Maybe some good will come if Spurs star was to fight his corner


Football FanCast guest columnist Don Baxter feels that JJ
should stand his ground
if he gets the
expected FA Charge.

I have
to be honest from the start that I have no great love for Tottenham but that
they seriously got the thin end of the wedge last Saturday. Yes they should
have regrouped after they scored, shouldn’t capitulated in the way that they
did, but I defy any team who have just had the rug ripped from under their feet
in such a manner to be assured, calm and composed after such a shocker of a
decision.

I have
looked on in disbelief at United fans and reaction in the media about the whole
incident and rather than focus on the actual game and the defining moment of
the outcome chose to focus their attentions on other decisions that went
against them during the game. Maybe it is built in United supporters psyche to
do that. They arguably get it from their manager whose only reaction when they
get the benefit of the doubt is to claim ‘well it happened to us last year’ or
words to that affect. I remember when Fergie was asked whether they were
fortunate that a goal was not given when Pedro Mendes scored the goal that
never was and his answer was to bemoan a penalty decision that they didn’t get directly
afterwards on their counter attack. It is a sad state of affairs that
refreshing honesty no longer exists in the game.

It is
this word honesty which makes up the topic of this article and in particular
Jermaine Jenas’ post match comments that are set to land him in hot water. Yes
his words were slightly out of line and purely speculative with regards to Mr
Webb’s motives, but it cannot be denied that United continually get the rub of
the green when it comes to contentious decisions at Old Trafford. Forget Spurs
for a moment and analyse the amount of times this season opposing managers have
come out and expressed concerns at the lack of decisions that go their way,
didn’t O’Neill recently get charged by the FA for comments in their recent 3-2
defeat. I still find it hard to fathom how Webb could come to that decision at
the weekend, and then didn’t feel the need to send Gomes off as a result; I
mean surely that was a goalscoring opportunity. It was a scandalous decision and
contrary to the press reports after the game that chose to shower praise on
Tevez for turning the game around, it is worth pointing out that Spurs were
extremely comfortable until this phantom penalty was awarded.

What
frustrates me about this more than anything is the fallout from it. Spurs are
the team who suffered greatly from this decision and yet it is one of their
players who is going to get punished for it and charged by the FA. Why Jenas’
words were slightly out of line, he is only expressing what a plethora of other
past players and managers have claimed before him. Webb can apologise as much
as he wants but the damage is done and it annoys me that the FA see it as sour
grapes on the opposing team’s part for the fear of upsetting Manchester United
and Fergie, no punishment for the referees who are never made accountable for
their actions, unless the press decide to make a real song and dance about it
that they then feel obliged to take action.

I really
hope that JJ fights his corner and gets backing from all those before him and
try and get referees to be accountable for the decisions they make. You ask 20
refs whether they would have given that decision and I wonder how many would
have said yes. Maybe with JJ holding a strong court then maybe the FA may suddenly
open their eyes to the prospect of using technology now to take these decisions
away from the referee and give them the backup they need. They are only human
and mistakes happen and although they tend to be more frequent at OT at least
technology will be able to eradicate such problems and stop Jenas from having
to make such comments in the future. The 4th official and managers
both have access to instant replays seconds after, so why not utilise it. It
has got be better for the game, surely?