Fergie rejects notion of preferential treatment
There has been a bit of a to-do between the two Manchester clubs this week, which has shocked absolutely nobody.
March 29th, 2012
Patrick Vieira, now an executive at Manchester City, claimed that Manchester United “get some advantage that some other teams do not get” when they play at Old Trafford, making absolutely no effort to suggest that a referee decision not to award Fulham a penalty on Monday had nothing to do with his comments.
“I think when you go to United, Madrid, Barcelona, or Milan, when the referees referee these kind of games, it’s always difficult to go against these kind of teams,” he said. “This is the way it is.
“It’s something the teams who are used to winning get all the time, so we need to win games so we may have this kind of advantage in the future.”
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has, unsurprisingly, suggested that anyone making such comments should pipe down, arguing that such referee gaffes even themselves out over the course of a season, even though they clearly don’t.
“It evens itself out over a season and that will never change,” said Ferguson, with the sort of pragmatism that always, always shines through when his side is on the receiving end of iffy decisions.
“You get breaks here and there. Every club gets good breaks, bad breaks,” he added.
Of course, the notion that Manchester United get any sort of preferential treatment at Old Trafford is absolute nonsense. I mean, it is not as his teams have any sort of previous for chasing and haranguing a referee for giving a perfectly correct decision against them to the point where said referee is so intimidated that he fears for his own safety. Oh no.
“We had a terrible decision this season at Old Trafford when Newcastle got a penalty kick,” Fergie added, neglecting to mention that he, at the time, described the penalty as an “absolute travesty” and effectively demanded that linesmen go full time, for reasons that he didn’t make particularly clear.
Because these things even out, I’m expecting a reasoned, passé reaction any day now.