Stoke's refereeing problems continue
Stadium of Light
Saturday 6th November 2010
Last week Stoke fans would have been gleefully planning to put Lee Probert on the top of the Brit Bonfire, but yesterday it was Martin Atkinson's turn to challenge for the unenvious position of being the Stoke City Bonfire Night guy.
Stoke suffered from yet another terrible decision when Lee Cattermole stopped the ball on the line with his arm after Kenwyne Jones's header seemed destined for the back of the net. Not surprisingly, the referee saw nothing wrong, despite the Black Cats' boss, Steve Bruce saying later that it had been a 'fortunate' decision. If he had given a penalty then it would been the Sunderland player who would have seen a red card and, presuming we had converted the resulting penalty, the score would then have been 1-1 and all to play for. Stoke's unhappiness was then complete with minutes remaining when Ryan Shawcross was shown two yellow cards (the first probably justified, whilst the second was distinctly soft) in stark contrast to Gary Neville's failure to get due justice at the hands of Andre Marriner in the Man United match two weeks ago.
This is now well beyond being even remotely funny and is turning our so-called professional referees into a laughing stock. What makes it a crying shame is that we're just not getting any breaks. With Birmingham visiting the Brit on Tuesday, it will be up to Mark Clattenberg to show that there are some referees who can get all the big decisions correct - at least as far as we're concerned.