Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Thanks to a surprisingly attentive showing from the Premier League's whistlers in recent weeks, the Tabla Moral, named after the moral league tables published by the Argentinean football weekly Sólo Fútbol in the 80s, has had few alterations bestowed upon it.

To remind you, the major challenges to the status quo came in the opening weeks, when the following moral results were awarded:

Norwich City 3 Crystal Palace 3, after an execrable performance from the referee at Carrow Road, Simon Hooper, who - curiously enough- seems to have disappeared from the face of the planet since then.

Liverpool 0 Bournemouth 0, after an obviously offside winner by Benteke deprived the visitors of a hugely deserved point in their first ever Premier League away fixture.

Manchester City 3 Chelsea 1, after Ramires' second half goal was wrongly disallowed for offside, just as the Chelsea midfielder was embarking on the chicken jerky routine in front of the away fans.

Since then, we have had little to get overheated about. West Brom v Southampton had a dubious penalty call, but the referee Stuart Attwell got it exactly right when booking Callum McManaman for a sneaky dive over Matt Targett's outstretched leg. As paragon of virtue Tony Pulis said afterwards, "I think McManaman dives first. It was a good refereeing decision.". Do not adjust your spectacles.

Other points of amusement were Kevin Mirallas' 136 seconds of action at Swansea, before getting red carded in the Swansea v Everton match and a horrendous/hilarious cave-in by Manchester City v Spurs at White Hart Lane, which created some hot air. This latter game attracted attention for good reason, as there was some short-sighted refereeing and the game also featured a linesman, who was unable to see Kyle Walker straying two yards offside three paces in front of his eyes, which were glued on the action at the time.

Referee Clattenburg gets ready to enjoy Kane's goal
To add insult to injury, the third of Tottenham's goals was clearly offside too, with Harry Kane stroking in the rebound from Eriksson's majestic free-kick. Kane was clearly offside when the free kick was taken, rendering his effort when the ball smacked back to his feet off the crossbar illegal.

Although it does not change the final result - this game has been amended to Tottenham 2 Manchester City 1, and it could be argued by some that, as we are talking about a goal that brought Tottenham level, it might have had an effect on City's curious collapse. However, after much deliberation and at least three pints of Old Desirable, the Tabla Moral committee decided a reduction of -2 to Tottenham's goal difference was a realistic punishment. The fate decided for Mr Clattenburg, an old adversary of City's, cannot be printed here.

All of that leaves the table looking like this after eight games:

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