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Paddy Crerand: There is an agenda against Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Former Manchester United midfielder and MUTV pundit Paddy Crerand believes that there is an agenda against his former side.

Jose Mourinho‘s men have been on the receiving end of some questionable referring decisions this season, with clear penalties against the likes of Manchester City and Crystal Palace going unnoticed.

Man United’s only penalty this season came during a 2-0 win over Southampton back in August.

And Crerand, writing in his programme notes ahead of United’s 0-0 draw with Hull City, claimed that an agenda against Mourinho’s men has been established this season.

“It almost feels like there is an agenda against United when it comes to penalties and the lack of them in our favour,” he said.

“We’re joint bottom of the table for penalties given, alongside Middlesbrough and West Brom – we’ve all had just one awarded to us in the Premier League this season. From our point of view, it’s crazy when you think how often we attack and get ourselves into the opposition box.

“I bet we get into the box more times than most teams in the league. I’m still baffled by the penalty that was given against us at Hull and after the referee gave that I was even more baffled that he didn’t give the one for Chris Smalling.

“I don’t think the standard of refereeing is great but I understand how difficult their job is and they don’t seem to get much help from their assistants. Nevertheless, the fact we’ve only had one penalty in the league is unbelievable.”

This season has held witness to almost unprecedented levels of chagrin over refereeing performances. Every top side, it seems, has endured a moment of fury towards officials at some point this season, with Arsenal supporters – somewhat naturally – being the most unbearable of the aggrieved groups.

Then again, is there really any point in lambasting referees? Is it right to pin your side’s inadequacies on some fabricated exterior agenda? The football community will always resent the men in black. We love to chastise referees. It is, above anything, an outlet for venting. We can look at referees every week and go: “yeah, look, it’s your fault, you’ve decided this game through your own sheer ineptitude.”

But the truth is that, really, supporters should question their players and manager before blindly pointing the finger at referees.

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