Date:Tuesday September 12 2006
There seems to be a worrying trend this season of City players being singled out for harsher treatment than opposing players. This was again apparent last night when City received four yellows and a red, whilst no Reading player was cautioned.
You can't argue with the yellow card for Sinclair as it was a bad and brainless tackle by an experienced player who should know better.
However, the other yellows for Reyna, Barton and Distin were extremely harsh, a view also expressed by the neutral Sky TV commentators.
Dabo, who didn't have the greatest of games can justifiably feel aggrieved for receiving a red card for a legitimate aerial challenge with Sidwell, who for me seemed to stay down as if he'd been pole-axed.
The TV replay showed Dabo's eyes had throughout, been firmly fixed on the ball and at worst he brushed Sidwell with his palm or forearm; there were no flailing elbows and the Reading player would have us believe.
I don't know what Referee's expect players to do when they jump for a ball. Is the ruling now that you have to 'pogo' in punk-rocker style with your hands down by your knees or do some sort of Michael Flatley Irish jig from Riverdance?
It wasn't a dirty game at all last night and for the most part, played in great spirit, but the game ended with yet another attention-seeking Referee seeing fit to dish out four yellows and a red when there was no reason to. In true Alan Brazil style, we need to ask 'WHY ???'
Is our special treatment a result of the Thatcher incident I wonder? The irony there is that he only got a yellow for that shocking challenge whilst his team-mates got the same for much lesser transgressions.
Where's the consistency ?
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