The Sweeper: Neil Warnock’s Case for Goal-Line Technology


Big Story

It’s a scenario goal-line technology advocates live for.

On Saturday, everyone believed Crystal Palace’s Freddie Sears had made it 1-0 over Bristol City in the 34th minute when his mid-air strike flew into the net and back out off the stanchion.  Everyone, save referee Rob Shoebridge and assistant Chris Knowles, who adjudged the ball to have careened off the post.  Despite the protests of the entire Palace eleven and a raging Neil Warnock, the goal was not given. Bristol City went on to win the match 1-0 on a late goal from Nicky Maynard.

While video evidence clearly indicates the ball did indeed cross the line, it’s not as if it was a close call.  It was so obvious in fact that Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan berated Bristol City players for “cheating” by not fessing up about the goal. Both his and Neil Warnock’s post match comments are currently under investigation by the Football Association; one can only hope the FA has a good, long look at Warnock’s remarks regarding goal-line technology.

As the Offside notes, the Palace skipper makes a very compelling case.  “We can put a man on the moon, time serves of 100 miles per hour at Wimbledon, yet we cannot place a couple of sensors in a net to show when a goal has been scored…I feel sorry for the referee because he didn’t get any help. But how can I mark him after the game when he spoils a match with a mistake of that importance?”

Keith Hackett, the Professional Game Match Officials Board’s general manager, has publicly apologized to Crystal Palace, but saying sorry will not generate one or three points, points that are increasingly vital to clubs fighting for promotion in these financially uncertain times.  Despite the tirelessly documented pros and cons of goal-line technology, surely we can all agree decisions like that made at Ashton Gate yesterday afternoon should never be allowed to happen again.  Doing nothing means they almost certainly will.

North America

  • The “Beckham is Cracking Up in Tinseltown” narrative got some much needed story progression after the LA Galaxy midfielder was sent off in the 17th minute against the Seattle Sounders for a nasty tackle on Peter Vagenas.  Here is a typical paint-by-numbers English newspaper write-up.
  • American Charlie Davies bagged two goals for new club Sochaux in a 3-2 loss to Bordeaux.  Is it good or bad for soccer’s image in America if a homegrown player makes good for a French soccer team?
  • Ben Knight over at Onward Soccer tries to break down why the Canadian Soccer Association insists on failing over and over and over again.  Warning: it’s…complicated.
  • Jack Bell discusses the fortunes of the Women’s Professional Soccer league’s Skye Blue FC, a team on the verge of a spot in the championship final in the inaugural season.


Richard Whittall can normally be found droning away at

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