Angry fans

OUR football correspondent LIAM MACKEY is back in top form and full of energy.

He casts his eye over your comments and gives his own critical analysis of the goings on throughout the world of football.

You may agree with him or then again you may not.

This week Dunphy and Giles criticism of referee Hanson unjustified; New JT chants; Bridge to shake hands with Terry; Evans form a really worry for United; United will have competition for Rodwell; Cech the weakest link; Wolves to rest players against United; Portsmouth give away silly money to average players; Sky so biased towards Rooney; Italian media get stitched by incompetent.

The Letter of the Week goes to Mike Turner, Clonmel. Get in touch with your postal address and our magnificent prize will be winging its way to you before you know it.

LIAM, I can only assume the criticism of ref Martin Hansson's role in the second Porto goal by R.T.E. pundits Messrs. Dunphy and Giles was a continuation from the Henry handball incident. They spent nearly 10 minutes and several replays castigating him whilst attempting to undermine his officiating. The ref was "too proactive"! Even when fellow panellist Ronnie Whelan attempted to have his say on the incident, he was quickly shot down by the pair. The normally unflappable William O'Herlihy Esq. looked irked and tiresome of their ranting when he interjected to show footage and highlight the fact that Hansson had actually correctly signalled an indirect free kick as he approached the penalty area. The most important factor in this incident is that in accordance with the rules/regulations of the game of football, the ref is entitled to take possession of the ball from a player if said player's action is stopping the opposition getting the ball and holding up the game. Fabianski was doing so by holding onto the ball. I was surprised that two knowledgeable, experienced football men overlooked this. They should have been concentrating on the fact that Arsenal's defence had a lapse in concentration and totally switched off and should be heavily criticised for doing so. The Porto player took full advantage of this and should be praised for his quick thinking/reaction. I recall Ryan Giggs scoring direct from a quick free kick last season for Man Utd in a Champions League match and Dunphy commending him on the night stating that it was a good goal and within the rules of the game. So what was the difference in Wednesday's game? Is it possible that the pair had a bet placed on a score draw? I resided in the UK for many years and had to endure the BBC/ITV/Sky coverage/analysis which is surely at its lowest standard for years. I can only commend R.T.E. for its excellent sports coverage and obviously in particular the football. It has even improved in recent years with the addition of panellists Whelan, Steven, Cunningham, Souness and the departure of Brady. I hope his recent resignation from his International duties does not mean a return to the R.T.E. His immature, biased, unprofessional reaction to Arsenal's departure from the Champions League to Liverpool two seasons ago was unnecessary and embarrassing. He cannot be expected to give an impartial, neutral view on games involving Arsenal when he is employed by the club.
Derek Turner, Clonmel, by email

Don't hold with your criticism of Brady who, in my opinion, was a terrific addition to the panel but, for your spot-on analysis of the events surrounding the Porto goal, have our Letter of the Week prize.


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