Best & Worst of the weekend - Blackburn and Bolton
That’s how you finish. He may not be in the best shape, and I don’t believe for a second that he’s under thirty, but what a priceless commodity the Nigerian has in his game - goalscoring. I wrote last week that one of the few positives that Blackburn fans can cling to, was their team’s ownership of a proven Premier League forward.
His first was sensational, his second and third were studies into goalscoring instinct, and his penalty was the knockout blow that did for Swansea.
Gary Cahill’s sending off
A nonsense. It’s not referee Stuart Attwell’s fault that this occurred on the same day as Mike Dean’s failure to dismiss David Luiz, but that it did just serves to demonstrate the lack of consistency in Premier League officiating.
If that’s William Gallas or Younes Kaboul making that tackle, are they seeing red for it? I doubt it. Apply some common-sense here - Scott Parker is fifty yards from goal, there are covering defenders on the other side of the pitch. How is that a clear goalscoring opportunity? I can accept bad decisions when they’re debatable, but not when they contradict the rulebook.
Attwell likes to give big decisions, that they’re frequently incorrect seems to go unnoticed by the FA and Keith Hackett - this is also the referee that awarded the phantom goal between Reading and Watford in 2008. Do you want a conspiracy theory? Go on then…
Attwell, at 25, was the youngest referee to ever take charge of a Premier League game. He took charge of his first football league game in 2007, and by 2008 was officiating at the top of the pile. That’s a pretty steep progression. Attwell has been fast-tracked to the Premier League for the public relations benefit of having a young and visible referee at the top level.
What do you see if you look back on his career? A history of ‘losing control’ of games and of baffling decisions. Not just ‘poor’ decisions, but ones that are genuinely mystifying.
He’s making ‘big’ decisions in order to demonstrate his authority in games - he’s taking every opportunity to show that he can face-up to the personality of the league.
Tenuous? Maybe, but still…