Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Chelsea v Burnley...

What a disaster! Took my son to Stamford Bridge on his birthday to witness what should have been an easy enough win - but it all went South in the end :(

Firstly let me say I am not one to moan about decisions - having been going to Chelsea since 1970, I have seen it all. Most Chelsea fans don't really believe in Mourinho's 'anti CFC campaign' by referees - even if the poor decisions have cost us about eight points (some think it is more like eleven) this season. I do, however, believe that we have had more 'bad breaks' this season than any of the big teams certainly - and more importantly they've been costly.

Basically what Mourinho is telling the refs with his ranting is:

"Next time one of my players goes down in the box, give him the benefit of the doubt...even things up a bit"

I'll tell you what, it isn't working!

Burnley going in with studs up again...1963...was this the last time that Chelsea won a penalty?

If there is any 'conspiracy' - it could simply be a 'general desire' from the FA not to have one dominant team. There is a lot of money in the Premiership, it is worth billions of pounds to the FA / UK Football and to have one team running away with the title would diminish the league substantially. The health of the Premier League comes first - before or even at the expense of any club. Surely this could not translate to an FA directive for Premiership referees..? You never know when money, jobs and livelihoods are at stake! Stephen Greaves, the Premiership's match delegate, stated that Atkinson got all four key decisions right - meanwhile Atkinson is on an 'enforced break' for his poor performance.

We were up in the 'nose-bleed' seats in the East Stand and I saw a couple of appalling decisions and my eyesight is atrocious - I'd even forgotten to bring my new specs so had to use my old prescription!

Just bad timing? No. Even in my casual game twice a week I could do this to other players if I chose too (and make it look accidental) - a touch late here, hang a boot out there, you know what is coming even if you don't see it, and the majority of the time you are aware of who is around you.

I cannot understand what Atkinson was thinking - do refs get tired? I mean could he have been suffering from the mid-week game that he refereed?

If that performance had taken place in Belarus (see my last post) or maybe Italy or South America - Atkinson's performance would have come under real scrutiny - perhaps to the point of him even being the subject of an investigation. That's how poor a day he had.

As it stands he is a good and, no doubt, honest ref who had a terrible day.

I for one, would love to see technology extended from 'goal-line' to review: suspected offsides that lead to goals, red card / tackles and penalties. I don't buy into the fears of the game being delayed or broken up by reviewing decisions - because the game is already broken up in a melee of players and officials when a bad decision is made. We could get rid of most post-match punditry too with far fewer talking points!

We will lose Matic for three games - for his reaction - albeit brought about by Atkinson's in-action throughout the game. No retrospective action will be taken against Barnes.

Ultimately, however, Chelsea didn't play well. They deserved to win, but scoring more goals wouldn't leave the team open to the effects of poor decisions. The 'defence first' philosophy is fine - until you get a day like Saturday.

There was at least one highlight on the day. We were sitting next to the commentary positions and I spotted Pat Nevin (Chelsea 1980's) covering the game. We had a quick chat after the match and he too was incensed by the foul on Matic. Surely as a professional, impartial commentator, he can't possibly wear blue-tinted specs like me.. ;-)

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