Complaining about referees is part of football. But it’s so boring, writes Jamie Smith.
I can’t be the only one who is sick of Sean Dyche deflecting attention from his team’s failings by pointing out mistakes made by the officials.
Dyche claims Burnley have lost 20 points this season due to bad refereeing decisions and says that when he contacted Professional Game Match Officials, the body agreed with his arguments.
But the fact of the matter is Burnley have been below par in too many games this season and we deserve to be where we are in the league. The table doesn’t lie at this stage and there is no vendetta against us from the men in black.
Dyche changed tack last week, calling for more training and education for referees. “I have empathy for the referees because they haven’t got the funding available to help them with their journey,” he said.
“The irony being the money has just gone up again to get in the Premier League and yet we’re asking people who work all day and all week to come officiate on a game and make these key decisions for teams searching for a pot of gold – more than £80 million.
“What I’d offer is, if there’s that much money in the top level of football I think it should be channelled into aiding these gentlemen who are trying to officiate the game, because they want to do it properly.
“Referees need continued education and development. The only way that can happen is with increased funding.”
While Dyche might have a point, I’d rather he spent his time on improving his team and working on our issues rather than poring over DVDs of refereeing mistakes.
After the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest on Easter Monday, he was at it again. He was upset the equaliser came so late in the game, even though everyone knows it’s a minimum allotted added time and the referee can blow his whistle whenever he likes.
Indeed, Dyche making a substitution during injury time added on the extra 30 seconds in which Forest created their goal, so his moan is silly in this case, not to mention wrong.
“I want to be talking about the team and the events of the game, but we are on an impossible run of decisions from officials at the moment,” he complained.
“It’s important the fans hear my views about everything about what we do and I really don’t want to be stood talking about officials.”
The problem is he keeps talking about officials. When Dyche first came to the Club, he won praise for telling it like it is. Fans generally prefer a straight-talker and after Owen Coyle we won’t tolerate a bullshit merchant as manager again for a while. He also stated he didn’t want to complain about referees as he understands they have a difficult job.
Unfortunately, he seems to have forgotten that. Despite the fact we clearly didn’t deserve to win yesterday even though Forest were so poor their manager apologised for their performance, Dyche had little to say about his own team’s display.
It’s easy. After the game when the press ask you about the referee you say “I don’t want to talk about the referee” and then you don’t. Dead simple.
Dyche uses criticisms of referees to distract from the fact his team are winless in almost three months at home in a run that has seen us collect only nine points from the 12 matches since the 2-0 victory at Millwall.
It’s relegation form. And it has been since the middle of January.
Dyche knows that if he makes the story about how we’ve been robbed by the referee again, these statistics can be brushed aside. Blaming referees makes good headlines. It’s an old trick and it’s one employed by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson. Fergie will always find something to whinge about to the media when his team have been poor.
Burnley created two real chances against Forest, both of which fell to Stanislas. In a home game, this isn’t nearly enough. But it’s not a new story. Ever since Dyche arrived, chances and goals have been at a premium. Although we have the best striker in the league in Charlie Austin, the supply lines have been cut.
Austin has managed ten goals since Dyche replaced Eddie Howe and his record this season is still incredible with 28 strikes from 38 appearances, but you wonder how much more impressive those figures could be with a team designed around the creation of chances for him, rather than one that seems set up for a draw.
Everyone understands there was a need to tighten up the defence that was shipping too many goals under Eddie Howe. But it has come at the expense of our best attacking play. The Clarets don’t look like winning games solely because scoring goals is such a problem. Entertainment is thin on the ground and even at 1-0 up against Forest, the crowd was flat. There was little belief in the stands that we would hold on. Season ticket sales are sure to be down.
Watching Burnley has become a chore and it should be a joy.
Listening to Dyche whinge on about referees every week is getting old. Of course it hurts when a decision like the failed offside call against David Dunn happens, but referees and linesmen will always make mistakes – they are human beings. Sometimes they will go with you and sometimes they will go against you. We scored an injury time equaliser at Watford on Good Friday after all.
We can’t change anything by complaining about referees so there’s no point doing it.
The sooner Dyche learns this, the better.
Should Dyche quit his moaning or is he right to highlight refereeing errors? Comment below.