Has Andre Marriner done the right thing?
By Anthony Kendrick - Follow him on Twitter @Antonthology
So, after seeing the incident with Sergio Aguero and Winston Reid unlike Andre Marriner, I'm still undecided on whether it's a red card. It is not an easy decision to make, and I can understand the point of view of the City fans who see Fellaini get away with similar all of the time and the United fans who don't want to see Aguero in the Manchester derby. Whichever way you see it, it isn't the main focus of this post.
The referee at the time did not give a foul, and there is three things that he could have done when it was investigated further.
Option one - Say that he saw it and believed it was accidental, and not a foul. If this is what he thinks happened, then it would be the right thing to do. He gets one look at the incident and that is it.
Option two - Say that with hindsight he made a mistake and should have given a red card. The FA Rules don't allow re-refereeing of the game, so this isn't really an option for him to do. But it should this be something he can do if he so wishes?
Option three - Say that he didn't see it. This is the perfect middle ground. This way he's passing on the decision to someone else to decide whether or not it is worthy of a ban. Someone else can see all of the replays and make the best possible decision.
The problem is that Andre Marriner has quite blatantly seen the incident. But only once, and in real time. Watching all the slow motion replays and I'm not 100% sure either way, so how can we expect someone to make a decision on one viewing? The simple answer is we can't.
On many occasions, I've seen players go down under a challenge. Penalty or dive? You want to see the replay before making a decision. A number of times, I've seen something the first time and been convinced it was a penalty. Only after the third or fourth slow motion replay I realise it was a dive. Or vice versa. It is impossible to make some decisions in real time, and that's why the referees need help.
In this case, I think Marriner has done the right thing. Perhaps he's bottled it. But he's chosen the option that is most likely to end up with the correct decision either way. But it's wrong that he has to lie and say he didn't see it. The rules need to be changed so that we can get to the right decision more easily.
But having said all that, we all love controversy in football, it's part of the fun. So maybe we should have a more unfair game and not have video replays?