This weekend’s matches have seen more than their fair share of controversy. First, we had Theo Walcott apologising for diving in an attempt to cheat his way to a penalty. Second came El Hadji Diouf’s despicable verbal assault on QPR’s Jamie Mackie while the R’s defender was lying injured on the turf with a double fracture to his leg. Thirdly, we had Coward Webb award Manchester United with their obligatory Old Trafford penalty after just 32 seconds of our tie for a Berbatov dive, who later went on to pick up ITV’s Man of the Match award.
Considering Babel’s offence was probably the least serious of the 4 I have mentioned here, we ask why has he been targeted by the FA? Could be in revenge for other members of Liverpool FC staff accusing the FA of making Steven Gerrard’s injury worse while he was on international duty recently? Is it an example of an out-of-touch controlling body, who doesn’t understand Twitter, trying to flex its muscles and make an example out of Babel? Or is it that Ryan is too close to the truth?
In his last 6 games he has officiated at Old Trafford, Webb as awarded Manchester United 4 penalties. All four of them were incorrect calls:
1. Yesterday, a blatant dive by Berbatov
2. A non-existent handball by Clichy when Arsenal visited in December
3. Javier Mascherano’s foul on Valencia last March outside the box. Valencia fell into the area and a penalty ensued.
4. Way back in April 09, Spurs’ Heurelho Gomes is wrongly adjudged to have fouled Carrick in the box. Gomes played the ball first and did not commit a foul.
Instead of looking to punish players’ for making jokes on Twitter, the FA would be much better off looking at more pressing issues, in particular the poor standard of refereeing. When will the FA realise that Howard Webb MBE means Howard Webb Manchester Bias Evident?