Run of bad luck continues for Canaries!
Feature by Mark Burchett & John Maiden
Updated Wednesday, 14th September 2011
John Maiden takes a slanted look at the defeat to West Brom
It is often said that poor refereeing decisions will even themselves out during the course of a season. If there is any truth in this saying the Canaries must already be overdue for half a dozen decisions in their favour, because at the time of writing I am still fuming about referee Mark Halsey's failure to spot the foul committed by Gabriel Tamas on James Vaughan, which saw the Norwich debutante needing hospital treatment on his mouth.
Had Mr Halsey seen Tamas swing his elbow into Vaughan's face he would have had to produce a red card and award Norwich a penalty. This would have given the Canaries a chance to retain their unbeaten home record in league games stretching back to December 2010. [It's good to see that since the game the FA have charged him with 'violent conduct' and the player will begin a three match suspension with immediate effect.]
Earlier in the second half Mr Halsey had awarded West Brom a penalty - saved by Declan Rudd - after Steven Reid had gone down rather too easily after minimal contact from Steve Morison. This was the fourth penalty awarded against Norwich in as many games - two of them resulting in red cards for the offending players.
However, rather than launch an attack on the inconsistency of refereeing decisions, which seem to penalise the less famous clubs and their players more harshly than their more illustrious counterparts, it is surely time to give referees access to the same instant replays that currently allow the rest of us to spot their mistakes.
It would take just seconds for a fourth official with a TV monitor in front of him to alert the referee to incidents such as the one which saw James Vaughan quite literally spitting blood at the end of a game the Canaries did not deserve to lose.
It is, of course, undeniable that the Norwich players, most of whom are without Premier League experience, are on a steep learning curve, which is seeing them being punished for defensive mistakes such as the one that gifted the baggies an early lead.
The forwards will also have to start taking those chances and half chances, which are fewer in the Premier League than in the Championship.