EPL: Day 1, Part 2

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Football
August 17th, 2003 • 9:19 pm

Another English Premier League day marred by highly dubious refereeing decisions, especially concerning the Michael Owen penalty in Liverpool’s home defeat to Chelsea. Owen completely missed his initial kick, but was awarded a second chance because the keeper had allegedly jumped off his line before the ball was kicked.

The fact is that there are many keepers in the EPL who get away with much more blatant infringements during penalty kicks. I have nothing against enforcing the rules, but it needs to be done consistently. And if referees have not been enforcing them in the recent past, then it’s only natural that keepers should assume that they can get away with a little bit of cheating. If the referees then decide to change their tune and strictly enforce the rules, then it should be officially announced at the beginning of the season, so that all keepers are warned. But this decision made by the linesman out of the blue when Liverpool was 0-1 down and in desperate need of help is obviously impossible to justify.

It was only fair, therefore, when Hasselbaink put Chelsea back in the lead a few minutes before full time. Chelsea obviously deserved the win, and anything else would have been robbery. I know that football is not always “fair” in that the best team doesn’t always get the points — but referees should have absolutely nothing to do with it.

Liverpool were dreadful as usual, and I don’t really see how Kewell is going to be able to take the team up to a decent level all by himself. He’s an exciting player, but he’s clearly with the wrong team.

The Leeds – Newcastle game (2-2) was entertaining, although there’s nothing particularly enjoyable about watching physical players such as Jason Wilcox or Lee Bowyer committing ugly fouls. Leeds were definitely not as bad as expected, and Newcastle didn’t look all that impressive.

Based on this week end’s performances, it looks like it’s going to be a battle between Man U, Arsenal and Chelsea. But of course, it’s far too early to write anyone off.

2 Responses to “EPL: Day 1, Part 2”

  1. jim says:

    actually the ruling has been “announced” before the start of the new season and the goalies should be aware of it…in today’s case, it was 50-50 as cudacini was one leg out…anyway pools won’t go far this year.

  2. Pierre Igot says:

    Oh, wasn’t aware of that “announcement”. Strange that the commentator didn’t mention it when this happened — unless I missed it. 50-50 is right :).

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