To say that I felt sick as a parrot the other day as I watched Holland's defeat in the finals of the 2010 world cup would be something of an understatement!.
It would be fair to say that the 2 sides were evenly matched, and that both made their fair share of mistakes during the game, and as a result many players from both sides found themselves receiving yellow cards.But sadly I have to say that the terrible error made by the British Referee Howard Webb must surely be the point at which the games outcome was decided. Admittedly the game was into it's 115th minute when the incident occurred, but even without the benefit of slow motion replays for the referee and his linesmen (see reference to this in previous moan!), it was plain as the nose on your face that the ball from the Dutch free-kick was deflected by a Spanish shoulder....you only had to follow the flight of the ball to see it make contact and then go out of play!. Had this been given as a corner (as it is accepted now that it should have), the Spanish would not have been able to then get possession of the ball and subsequently score a goal....simple as that!.
Many papers have reported that the Dutch had been seen to be putting the boot (or clog) into the Spanish during the game, but yet again, anyone who took note of the contacts between the players would have noticed that the Spanish had a habit of falling over at the slightest sniff of a challenge from the Dutch team.....yet again, slow motion access would have shown this to be the case.
By the way, can I just say that in my humble opinion Arjen Robben should have fallen for a free kick when he was being held back by the Spanish just outside of their penalty box, sadly he tried to finish his run and was then given a yellow card for complaining........should have rolled on the floor clutching his shins like a true Spaniard would :-)
Oh well, only 4 more years until your next chance, in the meantime keep practising your "dramatic response to a minute event" acting......it seems to be the best way to win!.
And I thought that the only time an Englishman on a football pitch could screw up a game was if he was a footballer......well done Howard :-)
P.S How glad I am that the guys who are serving so bravely in our armed forces aren't made of the same stuff as professional footballers.......we would need 3 medics for every 1 soldier just to get them to stand up and fight!