Dyche’s referee complaints are boring

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Jamie Smith April 2, 2013
Is there a reason then why Stock has so little ... 2 years ago

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.

  • mick kavanagh

    i quite agree blaming the Refs all the time does take away the spotlight from the under performing team, I would like to know How Chris Mccann manages every week to get picked for the team when there are plenty of mid fielders available instead like Junior, Marv, Marney and dane richards. Could someone please let me know why ???

  • Wilson97

    i agree your point but in this case for the past few games the ref has been kinda harsh on our team, with charlies goal at blackburn ruled out and the heartbreak by the hands of the fat un, after all that sean must just want a clean game but with 5 miniutes added on then going to 7 or 8 or whatever it was you cant help but feel sorry for him. keep in mind the press conference is right after the game, and knowing the character of dyche he is obviously going to be pretty angry and not had time to calm down.

  • Vince

    Once a manager resorts to blaming refs for EVERYTHING, you know he’s totally run out of ideas. Credit to Dyche, he’s reached the endgame of buck-passing in record time. It’s time the board admit they dropped a clanger with Dyche and bring in a new man in the summer. It scares me to think the type of players he will recruit to replace Austin, Patterson, McCann, Marney etc. Dyche’s style of football is only suited to the lower leagues – long ball, play the percentages, high tempo, kick and rush and garbage. It’s dull to watch and ineffectual in the Championship. Let’s give a new man an entire pre-season to build and let’s pick a progressive modern manager.

    • Robin Harveyin reply to Vince

      I do not like to blame managers for our short comings, we have now had two pretty good guys at the helm this season and both have only managed to hold us mid-table. The playing staff is light on creativity, the goal threat is effectively one man and the supply has dried up for some reason.

      Dyche has done as good a job as he can with the resources available, we can only judge him 20 games into next season when he has had the opportunity to bring in a few new faces and create ‘his’ team.

      Anyone thinking he is not the right man does not understand football, changing your manager more than once every 3 years creates instability and a significant financial burden, give the man a real chance to prove himself.

      • LJBin reply to Robin Harvey


        First up midfield …

        Interested to know what the situation with Brian Stock is? He’s a combative and technical midfielder who has a range of passing and links well through this with others.

        In the absence of a skilful player who creates space by beating a player, like Blake or Little, I’m confused why he rarely features in a team that seems to struggle with possession and creating chances. His assets surely offer a chance to retain the ball better and thus allow us to dictate play?

        Admittedly, all our better central midfielders are par for the course at Championship level and Stock is not far above the rest. He does appear to be a good playmaker though and this is sorely missed in our team: can’t think of a good reason why he doesn’t feature. For me, he should be a key member of the first team.

        Secondly, the croaky one …

        Dyche made a decision that extended the game time and made us play deeper with his decision to bring on Edgar as a substitute. Deflection does seem to be his order of the day with recent post-match comments. I sympathise that he is operating with tight purse strings in a world of folly. Other clubs seem to be confidently throwing money around. Hard to believe the strength of Nottingham Forest’s squad at the weekend. I like that we have younger players actively involved with the first team and that we are looking at alternatives to ‘spend big, cross fingers’. Does anyone think Dyche is genuinely under pressure at the club?

        And a final bit of ranting …

        I’m not sure what success we enjoyed under Eddie Howe that makes him stand out. An attacking focus is an exciting idea though I remember plenty of examples when Howe’s team were dull to watch, couldn’t defend and struggled to win games from good positions (Milwall at home was one example). Time is a good judge and with finance and squad building so important, changing manager would seem strange … good things take time (even it that is simply restoring us to being a side with play-off ambitions).

        It has certainly been a difficult time as a Burnley fan but that is the same for many clubs. We can only wonder what thoughts go through the minds of Portsmouth fans at the moment?

        My big concern is that football generally is not fun at the moment. It’s an expensive and time-consuming option: if I bought food anywhere in a high street shop that matched the quality and price of football grounds’ fare, I’d never go back. Why can’t I buy a teamsheet for a quid instead of a programme for much more? I wonder why a culture of heavy drinking sees fans coming into venues with aggressive attitudes (something rarely challenged by supporter groups); I’ve even started to bring instant soap to games after seeing incidents of our ‘fans’ urinating into communal sinks with a smile and laugh shared between their friends. Strange the way watching football is at the moment. Don’t get me started on seating/standing!

        One thing for sure is that we all love our club and that’s our choice. We don’t get paid to support the Clarets, quite the reverse. Dedication and hope … long may they persist.


        P.s. Anybody have any thoughts about the warm embrace between Stock and Billy Davies before the game? Are they the best of pals or soon to be accomplices?

        • John Smithin reply to LJB

          Its a shallow tact to believe that the match officials are the reason for our lack of wins.
          Courage is now needed to get the points to ensure we are safe.
          I would like to see a new midfield but funding may not be available for this.
          Nottingham Forest were not a good side, just better organised and motivated by Billy Davies to keep a tempo to the game. In fairness we kept Blackstock and Sharp quiet hence their removal, but we didnt get the other goal to finish them off, and that really cost us so late into time added-on.
          Sean Dysche will not appreciate our moaning nor will the club like the season ticket sales thus far but if we are ALL honest the entertainment value is lacking.
          I hope Sean makes sure the board knows what he wants and more important who he doesnt want.
          Could be worse………take a moment to check out whats going on at ewood.

        • Kevin Robinson
          Kevin Robinsonin reply to LJB

          I think Davies signed Stock for Preston?

          • Rolfin reply to Kevin Robinson

            That’s right

      • Vincein reply to Robin Harvey

        You don’t like to blame managers for our short-comings but reckon to ‘understand football’ is too accept managers should always be given time? They’re either responsible for the team and results or not.

        “The supply has dried up for some reason”. Really, you can’t see what that reason is; bearing in mind the goal drought times perfectly with the arrival of the Dyche? You then go on to say Dyche has “Done as good a job as he can with the resources available”. Highly contradictory.

        So you want to give him 20 games next season and then seem to suggest that would be a good time to replace him if results have not improved. And you think changing manager mid-season is a good idea?

        I’m not a fan who always calls for the manager to go – I’d have been delighted if the club had given Howe a long contract, had he been willing to stay – but sticking with a failing manager is not always a sign of stability. Sometimes you can just tell a man has been promoted beyond his capabilities. That’s my view of Dyche, evidenced by his Usain Bolt-like sprint to blame everyone else except himself for the club’s relegation form.

        It’s often mentioned referees have ‘cost us 20 points’. But how many of those points would have been ring-fenced had we try to secure a two-goal lead rather than hang on to a one-goal advantage? Negative football leaves you vulnerable to bad decisions.

        What you say about changing managers and bringing success is not actually supported by the evidence (it’s an oft repeated cliché but have you researched the facts to back it up? – if you mention Ferguson and Wenger I’ll fall off my seat laughing) but, in essence, I agree with the sentiment – once you’ve got a guy who you can see progressing and growing, you stick with him. Is Dyche that man? Really?

        *Above comment made with a reasonably good understanding of football

  • LJB

    Is there a reason then why Stock has so little game time? I’m a fan of some of what I’ve seen of him and wonder why he sees so few playing minutes.

    I have to say too that Forest didn’t look great but their bench was an impressive collection of names for this level. Guess they rested a few thinking of their run in?

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