English Premier League Referees at an All-Time Low

Mario Balotelli makes you angry at times. At him, at Manchester City, at Roberto Mancini, for giving him the legitimacy to continue and run around kicking and injuring players only because they believe they can exorcise the demons in him, and squeeze out a few goals.

Ashley Young was offside when United won an undeserved penalty kick, but he should be ashamed just like the assistant referee for his disgusting dive at the brush of a finger from Shaun Derry. Hopefully he’ll get suspended. And Branislav Ivanovic and Chelsea enjoyed another blind linesman, being the bigger team in the Chelsea – Wigan clash.

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Lee Mason wasn’t the one to be blamed (for the offside verdict) in yet another case of Manchester United enjoying the Old Trafford effect. You can talk about other clubs enjoying bad decisions and blind eyes, but there is no team that enjoys so many crucial mistakes involving goals, red cards and penalties than Manchester United. Even Alex Ferguson has begun admitting when his team doesn’t deserve score a certain goal or get a penalty, with half a smile.

There was no penalty on Ashley Young, who shamelessly threw himself forward at the slightest of touches from Shaun Derry. There are a few disgusting habits in the game, and I always find myself who I hate more – Dirty players who get away with hard fouls or cheaters who dive and fake injuries, getting away with it most of the time. United got a deserved win, but Ashley Young should be suspended by the FA for his diving.

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Mario Balotelli did eventually get the red card he deserved, but it took Martin Atkinson 90 minutes to get a grip and send off the violent player, who ruined it for everyone watching and participating, Roberto Mancini and Manchester City most of all.

It was hard to understand plenty of decision Roberto Mancini has done over the last 6 weeks. Sticking with Mario Balotelli seems to be the queerest of his choices, as the young Italian has proven time and time again how volatile he is when things don’t go his way. When the production you get from him is mostly calm nerves during penalty kicks, it just isn’t worth the risk. Instead of taking him off at half time, when it was clear he was a ticking time bomb, Mancini got nothing in return. Joe Hart showed how probably everyone felt after Balotelli finally did get the second yellow card.

Chelsea were another team enjoying the big club – small club correlation and the adjacent treatment from the referees. Again, this one isn’t on Michael Jones, the referee, but on his assistant, who had a clear offside to see, nearly impossible to miss. Maybe he wasn’t positioned well, maybe he was just afraid of raising his flag.