2010/11: Barclays Premier League – Wigan Athletic v Man United
I don’t expect fans, managers and players to be totally impartial, unfortunately it goes with the territory that is football. However, how can you defend the indefensible? Wigan Athletic v Manchester United, the opening ten minutes and with the game at 0-0 an off the ball incident sparks a major reaction from the home crowd. The Match of the Day replays show without dispute Rooney running into James McCarthy and delivering a blow at the head of the Wigan defender. The referee awards a free-kick and the thug Rooney gets no more than a word from the ref. It’s quite clearly a red-card offence. Did the official not see the incident? He awarded a free kick to Wigan, so he saw something. I’d love to see his match report and his view on the incident.
Now I’m not saying that against ten men, Wigan would have changed the result, but the game would have undoubtedly taken a different course. What was incredible was the post match comments from Manchester United’s lap-dog of an assistant manager Mike Phelan, who lamely stated, “…we can’t dispute the referee’s decision…he’s kept the game flowing and we’re happy with that…”. So Michael lets fast forward to Tuesday night at Stamford Bridge and in the opening five minutes of the game, Anelka assaults Vidic, Rooney style. No card for the Chelsea player and he goes on and scores in a 2-0 win for the Blues. Will the Manchester United management team take the same stance?
As if Phelan’s words weren’t pathetic enough, Ferguson then states that having watched the incident, “..there’s nothing in it…”. WHAT? Is he truly blind. Sticking by your players is one thing, but in this case it was a physical assault. Instead we get the usual defence mechanism that is a characteristic of the Old Trafford media machine in deflecting the attention away from the brute Rooney. Would it have been too much for the manager to say that Rooney had been lucky to get away with it and he would be disciplined internally?
I’m sick of the acceptance of this type of behaviour from players and clubs who condone it. Unfortunately we seem to moving ever nearer to a game and an England team that reflects the worst elements of our countries traits – greed, intolerance, hedonism, thuggery, cheating and deception.
Does it really hurt so much to tell the truth occasionally?