Another poor referee
Stoke fans were forced to endure another poor set of refereeing decisions in yesterday's clash with Man United.
Gary Neville should have been shown a second yellow card after twice taking down Matty Etherington but referee, Andre Marriner bottled the decision much to everyone's amazement, including Neville himself who seemed to be all set to walk in the match which saw the Potters go down 2-1 despite a fantastic strike from Tuncay to bring the scores level for a short time with 10 minutes remaining.
Who knows what might have been if United has been reduced to 10 men before half-time? Yet again, it shows that some referees seem to be intimidated by the so-called 'big' clubs and try and avoid any retribution on a tricky decision from the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson. Before anyone points out that United should have had a penalty when Delap appeared to bring down Nani - then yes, maybe they should. But there's no excuse for letting Neville stay on the field and to later try and even things up by turning a blind eye to an offence committed by the other side. The bottom line is that the referee has a duty to be fair and equitable to both sides and play to the rules.
We only had to wait an hour or so for an example of how a referee should behave. Boyata's tackle on Chamaka just five minutes into the Man City vs Arsenal match could easily have been overlooked by some officials as it came 'too early in the game', but Mark Clattenburg showed him a red and whilst it killed the match as a spectacle it was the correct decision. Only difference there was that these were 'two big clubs'....