Chris Lakey: No yellow-tinted glasses... but there are a few things I don’t understand
- Credit: PA
Whatever happens with the FA and the charges facing Norwich City following the rather fractious East Anglian derby, you have to say that Ipswich Town were largely responsible for any bill coming this way.
There's is no sour grapes, no yellow tinted glasses, no home favouritism or whatever else you might want to label it.
This is fact.
Like the derby – before, during and after the actual football match – things don't just don't add up.
Like this ... before the game the Ipswich manager was asked about City's quality and responded on the lines of 'it's not just about quality, it's about commitment and attitude' – not an exact quote, but that reflects it pretty accurately. Post-game, he said Norwich won because they had too much quality up front.
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I don't understand...
Also before the game, he said: 'You need big players in derbies and for players to be emotionally good and not make rash challenges, which can happen.'
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And didn't they just? Two Town tackles caused two flashpoints, for which Norwich were charged with failing to control their players. That will cost Norwich City and, as mentioned a few lines up, was of Ipswich's making, not City's. The first one, just before half-time, was caused by their manager: had he not completely lost his cool, City players would not have responded as they did. Are they expected to stand and watch an opposition manager try to get at one of their coaches and not do anything? City players were pulled into this fracas by one man and one man only.
And that one man then, as he was sent down the tunnel, snarled at City's head of performance, Chris Domogalla who appeared to be an innocent party. A day or two later, Town claimed Domogalla was the victim of mistaken identity and it was in fact goalkeeping coach Ed Wootten who had raised their manager's temperature. So why the tunnel snarling? And why did their manager – in between suggesting it might be a good idea if they had it out, mano a mano, behind closed doors – say: 'I didn't even know who the guy was. I don't know the guy's name, I don't know who he was or whether he's played the game. If he's a goalkeeping coach, try and stick to what you're good at. There's a good idea.'
Ipswich's manager was Colchester boss from October 2008 to August 2009.
Here is an extract from Ed Wootten's story on the official Norwich City website: 'I was at Colchester United for about 10 years working with their community scheme and then their academy with the goalkeepers. A job opportunity came up in the summer of 2015 with the Academy at Norwich, and then I moved to work with the first team in the summer of 2017.'
I don't understand...
Also, when answering a question about the goading from City fans he said: 'This club was in League One when I came back here. Short memories... short memories.'
Before the game he had said: 'When Norwich were in League One they had Championship players. That's the difference. You could go through them all – Holt, Hoolahan, Darel Russell, Chrissy Martin, Fraser Forster, Russell Martin. They were top players who all knew they were better players than League One. All they had to do was gel together, get a wee bit of momentum and get out the league. That's what they were.'
That does tend to suggest getting City out of League One was easier than some of us thought ... unless I have a short memory.
Paul Hurst had 14 games in charge of Ipswich, winning nine points – and was sacked.
His successor got nine points from his first 17 games and is still in a job.
Those numbers don't add up either.
But never fear, his histrionics are, apparently, winning over some of the disillusioned supporters, who love what he is doing.
And that's something else I don't understand...
'You can fool some people some times but you can't fool all the people all the time'.
Dwight Gayle has been banned for two matches after accepting a charge of 'successful deception of a match official'.
It does sound rather Victorian, and it is certainly a rarity, but anyone who saw the West Brom striker corkscrew himself into the air to get an 89th-minute penalty which earned his team a draw at Nottingham Forest, will agree it was a simple case of cheating. We see it on a weekly basis, but this was brazen enough to suggest it will take a while before Gayle is forgiven. West Brom have been punished, losing him for two games, but Forest have suffered too - and they will probably get little satisfaction. They lost two points which could prove vital at the end of the season.
Perhaps it is time to compensate the 'victims'. If you really want to stamp out cheating, then get serious. If the ref had spotted it at the time (which he didn't, obviously) Gayle should have been red-carded or perhaps even a penalty at the other end to Forest? That's drastic action, but look what West Brom gained by a player's cheating.
It's similar to a player needing treatment after a foul and then having to leave the field - while the player who fouled him stays on? What one earth is that all about? It punishes the 'innocent' team and actually rewards the 'guilty' team - because then they have a man advantage.
I do tend to have a very high horse upon which I jump when it comes to the laws of the games: I can't understand why there is a law limiting the goalkeeper to six seconds in control of the ball when clearly it is constantly ignored. Watch Tim Krul...
And why was the 10-yard rule scrapped? You will recall a ref could move play 10 yards towards the offending team's goal if players showed dissent. It lasted four seasons but is seems, according to former refs' chief Keith Hackett 'countries who do not have any familiarity with the concept couldn't get their heads around the process'.
Gayle's offence didn't go overlooked, but the authorities must be consistent, and enforce it for similar incidents.