Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Breezing Through

Never far from trouble, John Kosmina.

Another altercation, this time with referee Matthew Breeze, could well lead to a touchline ban for Sunday’s grand final; Kosmina has suggested that, even if the ban is enforced, it will have little effect on his team’s morale – and he is probably right. Still, it was a foolish thing to do.

But there’s a question that needs asking:

Why was Matthew Breeze refereeing the game at all, after his atrocious performance in the minor semi-final second leg?

Mark Shield and Matthew Breeze have been allotted all the “important” games in both seasons of the A-League so far. Yet both have often fallen well below the standard expected of a referee in a professional league.

That night in Newcastle, Breeze simply lost control of the game. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that he abrogated control of the game. How else can one explain the fact that he allowed Jade North to head-butt Iain Fyfe right in front of him, without producing a card?

North should already have been the recipient of a yellow (at least) for a last-man challenge on Robbie Middleby some minutes earlier. Paul Okon, too, should definitely have received some sanction for his retaliation against Alex Brosque, following the foul which saw the Sydney man sent off.

And in case anyone feels this is just a case of a Sydney fan grumbling, Newcastle were denied one of the most obvious penalties you are ever likely to see in the second half, when Fyfe upended Nick Carle in the box. The two Newcastle penalty shouts in the first half were both marginal, but the third was plainly legitimate. Again, Breeze was right on the spot. Again, he did nothing.

After a night like that, there is no way that a referee should be permitted to preside over the season’s second most important game. The league bosses need to ensure that incompetence is not rewarded (although, it must be said, this does tend to happen in most leagues with “favoured” referees).

Although Breeze did a little better at Hindmarsh, he still produced that ridiculous card for Matthew Kemp, which will now keep Adelaide’s impressive left-back out of the final.

Kosmina may have been unwise in his remarks. But – if he said what most people believe he did – he had a point. Steve Corica would surely agree, in any case…

Agree with the sentiment, but as always one must provide solutions when pointing out the answers?

I've watched the referees closely this year, having disregarded them on a personal basis in year one I decided to take a look and see if the whinging was justified.

The only consistently good one? Craig Zetter. Doesn't get it right all the time, but has the respect of the players and has not once lost control of a game heavily as happens too often in the A-League (policeman from SA, go figure). It seems the award of THAT fk scored by Colosimo into the empty Mariners net early in the season may have harmed his credentials?
Peter Green has also done well when I've seen him, and Ben Williams gets a few more games, whilst being far from perfect, has surely been better than Breeze.
Simon P-someting-Polish. What about him?

Where is the competition? It doesn't make a lot of sense but then again Graham Poll is allowed to continue his stage career.
Williams and Zetter have been the best this season for my money...not too sure about Simon Przydacz, he can be intimidated, I feel.

My main issue is that Carroll et al. have fixed on Shield and Breeze as the "top two", when any A-League fan with a sufficiently long memory could tell you they're anything but.
Breeze also gave Griffiths a yellow, for nothing more than backchat I believe, which would have kept him out of the final if Newcastle won.
What exactly did John Kosmina say?

Whatever it was, if it was offensive enough for the leeague to ban him for three matches it would seem the real isues is Kosmina's deliberate behavior not any mistakes Breeze may ahs made.

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