Writer: Andy Leggott
Date:Friday December 28 2007
Alex Ferguson often argues that there are too many bad influences within the football world these days.
Indeed you could see the fury on his face only last week when a Rio planned Xmas party ended in a yoonited youngster finding himself facing rape allegations.
However it is the man's hypocrisy that I wish to focus on; in particular the undue pressure he gets his players to place on match officials in order to get the best outcome for his team.
Dodgy decisions going in yoonited's favour are legendary during the Ferguson years and the pattern of pressuring the officials has continued throughout his tenure.
Indeed so successful has the practice been that the other three members of the 'big four' have copied it for their own benefit.
The downside to this, in this current era, is the wave of ex Ferguson charges who have now become managers in their own right and see little wrong in mimicing the management style of their previous gaffer.
Now Mark Hughes was an odious person when marauding with his fat arse in yoonited's front line back in the days.
His Blackburn team is quite simply a team built in his own, and his masters, image.
When Blackburn, initially and quite correctly, had Santa Cruz's second goal ruled out last night what was the player's response? Acceptance for the official's decision?
Was it hell.
Despite the official being the best placed individual on the pitch to make the call that Dunn was offside and interfering with play, a posse of Blackburn players felt they were better positioned to make that call and challenged the official en masse.
Only after this challenge did a visibly shaken official inform the referee that his call was in fact wrong and Dunn was no longer interferiing with play.
Even more hypocrisy was to follow when Hughes publically praised the official for having the courage to change his decision. This from a manager who has followed his previous employer's trait of publically slating every contentious decision that ever goes against his side.
Last night was not the first night that City have ever had a bad call from a match official, nor will it be the last. What grates however is the manner in which the Rover's players got the decision overturned and their manager's post match comments.
For that we can thank the role model that Mark Hughes has chosen to follow. Step forward Siralegs of Govan. A role model at the forefront of questioning decisions against his side.
Date:Friday December 28 2007
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