De Vos: Look again at video refs

I HAVE always been one to defend referees in the past, but after the two we had last week at Preston and Palace I wonder why I bother.No wonder referees are the source of so much frustration for managers, players, and supporters when we see decisions, or lack of, as we did in those games, and while it is not totally the answer I once again ask why video technology can't be used.

I HAVE always been one to defend referees in the past, but after the two we had last week at Preston and Palace I wonder why I bother.

No wonder referees are the source of so much frustration for managers, players, and supporters when we see decisions, or lack of, as we did in those games, and while it is not totally the answer I once again ask why video technology can't be used.

The other thing is that there appears to be no repercussions for referees who have bad games. The official who we had at Preston was refereeing again a few days later yet if a footballer had a bad game then there is a good chance he will be dropped.

Of course it is also pointless criticising because on a professional level we can't say too much and also referees close ranks. I have to say I agree with Darren Currie in his GreenUn column when he says more players should be referees because there are a lot of things they would see and understand that a lot of referees don't.


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You can't learn about the game and players in a classroom. It is the same when understanding the reaction of players, and in Neil Warnock's case again, when provoked, as we saw over the weekend with the gestures made.

The ironic thing is that we get warned by refs before the game not to go into the crowd, don't celebrate when you score and don't show too much emotion yet no one says anything about the abuse that we have to take.

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It can be difficult for players and I sympathised with Ricardo at Palace because he was getting heaps of unjustified abuse from the home fans.

All players expect to be jeered and booed when they go back to an old club but some of what was being directed at Ricardo was over the top and it was no wonder he reacted.

The thing is, how many of those fans would be brave enough to say it to his face in the street, yet they do on the terraces and we as players are not allowed to defend ourselves.

I appreciate that it is a minority of fans who behave like that and at Ipswich, apart from when Andy Marshall and Chris Makin came back, they give old players a good reception - but then we have a classy set of supporters.

LIVERPOOL showed their ruthlessness on Tuesday when they hammered seven past Birmingham City in the FA Cup.

People may wonder why they didn't ease up, but trust me, when a team is in that situation they still want to get as many as they can.

Footballers are by nature competitive, whether it is a game of cards, five-a-side, or a cup final, they want to win and will show no mercy.

When the goals are flowing everyone want to get in on the act, the full-backs overlap, the central defenders push forward and everyone is making runs.

The funny thing is, it was not so long ago that Rafael Benitez was saying he might have to change his strikers as they could not buy a goal.

Perhaps it was clever management by firing a shot across the bows of the strikers who responded in droves.

It is almost a mystery how well Liverpool have done without a goalscorer who has got 15 to 20 goals a year like Manchester United or Arsenal. They have had a good season due to a strong defence keeping clean sheets, so imagine what they would have been like with a finisher.

IT has to be said that England have been fantastic in the Commonwealth Games with a terrific haul of medals and top-class performances.

But I also have to say that I have been hugely impressed with Scotland. From only winning six gold medals in Manchester in 2002 they have already won 10, which is a great achievement.

As for Canada, well the Games have been poor for us. I know for a fact that funding is being concentrated on the 2010 Winter Olympics, which we are hosting, so perhaps that is why we have not done so well.

The question of who should fund athletes representing their country is an interesting one and I feel it should be a mixture of self-funding, Government and sponsorship.

In Canada we don't fund sports as well as they do here in England, which is a shame. There is a real sense of national identity when we do well and when we don't do well in events like the Olympics then everyone moans about it. The bottom line is proper funding although it can be a bottomless pit.

In England they do a fairly good job using the National Lottery and it is something I would like to be seen set up in Canada, not just for sport but for the arts and other community projects.

Then perhaps we might win a few more medals.

IT is not often I agree with Sven-Goran Eriksson but his call to announce a squad of 26 in early May before he has to trim it to 23, is a great one. By announcing early who he wants, the players will know that they have to stay fit and not get into holiday mode the day after their season has finished.

What I don't understand is why FIFA insist the squads are announced before the domestic season is finished in so many countries. It seems unfair and a risk, because you could name your squad then have three strikers each break a leg.

FINALLY, it has been great this week to have Sam Parkin and Nicky Forster back training with us.

Players are a pretty heartless bunch and injured lads get stick, even though most of us have suffered at one time or another this season so we should be more sympathetic.

The problem with being injured is in your own mind because you can't help wonder sometimes if you could do more.

Quite often a player will try to play through pain, I know one or two who really have tried playing on with a broken leg, because there is nothing worse than being on the sidelines wondering if people are questioning whether you really are injured or not, or are some sort of softy.

Of course the other lads know it is not the case, but it doesn't stop the stick.

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