The question has to be asked, did Jordan Pickford descend from a clown’s tent, on occasions Pickford dons the Clown’s Derby hat, very befitting for the Merseyside Derby which centred around Pickford’s calamitous challenge on Liverpool’s Virgil Van Dijk ending the Dutch man’s season with cruciate ligament damage. Perhaps Jordan was auditioning for one of owners Bill Kenwright’s theatre productions. The inevitable questions were asked, why was Pickford not red carded and the confusion over the offside law with the build up play leading to the incident being deemed as offside, did the offside make the play outside of being active for the incident to be termed, outside of match play, this has to be the suggestion in many quarters. The bigger picture subsequently transpired with a blame game attached, pundits speaking aloud having been former referees themselves, employed in name only. The match referee Michael Oliver and the VAR specialist referee (joking aside) David Coote came under siege, particularly Coote whose VAR operative findings they attempted to lay bare, bald as a coot could be the add on, the ‘pun’, criticism was awash from the heated cosy warm studio pundits, Graeme Souness classed Pickford’s challenge as reckless, but Graeme was no Mother Teresa during his career, the hypocrisy window.
The Football Association, and some form of football type gambling body, of no consequence, alongside a mishmash of so called in the know figures calling out the offside as they see it, a degree of variety was the given, are the FA fake window dressing? The following findings found Pickford not punishable therein lies the answer, hoodwinked.
Another incident which bemused the pundits was West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic’s red card, again involving Everton, must be something in the Merseyside blue air. The caution was for Bilić approaching the referee Mike Dean at the end of the 45 minutes, off loading industrial language towards Dean. The sending off was questioned by the knowledgeable pundits who need to learn the rule book. As opposed to the Pickford, Van Dyke incident, Bilić made himself active by transgressing onto the pitch with intent, it then becomes at the discretion of the referee, Dean duly obliged, red card given, early shower, but, without the suit Slaven, go through the motions. Another comparison was made with the hand bags at three paces ruling, when a player takes it upon himself to slap an opponent on one’s facial area, how can this be a red card offence and not the Jordan Pickford high challenge? Time set to confer on the rules of engagement, the laws of the game. [The Football Column wishes Virgil Van Dyke a 100% recovery] The Branded Cry Baby The former sacked Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys has branded Roy Keene a disgrace following on from Roy’s comments on Manchester City’s Kye Walker who Keane branded an idiot and a car crash, take it or leave it. Keano’s paid to air his views, Walker would have been called worse than that during match time. Keys refers to oneself as offering explanation and education, self delusional of course. Keys operates under the “Cry baby syndrome” one’s dummy is forthcoming.