Arsenal

Know Thy Enemy …Graham Poll

Ah, Graham Poll. The most experienced English referee of all time. He was supposed to be the one ref in this country that we actually had respect for! Yeah well that didn’t go to plan during his officiating days.

These guys can change games so quickly that a team’s prospects of winning the title or surviving the deadly drop could technically rest at the blow of a ref’s whistle. Poll might have earned some respect but just ask him who his biggest nightmare was and surprise, surprise…his name is Sir Alex Ferguson.

I believe Poll, who retired in 2007, started this trend that we now see with the “men in black.” That is the love for attention on them. He got carried away with his job and thought that people talking about him, whilst getting himself noticed out in the middle, was a good thing.

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Originally he began his career in sales, with Canon. Perhaps that explains why he loved the camera focusing on him? Since retirement he can be heard on the radio, seen on the TV and will feature in a new ESPN show called The Umpire Strikes Back- in other words he’s everywhere.

Poll was regularly trusted with big matches in either the Premiership or Champions League but often found himself in situations where Ferguson, and another manager not shy of speaking badly about refs, Arsene Wenger regularly let him know how they felt about his performances. He may have been good at his job but often outspoken, no wonder he now writes columns.

Oh and just incase he thinks the rules have changed, well they haven’t…it REALLY¬†is two yellow cards that equal a red.

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