D’Urso makes things worse

Last updated : 06 March 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Whilst we gave a display that was way below our best against an under rated Middlesbrough team D’Urso and his assistants did play a major part in our downfall.

Not only did he fail to spot the obvious foul on Jermaine Jenas in the build up to the only goal of the game, he also bottled out of awarding a clear penalty when Jonathan Woodgate was pushed in the penalty area in the closing stages and failed to punish George Boateng for a series of bad fouls which led to Gary Speed having to leave the field.

Now he is set to report Bellamy to the FA for comments he is alleged to have made to one of the assistants after the game as the players surrounded the match officials to make our anger at their display known.

Whilst it is difficult to condone the abuse of officials it was to some extent understandable in this instance, with even Sir Bobby and John Carver admitting that they understood the players’ frustration.

"It's not often you see me in the centre circle, but I think I was showing some of the players' frustrations," said Carver who joined in the protest.

While Sir Bobby said: "I think if I'd been a player there tonight, I might have been the same. We had two clear fouls in the build up to the goal and we had a period of about 20 minutes where we never got a decision."

Before rightly adding: "But we still didn't score a goal, so we have to blame ourselves."

It seems that D’Urso is following the Uriah Rennie path of trying to hog the limelight in big games (after all he is best known for his clashes with Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira) perhaps to try and disguise his incompetence.

Normally I’m loathed to criticise referees because the behaviour of players makes their job so difficult, but D’Urso has a earned a reputation for being one of the worst referees in the Premiership and surely the time has come for him to be demoted.