The more I think about Sunday's match, the more angry I am about the poor officiating. I'm not trying to give Nigel De Jong a free pass for what he did or anything, but to me Martin Atkinson is a much more fitting villain here. He single-handedly swung the game in Manchester City's favor. There's no middle ground. Exaggerations and unnecessarily firm statements like the one I just made are commonplace in the media today, but in this situation, there is absolutely no wiggle room. The penalty decisions Atkinson made were objectively wrong. I haven't seen refereeing this bad since...well, here's a visual aid.
toonsy has some thoughts on refereeing in general, no doubt inspired by Sunday's debacle. (nufcblog.org) Shola Ameobi said, among other things, "I’m still trying to figure out why the referee hasn’t given a penalty." (Lee Ryder, The Chronicle) Another objective observer agrees that The Toon were "robbed." (The Guardian)
We mentioned in another post that Nigel De Jong has been booted off of the Holland National Team for the time being. The FA came out Monday and said they could not pursue the matter any further because Atkinson told the media that he saw the injury. His inaction on the field necessitates FA's inaction off the field. Rue the day, Atkinson! (The Guardian) Chris Hughton had some words to say about Hatem ben Arfa's injury, and one of them was "devastating." (The Guardian) Ben Arfa himself promised to come back strong. (Lee Ryder, The Chronicle) Simon Bird is already looking ahead and sees Newcastle having to spend money in January to replace HBA that they were planning on saving for the summer. (The Mirror) Some have suggested that new regulations are needed to control these kinds of tackles. (The Guardian) Finally, the tackle inspired a list of the Top 10 Dirtiest Premier League Players. I was not shocked by any of the names on the list, but I did think some of the ranking was suspect. Lee Cattermole needs to be higher, in my opinion. (CaughtOffside, videos)
Despite the loss, Chris Hughton was happy with the way his players played. (Lee Ryder, The Chronicle)
Remember how Andy Carroll's upcoming selection for England was all anybody could write about last week? He wasn't selected after all. (Lee Ryder, The Chronicle)
Fraser Forster enjoys getting to play every week for Celtic, and he is hoping his loan will be extended past January. (Sky Sports)
Ed Harrison looks back at the last seven games. (nufcblog.com)