Palace 1-3 West Ham
Crystal Palace were undone by West Ham for the second season running at Selhurst Park in a game that was devalued by the referee. Dwight Gayle received two yellow cards for just two fouls and a game that was well contested up until this point, on the stroke of half time, was ruined as a spectacle.
Gayle and the Unwanted Red Birthday Card
Before I get into this. I am not bitter at the result. The red card happened, West Ham took advantage and fair play to them (although the irony of them singing “are you watching Allardyce?” just after their second, a high pump to the back stick where Andy Carroll nodded it down into the six yard box – a play straight from the Allardyce book of attacking - was not lost on me). My focus is on Mark Clattenburg and my belief that he ruined a perfectly good game of football that we may have won, drawn or lost if the full compliment of players remained on the field.
"There is no arguing with Gayle’s first yellow card."
There is no arguing with Gayle’s first yellow card. Slide tackles from behind are often punished when the players win the ball; Gayle was nowhere near the ball and deserved the booking. The second yellow card is just plain stupidity from both the player and the referee. Gayle does not need to make a challenge on the halfway line when the rest of his team are behind the ball but surely the referee should be warning the striker instead of sprinting a fast as he possibly can to dish out a second yellow card. When Glenn Murray was sent off for three innocuous fouls at Upton Park last season, at least the referee pulled over the captain and the player and said that the next foul would be a second yellow card. That is good refereeing.
Now think back to Francis Coquelin when Arsenal visited Selhurst Park earlier this season. His fouls were equally as bad as Gayle’s yet he made four of them AND Palace were on the attack on each occasion. West Ham were not attacking when Gayle made either of his fouls. The referee pulled over the captain and the player and warned him that the next foul would mean a red card. I think that Coquelin was given one too many chances in the first place but at least the referee let the player know where he stood. Arsene Wenger did the right thing on this occasion and substituted the player, something that Alan Pardew should have done with Murray back at Upton Park last season.
Now turn your attention to Carl Jenkinson. He gave away penalty with a hack from behind and is not yellow carded. This is in the penalty area, preventing a player from turning and taking a shot on goal yet he is not booked. Gayle meanwhile is booked for being a fraction late in the middle of the park when nothing is happening. Then Jenkinson commits another foul, just as bad as Gayle’s second is and still he was not booked. Consistency should have seen him sent off.
Now Nikica Jelavic. He goes in late on a Palace defender when pressing, no different to Gayle’s second yellow, yet he is not booked. He is then booked for kicking the ball away – that should have been his second yellow card if the referee is being consistent.
I am not justifying Gayle’s stupidity here. He should not have been so reckless when pressing on the halfway line when on a booking. I just wanted to point out that it is yet again the consistency of the referee that annoys me. Further, time and time again it is Mark Clattenburg. Allowing assaults on Julian Speroni, awarding last minute penalties against us and sending our players off for next to nothing. What has he got against us? Is it the fact that he is a Newcastle fan?
Last season when Hull won 2-0 at Selhurst Park, the first goal, key to the outcome of the match, saw a blatant handball from a Hull player go unpunished - he then assisted the goal with his next touch. Clattenburg then disallowed a perfectly good Palace goal.
Arsenal last season. We lose 2-1. The first goal is a penalty that is probably outside the box. Arsenal’s second goal is offside.
West Brom last season. Dawson elbow’s Speroni in the face, receives no punishment. Awards a last minute penalty when Jedinak wins the ball. Further more, Pocognoli makes SIX fouls in the game, four of them of a cynical nature that prevents Palace attacking and he receives only one yellow card. Where was this grace for Gayle yesterday?
Ask yourself this. After, rightly, making Yohan Cabaye retake the penalty for encroachment – do you think he would have ordered a retake if Cabaye had missed for Adrian being at least two yards off his line when Cabaye struck the penalty? I guarantee that the answer to that question would be no.
2 draws and 6 losses is our record when Clattenburg officiates a Palace match (since we have returned to the Premier League) – “its all about you!”
I noticed it at the time and MOTD picked it up as well. Not one Palace player went over to Gayle when he was red carded (yet two West Ham players did). Regardless of the challenge being stupid, surely at least one of the players should have gone and put an arm around him? Is there something more in this? Is there an underlying issue where Gayle is concerned or am I looking too much into it?
Steve Parish Owes Andy Carroll a Pint
When Lanzini scored the winner yesterday he was heading straight towards the Holmesdale Fanatics corner. We know that this often ends in a fine for the club as objects will rain down on opposition players that do that in that corner of the ground. Whether that be from the Fanatics or people to the side and behind them – all have been guilty of it in the past.
Carroll literally man handled him and pulled him away and back towards the halfway line. Fair play to the big man.
Man of the Match: Mark Clattenburg
Up Next: Leicester
We take our incredible away record to the team that refuses to know when it is beaten. Should be a cracking game – assuming that Mark Clattenburg is not there to ruin it (no, I’m not letting it go).