Sir Alex faces touch-line ban
Manchester United, still reeling from their 1-2 loss at the hands of Chelsea has had their woes compounded when they learnt Sir Alex could face a touch line ban up to 4 matches. This charge by the English FA comes after Sir Alex’s supposed inappropriate remarks about referee Mark Atkinson following his side’s second league defeat of the season at Stamford Bridge last Tuesday. Referee Mark Atkinson failed to punish Chelsea centre half David Luiz for fouls on Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez which otherwise would have meant Chelsea finish with 10 men. To make matters worse, Atkinson then went on to award Chelsea a soft penalty in which Zhirkov got his foot tangled with Chris Smalling rather than the other way round. Lampard’s successful conversion of the penalty was the last nail in United’s coffin that night.
Sir Alex is believed to have said in his interview with MUTV, “You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway – and we didn’t get that.” It may be worth remembering that Sir Alex already has a two-game ban pending from his comments against Alan Wiley last season when he had suggested the referee was unfit. Sir Alex, who has refused a press conference on Friday prior to United’s trip to Anfield has till Tuesday, 8th of March to respond. If found guilty he will certainly miss United’s FA Cup quarter final against Arsenal and a premier league clash against Bolton the following week. With Vidic out suspended, Ferdinand injured, the Red Devils could well have done without this avoidable controversy. However for some of the Old Trafford faithful there is no sweeter experience than to beat Liverpool at Anfield and this is exactly the type of match in which Sir Alex would want his boys to respond like champions, like the United we have known over the last couple of decades.