Thursday, September 3, 2015

TABLA MORAL WEEKS 2 - 4

Thanks to Down the Kippax Steps, Argentinean football magazine Sólo Fútbol's Tabla Moral - used in the 80s to reright football's wrongs - is enjoying a re-run in the 2015-16 Premier League. In it, we hope to highlight blatant wrongs, crass errors and large slices of injustice and rewrite the Premier League table along moral lines:

The opening weeks of the season have produced several lumpen performances from fancied sides but, despite some of the more precious managers' protestations, still little in the way of controversy.

Barring an odd refereeing performance on the opening day from new man Simon Hooper, who invented some of his very own Rules for Association Football to mark the occasion of his Premier League debut and Norwich City's return to top flight action, there have been few serious errors of judgement.

The last game of Matchday 2, however, did produce a sizeable problem. With Liverpool struggling to break down newcomers Bournemouth, playing their first ever Premier League away game in the daunting environment of a packed Anfield, Christian Benteke scored what seemed to be the winning goal.
The offside rule has been tweaked to supposedly clear up the grey area of when a player is interfering with play only for Bournemouth to find themselves the victim of a situation this was meant to avoid when Benteke scored Liverpool's winner.
- BBC sport website
Referee Craig Pawson ignored the fact that the new offside rules are now in use and waved away complaints that Philipe Coutinho, loitering with intent in front of the unsighted goalkeeper Artur Boruc, had even waved his leg at the ball as it sped past. As Alan Shearer tweated afterwards "It's the Kop End, so not offside!!". Pawson was later seen picking up his new copy of The Rules Updated from Anfield's back office.

Sadly for Liverpool enthusiasts the goal must be chalked off and, despite Benteke later hitting the woodwork, the reworked score at Anfield reads: Liverpool 0 Bournemouth 0. A day later in the Express, the Premier League was forced to agree that Pawson had made a bad call. Read the article here.
The only other contentious elements occurred in Manchester City's dismantling of Chelsea, where José Mourinho told the press that the result was fake. Citing Ramires' offside goal, the Portuguese was both right and wrong. The result was fake. Most onlookers were pretty sure it should have been several more than 3-0. However, he was also right to state that the Chelsea goal should have stood, as the wiry Brazilian was fractionally onside as the ball was played through, which means the corrected score at the Etihad reads: Manchester City 3 Chelsea 1.
Ramires begins his joyful celebration at the Etihad
Since then only Micah Richards' incredible open goal miss and Stoke's two red cards against West Brom have raised as much as an eyebrow, but neither instance had match or score-changing powers. Thus, the table after four games reads very much like this, with Norwich and Bournemouth the major early recipientes of Tabla Moral justice:
1. Manchester City             4    +9     12
2. Leicester City                 4    +3      8
3. Swansea City                  4    +3     8
4. Crystal Palace                 4    +1     7
5. Manchester United         4     +1     7
6. Arsenal                           4      -       7
7. West Ham                       4      3      6
8. Everton                           4      1      5
9. Southampton                   4      -      5
10 Bournemouth                 4      -       5
11 Norwich City                 4     -1      5
12 Liverpool                       4     -2      5
13 Aston Villa                    4      -1     4
14 Chelsea                          4      -2     4
15 West Brom                     4     -3     4
16 Tottenham                      4     -1     3
17 Watford                          4     -2     3
18 Stoke City                      4     -2     2
19 Newcastle United           4     -3     2
20 Sunderland                     4      -4    2

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