Thursday, October 9, 2008

Seeing Yellow.

Praying won't help pal.

Here at UF we have noticed an increase in the ridiculous refereeing that has been on display this season. Bullshit penalties, ticky-tack incidents and refs failing to spot players making up for Andy Johnson's injury absence with efforts that these two would be delighted with.

Well... The numbers are clear so lets call out some card crazy cretins...

Would it surprise you to know that after just 7 EPL matches, referees have issued a whopping 231 yellow cards already! TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY-ONE. Now I don't know about you, but I've watched plenty of Premiership footy this season and certainly haven't noticed an increase in violent conduct.

What I have noticed is an abundance of free kicks issued for 'bumping' into an opponent. By their logic, I should have been sent off 14 times on the subway alone this morning. Are the refs spending too much time on their real jobs to properly focus on the one that affects millions of people? So who are the main offenders, the yellow waving power freaks determined to get some TV time on the highlight shows?

Let's call out Mike Dean (seen here below, doing the YMCA) first. He has 'worked' 7 games this season and issued 32 yellow cards. Last Saturday he carded 7 players at Upton Park as he took charge of the Hammers home game with Bolton.

The week before he booked another 7 at Portsmouth as Pompey added to Spurs' woes at Fratton Park. The week before at the Hawthorns? 6 went in the book.

But he is not the worst, oh no. That accolade goes to Mike Riley. Mr Riley has only worked 5 games this season and shown 26 yellow cards. That's an average of 5.4 a game, or one every 16 minutes! He carded 8 players during Chelsea's draw with United a couple of weeks back, and 6 at West Ham when Blackburn were in town.

The Hammers again, eh? Are they just dirty? They have been issued 12 yellows in the last 7 games.

So who are the dirtiest?

That honor goes to Blackburn with 17 yellow cards, with Manchester United a close second with 16. Guess what? Mr Riley has officiated 3 games involving Rovers and United this season, issuing 15 yellows! That's 10 of United's total 16!

Numbers do not lie and it does appear that Blackburn ARE the dirtiest, Riley's interventions aside!

Just for the record, the dirtiest players are Kieran Richardson of Sunderland, Ian Ashbee of Hull, Scott Parker of West Ham and Alvaro Arbeloa of Liverpool. Of those 16yellows, Riley and Dean have issued 4, and Dean in particular has carded Arbeloa twice.

Riley: He even sent-off a man dressed as a lion.

So who flashes cards the least? Out of the 18 refs employed by the EPL this season, and of those who have worked 5 games or more, Alan Wiley has shown the fewest yellow cards, 12, at an average of 2.4 a game.

Howard Webb, Mike Dean and Andre Marriner have used the most red cards: two each.

All of the yellow cards and bad decisions I have seen this season seem to point to one essential shortfall: one referee is no longer capable of dealing with the modern game. Throw in simulation and the current pace and you are left with pissed-off fans and frustrated players. This is an issue that needs addressing now.

A second ref? One replay per team or a fourth official with a TV on the sideline?

Any of those options would be better than watching today's refs huff-and-puff 30 yards behind the action only to stop the play for nothing. The entertainment is in danger and the biggest losers, as always, are the fans.



Anonymous said...

More send offs will cut down the number of cautions.

Andrew said...

I say second ref. Don't think it will affect the game-pace as much as we may now think. Better calls = better footie.

Bigus Dickus said...

It's the stopages that send me insane. I can see how a dive can be missed or a hand-ball. But to stop the game constantly for fouls that just are not there drives me nuts.

Precious Roy said...

I kind of agree with Pug. How many of Riley's yellows have been second yellows. Seems he's happy to give just about anyone a caution, but not a sending off—trying to control the game without determining it's outcome.

But maybe if Ronaldo gets a couple of reds for his incessant diving, he might curtail it. Okay, it might take about 5 reds and and aneurism from SAF, but shit would stop.

Goat said...

I never understood the whole "interrupt the flow of the game" argument against instant replay. The game's flow is constantly interrupted by free kicks (seriously, any free kick near the area takes about two minutes from the time of the foul until the ball is actually kicked), to injuries, to substitutions. What's the big deal about taking a minute for a fourth official with a TV to decide whether the ball crossed the goal line, if a penalty should be awarded, etc. As far as I'm concerned, the integrity of the game went out the window when they started allowing subs. And I'm pretty sure I wasn't alive whenever that happened.

Bigus Dickus said...

Pug. PR: Just one second yellow.

Anonymous said...

My point is the act of cautioning a player is minimized when the threat of a send off is small. I know when I'm running around and I've got more than 3 or 4 players in my book, cautions aren't being heeded.