Filed: Wednesday, 20th April 2016
By: Paul Walker
We are being robbed, aren't we? Robbed of the best season of our lives. Systematically mugged off at every turn.
We are the victim of circumstance, never (well, almost never)getting the rub of the green, never the beneficiary of Ďthings evening themselves out.í Utterly devoid of anything that looks faintly like luck.
It hurts, doesnít it? We have longed for this season all our lives, to see our team playing with such style, defiance and collective spirit. Slav and the boys have not once let us down, they have been on the front foot and going for it. A credit to our shirt. We are not getting what we deserve.
But itís not a conspiracy. There are no dark moves afoot to deny us success, thereís no refereeing mafia who are going out of their way to ruin our dreams. We are just the victims of incompetence. Referees who make mistakes, referees who cannot handle the pressure of a bear-pit like Leicester, officials who are paid to do one thing right-- see offsides accurately--but fail game after game.
Up until now it is us fans, via websites, forums and bloggers, who have moaned and complained about the string of very poor decisions that have cost us so much. But this time a player has lost patience, has broken cover and said it like it is.
Our joint owners have tweeted and twirled it. Our vice-chairman has used her Sun column to point out the facts--like no away penalty for five years--while the surveys show we have had more game-changing bad decisions go against us than any other top flight club this season.
But I insist that referees are not bent. They do not go out of their way to harm us. They call it like it is. Our referees, maybe not as good collectively as they were, are still the best around. Honest to a man. Slav came to the defence of Jon Moss, explaining the horrendous pressures he faced at Leicester. I would not have wanted to be in his shoes.
Now, finally, a player--Andy Carroll--has revealed what the players think, what infuriates them as hours of hard work, training and planning go up in smoke. They feel cheated. Simple as that. Andy, at the moment he talked freely to a TV interviewer, became one of us.
Just like Leighton Baines at Everton who made it clear he felt there was a lack of chemistry at Goodison Park. Shamefully he was hauled in and made to apologise. Even worse, that smarmy Roberto Martinez then went into a press conference to claim Baines had been misquoted. Rubbish. He just said what Everton fans feel. They produced banners saying ĎBaines is one of usí and big Andy deserves the same treatment from the Boleyn faithful.
He said it like it is. Like the non-penalty at Chelsea that cost us victory, the red card for Cheikhou Kouyate against Palace that cost us victory, the wrongly disallowed Manuel Lanzini goal against Arsenal that cost us victory. And now the ridiculous Leicester penalty on Sunday that cost us victory.
Eight points he rightly said that would have seen us in third spot. Faced with this level of adversity--and nobody will ever convince me that clubs like Manchester United ,Arsenal and Liverpool would ever be in our position--our team has stuck their chests out, kept going forward and refused to buckle.
We should be proud of them. Carroll rightly says that the refereeing is not acceptable. He is perfectly entitled to that opinion as long as he does not doubt an official's honesty and integrity. Even saying he felt that Moss was trying to even things up just about stops short of that charge.
Mind you, I donít expect the FA to see it that way. Certainly having decided to throw the book at Jamie Vardy , and charging Leicester with not controlling their players, they will want to even things up by Ďdoingí one of ours.
But it had to be said. We have been robbed. And it started really at Old Trafford, when we outplayed Manchester United in the FA Cup quarter-final and were robbed when Darren Randolph was smashed into the back of the net by Bastian Schweinsteiger as United equalised. And donít forget the trip(faintly I admit) on Dimitri Payet in the box by Marcos Rojo that failed to produce a penalty.
Louis van Gaal slaughtered Payet after that, and have you seen how few decisions have gone his way since. Danny Simpsonís first tackle on Sunday was straight through the back of the Frenchmanís ankles, it was a foul, but no yellow card.
If Moss had penalised that properly, maybe some of the intimidatory stuff that followed from Leicester for a full half hour would not have happened. Funny isnĎt it? I have kept my opinions of Leicester to myself this season (my old fella used to say, if you canít say something nice, donít say anything).
But I have never bought into this miracle club, all the small-fry Cinderella stuff hasnít washed with me. They are no paupers against the big boys with all that Thai money pouring into their coffers.
What I have seen is a cynical, hard-bitten team who get away with murder. Who hit long balls at Vardy while relying on a couple of thugs in Robert Huth and Wes Morgan--two players whose careers were going nowhere--to a shore up the back, anyway they wanted.
Leicester have a world class goalkeeper and two excellent midfielders, but this is not a team I can be proud of as champions. I have never warmed to them, and tried not to be swept up in the rags to riches hype.
And that brings me to Vardy. He does very little to dispel the theory that he is a spiteful piece of chav street vermin. His attitude to Mossí authority stinks, and every game I see him in there is always a confrontation and a mouthful of venom aimed at someone.
His journey to fame via a pub brawl, police cell and days wearing an ankle tag along with a curfew is the stuff of dreams for the Hollywood people on his case. I dread to think what the outcome of their film will be, a real backstreet victim for sure.
Donít get me wrong. He has great talent, stunning pace, big heart and clinical, brilliant finishing. High quality. But part of his game is the high speed, high press that Leicester operate in which he gives defenders hell. No problem with that, but he plays as if the phrase íleaves his foot iní was invented just for him.
That accumulation of poor tackles got him booked in the first place on Sunday, and paved the way for his red card for a blatant dive. And of course, his manager Claudio Ranieri claims he doesnít dive. Yea, right, tell that to fans up and down the country who know better.
Enough of Leicester. If it comes to it, I want them to win the title in lieu of anyone else, because I could not bare Spurs winning it. Enough said there.
As for Sunday, our penalty came because Moss had three times warned Leicesterís defenders. Morgan and Huth individually and then as a pair. Moss had had enough, and was going to give the next indiscretion. He didnít have to wait long.
Sure, he could have given 100 such infringements, as in every other game you witness these days. But Leicester pushed it just too far. We could have suffered the same way, clearly, it is that easy to give penalties for the all-in wresting that goes on every game. But in the end Moss found a way to penalise us, and Carroll suffered.
Leicester were delighted, and aggrieved in equal measure. Their fans have discovered a form of entitlement, they believe they are everyoneís heroes and deserve their place in history. So we had their fans abusing our chairmen and their families, while little boys sobbed on their motherís laps. Sometimes you cannot make it up.
Our boys were robbed at the end, the way we have been robbed blind for weeks. But donít anyone try to tell you that it is all a massive conspiracy. I know we deserve better, Carroll knows we deserve better. Good on you pal for speaking out. To hell with whatever the FA may decide to do, you are one of us now.
Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.
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