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That horror tackle..............what’s the point of linesmen?

17th March 2013
Yesterday television viewers witnessed an appalling challenge by Wigan’s Callum McManaman on Newcastle’s unfortunate Massaidi Haidara, however the vastly experienced referee Mark Halsey not only missed the incident but awarded a free kick to Newcastle for handball!

Now, given that Halsey was not brilliantly positioned to see the incident clearly, what on earth was the linesman (I refuse to call them assistant referees, because they very rarely assist) doing? He had a spectacularly good view of the incident, and unless he was wearing earplugs must have heard the terrifying shriek from Haidara as McManaman lunged, studs up, directly at his opponent’s knee.

Now, whether young Callum, who was making his Premier League debut, meant the challenge is something only he knows, but surely the linesman should have the guts to flag for such an assault? Otherwise we might as well have a couple of young kids running the line who only use the flags for throw ins and offside decisions.
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