Former Premier League referee and Harrow schoolmaster David Elleray retired from the game in 2003. When asked about sides he enjoyed refereeing he highlighted Nottingham Forest.
“When Brian Clough was a boss his teams were easy to manager, He would say that fouls were part of the game but arguing isn’t, so you’d get little dissent from their players,” said Elleray.
Most football fans would think that players not arguing with officials would be welcomed by the Football Association and referees in particular, but according to Reading boss Brian McDermott that might not be the case.
Last weekend McDermott saw his side drop two points at home to Newcastle when Demba Ba scored his second of the game with what appeared to be his head. Closer inspection showed the Senegal striker missing with his head with the ball going in off his right arm.
The complaints from the home players were minimal, and the Royals boss claimed he has been told his side have been on the wrong end of key decisions – Fernando Torres scored an offside goal for Chelsea against Reading earlier in the season - because his players do not appeal enough.
McDermott said the fourth official at the Madejski Stadium last weekend insisted a more vehement appeal from his players could have seen the goal chalked off.
“I feel a sense of injustice because there was an injustice – obviously the goal shouldn’t have stood,” he said.
“My concern slightly, or more than slightly, is the conversations with two people now; the match delegate at the Chelsea game said that my players didn’t appeal for the (Fernando) Torres offside goal, and the fourth official said to my goalkeeping coach that only two of my players appealed (against Newcastle).
“For me it is very difficult to take that, what are we asking? If we appeal for every decision we might get one or two?
“The last thing we want is for our players to start trying to referee the game, we have to let the referee and the assistant referees get on with their job and that is what we are trying to do.
“So that is the concern for me, the two separate things that have been said to me.”
Much like Clough, McDermott wants to see his players act in an appropriate manner on the pitch. The turning point was seeing the club hit with a £40,000 fine and an FA warning for failing to control their players during a 2-2 draw with Cardiff back in 2011.
“Since we had that incident against Cardiff our players have been absolutely impeccable,” he said. “I’m proud of their discipline and everything they do and the way they go about their business.
“We have to do what we have to do and obviously with the officials we let them get on with their job.”
Now it appears that McDermott must tell his players to retain their discipline on the pitch at all times but also to appeal more, and in numbers, when a wrong decision is made.
So much for leaving the officiating to the officials.
Tags: Brian Clough, Brian McDermott, David Elleray, Demba Ba, Newcastle United, Reading, Referees, RESPECT