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Shoot the ref?
DET Column
Tuesday, October 14 2003
When results are not going your way, it is easy to have a go at the referee. And that is exactly what we are going to do here.

Firstly, we would not use the "performance" of Mr Prosser on Saturday – or that of any other official this season – as as an excuse for the Rams' lowly position in the table. Referees are not responsible for the players giving the ball away, shooting tamely at the keeper when through on goal, or failing to defend corners properly.

However, Mr Prosser was so comically incompetent in the Wigan match that something has to be said. His decisions consistently had the fans [of both sides] scratching their heads in wonder at what Prosser could come up with next; the free kicks that led to both Wigan goals and the Rams' penalty were all decidedly dodgy.

Michael Johnson insists that he picked up a booking for nothing more than mildly protesting that he and Geoff Horsfield had been going for a 50-50 ball when Prosser gave the free kick from which Athletic went 2-0 up, after the ball had been moved ten yards forward. A similar overreaction almost brought a last minute goal that would have gifted Wigan the match.

It was frustrating to watch the self-important posturings of this ham-actor of a referee almost ruin the game. He was understandably booed off at the end by both sets of fans.

The final word on this matter goes to Paul Jewell the Wigan manager:
"It seems that every manager after every game is going on about the referee. If I have a bad run I get the sack. If a player has a bad game he gets dropped. But a referee has another game the following week and nothing is done. It's about time something was done..."
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