Ferguson escapes FA ban but Mancini and Redknapp yet to learn their fate
SOCCER: Alex Ferguson will not receive a reprimand from the English Football Association for his confrontation with referee Mike Dean during Manchester United’s 4-3 home win over Newcastle United on St Stephen’s Day.
But Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has suggested that Dean ought to have sent off Ferguson after he described the pressure exerted on the referee as “tough to take”.
On the day that the FA began to consider whether to take further action against Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp, managers of Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers, for public criticism of match officials during the Premier League’s St Stephen’s Day programme, Ferguson’s behaviour came under scrutiny.
Pardew, who said that he did not speak to Ferguson after the game, took the unusual step for a British manager of being critical of his Manchester United counterpart. To him Ferguson’s conduct was worthy of dismissal.
“I think Mike Dean might feel slightly disappointed he didn’t do something about it,” said Pardew. “I think the pressure that was on him was tough for a referee to take. Sometimes when you reflect on a game you think you might have acted differently. You do that as a manager and I think he might have done that as a referee.
“But it’s an emotional game and apparently they had a cordial discussion. I’ve had a few of those myself and sometimes I’ve ended up in the stands as a result.”
The United manager was angry after Dean overruled his assistant Jake Collin to allow Newcastle’s second goal to stand, after it was ruled offside. Newcastle striker Papiss Cisse was beyond the final defender when Danny Simpson’s drive was turned into his own net by Jonny Evans in the 28th minute. Ferguson approached Dean as he made his way out for the second half before he rounded on Collin and fourth official Neil Swarbrick.
Dean made no mention of any extraordinary incident in his match report, which he filed to the FA. And he and his assistants are understood to have regarded the conversations with Ferguson as being rational and reasonable.
As Dean did not flag any improper conduct from Ferguson to the FA, it has taken the matter no further.
Pardew was also surprised that Robin van Persie was not charged by the FA, despite appearing to strike Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini in the face.
Lost his cool
“I think there were a lot of things the FA could look at,” said Pardew. “But it seems they are looking at none.”
The FA is, however, looking into the post-match comments of Mancini and Redknapp. Mancini was furious with Kevin Friend after City’s 1-0 defeat at Sunderland, suggesting that “maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas”. He felt Friend had missed a foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to Adam Johnson’s goal.
Redknapp lost his cool after a pair of decisions went against Rangers in the 2-1 home defeat by West Bromwich Albion. The first, a nudge on his goalkeeper Rob Green that played a part in West Brom’s second goal and the second, the non-award of a late penalty when Liam Ridgewell appeared to handle.
“I asked the linesman how he didn’t see that penalty . . . but he said it was murky down there in that corner and he couldn’t make it out,” said Redknapp. “Maybe he should go to Specsavers.”
The FA is expected to write to Mancini and Redknapp to ask them for explanations. Guardian Service