Andre Villas-Boas was pleased with the way his side dealt with Stoke City’s aerial threat yesterday, but he was far from happy with referee Mark Halsey when it came down to all the extra things that were going on.
Having spent time at Chelsea before he should be aware of the physical nature of the English game, but yesterday’s battle came as a little bit of a shock to him. He said, “The amount of pushing and shoving was out of this world. We had to deal with Stoke’s set-plays and were competent enough to avoid the dangers they create. But there’s a limit to the pushing and grabbing that can make it impossible.”
On Wednesday AVB will be at a meeting with the referees and he will definitely be having his say about what went on at the weekend. He said, “ We have a referee visit this Wednesday, so maybe I’ll have more points to discuss. Referees have to pay attention to these kind of details. Stoke didn’t push the boundaries of fair play. But they pushed the boundaries on shoving and grabbing.”
Welcome to the Premier League Andre, and if we are being honest some of your players were giving as good as they got during the game yesterday. If free-kicks were awarded for every little push or shove games would end up as seven-a-side affairs and result in numerous penalties being awarded. Move on, it has been going on for years and will continue to do so for many more years to come.