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Refereeing City : What Difference Does It Make?

VMC's fifthcolumnblue takes a look back at on field events that have conspired to peg back the City juggernaut since the Derby Day Massacre in Stretford...

Let's look at how City's performances have been affected by the officials this season shall we?

I believe that if it hadn't been for dodgy decisions City would...

'...still be in the Champions League.'

Total dominance of Bayern for the first 30 minutes, and two blatant penalties not given. So what if's and maybe's, but to take a 2-0 lead so early in that game, I'd say we'd have held out for a draw at least - 11 points in that group sees us through to the knock out stages for sure.

Verdict: ROBBED.

...'have remained undefeated this season.'

A blatant penalty not given against Chelsea when we were 1-0 up, then a sending off (Soft, but for the sake of argument, let's say it was deserved) - Once again, if's and maybe's, but I'm convinced we'd have gone on to win that one and take 3 points.

Sunderland's last gasp winner was not. It was offside, and therefore illegal. We battered them, and fair enough, we couldn't score. But we still should have had a point.

In the Liverpool league draw at Anfield we witnessed - Reina handling the ball outside his area - a straight red card, but not given. Various acts of thuggery unpunished (particularly from Charlie Adam), and then Mario sent off after Skeletor got caught on the shoulder by Mario's arm, and sportingly went down holding his face.

Against 10 men for a long period of the game, we'd almost certainly have gone on to win that one.

Verdict: ROBBED x3.

'...Still be in the FA Cup.'

Let's face it, Kompany's sending off was a gift to Lord Taggart, and the referee had his mind made up for him by pubehead snarling in his face. That we scared the crap out of them with 10 men is testament to the fact that IMO we'd have either won or taken them to a replay. The fact that Giggs and pubehead got away with very similar fouls unpunished, and Evra managed to get away with an elbow is just adding insult to injury.

Verdict: ROBBED.

' in the Carling Cup final.'

The penalty in the first leg was slightly harsh, but I won't argue the point. What I will argue is that Glen Johnson, provider of the assist for Bellamy's winning goal in the second leg should have seen a straight red card for his two footer on Lescott at The Etihad, which was widely acknowledged as being a far worse challenge than the one which saw Kompany walk a few days earlier.

We also had a non-penalty awarded against us, and a clear penalty not given to us in that one. Nobody could argue that Liverpool were the better side at Anfield, but the better team does not always win the match - and the final score on the night should have been 3-1 to City if the decisions had not gone against us.

Verdict: ROBBED.

Some people will give you the old cliche 'These things even themselves out over the course of a season,' and many will point to the fact that we were 'Lucky' that Balotelli wasn't sent off against Tottenham. But I am adamant that Howard Webb saw the alleged stamp and chose to do nothing about it. Therefore, Balotelli remained on the pitch according to the letter of the law. The resulting media witch hunt and the inability of Howard Webb to tell the truth over the matter and later claim 'He hadn't seen it' is what has stitched us up, and we are without Mario for the next 4 games as a result. Balotelli will now find himself under intense scrutiny forevermore, and I suspect he will be booked for every minor misdemeanour in future.


I don't think I'm being paranoid in respect of what I've written here. I just fail to understand how so many blatantly bad decisions have either been given against us, or not been given when they would favour us. Conspiracy? I don't know, and I find it hard to believe that there is something as sinister as an organised campaign to try and stop us. But I do believe that in the minds of most people in this country, we are 'ruining football.' - The tabloids have done such a good job with their anti-City propaganda that everyone either hates us, or has very little sympathy for us.

Referees read newspapers, so they are not above being influenced by all the negativity aimed in our direction. So whether they are consciously aware of what they are doing, or whether it is lingering at the back of their minds, we are getting absolutely sweet FA from them.

I am not enjoying my football - City players are continually subjected to what ammounts to repeated assaults on the football pitch (Scott Parker 5 fouls = one booking; Mario 1 foul = 1 booking), yet we get done for the slightest misdemeanour, and we never seem to get much in the way of 'benefit of the doubt' decisions such as the Richards penalty in the League Cup Semi.

I take the point that teams are making it more difficult for us on the pitch these days, and we are not scoring as many goals as earlier in the season - but our good form has been hampered by bad decisions in virtually every game since the 6-1 and there has to be something more to what's going on than merely a dip in form.

I just wish someone could give me a good explanation to what that 'something' is!

all times East Manchester

Tu 31 Jan 20:00 Everton, Goodison Park, PL
Sa 04 Feb 17:30 Fulham, The Etihad, PL
Su 12 Feb 16:00 Aston Villa, Villa Park, PL
Th 16 Feb 20:05 Porto, Estádio do Dragão, ELR32
We 22 Feb 20:05 Porto, The Etihad, ELR32
Sa 25 Feb 17:30 Blackburn, The Etihad, PL

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The journalist

Writer: fifthcolumnblue Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday January 29 2012

Time: 12:15PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Interestingly enough, since I wrote this article we saw Maxi make a nasty two-footer on Giggs yesterday, and Smalling handle in the area - both going unpunished. Similarly, In Brighton's FA Cup tie with Newcastle, A nasty kick to the face (which drew real blood, unlike the imaginary blood of Scott Parker) by Yohann Cabaye was not subjected to hours of slow-motion replays, combined with obligatory hand-wringing by the pundits and cries of "BURN THE WITCH". Seems it's only City players that get done for such things these days. P.S. It's nice to see that the FA allow manchester Un***d to pick and choose their own referees nowadays - Martin Atkinson has seen his standing with Slur Alex fall so low since Slur copped a five match touchline ban for critical comments about said referee that he has not officiated a match involving ManYoo for just over 11 months. Was anyone else as shocked as me to discover that Atkinson, scheduled to take charge of the potential tinderbox match that is Liverpool vs Yoonited pulled a sicky at the very last minute, only to be replaced by Mark "8 wins for the rags in 8 games" Halsey? One rule for them...
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29/01/2012 13:28:00

