Premier League English

Gary Neville’s one-word reaction to Ange Postecoglou comments after Tottenham defeat

Gary Neville has lauded Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou after the latter’s upstanding comments regarding the increasingly diminishing authority of referees in the Premier League.

The ex Celtics boss has impressed former Manchester skipper and defender Gary Neville with regards to the tough task referees have to cope with on the pitch these days, in view of the lack of authority they are given with VAR calling the shots in settling disputes after Tottenham’s 4-1 defeat to Chelsea in their chaotic, incident-riddled encounter.

Despite Spurs ending up playing more than 40 minutes with 10 men, Postecoglou chose not to point an accusing finger at the referees.

The Australian probably had hardly any complaints after both Cristian Romero an Destiny Udogie were eventually given their marching orders, while he himself picked up a booking for straying beyond the technical area.

Postecoglou spoke to Sky Sports saying that he thinks Premier League managers should focus on managing rather than trying to referee games themselves. Additionally, the Spurs boss wants more respect for referees but feels that managers will always attempt to bend rules for their benefit.

He believes it’s becoming increasingly difficult for referees to officiate games as VAR has assumed full authority, and the Aussie called for referees to have more power.

“Premier League managers should just manage their football clubs. I’ve never and I never will talk to referees about the rules of the game. I was taught that you grow up and you respect the officials,” said Postecoglou.

“Now, managers look for ways to bend the rules. Tell me what the rule is, and I guarantee you will have a room full of managers processing ‘how can I get around this’. What I want are the best officials always being up-skilled to officiate the game but it’s so hard for referees to officiate these days. Their authority is constantly getting diminished. I grew up afraid of referees like they were policemen. I’m old school, I’m from a bygone era,” he added.

Postecoglou’s stand on referees and VAR comes just days in the wake of Arsenal boss Arteta most ungraciously slamming what was to him the highly deplorable standard of refereeing in the Gunners’s 1-0 defeat to Newcastle and labelling it as ‘disgraceful and embarrassing’.

VAR and the standard of officiating have been incendiary topics this season and Postecoglou has now been singled out for praise by Neville on Twitter, who lauded the former Celtics boss’ comments mooting the topic of showing respect for referees as being infinitely classy.

Neville has criticized Arteta’s reaction over the weekend, which probably wouldn’t score him any Brownie points with Arsenal fans, especially with him heaping praise on Postecoglou.