MAR 10 JOHN MAIDEN'S POSH CANARY NOTES
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It crossed my mind to combine two stories under the headline "The Kit Kat and the Canary" but by popular request this column is back, in its own right, after some sham reluctance on my part to sing the praises of the high-flying Canaries while fans of other local league and non-league clubs may feel more like singing the Blues! There was a real inclination to wait until issues of promotion and relegation had been settled, because it tempts providence to count your chickens, or indeed your Canaries, before they are hatched.
Posh fans may be hoping to escape relegation due to other Championship clubs being deducted points for going into administration. The Tractor Boys will almost certainly survive, spurred on by the possibility of meeting the Canaries in two "Old Farm" fixtures in the Championship next season!
At the time of writing, the Canaries have just bounced back from a mauling by the Lions to earn a hard-fought victory over the Seagulls. With two home games to follow against the Saints and the Shrimpers, there would seem to be every reason to back Norwich for automatic promotion from League One. However, as the saying goes: football can be a funny old game!
For example, much to my annoyance, Ireland, the land of half my ancestors, missed out on the World Cup Finals in South Africa, because match officials failed to spot a very obvious handball by Thierry Henri. More recently, the Crystal Palace manager, Neil Warnock, asked for an official to be suspended, because he wrongly awarded the corner kick from which Aston Villa scored to earn an FA Cup replay.
These are just two of many incidents that can make the difference between success and failure: for a football club, or for a football manager. It is all very well to complain that the officials should have gone to Specsavers, or indeed any other optician interested in sponsoring this column!!! At the end of the day, to use a well-worn footballing phrase, is it not time to give the poor old referee the benefit of modern technology to help him, or her, to make the right decision?
At many grounds fans get to see an instant action replay, so how can it be right to deprive match officials of an opportunity to take a second look at key moments in a game, before making a final decision? It works in other sports, so why is this country's national game lagging behind tennis, cricket and that other version of football played with an odd shaped ball???