I could not agree more. I am a qualified referee and feel that CITY are not getting the rub of the green here (although the Balotelli Spurs incident should have been a straight red) The Munich and Chelsea away games were unbelievable decisions by cowardly refereeing decisions. CTID
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29/01/2012 14:51:00

Marwood has taken it to the FA now so the club are aware of the irregular amount of poor decisions against is. It is simply human nature - look at the bitter comments we get on here from rival fans, jealousy and spite about our wealth and way to the top. These referees who mostly grew up in an era of rag and Liverpool dominance probably have similar prejudices. So it may not be a conspiracy per se, but the dark side of human nature showing itself.
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29/01/2012 14:55:00

you forget about the game where your team should of been 9 men
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29/01/2012 15:05:00

all n all very true article
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29/01/2012 15:07:00

Van Persie,deliberate elbow today goes unpunished.West brom match,legitimate goal by Ballotelli disallowed and in the same match deliberate elbow on Ballotelli goes unpunished,2 points lost.Liverpool home match,Skirtel hand ball in the area,no penalty given to City,Agger sees Barry coming to him and bumps into him,referee gives Barry second yellow,then Skirtel fouls Yaya preventing goal scoring opportunity,not even a yellow card,never mind a red.No points lost,but Skirtel should have missed the carling cup match against us,also Barry did miss the FA cup match v Utd.Mancini got criticised for waving a card in this match.Wigan match,no points lost,but Figeroua does not get a red for blatant hand ball.Mancini got criticised for waving a card in this match.Yet it,s ok for bacon face to slander Kompany"he does it all the time",and for the cockney tax dodging spiv to slander Ballotelli"he does it all the time.
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29/01/2012 18:17:00

It really gets the blood boiling when you see tackles far worse than any our players have made go unpunished while we get criticized for everything. I guess only the teams with "history" are allowed to win anything, huh? And how about the yellow card on Kolarov the other night when he got tackled? Makes you wonder why the officials wear ear pieces during the game...
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29/01/2012 18:31:00

City director of football Brian Marwood has reportedly written to referees' chief Mike Riley seeking clarity over recent decisions to which the team has been subjected.
Johnny Baguette
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29/01/2012 19:24:00

FCB a very interesting article and the evidence does have quantity and at first look made me smile .But can there really be a conscipracy of bent referees who want City to fail? . The media however is pro London Teams . City will suceed on their own merit and are not being held back by a malevolent power .I think football is a series of actions and reactions of many variables which occur in each game .However it can repeat from game to game, but its unrelated and coincidental .Good article though
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29/01/2012 21:18:00

Brilliant article FCB, especially regarding the way Mario gets treated compared to players like Parker Adam and Cattermole who get to kick people for an hour before the yellow comes. One innocuous foul gets booked and then tried and convicted in the court of public opinion on purely circumstantial evidence. Atwell against Wolves was where it started for me when going into added time the team with 30% possesion had committed only 4 fouls compared to City's 18 ???? Watched 15 minutes of Sunderland Boro today and saw 3 reckless lunges straight out of the 'Scottie' P training manual- result 1 yellow. Seems the moral crusade over 2 footed tackles has ran it's course once our Vinnie got stitched up. If the 'decisons even themselves out over the season' myth holds any water us blues can look forward to a catalogue of stinkers by the refs going in our favour. Imagine the outrage that would cause !
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29/01/2012 22:15:00

Wouldn't that just set the tongues-a-wagging eh, Ben-abia? :) Still, I'd rather not have to mention another referee at all this season, unless it's to say "Did the ref actually hand out a card all game?" Won't hold my breath though.
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29/01/2012 22:47:00

In other news, the FA are taking no further action against Robin van persie for an elbow on Aston Villa's Carlos Cuellar - it was not a hard elbow, but it most certainly looks deliberate - but the referee claims he saw the incident at the time and took no action. No mention of the two footed lunge by Mertesacker I notice - as Wio Turdinand so eloquently put it "Two footed, straight red, End of". But clearly not if the media do not decide to highlight the incident. Someone please remind me what the initials FA stand for again?
Report Abuse
30/01/2012 19:18:00

Howard Webb is a *****-house of a man. Webb you will be given hell and more next time you show your cowardly face at City.
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30/01/2012 19:56:00

They stand for Fergie's Aides. :)
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30/01/2012 19:56:00

It speaks volumes Robson that a gutless *****er like Webb is regarded as the best ref in the league.
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30/01/2012 20:06:00

Speaks almost as loud as the fact that a thuggish freak like Pubehead is widely regarded as England's "Talisman". The FA is a deeply flawed organisation that should not be appealing 3 match bans for one of it's own whilst attempting to get everyone else to follow a "Respect" agenda.
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30/01/2012 20:15:00

FCB - I liked your article, actually made good reading, but come on - I WISH the refs were in SAF's pockets - we would be miles in front of you lot now, and would still be in FA CUp and Carling Cup, and we are not........
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31/01/2012 22:11:00


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