Honest Ollie could teach top dogs
If every football manager was like Ian Holloway, maybe some of us wouldn't be tired of the season already. Yet another weekend has been dominated by moaning from the men who should - but never will - know better. There's Rafael Benitez talking to the fourth official like something he had trod in at Stamford Bridge. Sir Alex Ferguson moaning despite his side getting out of jail. Even the placid Roy Hodgson was fuming after Fulham's 2-2 draw at West Ham with 10 men. Blackburn chief Sam Allardyce went a step further and called for Peter Walton to be sacked. During Rovers' 6-2 thrashing by Arsenal, Allardyce was left incensed after a crucial penalty decision went against his side at the start of the second half. Northamptonshire official Walton did not point to the spot and send off defender Thomas Vermaelen for what replays suggested was indeed a trip on David Dunn. Allardyce said: "In the big pressure pot that is this league, you have got to get the major decisions right otherwise you don't stay in this league too long - not as a manager or a player, so as a referee you have got to be judged the same. "They are fully professional now so if they are not good enough, we should find someone who is." As for Fergie, the Manchester United boss claimed Alan Wiley had not played the correct amount of added time in the 2-2 draw with Sunderland because he had failed to add on an additional minute to the four already signalled once United scored. "I was disappointed with the referee," said the United boss to no-one's surprise. "He didn't add on any time for the goal. He played four minutes and two seconds. "He was also walking up the pitch for the second goal needing a rest. He was not fit enough for a game of that standard. "The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. He was not fit. It is an indictment of our game. You see referees abroad who are as fit as butchers' dogs. We have some who are fit. He wasn't fit. "He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. He was needing a rest. It was ridiculous." Perhaps Ferguson has a point. Back in the day when referees held down proper jobs as well as spoiling the public's Saturday afternoon, they could be forgiven for carrying a bit of timber. Now it is a profession, however, there is no excuse for being unfit. So maybe for once Ferguson has a point about officiating, regardless of the merits of his particular case. But the final word must go to the Oracle of post-match interviews, Blackpool boss Holloway. 'Ollie' was incensed by two key decisions and launched an impassioned plea for the introduction of video replays after his team's 4-1 Championship defeat by Crystal Palace. Holloway was furious his side were denied a route back into the game at 2-0 before the break when Alex Baptiste's effort was ruled out. And he was equally angry at the decision to allow Palace's 65th-minute third - scored after Baptiste had headed Blackpool back into it in the 52nd minute - and claimed scorer Darren Ambrose was offside. "Why haven't they got cameras?" Holloway asked, before going to reach an impressive crescendo. "We might as well go back to being cavemen, grab our girl by the hair, drag her into the cave whether she wants to come in or not because we may as well live in that age. We've come forward haven't we?"
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