Friday, January 07, 2005


It should have been a goal, no question about it. It was plain to see on Roy Carroll's face, even if you didn't see the ball cross the line. Ironic, of course, that nobody is commenting on the fact that United should have had a penalty, rather than a free kick, immediately afterwards (even Paul Robinson said as much). However, that's to be expected under the circumstances. Call it 1-1 and be done with it. Chelsea have the title wrapped up anyway!

I have to say, it's tough to watch a top-flight sportsman caught red-handed as Carroll was. It's the same with a Vieira belly-flop, a sneaky Bergkamp elbow, or a Carragher handball. The thing is, this isn't golf, and footballers don't call their own penalties. We'd have nothing to emote about if they did. So while it made me cringe at the time, the fact is there were three referees, none of whom saw it as a goal.

As I was always taught as a cricketer, the Umpire is right, even when he is wrong. The beauty of sport stems from it's humanity, and we need to be really careful when we start stripping it bare. Having the ability to do something doesn't make it the right thing to do. The premiership does not have to mimic the NFL.

What really irks me though, is those who claim that it never happened, back in the day. Maybe I just need to get my own pair of rose-tinted spectacles, but I'm quite certain it did happen back in the day. The difference was, you and I had no way of knowing, and we focused instead on enjoying the game. Something to consider.

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