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I have watched Norwich City for long enough to know that the club doesn’t usually get the luck with decisions. Of course, the Canaries have received some decisions that might be seen as fortunate this season, but a number of big decisions have also gone the other way.
Now, I know that it’s a tough job, and it’s the same for everyone, but it’s often said that referees will look to even things up if they make a soft decision. We will all have opinions on whether or not that penalty inside the first two minutes should have been given. And my personal feeling is that it was an extremely harsh decision and a very soft penalty to concede. After all, we see this sort of incident all the time and a penalty is rarely given.
I think it’s fair to say that it is one of those that probably wouldn’t get given against one of those so-called "big clubs." The thing that annoys me about it is the lack of consistency. I have no problem with shirt-pulling being punishable by a penalty kick. However, nine times out of 10 that proves not to be the case.
The other side of Saturday’s incident is that it was a two-sided affair. For my money, Winston Reid was doing just as much as Ryan Bennett was. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that a decision could really be given anyway. And usually that is the case, as play is allowed to continue, so it’s always a tough decision to take when one of those goes against your team.
Nevertheless, the bit that really confuses me is why didn’t the referee even it up when he had the opportunity. First, there was an incident that involved what looked to be a fairly blatant handball, and then a cynical foul on Harry Kane when the striker was clear.
But not only did he turn those appeals away, but he also punished Norwich further by failing to call a foul when Alex Tettey was floored by Carlton Cole, especially since that could have been a serious injury. I know my view is likely to be biased, but in my view so was the referee on the day, and what kind of excuse could he really have?