Belfast Telegraph

James Lawton: Harry Redknapp points to writing on wall

These are hard days for Harry Redknapp as many believe, rather absurdly, that his claims on the England job are dying on the vine of FA procrastination and Tottenham's bruising end of season. However, has anyone better highlighted the increasingly grotesque refereeing crisis in English football?

When the recently disaster-prone Martin Atkinson announced that he felt worse about the sickening award of the Chelsea goal that so plainly wasn't than the victim manager, Redknapp responded with the most admirable restraint. "I don't think so," he said.



Atkinson's remark, consciously or not, implied that his feelings carried a jot of relevance. This is where football's unpardonable delay in using technology has been marooned for so long. It is in the utterly misguided belief an infallible status should be granted to match officials.



Of course, they do an important job, but it is one which attracts ever-increasing pressure with the pace of the game and the certainty of instant exposure of mistakes. The hurt that matters now is to the credibility of the game and not the pride of individual referees.



Redknapp made the point tellingly and swiftly enough, which was in rather sharp contrast to the drift of his once compelling claims on the England job. However, the fact they are still valid could only be doubted in a culture so slow to react to so much of the writing on the wall.



Belfast Telegraph

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