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march 6th

18.30 – Thierry Henry had his hearing today following his outburst at the end of the Newcastle game when Graham Poll took centre stage yet again. The ‘Thing from Tring’ gave Newcastle a penalty when Sol Campbell made the tackle of the season, sent off Ray Parlour harshly, sent off Craig Bellamy, and generally ran the game to his liking so once again the headlines would be about him, and not the football. He is the kind of wannabe media star referee the game does not need. The FA’s backing of him after his comments about giving yellow and red cards to build his reputation as a hard man was disgraceful. This guy is England’s World Cup referee – he’ll see it as his chance to get his name in the papers and his face on tv stations all over the world.

So at the end of the game, Henry lost his temper at what everybody else plainly saw as a poor refereeing performance and tried to ask him ‘Why did you kill the game?’. Poll wouldn’t answer, Henry kept asking, shrugging off his team mates and Alan Shearer, expecting the most basic manners from a match official. If somebody asks you a question, surely they should answer? Imagine you asked your boss, or a workmate a question and they just stood there. And the more you asked, the more they ignored you. Wouldn’t you be infuriated? Poll, stood with his linesmen beside him, stone faced. His behaviour was poor and there has been no mention of that.

So, the outcome? A 3 match ban for Thierry starting on March 21st. See the FA’s site for details.

We’ll get on with it. We’ve got Bergkamp, Kanu, Wiltord and maybe Jeffers (can’t say for sure and no doubt the minute I say he’s available he’ll break down with another injury – the bloke must be made out of mecanno) who can all fill in and score goals. Terry will get a nice rest and come back gunned up for the season finale. He’ll be nice and fresh for the Champions League midweek games too. It’s funny how when you’re top of the league, you can always see the positives.

Tonight’s prediction: Manchester United 2-2 Tottenham. Keane, Sheringham, Scholes, Giggs, Sherwood and Ferdinand all sent off. Veron and Beckham crippled. Giggs hamstrung. RVN scores two before being kicked in the head by Sherwood, out for 8 months with a coma. Oh, and Liverpool 6-6 Newcastle.