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Ferguson And Wiley Deserve To Be At Center Of Controversy

alan wiley Ferguson And Wiley Deserve To Be At Center Of ControversyWhether by design or not, Sir Alex Ferguson’s rant against referee Alan Wiley’s performance during the Manchester United against Sunderland match on Saturday worked to divert attention away from United’s poor performance.

Personally, I find it ironic that it was Alan Wiley of all referees — especially because he was the fourth official in the Manchester derby, and laughed with Fergie during the added time while Mark Hughes looked on in anger. In Saturday’s 2-2 tie, you could argue that karma came back to bite both Ferguson and Wiley in the butt.

Manchester United’s first half performance was no laughing matter. Paul Scholes and Darren Fletcher were completely ineffective in midfield and wasted numerous passes. And the combination of Rooney and Berbatov failed to get the delivery they needed to cause Sunderland any problems in the back. It was one of those rare first halves when it was the opposition who seemed to be in control of the middle of the Old Trafford pitch.

As for the incident that caused Ferguson to erupt with anger, it was in the second half when Phil Bardsley and Anderson tangled in the penalty area. Wiley ruled that Anderson had fouled Bardsley. Ferguson thought the opposite. To me, it was a fifty-fifty ball and both players were guilty of fouling each other. Wiley had to rule one way or the other, and since the call was so debatable, I believe Wiley made the correct decision.

Ferguson was also critical of Wiley and his fitness, saying that “It’s an indictment of our game. We see referees from abroad that are fit as butcher’s dogs. He wasn’t fit. He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. I think he’s taking a rest, writing down names on his card. It’s ridiculous.”

As for the closing of the game, how many times does Manchester United continue to get an important goal at the end of a game? Fair play to them. They pushed Sunderland hard at the end and had some good fortune with the deflection. But overall in the entire 90 minutes in both this game and the Manchester derby, United looks vulnerable. Other Premier League teams take note.

Photo credit: Flickr.

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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10 Responses to Ferguson And Wiley Deserve To Be At Center Of Controversy

  1. sucka99 says:

    United’s on all cylinders now – they will run out of steam by Christmas, not get better. mark my words

  2. The Fat Panda says:

    Imagine United having a player nudge the ball like that late in the game at Old Trafford after a call goes against them. Does the ref hand a second yellow/red card to the United player in the same situation? No chance. The fact that Ferguson still moans and groans after another gift at home that brought the better playing Sunderland team down to ten men and allowed them to tie the game is a sad state of affairs.

    I love the United fans cheering at the final goal that tied the score and gave them a WHOLE point against Sunderland at home. Imagine, United fans celebrating a point against a team that may or may not ever finish in the Top 10. What has it come to?

    Also, sorry Real Madrid. Try to beat Sevilla before doing whatever else you plan to do this year.

    • ovalball says:

      Is that you in the picture above?? ;-)

    • Scott says:

      So let me get this straight, if it was say Chelsea or Liverpool that were behind late at home and scored a goal to tie it, their fans should not be happy? That has got to be one of the stupidest comments I have seen. Yeah they should cheer, they got a point when it looked like they would not get anything.

  3. Nah says:

    The call against Richardson was such a waste. The only reason it even looked bad is because United was struggling to find a second goal so they chased after every random loose ball; the call in the first place was questionable and when (I believe) Valencia came to get the ball it was about 12-15 feet ahead of where the foul was committed. Obviously, Richardson didnt want to allow a free kick, but in 90% of games that would never be called and the ref would agree the ball should be back where Richardson kicked it.

    Sad thing is Wiley pulled the red card to avoid any kind of wrath from SAF, only even though he pulled a red and United tied the score, it backfired and Ferguson basically said he was a lethargic fatass that couldnt keep up with the game.

    How anyone can root for United and Ferguson is beyond me. Yes, maybe they are an inch better than Drogba and his antics against Liverpool every time they play, but still…

  4. Nah says:

    Is Sir Alex Ferguson to get away with whatever he wants? Because he got the calls he needed to steal a point at home and still went way below the belt in harassing Wiley. If the FA does not backup their own referee, they are even sadder.

  5. Chris from Texas says:

    It seems like everyone is aware of Sir Alex’s hypocrisy toward the officials. To lash out at a referee after ejecting a player for a minor reason is beyond me. Sunderland is the team that has a right to complain, Manchester United need to realize that if you play badly the referee shouldn’t be able to rescue you.

    The fact the it was the same referee that helped gift them a win against Man City cracked me up. I thought the officials were calling an even game, but were slightly better to United. If you want to look at a worse job by the officials this weekend you should have been watching the Liverpool v. Chelsea game earlier.

    Chelsea deserved the three points, but the absurd calls were amazing to watch. I especially loved the obvious handball that occurred before their second goal. I can understand an official missing some calls, but to miss an obvious handball is behind me.

    The worst part of any sport is watching a team lose based on a bad decision by a referee. In Sir Alex’s case, his team drew because they were second best. He needs to stop whining whenever his team plays badly.

  6. eplnfl says:

    Another weekend of poor calls by the referees throughout the Prem. Why should anyone be surprised at this point.

    All the reaction I have heard or seen to the Man U game is pro-Man U for the late score to gain a draw. Why the pass in the press? Maybe SAF has a bigger hold on the English media then we think. For whatever reason Man U avoid attack for a weak performance. I should praise Steve Bruce for getting his squad to put out the effort that they did.

  7. Hargo's Left Knee says:

    Hrm, United massively underperform at home, Fergie picks a mis-firing first XI, Paul Scholes has one of the worst games of his career, Wayne Rooney similar – and all we’re talking about is the ref?

    Job done methinks. Jose would have done the same and he’d be called a master.

    To be fair, I do think it was weird that the game stopped at 94:01. Given all the justification that they gave last week for a goal meaning 1 extra minute or so, then the exact same ref gives 1 second for the goal.

    And seriously, if he was fit and running 10 km a few times a week, how much does Alan Wiley eat!? :)

  8. Tyson says:

    Alan Wiley couldn’t keep up with the players so he made some wrong decisions when he was too far away to see the situation properly.

    He’s fine as a fourth official but running around on the pitch with his weight problem makes no sense. This is the second incident involving referees in the last few days.

    Bruce Allardyce said it best when he said if the referees cant make the correct decisions then somebody needs to speak up.

    Premier League refereeing is a joke. I follow a couple of other leagues and they are vastly, vastly superior to the refs in the Prem League in practically all regards.

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