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Pardew Reaction shows Pressure Refs are under Pressure

Pardew Reaction shows Pressure Refs are under Pressure

17 Jan 2014

Alan Pardew’s reaction to a wrongly disallowed Newcastle United goal that was picked up on television cameras and radio broadcasts highlights just how tough Premier League referees have it.

Pardew had strong words with referee, Mike Jones, after the match where he pointed out Cheick Tiote’s offside goal should have stood. He also had some choice words for City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, in an altogether unsavoury afternoon at St James’ Park.

Reports surfaced on football betting websites on Tuesday that Pardew had been let off by the FA for his reaction and that the matter was over. Sadly, it isn’t over for football fans who want to see this sort of aggressive behaviour cleaned from the game.

Pardew’s exploits were both unacceptable and disrespectful to those officiating, the fans and the FA. As a club manager, he has the responsibility not only to be humble in victory but also take defeat in his stride. He failed on the latter on Sunday.

But this isn’t the only time officials have been placed under unwarranted scrutiny this season. Mark Clattenburg, who last term faced false accusations of racism towards John Obi Mikel, had a complaint made against him from Southampton in December after the ref ‘insulted’ Adam Lallana, saying: “You’re very different now that you’ve played for England. You never used to be like this.”

The FA threw that complaint out almost immediately.

As recently as this Monday did Neil Swarbrick receive criticism from Aston Villa fans for booking Karim El Ahmadi in the first minute of Villa’s match with Arsenal for a very late challenge on Jack Wilshere. In reality, many fans listening to the live football commentary felt that El Ahmadi could easily have been sent off.

It seems referees cannot make decisions any more without a player, manager or group of supporters getting on their back. Criticising the ref is ruining the game and distorts the way we watch and process football as managers pass the buck of responsibility from themselves to silent officials.

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