Date: 20th November 2006 at 9:20pm
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Ref’s – who needs em? Vital Sheffield Wednesday contributor Mark Hollins certainly doesn’t as he reflects on the Owls defeat at the Ricoh – and the decision that cost him a pretty penny…

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‘I couldn’t be a referee, I have 20/20 vision’ – Jay Leno

Refs. Who needs em?

It seems over the past few weeks Graham Poll and his posse are becoming rapidly more unpopular by the game. Controversy seems to be on the agenda at the RA these days, it’s like the refs WANT to make a name for themselves, something they can only do by getting it wrong.

I know you probably think I’m whinging at the injustice at the Ricoh on Saturday and you are right, I am? but not just that.

Every now and then I like a little flutter on the weekends ‘business’ up and down the leagues. Couple of quid nothing too serious, just enough to make Sky Sports interesting on a weekend. Well? picture this? 7 out of 8 results come flying in thanks to the drab Villa Wigan game? Blackburn to win?!?! Tough call?

Tottenham pretty rampant? BOOM 1-0 Tugay great strike?

Tugay clips Ghaly Tottenham penalty, rightly so. Linesman calls ref, Tugay astonishingly sent off! Different game, Blackburn still could win? PENALTY!! Handball by Mido – already booked – not given. Ref evens things up at the end by sending off Ghaly. Shocking performance. Cost me a pretty penny.

This mirrors, although not financially for me, the effect on the Owls first defeat for 6 games. They miss more incidents than they spot. They are fast becoming useless. BUT? they give us something to talk about? Is it worth it?

Bad referees affect more than just a result? Phil Dowd owes me money!!!

Time for TV refs? It’s a massive discussion, which I won’t bore you with now, but you have to admit, weekends like the aforementioned merely promote the use of automatic precise decision making systems. Ask me after Cardiff have a goal disallowed in the last minute of our win on Saturday for the weekends most dubious offside?.

What about Wednesday? Well, if you could have a preferred way of being defeated it would be with some hugely valid excuses, which we have. I am hopeful at least one of the cards will be rescinded though otherwise Saturday will be a struggle; unless we have some subs chomping at the bit to earn a place, we might well lose again. Expect a big crowd though!

The jury is still out on Laws?

Come Christmas, we’ll know all we need to!

Only 35 sleeps to go?

UTO!