RUFC - The referee's a &%*$*^!
Are we too harsh on referees?
Rotherham United have had some poor officials over the last couple of years. Some decisions have been plainly wrong where others have been decidedly poor. I'm sure over a thousand fans telling the referee that he's fatherless may well help with vent up feelings but probably doesn't make the man with the whistle think any the better of you.
I've just been watching the Crawley v Stoke FA Cup tie and referee, Mike Jones, had two major decisions to make in the game both of which, in my mind, he got wrong.
On Saturday at Burton, the first goal came from a free-kick that referee Geoff Eltringham gave from some yards away. The linesman wasn't consulted (and, strangely enough, neither were the Millers fans sat behind the incident!) but, in my mind, it was never a free-kick - and that's not being biased.
But, as I asked, are we being too harsh on the man in the middle?
I know that they are asked to play to the letter of the law but I am quite sure, on at least half of the occasions, a bit of common sense could be used. I also think we would think a lot more of them if they were 'all singing out of the same hymn sheet'.
But, could the players help? I think we are all in agreement that the standard of refereeing has to improve - with more and more money involved in football these days one wrong decision could actually ruin clubs - but would it help if the players were more respectful to the officials? For instance, in rugby league, players rarely, if ever, question a referee's decision, which helps the game flow and the ref's job easier. Are football referees too soft? Should they show red cards if a player abuses them? If 'yes' it could well stop the scenes we see all too often of players surrounding the official.
And, of course, we mustn't forget that referees are only human. They will miss incidents which is why they have the men on the lines with the flags, who, in my opinion, are as much to blame for some poor decisions in the last few years. In what other job would you go out and take ninety minutes of abuse from fans, players and managers? No, I can't think of any either.
For instance, when was the last time you heard of someone praising the ref? We are all critics but it's very rare we praise a good decision. I think we all put a lot of pressure on the man in the middle and I bet not one of us can ever say we've not done something wrong in our lives.
There are calls for goal-line technology, which some want, others don't, but until that time comes we just have one man with a whistle, two cards and a pencil and one pair of eyes. Which, in this day and age of computers everywhere, is quite refreshing don`t you think.
So, will you think twice before hurling abuse at the ref?
No, I didn't think so!
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