Diary of a Sky Sports Reporter

Interviewing Cardiff City boss Malky Mackay following their 3-2 home defeat to Middlesbrough reminded me of one of the certainties in football, namely that a referee will make at least one decision a manager will disagree with.

In this case, it was a penalty that wasn’t awarded to Cardiff within 15 minutes when the Boro keeper appeared to flatten Kevin McNaughton in the box. Middlesbrough scored just a minute later, so Mackay was probably right to be angry. But it was the fact that he chose to criticize the referee within seconds of the interview starting that shocked me.

After all, Cardiff had come back strongly from the disappointment and led 2-1 at the break, so he couldn’t really use it as an excuse for losing the game, could he? Well, he did. It comes in the same week that Spurs boss Harry Redknapp claimed that he ‘never criticizes referees’ before immediately going on to criticize Chris Hoy’s display after Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat at Stoke.

Although Mackay and Redknapp had valid complaints, both their teams had plenty of time and chances to win their respective matches. So it’s about time managers (and players, fans and the media) stopped blaming the man in the middle and perhaps only then will they start receiving more decisions they agree with.