Sympathy is only ever short lived

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I really don’t want to talk about it. I’m quite happy to do so but the problem is that I’ll end up repeating what I’ve said many times before. Yes it’s those referees and their agenda against our little football club again. I’ve just heard Andre Marriner has been stood down after Saturday’s blunder. Well, please, please tell me: how is that supposed to be of any benefit at all to the club that suffered at the hands of his incompetence?

It was bad enough listening to the Match of the Day pundits adopting their sneery ‘ho ho ho, he got away with that one’ attitude on Saturday night rather than castigating Pedersen for cheating and the four officials for being oblivious to a flagrant breach of the rules. However, the real problem is that the more you plead for sympathy, the less you actually get. We’re just supposed to accept it and get on with it. Despite it happening over and over again.

At the time you get masses of support from the football world, but after a couple of days you’re supposed to move on and everything dovetails into the standard football fan’s opinion of all refs are rubbish. Like last year when James McCarthy cops a Rooney elbow and three days later at Stamford Bridge, United are whinging that Luiz has clashed with Rooney and gone unpunished. Well there’s that karma sorted then. Apart from that little voice in the corner which no-one listens to saying ‘what about us?’ The balance of scales never seems to tip back in our favour, and we’re not the only small club to suffer.

I doubt any more sympathy will be flowing in our direction after writing all that, more likely another chorus of ‘let it go will you man’. However, it does make you wonder whether Steve Bruce will push the boundaries even further up at Sunderland on Saturday and maybe bend or break a few more rules in the hope the officials turn a blind eye. Maybe he could play an eighteen foot tall super robot up front? Or employ a giant wind machine behind the goal they are attacking so they can literally suck the ball into the net? Or maybe equip Lee Cattermole with a crossbow which he can fire at Al Habsi to make him drop the ball so that he can tap in the rebound? I mean there’s nothing in the rules preventing it and even if there is, well who cares, it’s only Wigan Athletic on the receiving end?

Who cares indeed in modern football about such things as fair play, honesty, sportsmanship, integrity, justice and levelling the playing field? Not too many it seems.

First published in the Wigan Evening Post 12th Man column Wednesday 23rd November 2011



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