Monday, 21 November 2016

Refs are getting frightened to give penalties these days

Roger East will have felt the weight of fans' frustrations after his display at Stoke City. It is a very difficult job and on this day he made a big mistake that luckily did not change the outcome of the game for AFCB.  Callum Wilson is not going to think much of the Bet365 stadium with his recent visits there, but Roger East could have made it a better day if he had got this early decision right.

Referees are under so much scrutiny that I believe they are prone to take the safe option not to give a penalty if at all possible. Stoke had been on the wrong end of decisions earlier in the season, but they certainly got away with one in this match. I suppose fans and managers will never be happy whether there are a high number or low number of penalties in a season, so a referee just has to give a gut instinct decision and while that is not always going to be perfect, it is the clear fouls that are not seen that really annoy. There have been some innocuous penalties given for holding in the box this season, but the thought of players diving for penalties is firmly in referees' minds now and they don't want to blow up every time a striker goes down in the box. What Eddie Howe pointed out was that if Callum's run was not a penalty, then he was accusing Wilson of diving so why wasn't the forward booked?
Eddie Howe thought Roger East got both penalty decisions wrong in the Stoke City game.
Frustrating as that is, it is always worse when the other team are awarded a penalty for a innocuous challenge that was simply a misplaced foot from Simon Francis, on the top of Bojan's foot, when the attacker was headed out of the box, and away from goal. It was really a double insult to those travelling Bournemouth fans, but that's football. We don't like it, but nobody can change it when it happens.

Penalties are always contentious and game defining in close games, and while the thickness of the bar came to AFCB's rescue it was a game that didn't deserve to be ruined by penalties as some of the football from both sides was excellent. Ref's have to make decisions though and while they are the main decision-maker, both teams are always going to try and influence that decision. Some you win and some you lose. But I only hope in his next game Roger East is not influenced himself by what happened in this game and just calls every incident as he sees it - that is all we can ask of referees.

Finally, I was horrified to hear what Jordan Ibe had gone through in being held up by knifepoint recently and I hope he feel safe. If players are targeted then the fans will not be able to get near them and I pray this and the Andy Caroll incident are never repeated.

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