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Referees Repeatedly Ruining Bolton's Already Slim Chances

By Rob
Saturday 3rd December 2011
When your central defender is sent off after 20 minutes, you know you're going to be up against it. And when the red card is not really deserved you also think it's probably a little bit unfair. However, when you have a defender sent off inside the first 20 minutes two weeks in a row you begin to question whether there's something a little more suspicious going on.

Bolton Wanderers saw Gary Cahill, their centre half and best defender by a mile, given a straight red card in their 3-0 defeat over Tottenham after he brought down Scott Parker some 45 yards from goal, with Zat Knight covering the midfielder's path to goal. Cahill was ridiculously dismissed by referee Stuart Attwell who, like his compatriot Mark Clattenburg, seemingly has some kind of personal vendetta against Wanderers having also sent the England centre half off at Arsenal last season.

Bolton's David Wheater was also sent off within the first 20 minutes of last weekend's defeat by Everton when he challenged winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov on the half-way line one-footed and with his studs slightly raised, a red card that I very much feel was unfair and a yellow card at best.

Yet these decisions to dismiss Bolton's defenders come amid a series of tackles and situations in other matches that were as bad, if not worse than either Cahill or Wheater's offences. For example, four minutes into Saturday's early fixture between Newcastle and Chelsea, Demba Ba raced through the Chelsea defence and was pulled to the ground by David Luiz. It was a clear goalscoring opportunity, unlike Cahill's challenge, yet Luiz was only shown a yellow card. Go figure.

Then in last Sunday's televised fixtures, Aston Villa's Alan Hutton went flying into the back of Swansea's Scott Sinclair two-footed, and Man City's Vincent Kompany put in a similar challenge to Wheater's on a Liverpool player - and yet both only received yellow cards. So why did Wheater get sent off?

I'm not one to stir up a conspiracy and claim the refs are against us, but when these decisions keep being made against Bolton by supposedly top referees, I can't help wondering whether there is some sort of favoritism towards our opposition. And it certainly seems to be a case of one rule for one, and one rule for another.

Bolton's plight on the pitch is bad enough when the team simply isn't delivering and is being outplayed week in, week out. The last thing we need is to have referees making themselves the centre of attention and sending off our players unnecessarily - which they are doing. This needs to stop and referees need to act with more common sense, because all they are doing is ruining the game.
Rob

Total articles: 69

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