Graham Poll Would 'Nail' Barton If He Was Referee!

Last updated : 03 January 2011 By Footy Mad - Editor

Poll insists Barton - and former Toon midfielder Lee Bowyer - get away with murder and it is time referees came down hard on them.

Graham Poll: "I was once advised to never give a 'villain' a second chance after I failed to dismiss Juventus midfielder Edgar Davids in a Champions League quarter-final second leg against Barcelona.

"I eventually sent Davids off but not before he had helped Juve qualify after extra time. How that advice resonated while watching Lee Bowyer and Joey Barton at the weekend.

"The problem is that all too often a referee - in a misguided desire to keep 22 players on the pitch - will spend a disproportionate amount of time managing difficult players, rather than just dismissing them at the first opportunity.

"Both Barton and Bowyer are players with chequered pasts, who have both come out in heartfelt interviews asking to be given opportunities to turn over clean sheets as they have learned from the error of their ways.

"Well, this weekend - and indeed this season - we have seen that they really have not changed at all. However, until referees and the FA deal with them severely, they never will.

"Barton has already been banned by use of video evidence this season after punching Morten Gamst Pedersen.

"It took him until the 87th minute against Wigan on Sunday to show his true colours when committing a tackle - similar to Johnson's on Fabregas - on James McArthur.

"World Cup final referee Howard Webb failed to see the tackle correctly and only issued a yellow card - thereby rendering the damning video evidence as useless. More's the pity."

So, is Poll suggesting referees should  prejudge and target players?

Isn't that against the rules of the game?