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Spurs Odyssey Reviews the Premiership Season
for 2007-2008 - Match 35

Premier League Results - 17-20.04.08

Everton    0-1   Chelsea
Arsenal    2-0   Reading
Blackburn  1-1   Man Utd
Fulham     0-2   Liverpool
M'brough   0-1   Bolton
West Ham   2-1   Derby
Wigan      1-1   Spurs
A. Villa   5-1   B'mingham
Man City   3-1   P'tsmouth
Newcastle  2-0   S'derland

       Barclays Premier League
 
Pos Team        P  W  D  L   F  A  GD  Pts

 1  Man Utd    35 25  6  4  72 19  53  81
=========================================
 2  Chelsea    35 23  9  3  60 24  36  78
 3  Arsenal    35 21 11  3  66 29  37  74  
 4  Liverpool  35 19 12  4  62 26  36  69
=========================================
 5  Everton    35 18  7 10  50 29  21  61
========================================= 
 6  A. Villa   35 16 10  9  67 45  22  58 
 7  P'tsmouth  35 16  9 10  48 36  12  57 
 8  Man City   35 15 10 10  42 40   2  55
 9  Blackburn  35 13 13  9  45 43   2  52  
10  West Ham   35 13  8 14  37 42  -5  47   
11  Spurs      35 10 12 13  64 58   6  42  
12  Newcastle  35 11  9 15  42 58 -16  42
13  Wigan      35  9  9 17  32 49 -17  36
14  M'brough   35  8 12 15  31 49 -18  36
15  S'derland  35 10  6 19  33 54 -21  36
16  Bolton     35  8  8 19  32 52 -20  32
17  Reading    35  9  5 21  37 65 -28  32
=========================================
18  B'mingham  35  7 10 18  40 57 -17  31
19  Fulham     35  5 12 18  32 58 -26  27
20  Derby      35  1  8 26  17 76 -59  11(R)

Styles got it wrong - again - at least twice!

My good friend Steffan Chirazi has recently started writing a football blog under the title "Jumpers for Goalposts", and amongst other items has posted this content regarding the bane of our lives - Rob Styles. Spurs were not the victims this time, but the nature of Steffan's articles are all-encompassing despite his Spurs affiliation. Look out for more such links in the remaining weeks of the season.

SOMETIMES, itís a wonder how certain officials can wake up in the morning with a clear conscience. Perhaps Rob Styles never sleeps in the first place.

Perhaps, just perhaps, Rob Styles is a member of some sub-sect, a bio-mechanoid, a creature who needs no rest, who moves endlessly like a shark for fresh bodies on which to feed his insatiable desire for perversely poor decisions, arrogant, smirk-infested stares and generally masochistic tendencies.

During Blackburnís 1-1 draw with Man Utd, Styles (who incidently looks like the sort of chap that enjoys a night out with his open neck shirt, gold chain, signet ring and a few floozies) got two clear-cut penalty decisions so defiantly wrong that even Stevie Wonder was hopping mad (watching a live feed in Los Angeles simply for the purposes of this column). And it is the repetitious nature of this arrogant manner and poor decision making by Styles which continues to irk everyone who suffers him.

He leaves the impression of a man who looks down his nose at players; no warmth, no attempts to work with them, only a driven desire to dominate their dirty little hides. This writer believes thereís a strong element of jealousy involved, as though he feels cheated, like he believes he should have a share of the playing spoils given the fact he walks the same turf week in week out. And perhaps Rob Styles thus feels that his only revenge on the Rooneys, Ronaldos, Lampards and entire Tottenham teams of this world is to deny them whatís right, wear that arrogant smirk and goad them to react so as he can theatrically brandish red cards.

Someone really needs to teach Styles and his ilk some basic man-management skills. How hard would it be for a referee to establish a cordial but firm rapport with each team prior to the match? How hard would it be for the officials to make sure that they address the players as human beings before each mach? How hard would it be to NOT look like a smug wanker from the first moment youíre seen on the pitch? And how hard would it be to show a little consistent communication? IF a player shows verbal dissent, take him aside, be polite, be firm and SPEAK to them about it. CALL the team-mateís skipper over and appraise them of the situation.

Mark Halsey is a referee who appears to have undergone some sort of change in this direction, and as such he has managed to somewhat reduce his previously foul and egregious profile. Howard Webb appears to have a good balance, but if heís not careful the gradual glare of the spotlight will force him into some sort of protective stance which will eventually become ego-mania. Ineed, the only grump who cuts the mustard for me is Steve Bennett, who basically manages to work with such a blank and cold film over his face that he must be a distant cousin of Star Trekís Dr.Spock.

Of course referring isnít easy, and todayís current crop of spoilt brats donít always help matters, but the tragedy here is that when met with referees like Styles, you can almost understand some of the pathetic behavior displayed by players towards officials. No-one should work that hard during the week to see such endeavors undone by a smug, self-righteous and repeatedly erroneous referee. Letís hope that come the summer, Keith Hackett at Ref Central pays attention to these issues and sorts out the arrogance of referees like Styles, the meekness of others like Mike Riley plus the blazing inconsistency they all show.

Read the rest of "Jumpers for Goalposts"

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