'I'm going to Cardiff - You're not!'

Last updated : 25 April 2003 By Brian Dawes

Sol - No Cup Final this year
Due possibly to the fact that Fergusmoan forbade him to testify Ole Gunner Solskjaer's shot in the temple by a sniper bullet routine at Highbury remains his only contribution to this incident.

Referee Mark Halsey didn't have a clue as was evidenced by his conversation with the assistant referee. He saw Solskjaer in a heap, saw his assistant's flag go up and so asked him what happened. The assistant told him what he thought he'd seen, and we know this because a TV microphone picked up their conversation …Lino: ‘He's caught him with the elbow, its definitely yellow, it's up to you whether it's a red'. Halsey ‘Well you tell me..' Lino: ‘He seemed to stop.. he seemed to stop and deliberately catch him…elbow in the face' Halsey: ‘Deliberately?' Lino: ‘Yes.' And so it came to pass on the basis of an assistant referee's interpretation of events Sol Campbell misses the crucial run in to the season and an F A Cup Final. ‘He seemed' does not appear to be the best basis on which to send off a player. Had the assistant been consulted about a ball being over the line for a goal and come up with an opening line such as ‘It seemed to be over the line' then you can bet your arse no goal would have been given because referees can't make decisions unless they are sure.

Everyone watching from that particular end of the West Lower Stand, where the incident took place, knows exactly what happened. The fact that the assistant said ‘he seemed' before going on to indicate what he thought might have happened' clearly indicated that he was not absolutely sure what he'd seen, mainly because there was nothing to see other than Campbell's palm making contact with Baby Face's right shoulder, quickly followed by some appalling play-acting that had only one objective. The play-acting was designed purely and simply to get Campbell into trouble. The West Lower is one of the quietest parts of Arsenal's ground and yet they were chanting ‘cheat, cheat, cheat' immediately, they all knew what had happened.

Was Solskjaer injured? Of course not! Was there any blood, any sign of bruising or any concussion, of course there wasn't. Did he require prolonged treatment? Of course not. Then after Sol had received an unbelievable joke red card, even by this season's dismal refereeing standards, the noxious little cheat tried to shake Campbell's hand as he left the field of play. Do you know of any player who gets injured by an elbow in the head that wants to shake the other player's hand, of course you don't! He was feeling guilty, because he was guilty of acting. Sorry Sol I only meant to get you a yellow. I expect nothing else from Manure because they follow the example of their manager. A man who is quite happy to injure his own players and then tell the barefaced lie that it was a freak accident.

Whatever video Halsey and the VAP watched doesn't really matter because there was probably no intention of giving a fair review of the incident because to do so would have meant going against the advice of one ‘the chosen officials.' Do you really think that either Halsey or the VAP (Victimise Arsenal Panel) would want the FA to look even more stupid than usual? Of course not and the reason is that the prat Nigel Miller had already been named as one of the assistants for the F A Cup Final. In my opinion Arsenal as a Club should insist that the assistant referee Miller be replaced, but they won't because as a Club they like to be seen to be doing the right thing. Arsene Wenger should issue clear instructions before that match that none of our players should even think about shaking hands with the inept fool, his neck maybe, but not his hand. But Arsene won't do such a thing because he's a total gentleman.

So the assistant referee Nigel Miller is going to Cardiff to enjoy and participate in the Cup Final, whereas Sol will not be. The 43-year-old Miller, who works at Bishop Auckland police station, previously caused controversy when it was revealed that he had turned out for Leeds United's match with Manchester United during a spell on sick leave for stress. Wasn't that the match where David Beckham elbowed Bowyer in the head? You couldn't make up a story like that if you tried could you?

I intend giving Miller a warm Welsh welcome in Cardiff, I hope you'll all be joining me.