Monday, January 18, 2010

One of the most pleasing aspects of the Premiership games at the weekend was the decision by referee Andre Marriner to give Everton a penalty against Man City for a blatant shirt pull by Micah Richards on Louis Saha.

The pull couldn't have been more visible, starting outside the box, continuing into it and clearly disrupting Saha's chances of getting on to the end of a long ball. No doubt that it was a penalty, unless you're City's Roberto Mancini watching on from the sidelines of course.

What was most surprising about the incident was that a penalty (or indeed any foul) was called on the shirt pull in the first place. It's a blight that has been too rife in the game in recent seasons. The amount of shirt pulling seen during USL games last seasons, especially at corners, was unbelievable. The vast majority of which were either not seen or not called.

It pisses me off no end.

A similar incident happened in the Wolves-Wigan game, with another penalty being given after a shirt pull by Wolves' Richard Stearman in the box. This incident also resulted in a second yellow card for Stearman, deserved for stupidity if nothing else.

I don't for one minute believe that these two calls being punished will lead to any sort of immediate reduction in such incidents, but at least if refs keep calling them and teams keep losing goals due to them, then maybe, ever so slowly, something can be done to remove or at least reduce this blight from the game.

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