Robbed and Cheated
By Nick Webster
Premiership survival is everything to clubs. The riches, the prestige, the drama of playing in the world's most exclusive 'members only' mean everything to the minnows of the division. For that survival to be snatched by one of the worst refereeing decisions I've ever seen is plain wrong.
At the Emirates Stadium today, Norwich City were cheated, plain and simple and it may cost them their status in the Premiership.
With the score delicately poised at 1-0 thanks to Michael Turner's 57th minute strike, the Canaries were on their way to a massive three points as Arsenal were having one of their many off days. A hotly debated corner was given to the Gunners by assistant referee, Richard West, who on the day, was Arsenal's most valuable player.
As the corner was floated in, Oliver Giroud and Kei Kamara were clearly holding each other. Mike Jones, your match referee who had already given Arsene Wenger's team a highly suspect penalty earlier in the season versus WBA was perfectly placed not more than 10 yards away. Both players went down, play carried on but on the far side of the pitch, Richard West raised his flag across his chest.
West was at least 60 yards away and looking through a penalty area containing 20 players. Jones looked to his linesman and blew his whistle for the penalty which Mikel Arteta squeezed by the despairing dive of Mark Bunn.
Norwich manager, Chris Houghton raged on the sideline but no decision will ever be changed once given.
As a neutral looking on, this is the worst decision I've seen this season, in fact, the worst I've seen in years. Richard West did everything to Norwich but kick the ball in the back of the net himself. He should be suspended and investigated.
Arsenal move above Spurs and Chelsea into pole position for Champions League qualification when in all honesty, their stop-start season should officially be in tatters.