Thoughts on Football In Europe


Thoughts on Football In Europe

Watching the European games this week two things struck me. The first is the blatant cynicism and cheating that has gone on. It just seemed that Barca, Roma and Leverkusen, in particular, would use every dirty trick in the book to see them through. That brings me nicely to the second thing, the refereeing, it was nothing short of appalling, supposedly top class officials falling for every single dive and intimidation attempt.

I must say though, Fergie's whining at Lille for intimidating the ref did make me giggle, after all this is the man who builds his teams around players intimidating referees. I can remember reading an interview with one of his former players, I think it was Alex McLeish but I am not sure on that. He clearly stated that Ferguson instructed the players to question and moan every decision that went against them in an attempt to intimidate him.

Mind he did have good reason to moan at Lille, their walkout was just stupidity, and was never going to achieve anything. Unlike Fergie I have seen something similar a couple of times, his one-time defensive stalwart Steve Bruce once tried something similar, I think it was while he was manager of Huddersfield Town.


There was also the moment Trevor Francis tried to take his ball and go home because a penalty shootout was to be held at the other end from the one he preferred. I can still remember how incredibly dumb he looked storming off in a strop and trying to get his players to follow him. His Birmingham players had no clue as to what they should do, some followed him and some just stood in total confusion.

I think Fergie should be pleased Lille did so, it is a sign of weakness in my eyes, like a boxer complaining about a butt or a low blow – they only do so when they feel things are going against them.


Article written by Tris Burke