Keith Hackett, former chief of the PGMOL (Professional Game Match Officials) has come out in support of Martin Atkinson - at least when it comes to ben Arfa's injury. Hackett is quoted as saying, "The very nature of the game is that referees are going to be criticised. But as much as people might want to criticise him, the referee didn’t make the challenge, that is important to remember." This seems odd to me, because most of the criticism hurled Atkinson's way in the last week has been about the penalty calls. Nobody is blaming Atkinson for HBA's injury. I imagine that we'll never get any sort of consolation quote from an official about those game-changing calls, which is kind of a shame. (Mark Douglas, The Chronicle) While we're on the subject, what constitutes a dirty tackle? Is De Jong's "scissor tackle" legal? Should it be? Robbie Savage of MirrorFootball says no.
Headline: "Shawcross sympathises with fellow leg-breakers." This article needs no introduction. (MirrorFootball)
Chris Hughton says he won't be adding to the squad in January, despite the loss of ben Arfa. I don't believe him. If he says that there are missing pieces, it becomes a headline and he loses his guys in the locker room. January is 3 months away, so of course Hughton will say whatever he needs to say to instill confidence in his team. That's his job. When January comes, there may or may not be new players coming in, but there's no way that Hughton's avoidance of a direct question in early October will dictate any of the transfer activity of this team. (NUFC Official Site)
Chris Hughton is confident that Andy Carroll's England snub won't keep him down. (Luke Edwards, The Journal) Stuart Pearce, manager of England's U-21 squad, explained that he left Carroll out because of loyalty to his other strikers. (Scott Wilson, The Northern Echo)
Shola Ameobi promised Chris Hughton that he would score if he continued to see playing time. (Mark Douglas, The Chronicle)