Robert dismissal - Bobby goes Ballistic

Last updated : 09 February 2003 By Chris Parry

Whether he can bring himself to admit it or not, the fact is that Robert first tried to grab hold of Dennis to prevent him taking the kick, then stood in front of him, then raised his leg TWICE as Dennis went to kick the ball. He then stopped the ball and BOOTED it away! - and Robson wonders why Neale Barry sent him off? - amazing.

Robert was stupid - simple as that. He'd only just received his first yellow for a badly timed challenge on Lauren, so it was sheer madness to try and prevent the free-kick being taken quickly.

Here's Sir Bobby's rant in full:

"I've been in to see the referee," he said. "We've had a nice chat, obviously different opinions, but football is about opinions, isn't it? All I said was I just think he could have handled it differently.

"Bergkamp wasn't trying to play the ball to anybody. He kicked the ball against Laurent - I've seen other players do that, and I don't like it. There was an incident last week in Scotland where the same actually happened and the referee booked the guy who took the kick, booked the guy for unsporting behaviour.

"You saw what 52,000 people thought about Bergkamp - they were all wearing black and white shirts, I know that - but we lost a big player. He was on a high, the public were on a high, the team was on a high, who's going to win it? We lost a big player.

"And we're talking about seconds. I'm saying to the referee the best law I've ever seen is commonsense and I just think in that situation - not on his general performance, but on that situation - he just didn't apply a bit of realism to the situation, he applies the letter of the law.

"It's commonsense, isn't it? They're not allowed to referee with commonsense now, I guess, because they're worried about the people up in the stand.

"That's a big game that is, that's a championship game. If we won that game, we're two points from Arsenal basically. The title is open. It's not so open now, so we've lost a big chance, not through the team."