The City Nitty Gritty: Should referees be allowed live replays?

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Although the game at Newcastle included everything you could want – drama, controversy and goals, is it now time that we implement even more technology into the game so that game-changing decisions can be made more accurately?

This season saw the FA introduce goal-line technology, which was long overdue, but is it time that they step up a gear and use video replays to help referees make important decisions (such as bad fouls and disallowed goals) as this match was crying out for them.

It didn’t take long for The Blues to surpass their goal-scoring tally from the entire 2012-13 campaign, when a nice bit of team-play including Silva and Kolarov was finished off by the on-form Bosnian Edin Dzeko just 7 minutes in. The Balkan duo Alexander Kolarov and Edin Dzeko have definitely clicked into place this season, as they manage to find each other on regular occurrences throughout City’s games and always pose a threat on the opposition’s goal – as proven in this match.

It was just over the half an hour mark when the first big decision had to be made by referee Mike Jones, whether the decision was right or wrong is irrelevant, the argument that I am making is why in this day and age are the referees not allowed to look at live replays in order to make a substantiated decision? It would have made the situation a lot easier for Mr Jones and co. if they had the evidence to back up their decisions, not to mention the fact that they might not have had to endure the continuous abuse brought on by the Newcastle fans, players and manager for the rest of the match.

Another cause for concern was when Newcastle’s Yanga Mbiwa was only given a caution for a blatant red card tackle on fellow Frenchman Samir Nasri – who is set to be out at least 8 weeks due to serious knee ligament damage. It is unfair that players are allowed to get away with such wreckless, cynical and dangerous tackles only based on the referee’s first instinct at the time of the incident – they should be allowed to review live-action replays, in private, so that they can come to the most appropriate decision as quickly as possible.

Apart from the obvious talking-points regarding the referee’s decisions, the game did not disappoint in terms of entertainment for any fan of football or sport in general. It included lots of last-ditch tackles, great saves and brilliant bits of skill by both teams – a great advertisement for the Barclays Premier League.

Manuel Pellegrini’s choice to bring back Joe Hart into City’s starting XI has proved to be the right one, as he has saved them on plenty of occasions in the last few matches – in particular when he stopped a close-range shot from Loic Remy at a crucial point in the game against The Magpies.

Alan Pardew’s team continued to search for the goal which they so needed for the rest of the second half, but were finished off by a fast break by The Blues that was scrambled in by ‘The Beast’ Alvaro Negredo – who scored his 5th goal in the last 3 games.

The win might not have been pretty, and some decisions might have been wrong, but I can assure you that this type of win will prove to be of upmost importance if City are to win the Premier League title this season!

– Daniel Cheeseman