Not stuck on the Toffees

Whatever happens with the FA and their charge that followed the scenes at Everton last weekend, you sense that this is going to be something that rumbles on and on.

Not so much because of the nature of that charge, both clubs are going to be fined and warned over future conduct, no doubt, but more so the relationship between West Ham and Everton in the future.

Because there was a lot more going on that day than just a few handbags and James Tomkins behaving like a daft schoolgirl..what was he thinking?

It has emerged that in the build-up to the incident, West Ham players were actually asking that seriously pretentious referee Mark Clattenburg for PROTECTION from Everton tackles. Now this is a man's game and our lot can look after themselves, but when you have to turn to the referee for help, there is a much more deep rooted problem.

And that Clattenburg failed so dismally to protect our players from some seriously dangerous play is a bad taste that is going to hang around for a long time. You can bet our crowd will not be signing "We want Mark Clattenburg" much in the future, even if that was a rather ironic call after some seriously dodgy refereeing last term.

And the situation has not been helped by the media coverage of the game, in particular that coming from the seriously biased Liverpool media, and believe me, I know, because I used to work amongst them.

The problem with Liverpool media is that they almost all are local and have an allegiance to one or other of the Merseyside clubs, much like the Glasgow media and their seriously warped coverage of Celtic and Rangers affairs. Like in Glasgow, the reporters can be parochial, defensive and prepared to attack anyone who has a go at the Scouse nation.

The Mersey boys have let Roberto Martinez and some Everton players have the opportunity to insist that Ross Barkley is not a diver. Sorry, but isn't that what he did? He dived, outrageously, and Martinez has tried to claim that he had been kicked too often and was anticipating another boot. Utter rubbish.

At least at our end we have collectively condemned Tomkins for his ridiculous face-clutching antics, nobody has tried to gloss over the situation. Big Sam has said nothing in trying to support his young defender, and infact it has emerged that the Basildon lad received a severe dressing down after the game and was told his actions were not something West Ham wish to be associated with.

It was frankly, shocking and something I do not expect to see coming from a West Ham player. But have Everton admonished Barkley, like hell they haven't, just pathetic words from Martinez.

If the Boleyn crowd considers chanting "Are you Flores in disguise" on Saturday at the Newcastle game, it will be nothing short of what Tomkins deserves. It was cheating of the worst level and he was lucky not to get a red card.

But somehow Everton seem to be trying to exonerate Barkley from blame for his part in a generally nasty day, by suggesting we were kicking him, and pleading for forgiveness for their little innocent.

And as for Clattenburg and his officials, there was even one Merseyside reporter in the Mail who was trying to suggest that Romelu Lukaku was somehow not offside when he 'scored' in the first-half, something about second and third phase play.

Nonsense, Clattenburg wasn't to blame, his blind lino was. The Belgian was so blatantly offside it was beyond argument. Not like the goal Kevin Nolan had disallowed at Manchester United, when he was inches offside. You have seen those given to a home side, but rarely an away team.

As for Saturday's terrible decision, it was so far offside even home teams rarely get those given..unless it's Everton and the bear-pit that is Goodison Park. One scared lino, it seems.

What must not be forgotten is that our players were reacting two a couple of very nasty challenges on Morgan Amalfitano and one bad raking on the back of Mark Noble's calf. All three tackles were late, high, didn't touch the ball and dangerous. But Clattenburg didn't react, and two possible red cards that may well have been given elsewhere, were not administered.

James McCarthy and Kevin Mirallas should have been sent off, but was Clattenburg brave enough to reduce Everton to nine men on their own pitch? Not a chance.
That was the background to what happened, and the cause of the rumpus that has seen the FA take some belated action. Maybe they should take a closer look at the performance of the officials who failed to rule out one of Everton's goals and allowed two hatchet men to stay on the pitch.

Now sadly, I can seen the antagonism between the players carried over into their next meeting. Apart from Tomkins' behaviour, we were very much the wronged party last weekend--even Reid's booking when he was trying to calm the situation, seemed harsh. But you can bet that Everton and their media mates will do everything they can to push the blame our way.

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