West Ham’s undefeated run continues after a well-earned draw with fellow strugglers Wolves, a game that threw up a few contentious decisions by referee Mark Clattenburg.
The first had Wolves manager Mick McCarthy disputing the penalty decision that led to the Hammers' equaliser and the second was disallowing Freddie Piquionne’s last kick of the game goal, a certain winner, for hand ball.
McCarthy was right in that it was a soft penalty but it was a spot kick. The referee was in the perfect position to award the pen - standing on the edge of the box just behind both players, and gave you could say a spot on decision, which unfortunately he didn’t do when disallowing Piquionne’s goal.
When Piquionne burst through into the box playing a one two with Obinna, the ball bounced up, he chested the ball down and slotted it under the despairing keeper Marcus Hahnemann.
As he chested the ball Piquionne’s arm was up, but the ball clearly hit his chest, which is further proved by the TV replay from behind the goal. What you can also see from the replay is that the referee's view is obstructed by various players, so he could not have had a clear view of the incident, he didn’t consult with his linesman either and yet not only did he disallow the goal he booked Piquionne for deliberate hand ball.
While it is too early in the season to say that was a crucial decision, with West Ham and Wolves currently locked at the bottom of the table I just hope that come May and the end of the season we don’t finish 18th, one point behind Wolves, and end up getting relegated - stranger things have certainly happened in the past.
Avram Grant’s kind and understanding comments after the game (he said that Mark Clattenburg was a very good referee, also a human being and that all humans make mistakes) might not be the same at the end of the campaign.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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