In defence of Jermaine Jenas
So JJ is in trouble with the FA over his choice of words in the aftermath of the 5-2 defeat in the 'Theatre of you must be Dreaming if you think you’ll ever going to win here'.
What did JJ state exactly?
"I think it was a case of a referee crumbling under the pressure at Old Trafford really. The atmosphere, the occasion, the importance of the match, a lot of factors take their toll when making decisions."
"One thing which struck me about it was that he [Webb] didn't even think [about the penalty decision]. It was like he'd already made his mind up when he came out for the second half that he was going to give something."
So what did he state exactly? The bloody bleeding obvious. Did Howard Webb not admit to making a mistake? Although he won’t admit to the reasons behind why he found it so easy to blow a whistle and point to the spot we all know that he did so because it’s what you do if you struggle to hold your nerve.
But then, objectively, it’s impossible to say one way or another if the referee had made a premeditated decision to give something to the home side. But there is a culture within the game that sees some refs more inclined to be influenced by the big clubs. I know it’s pretty much hearsay and theoretical but had that penalty shout come from Spurs players in the opposite box – would he have blown the whistle? He obviously – through his own admittance - got it wrong and knew at the time he had made a mistake. Explains the yellow card (rather than red) for Gomes. So what makes a professional, whose job it is to officiate a professional game, make such a glaring amateur mistake? If he didn’t see it, if he wasn’t 100% then speak the assistant ref. Or better still, don’t give it.
What Jenas is getting at is that you have to be in a particular frame of mind to be so easily susceptible to a penalty incident and to a degree, at a subconscious level, you sort of know what you are going to do before you do it.
Decisions like these are given all the time, in games that do not carry the same weight of importance as the one on Saturday did. It’s because it was Utd and because it was an important league game and the fact that we were 2-0 up that it’s riled the players and fans alike.
In reality, its probably down to the fact that refs are just human...and rubbish. But they always seem to be less human and more rubbish when its a little club versus a big club.
Yes, we collapsed pathetically straight after it – and this should be the priority to JJ and the rest of the players rather than dwelling on the injustice of the incident. Can’t change it now. But maybe his words will linger in the thoughts of other refs. Much like when Moyes called Mike Riley a United fan.
Seems if you want decisions to go your way, you need to influence the refs yourself.
Either that, or change your team to Man Utd.