Shearer unhappy with Styles

Last updated : 14 September 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The Hampshire official dismissed two players, dished out another ten yellow cards and awarded a dubious penalty at each end, much to the frustration of everyone involved.

“It is a long time since I have been involved in a game like that,” said Shearer afterwards.

“There should not have been that many incidents, but somebody thought there should be.

“It was an incident-packed game, but for what reason I do not know. Someone seemed to think it should be that way.

“Normally he has been a very good referee, but maybe like all of us sometimes it was just an off day for him.

“Referees are under pressure, but it is no different to players and managers.”

Gary Speed was in total agreement with his captain, adding: “There was not much good football because there was not much time to play any.

“It is frustrating and disappointing when you see fouls and bookings given for nothing.

“But you get used to it. You have to bite your lip and get on with things - refereeing has changed that much. The way the game has gone it is virtually a non-contact sport now.”

And the criticism came from both sides, with Toffees boss David Moyes following Shearer’s example and choosing his words very carefully.

He said: "I am trying this season not to get into trouble for the things I say. All I would say is that maybe we should start questioning the people who appoint officials rather than the referees themselves."