Premier League manager has something to moan about shock!

It strikes me that some Premier League managers moan for the sake of moaning.

There is an ever increasing cluster of managers that will find something to moan about, even when there is very little.  Of this group, Stoke manager Tony Pulis is rapidly establishing himself as lead spokesman, remonstrating again after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday.

The incident which was the subject of Pulis’ rage came in the 78th minute of Saturday’s game.  Arsenal were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Stoke penalty area for a foul by Andy Wilkinson on Theo Walcott, replays showed that the referee was correct in awarding a free kick therefore Pulis could have no complaints with the decision.  Lukas Podolski struck the free kick which with the help of a telling deflection, ended up in Asmir Begovic’s goal, 1-0 Arsenal.

The confusion began when Chris Foy had to consult his assistant referee for a raised flag.  This could have been for a number of things, Olivier Giroud was allegedly in an offside position when Podolski struck the set piece, there was a chance at full speed that the assistant may have been under the impression that it was Giroud, from an offside position that had deflected the ball beyond Begovic.  Both of these theories were quashed when replays showed that not only was Giroud onside, but it was in fact Stoke full back Geoff Cameron who contributed the decisive deflection. 

The only remaining lifeline for Stoke was that the replays also showed that Theo Walcott was in an offside position, however the England man was nowhere near Cameron and as a result could not be adjudged to be interfering with play and the goal was rightly given.

However, despite the decision being given correctly Pulis still found something to complain about.  The surrounding of the referee and his assistant by the Arsenal players was deemed unacceptable by the Stoke manager.  ‘’The disappointing thing for me was the number of Arsenal players that surrounded the linesman’’ said the Potters boss. 

Whilst I appreciate that a whole team of players hassling the referee to get their team a decision is unacceptable, I do not believe that this was the case here.  Yes, there may have been several gunners that approached Foy and his assistant, but I would not consider their body language to be overly aggressive and I certainly would not say that they were in the official’s faces.  The more important issue for the good of the game was that the correct decision was reached in the end, which it was.

Aaron Sharp