Ball Boys And Banners

Published: Apr 02, 2014 15:11pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Apr 02, 2014 @ 03:11pm EDT


The Premiership weekend was another barn stormer of an event. At the top Chelsea slipped up again, Manchester City and Arsenal did neither one any favors with a tied game while Liverpool stomped all over Spurs to get into the top spot.

At the bottom Fulham looked on for a valuable point but then threw away two goals in the last ten minutes or so to get nothing. In the Midlands West Brom and Cardiff secured a single point which, could help the home side does nothing for the Welsh outfit.

The two aspects of the weekend I wish to highlight though didn’t happen on the pitch. One happened on the sidelines and the other was over the stadium and both were stupid and showed a lack of class. I will call this simply ‘Banners and Ball Boys!’




There was an incident towards the end of the game between Crystal Palace and Chelsea in which Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho ran out of his technical area in order to confront a ball boy who he deemed was wasting time by not returning the ball. When he was asked about his actions in the post match press conference he said that he had simply told the ball boy not to do that as one of his players could lose their temper. It has happened before when Edin Hazard kicked a ball boy in the stomach last season after he deemed the kid was not returning the ball quickly enough. Now forgetting for a moment that the manager has no faith that one of his eleven grown men on the field wouldn’t kick or punch a child, lets look at what was really going on.

The pressure was on Chelsea and Mourinho due to the fact they were 1-0 down to a relegation threatened side and the clock was running down. At the start of the day they were top of the League and a win would have extended their lead to four over the second placed side, Liverpool and six points over the favorites, Manchester City.

Time was running down when Ivanovic hit a long cross field ball which Edin Hazard failed to control and therefore ran out for a Palace throw. Jason Puncheon was right near the ball when it went out, made no attempt to restart the game and yet the ball boy is the one Mourinho confronts.

There is calm until Mourinho and Azpilicueta run to retrieve the ball which is held onto by the Chelsea number 28 until after his boss has spoken to the ball boy.

The bottom line is that time wasting happens and every team is guilty of it, even the mighty Chelsea. There is one person in the whole stadium who can determine, and deal with, time wasting and that is the referee. In the end all Mourinho has done is probably left himself open for some disciplinary action.




AT Old Trafford right now we have a situation not to unlike the Brian Clough move into Don Revies hot seat at Leeds United back in the 1970's. At that time Leeds just had Don Revie leave to become England Manager and with it said goodbye to the guy who had won them everything, two division titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup. He had got them to many more finals, a semi final in Europe and a Cup Winners Cup Final. Thirteen years Revie had grown and molded the side before he left.

Brian Clough came in and was given the chance to take the reigns. The team performed badly, the players did not play for him (he was a critic of their days under Revie) and in the end only lasted 44 days when the board buckled under player pressure. Since 1974 they have won one Premiership title and one Charity Shield and now find themselves in financial difficulties, looking for investors and a long way away from their Revie days. In contrast, Brian Clough went on to become Nottingham Forest Manager, where he stayed until 1993. There he won them the Division title, four League cups and something Revie never did for Leeds, the European Cup and European Super Cup.

With David Moyes things are slightly different and he seems to have the backing of the board with a six year contract being signed. The players maybe have not played their part under the new manager but given time I am sure he will get rid of the dead wood and a new successful United with bloom. Some fans do have his back and are showing the faith but there is a loud contingent who are less than impressed and this weekend they paid for a plane to fly over Old Trafford with a banner which said ‘Wrong One - Moyes Out’. Now you all probably now that I am a Manchester City fan and have never hid the fact but I really think the fans who did this show a real lack of class. Being a football fan is about being behind the club through thick and thin and trust me, as a City fan there have been lots of times we have had thick managers and thin times but you stay loyal. Signs and protests if things haven’t changed in a season or two would be more understandable and many clubs, including mine, have felt that.

David Moyes has come in at a tough time and is untested at this level. Yes he may have made some mistakes in press conferences but essentially could still easily finish fifth or sixth. There is a game in the Champions League coming up, which means he certainly hasn’t been to shabby in that competition, and this is the transition year. Anyone remember the whispers of discontent at Liverpool last season and how Brendan Rodgers wasn’t the man for the job? Now they are sitting top of the Premier League with six games to go. How about Arsene Wengers first season at Arsenal? A third place finish and seven points behind the winners and we all know what he would go on to in the first part of his time at Arsenal. Even the mighty Alex Ferguson had to wait three seasons before he would lift the FA Cup and six seasons before a League title was added. The fans have a right to be disappointed, the season has been below par, but not significantly. The last two seasons have been exceptional but today’s Manchester United is only three points behind the United of 2011 and eleven behind the 2009 class.

With the United legend of Bobby Charlton and ex Manager Alex Ferguson both publicly supporting Moyes I think the only thing the flypast did on Saturday is give everyone else ammunition to throw at the United fans later down the line. When they are successful again under Moyes and the after game phone in’s become more of a ‘we knew he was the right guy all along’ mantra, I hope this footage keeps playing in the media. Crowds have been leaving Old Trafford early and I do not think it is coincidence the home form has been worse than away this season. It is the hardcore supporters who go both home and away and maybe some of the Ferguson glory hunters who just do the home games and sort out aircraft demonstrations.


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Jason Bardwell
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