee's conduct.

I've not had time to see Pearce's post match reaction, but I should think it will be as stoical as ever and he won't publicly criticise Mr Poll, so I'm doing it for him; Graham it was a disgrace this evening!

I don't really like ending on a low, so just to show there's no hard feelings, I wish the Gooners all the best in the Champions League final - well they're almost an English club after all. We saw the best and worst of them again this evening; the diving and cheating does them no favours whatsoever and we just expect it now, but in Thierry Henry, they the ultimate role model for any young lad wanting to be a striker. What a player he is and a gentleman too; it was great to see and hear City fans applauding him out of respect when he was near the touchlines, which is more than the did for the Ref !

It's bad enough when City lose any game, but to round off a really bad day, McClaren's just been appointed England Manager - surely it can't get any worse !

In response to the 1st comment - yes I was at the match and saw it all close up and at first hand; if you'd been there too you'd understand why City fans are incensed

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 4 2006

Time: 11:30PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I take it you attended this evenings game?!? If so, wait till you view the game from a television perspective, and you'll find there was no diving at all, no intended handballs and Poll only got the occassional decision wrong. I actually found it amusing that the City fans thought the ref wasn't allowed to give a single decision against them without pleadig their innocence.
Report Abuse
04/05/2006 23:36:00

I have previously aired my views on referees and tonights display confirms the standard of refereeing in this country is at an all time low. If Graham Pol is the best we have then it is a sorry state of affairs, he like others, will not give important decisions against the top teams.
Report Abuse
04/05/2006 23:57:00

Don't get me started on Mr Poll, as the song goes....... ol Graham Poll is a f****** a***hole. Nothing to argue with there then!
Report Abuse
05/05/2006 10:53:00

Think Rocky7 is looking at the game through raspberry tinted glasses. Even though spurs supporter i am biased a bit. But to suggest there was no diving or only the occassional wrong dicision is rubbish. Any 50/50 takles Arsenal got the benifit around 80% of the time. The booking of Vissel was awful as Leman (sorry for spellings) started the whole thing. Then lemans free kick to try and get some one booked was terrible, should have been two yellows for him.
Report Abuse
05/05/2006 11:54:00

I'm a neutral in this and i listened to the game on radio 5, and i can only say that the commentators & summarisers were on the whole, in agreement with bluesology.
Report Abuse
05/05/2006 12:25:00


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