Football has its ups and downs. No club can always have ninety minutes of pure perfection each game. But is it always down to the players, or do the referees play massive parts in how clubs perform? Today, I'm looking at modern referees and how the choices they make can have heavy impacts on a team.
Yesterday, 30th March, Oxford United played my beloved Scunthorpe United. And at times it was frustrating. It was live on Sky Sports, so I was hoping we wouldn't embarrass ourselves after our disappointing run of losses and draws. We scored twelve minutes into the first half thanks to Ivan Toney. Despite scoring that goal, and securing a comfortable lead, we should have been at least three nil up before that half time whistle went, but the ref was not on our side. The referee was Darren Drysdale, and no matter how many times Oxford fouled us, he was having none of it. About three of those fouls should have been penalties. Clear contact was made between the ball and an Oxford player's upper arm, but we still did not benefit from it. However, in the second half, Oxford got awarded a penalty and equalised in the fifty-sixth minute. To me and everyone else I have spoken to, it wasn't a penalty. We still carried on strong, and each side gained a point.
On Twitter, I have seen many fans of other teams back us up, and disagree with Drysdale's choices, which suggests that us Scunny fans aren't biased (on this occasion) and that the ref made some very poor choices. In my opinion, there are some shocking referees involved with English football, especially in the Premier League, and they could be affecting the way teams reflect on the last match and go into the next match.
Not all decisions come from the main referee, though. It's most of the time up to the linesman to decide on whether or not goals are offside etc. Friday, we actually scored a second goal, but of course, it was offside. We have had some awful linesmen at Glanford Park before, and if they hadn't had put their flags up to indicate that a goal/player was offside, our games would have ended up very differently.
Make sure to comment your opinions below, or tweet me @jadesufc_ letting me know your opinions on modern referees, and their decisions. Thank you for reading!