Monday, 3 October 2011

Why does the sun go on shining?


Let's keep this brief. It is my contention that there is a reason things like Jack Rodwell's sending off keep happening to Everton. And it's down to the way the club portrays itself, as the plucky victim.
Liverpool get a few decisions they don't like and what happens? They demand answers from the very overlords of refereeing, because how dare anyone do anything they don't like?
Whereas Everton have been wringing their hands and apologising for making the place look a mess for so long they expect to get the shitty end of the stick, and are rarely disappointed.
That utter gobshite Graham Poll was interviewed on the official Everton website last week. Here's what he said about the pressure the Goodison crowd puts on the referee: "If a decision goes against Everton early in the match the crowd can really get on your case. 
"I find referees tend to react in one of two ways - they're either slightly influenced by the crowd and Everton get one or two decisions. The other kind probably dig in and think ‘I’ll show you – you can’t put pressure on me’. Nobody would deliberately go against a team, but subliminally you might."
Now how many times have you seen a referee at Goodison - especially against Liverpool or Manchester United - do the latter? I’ll stick my neck out here and say it doesn’t happen very often at Anfield or Old Trafford (to the home team, obviously). 
The only reason I can think of is, it’s not expected to happen, so generally it doesn’t. Opposition teams rarely get penalties at Old Trafford, because it would be 'wrong'.
So how do Everton change things? In the week leading up to a big game David Moyes should be banging on about the need for a strong ref, one who doesn't want to be friends with ‘Stevie’ or ‘Wazza’. He should be pointing out that we've had some appalling decisions in these games – just keep banging on and on and on.
And yes I know there’s something to be said for being stoic and just getting on with it, but we’ve done that and this is what happens. Maybe we should try and play the game, wretched as it is, a bit more. 
Because the records don’t show that convention dictated Liverpool throw the ball back to West Ham in the last minute of the cup final. They show the result after Liverpool - quite rightly - played on, Steven Gerrard equalised and Liverpool went on to win the cup. 
Do we want to be nice or do we want to win?  

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