Say 'No' to Robots
I'm telling you it didn't cross the line. Spare yourself the bother and heartache of watching the TV replay, there's no debate or analysis needed. As frustrated as I was from the stands, I can only imagine how cross Keiren Westwood was.
Think about it: this guy spends his whole life trying to stop goals. His livelihood depends on it. It feeds his family, and keeps him warm and safe at night. So when he saves another good'un against Sheffield United, only to be told that he had, in actual fact, failed to do so, his incandescence must have only been the first movement of his symphony of emotions.
That he only got booked for being told he wasn't doing his job, when he bloomin' well was is a miracle in itself. Where was the fourth official this time? Don't they have monitors in those hideouts of theirs?
I think you know where this is going, but I'll stop you there, because I am not in favour of using 'technology'. It's such an ugly word in the context of the beautiful game. If 'technology' starts creeping into the game, who knows where it will end? Judging by the amount of money washing around the game at the minute, one dabble in this forbidden pool could end up with us watching some kind of footy-themed Robot Wars, between Daleks Athletic and Cybermen City.
Let's say for instance that after Wednesday's 'incident' the game was stopped and referred to an off-the-pitch official to study the replay, or maybe just see if a sensor had beeped on the goal line. The goal wouldn't have counted, but City may well have gone on to lose anyway, as they far from being on top of their game.
Then I would have trudged meekly home not cursing the officials but bleakly trying to fathom just why the City looked so tame against a rather average (but successful) Sheffield team. I'd much rather just go home with ref-rage thanks, and I'd get home a few minutes earlier without all the faffing around with 'technology'.
The point is, to take that subjective element out of the game would lessen its effect and, eventually, its appeal. I like that referees can have a bad game. It makes the game that bit less predictable, and just gives us so much more to talk about. If every decision was made by a computer (albeit correctly) the game would become clinical and sterile.
This is where cricket is headed you may have noticed. And are they still getting all the decisions right? Not if Nasser Hussain's carefully but hotly worded rant after England's third test against the West Indies is anything to go by. Nasser was such a cool bloke at the crease. One or two more dodgy third umpire decisions and he might start to have an inkling of what Keiren Westwood must be going through.