Refereeing, Michael Owen, Real Madrid, a different mentality
An alternative mentality
I see many people around me (in Madrid) who are surprised by the lack of complaints regarding the officiating in the Camp Nou on behalf of everyone to do with PSG. Emery did it a little, there were some tweets from players' wives, but nothing compared to the stir that we create on the back of refereeing decisions that prove decisive in important games, as was the case on Wednesday. Why? Because out there football is looked at with a different mentality. Many see a wrong refereeing decision as part of the uncertain nature of football. They relate a poor decisive mistake from the ref to their team hitting the post that prevents a well-worked and deserved goal.
Needing someone to blame
Here it's not like that, and hasn't been for some time. Here the referee is not seen as a factor of chance, but as a source of irritation, someone for us to turn on when there are setbacks. We talk about them a lot, almost everyone does so when they feel hard done by. Some people look past it, but there are not many of them. There are those that would prefer the cold, dispassionate use of technology, but I'm used to our way. Attacking the referee is unacceptable, their good faith shouldn't be questioned except where there is evidence (of which there are few cases) although I do think examining refereeing is another good way of analysing football. It's important to know and defend the laws of the game; without behaving nastily.
Owen's misunderstood reaction
Another thing that has caused some noise in Madrid was the over-the-top celebration of Michael Owen for the sixth goal. But did he not play for Madrid? Was he not recently invited back, along with the remaining Ballon d'Or winners of the club? I don't buy that Owen's reaction was an insult to Madrid, as was perceived by so many Madridistas, also indignant of the officiating. Far from the noise here, something he likely never understood, he would have seen a milestone reached, an achievement in which the referee only added a drop (or maybe a litre) of fortune. And perhaps what he was celebrating most was the massive disappointment for the great team of France, a country with which England has eternal misgivings.
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