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In today’s Guardian there’s a story about a Manchester United football player being accused of (shock, horror) diving in the box in order to get penalties. At the end of the article there’s a quote from the Man U manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, in which he claims that, over the course of the season, there’s a balance between penalties that you should get but don’t, and shouldn’t get but do:
“We didn’t get one against Wigan during the week. We didn’t scream from the rooftops about it. It happens,” he said. “We got one given against us for Newcastle, we didn’t scream about that either. You get bad decisions and good ones. Believe me, it does even itself out.”
What I love about this is that the phrase “we didn’t scream about that either” has been linked to story on the Guardian site from last November. The story is entitled: “Alex Ferguson: ‘Newcastle Penalty Decision was an Absolute Travesty’”. From that story:
“Everyone, including the referee, was astounded when the linesman put his flag up [for a penalty],” the Manchester United manager said. “He was put in a terrible position. Why can’t the referee overrule it when he is only eight yards away? It is not for me to decide whether the assistant referee gets another game again but it was an absolutely shocking decision.
“It costs you, a decision like that. Two years ago, when the linesman gave the offside goal against Chelsea, it cost us the league, so hopefully we’re not saying that at the end of May. I don’t think we played badly at all today – if we carry on playing like that I’ll be happy – but we slaughtered Newcastle and not to get the three points was a travesty.”
“We didn’t scream about that either”