Date: 12th March 2011 at 3:22pm
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Wenger: "The referee was quite right, always is, and me and Alex will never ever be able to fault them ever again. Ever."

So Fergie has called time on the club’s media blackout so it would seem, and he’s talking to journos, hacks and attending press conferences again.

I believe that the latest ding-dong with the lovely people in the media stemmed a little bit from the rubbish splurged all over one particular paper about Chris Smalling ‘trashing’ a hotel room, but for the most part was due to the improper conduct charges brought against him in the aftermath of his feelings towards Martin Atkinson’s performance in the game at Stamford Bridge last week.

And as usual, Fergie was being told to ‘grow up’ by the press, or was called a miserable old bar steward by rival supporters.

Focusing on the comments about Atkinson, Sir Alex clearly demonstrated that he was disgusted that such a highly regarded official in the game, got some big calls wrong.  Not for the first time in three years either.

When asked by a journalist about his view on the referee taht night, Fergie’s reply was typically honest, frank, and straight to the point.

The FA hate honesty though, don’t they.  When journalists ask questions, the FA would rather football managers and players, give a luke warm response and stay sat on the fence. Balance the replies.  Lie to the fans, and the public, and in turn look stupid and aloof – distanced from their true passion for the game.

And it’s not just Fergie.  Wenger, Pulis, Warnock, Holloway…they’ve all said comments that are considered to be “out of turn” by no-one in the universe except football’s governing bodies – so why should it surprise people when Sir Alex makes a point, and doesn’t talk to the press?

The important thing to note here, is that the players and managers don’t “Come out” in the press with all this.  They are asked a question.  They have to answer.  If the FA state that officials MUST face the press after games, then they HAVE to answer questions.

If there are contentious issues, and things that they do not want footballers to say – then the governing body should brief the media, and the press as to what they can’t ask.  After all, journo’s are in a privileged position to get so close to these individuals after matches and in official press conferences, it’s surely not a big ask?

Only this week, we saw Robin van Persie and Arsene Wenger speak out against the ref after the ridiculous joke of a red card that the Dutch striker got at the Nou Camp in the Champions League.

Instead at laughing at Arsenal, I get the impression that most United supporters sided with Wenger, Van Persie et al that night.  We’ve both been harshly treated by referees, both clubs were asked the question, and both our managers get in to trouble for giving their opinion…and telling THE FANS the truth!  All true football fans agreed with Wenger’s assessment of the match official that night.

But oh no! Naughty naughty! Whatever you do, DON’T reply honestly when asked about your views on the referee!  It’s ILLEGAL!!!!!!!!

It’s a new era when us reds are empathising with Arsene Wenger after a game.  Maybe we should form a coalition with the Gooners to tell the FA that, if they want to censor people after matches, then censor the press.  Let managers and footballers answer questions honestly and truthfully – not be made to pull the wool over the fans eyes.  They don’t want to do that, and we don’t want them to do that.

Shouldn’t WE judge what we want to hear?  Not the governing bodies.

Fat chance of that happening, but it’s food for thought.

Follow me on Twitter: @stevecrab


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