VIDEO: Ex-Ref Walton’s Comments On Barnes & Zaha Are Truly Pathetic

1 Posted by - February 4, 2019 - News, Video

Following on from Wilfried Zaha’s dismissal for sarcastically clapping Andre Marriner during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton last week, a new debate has sparked over whether or not Ashley Barnes should have seen red after screaming abuse at an official during Burnley’s draw with Southampton. 

The former Brighton striker went down under a challenge from Saints keeper Alex McCarthy inside the penalty area and incredibly saw himself cautioned for diving thanks to the decision of the linesman a matter of yards away. Whilst Barnes had every right to be frustrated with the call, what followed was undoubtedly severe enough to earn him a second yellow and an early bath, not that former referee Peter Walton saw it that way. 

Working for BT Sport as an “expert”, Walton put forward the case that “passion” meant that what Barnes had done was acceptable in the eyes of the referee before specifically using Zaha as an example of a situation in which a second yellow was warranted. It’s not often that I find myself agreeing with Paul Ince and Chris Sutton but in this particular instance, both men were spot on in expressing their bemusement with that opinion, quite rightly stating that Barnes should have received his marching orders. 

What Walton seems to be ignoring is that Zaha’s loss of composure also came from a place of “passion” not that either act should be tolerated in the eyes of those officiating the game. To make things crystal clear for those reading, I am not for one moment suggesting that Zaha should have stayed on the pitch at St. Mary’s, just that Barnes too should have been sent off following a comparatively worse reaction to what he felt was a poor piece of refereeing. 

Without that sense of consistency and clarity where are we? The referee must feel empowered to use his or her discretion up to a point but in instances such as these, the grey area feels far too wide to ensure that supporters and players feel as though they know where the line is. 

If screaming abuse (so blatant Barnes mouth was fuzzed out on Match of the Day) mere inches from a linesman’s face is seen as less severe than sarcastically clapping, I fear we’ve fallen too far down the rabbit hole to ever climb out again. 

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  • tzcar February 4, 2019 - 9:15 am Reply

    the thing is walton was very iratic on the night.wilf was frustrated at the fouls committed on him,and i know at 26 he should be curbing is anger.but surely u look to the ref for some protection.clearly he turned a blind for barnes he we go again ref,s far 2 inconsistent.they do at times ruin the game.

  • Pete Burch February 4, 2019 - 12:02 pm Reply

    I think Paul Ince knows but was reluctant to open Pandora’s box and say it due to the need to protect his job…
    Perhaps the elephant in the room here is racism, pure and simple?
    The same racism that makes Zaha a diver but Mo Salah a genius in the mainstream media.
    It can’t all be explained by big team bias to my mind (although that plays a part too methinks).

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