Connect in the back of the net

The English Premier League is by a long stretch the most ruthless, intense, physically demanding top tier League in Europe.

None more so than the performance of foreign players best exemplifies this theory.

Newly acquired foreign players who were the cream of the crop in other top European Leagues- case in point Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao- were reduced to mere minions after struggling to find their form on English soil.

Others however like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have proved to be larger than life characters, bulldozing their way through to duplicate performances of days gone by: Long may it continue.

The Premier League has over the years evolved, with managers opting for a more intense, high pressing game of never giving the opposition a moment’s peace.

As the game has evolved, so have the referees…but in the most repugnant of fashions.


Season marred

The 2016/17 season has been marred with absurd referee calls, with decisions by match official taking center stage in the post-match analysis more than the general performances of the opposing sides.

The recent run of poor decision making by match officials has been distasteful and appalling, but none of that can be compared to the arrogance and apathetic nature of the Football Association.

The highest football body in the land has turned a deaf year to complaints by managers and fans alike on the inconsistency of match officials- yet we still question why the Three Lions can’t win a major tournament?

Jose Mourinho has on times unending rallied for the inculcation of video referees for accurate decision making but to no avail, with his latest outcry coming against West Ham.

Although his side won 2-0 at the Olympic Stadium, the Portuguese manager distanced himself from the sending off of Sofiane Feghouli after a collision with Phil Jones, instead championing for video referees with the argument that they are ‘champions of bad decisions’.

The Manchester United manager has certainly earned the right to make such an admission, although the comments will unlikely attract retrospective action from the FA.



Mourinho has already been sent off twice this season, yet his combustible rants were as a result of howlers by referees.

Over the course of this season alone, United have been on the wrong end of 14 terrible decisions by referees.

The first case of an endless tale of poor decision making came in the Manchester derby back in September when Mark Clattenburg waved away appeals for a penalty after Claudio Bravo’s perilous challenge on Wayne Rooney.

Other similar cases where when Martin Atkinson irked United supporters after ignoring a studded challenge on Marouane Fellaini by David Luiz, while Andre Marriner denied Antonio Valencia a clear penalty after he was recklessly brought down by Nacho Monreal.


Costly decisions against elite sides

The poor decisions have unfortunately come against bigger Premier League opposition, and it’s no surprise that the Old Trafford side is still mud stuck in sixth at the standings despite winning six games on the bounce.

Whether the Football Association will do anything about it however remains to be seen.


Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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