An interesting online insight from today’s Assistant Referee Mike Cairns.
What is the best game you have officiated and why?
“8th May 2002, Manchester United v Arsenal and my first visit to Old Trafford. What made the occasion so memorable was the whole season hung on this one game. Manchester United needed victory to take the title race to the last game of the season and should Arsenal win then they would be crowned Champions at Old Trafford. Arsenal won the game 1-0 and the title on the night.” (http://refworld.com/referee/35/2/mike-cairns)
Presumably, Spurs’ contentious defeat at Stamford Bridge on Saturday will not be knocking Arsenal’s 2002 title win off top spot. Cairns’ memory is clearly sharper than his 20/20 vision.
I was perfectly placed behind the right side of Heurelho Gomes’ net on Saturday and surrounded by Spurs fans genuinely celebrating when the big Brazilian recovered from another gaffe. The ‘goal’ was somehow awarded. There was genuine shock. Were we naive?
You may remember that a ball several feet over the line was not deemed a goal for Spurs at Old Trafford in 2005. Both officiating errors took place at the homes of the two most successful teams of the last decade. What are the odds? It has been 21 years since Spurs last won at Stamford Bridge – is it any wonder why?
For legal reasons, it’s hard to articulate what most Spurs fans were feeling after one of the most controversial games I can ever remember attending. That the second ‘goal’ was clearly offside detracts from a positive Spurs performance and another wonder show from Sandro.
For all the millions lavished on Chelsea, there is little difference between the teams, just a few suspect officiating calls and that’s nothing some Specsavers vouchers can’t cure.
In a positive development, there were suggestions tonight that technology will be in place next season. The goalline will be marked out in Braille.